"I went to bed seeing the world one way. I woke up seeing it another."
In a column in this week's Sunday New York Times, op-ed columnist Frank Bruni describes how he suddenly started losing his vision.
"I had almost certainly experienced what is colloquially called 'a stroke of the eye,' whereby the optic nerve is ravaged by a brief reduction of blood flow and thus oxygen," he writes. "The name for this condition is nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (N.A.I.O.N.), and it afflicts perhaps one in 10,000 Americans."
But the condition made him realize, ultimately, how lucky he was.
"I found myself taking inventory of the obstacles and upsets that people I knew were dealing with. There were children with autism. Parents with Alzheimer’s. Financial crises. Career disasters. Addiction. Abuse.
"And that was merely the stuff at the tip of my nose, in plain sight. How much else lurked beneath the surface? Show me someone with a seemingly unbroken stride and unfettered path. More often than not, he or she is hampered and haunted in ways that you can’t imagine."
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