This I Believe

Emily - Minnetonka, Minnesota
Entered on February 24, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in doing what you love and loving what you do. In my opinion doing something that you don’t love is foolish. I play softball even when I have double vision because I love it.

During the summer of 2004, I had a major eye accident that completely changed my life. My cousin Catlin and I were at our family cabin for a weekend with my grandpa, both of our older siblings had got to do the same; it was our turn. We were in the water playing on a huge blow up water toy we had played on millions of times. But this time when we played on it, it was different. A huge wave came and we both fell off the toy. When Catlin came up out of the water, she accidently kicked me, and broke many bones under my left eye. I started screaming on the top of my lungs, didn’t know what to do, and was scared to death. I didn’t really understand what was happening. My grandpa who was at his work shed, came running, helped me inside to relax and see what had happened. I went to sleep at two and didn’t wake up till eight, and then I was woken up because I had to go to the hospital. My grandpa decided to take me to the hospital because my eye was swollen, and was painful; he wasn’t sure what had happened completely and what was wrong with my eye. I ended up having a concussion and a blow out fracture in my left eye which is why it hurt so badly. When my mom found out what had happened, she came up instantly. She went straight to the hospital. I stayed in the Duluth’s St. Mary’s hospital for 3 days which means my vacation at the cabin was cut short. When my mom and I met with the doctor, he said I should go home and see an eye specialist at the University of Minnesota. I went to the doctor almost daily for a whole month because what had happened to me was literally a one in a million situation. During that month the doctors hadn’t learned much about what had happened to me; I had two major surgeries that didn’t improve my vision.

During this all I was also worried about if I was going to be able to play softball-my favorite sport of all time. I talked with my doctors about playing the next season, my doctors said it probably wouldn’t be a great idea because if I got hit in or near the left eye, I could possibly go blind but I could play if I wanted to. When the next season came around, I signed up for 12u and planned to play. I went to the first practice, first game, and kept doing my thing. The season was going pretty well until my eye started to hurt every time I focused on anything for too long. My mom ended up having to tell my coach about what had happened the past summer. This however, changed my season; he stopped playing me in my normal position; second base, I was put into the outfield, and when you’re only 12 years old, not many people can hit all the way to the outfield. I was so mad at my mom for telling my coach, I made her go talk to him again. When she talked to him, he started to respect that I still was a good softball player even with double vision. To this day; I have double vision, play softball and believe in doing what you love and loving it with all your heart.