781 Being Blind


Mike talks about his life after eye surgery and what it is like to be blind.

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Todd: Now, Mike, you mentioned that you were blind. You couldn't see.

Mike: Right.

Todd: So, explain what is like when you're blind?

Mike: It's pretty tough. Now for me, I was 90% sure that I would get my vision back because after the surgery, the doctors had eye surgery and the doctor told me that, you know, everything will be fine but now because of the post-operative bleeding in the eye, you wouldn't be able to see for a couple of months so I knew I'd get my vision back but during that two months of not having vision it was pretty strange.

Todd: Did you ever have doubt, like, "Oh, what if my eyesight doesn't come back?"

Mike: Of course. Every day. Every day cause you'd wake up, and in the morning, cause your.. when you fall asleep the blood gets mixed up in your eye. You wake up in the morning. Everything is completely cloudy and you're thinking, especially after like three or four weeks, I was thinking, "Am I ever going to get my vision back?" like " What's going on? This is taking a long time. It's not getting better" and you start to worry.

Todd: Right, right.

Mike: So, typically, you do think what if I'm stuck like this forever, you know, but... and I can't even play the piano like Steve Wonder, so you know.

Todd: Well, what's a daily routine like? Like is life more boring or do you have better sensations with sound and things like that? Like how is life different?

Mike: I think, people say that, that you know, you're other senses build up when you are missing one of your other senses however I think it takes time to develop your... for your other senses to accommodate your sense that's lost, so in my case, I don't really think so. My hearing didn't necessarily become better or, you know, I couldn't suddenly smell something and go "Chateau ***** 1956." It just didn't work out that way, so.

Todd: You couldn't hear a dog five miles a way?

Mike: No. No. No. Nothing like that. Nothing that good but, yeah.

Todd: Right.

Mike: A little tricky.

Todd: You know, it's funny thought that you mention that because remember when we were kids, like you always knew the sound of your car. You knew when you parents were home. Like, uh-oh, that's engine for dad's car."

Mike: Dad's home!

Todd: I gotta stop screwing around.

Mike: Exactly. I gotta fix this broken vase.

Todd: Right, so maybe that's it. There's a fear element involved.

Mike: Yeah, but in general I think it was, I mean in my case, it wasn't. I didn't have any extra senses. My sixth sense didn't suddenly develop and I could see dead people. Nothing like that.

Todd: Was the day boring? You know, were you bored?

Mike: Yeah, that was probably the hardest thing was just finding things to do. My mother got me an exercise bicycle so at least I could do a little bit of, you know, activities.

Todd: Oh, that is nice.

Mike: Yeah, for sure. For sure. But I picked up a lot of audio books and listened to them.

Todd: Did you listen to elllo?

Mike: Yeah, every day. Every day. My.. Can't you tell? My English has improved so much.

Todd: Wow, it really works.

Mike: Sure, I used to talk like this. (laughter) Yeah, but I did study Japanese actually so.

Todd: Oh, you did?

Mike: On audio tape, yeah.

Todd: Oh, cool, man, cool. Well, thanks for telling your story about being blind.

Mike: My pleasure. I hope I never have to tell it again. I mean, I hope I never have to live through it again.

Todd: Definitely.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

post-operative

Everything will be fine but now because of the post-operative bleeding in the eye, you wouldn't be able to see for a couple of months.

Post-operative refers to the time after you have had surgery. This is the time when you are still recovering.

Notice the following:

  1. I went to a different hospital for my post-operative care.
  2. She is nurse that looks after patients that are in post-operative recovery.

I'm stuck like this forever

What if I'm stuck like this forever?

'I'm stuck like this forever' means that you will remain in your current state or with your current problems for the rest of your life.

Notice the following:

  1. I worry that I will be stuck like this forever, and I find that quite depressing.
  2. If I'm stuck like this forever, I think I will be very unhappy.

screwing around

I've got to stop screwing around.

'Screwing around,' in this instance, refers to the way in which someone messes around and does not appear to be taking things seriously.

Notice the following:

  1. I told the students that they had to stop screwing around and start taking their studies seriously. 
  2. He has to stop screwing around, or he will get himself into trouble.

sixth sense

My sixth sense didn't suddenly develop and I could see dead people.

A 'sixth sense' would be an extra, special ability that nobody else has. Naturally, most humans have five senses: sight, smell, sound, touch and taste.

Notice the following:

  1. She has this amazing kind of sixth sense.
  2. Do you think people have have a sixth sense?

I picked up a lot of audiobooks

I picked up a lot of audiobooks and listened to them.

'I picked up a lot of audiobooks' means that you bought or borrowed a number of audiobooks. 'Audiobooks' are books that have been read aloud and recorded onto a tape or CD.

Notice the following:

  1. When I was recovering from my injury, I got very bored, so I made sure I picked up a lot of audiobooks to listen to.
  2. I picked up a lot of audiobooks and gave them to my daughter to listen to.

 

Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
post-operative • stuck • screwing
sixth • audiobooks
  1. You should pick up some for your long car trip.
  2. It's important that you think a lot about your tattoo before you get it, because you will be like this forever.
  3. He sort of has a sense for when people aren't telling the truth.
  4. She will have to go to therapy for about 3 months.
  5. At the age of 30, he finally decided to stop around and take life more seriously.