When someone gives up a part of themselves they may go through a grieving process. Losing an eye is a huge thing to go through and it may be overwhelming.
In our clinic we encourage clients to visit us at their earliest convenience. During this early visit we can demystify much of the process and assist with support mechanisms.
Prepared To Talk
Talk to your friends, talk with your family. While you have your own fears, your friends and family are taking this journey with you. If you feel this is not enough then it is ok to seek out the ear of a councellor or psychologist.
Write Your Story
It’s healing to write down your story. Write a first version just for yourself. You can prepare a second version if you decide to publish it. The reason we say this, is that you may not record important thoughts and feelings if you are writing for an audience. That is why we encourage people to write first for themselves.
Friends and family can provide good support and your ocularist can give information. Some people find it also beneficial to talk to someone else who has been through the experience already. Ask your ocularist to set you up a buddy.
This is particularly beneficial for parents with children who have artificial eyes. In our practice we often make a group appointment for children.
When kids first come they are pretty scared about having the eye put in and taken out. They often assume that there will be pain involved. If they see another child having their eye fitted it can reduce their anxiety.
For adults the buddy system gives adults a chance to talk over their fears. We try to organise for our trained peer support buddys to meet with people away from the clinic at a coffee shop.
A big part of the adjusting and adapting is just about understanding the process and having access to good information.
We have links on our website to support groups. One that we helped set up in Western Australia is ArtEyes. This group started from it’s beginnings as an internet chat group.
Through this group we hold two events per year. We have a ten pin bowling day and a picnic in November.
These events have been well attended and it gives people a chance to meet other people with an artificial eye.
Generally most people are able to adjust and adapt to their new circumstances.
Along the way some people get stuck at a certain point which hinders their ability to properly recover. A psychologist may be able to assist in freeing a person up to continue on their journey of recovery.