Hey guys! It’s me Tahitia again and I thought I’d try something a little different with you today when it comes to blogging. Instead of posting an interview, which by the way I’ve REALLY enjoyed doing and hope to do a lot more of down the road I wanted to tell you a little big about myself and an issue that I’ve been dealing with since I turned 22 ten years ago.

Slowly, but ever so surely, I’ve been losing my eyesight. This has been because of a hereditary condition I inherited and only learned about too late to take early preventative action.

This isn’t entirely a bad new blog post however, with the help of very talented eye surgeon I’ve been given an incredible reprieve when it comes to my vision, and I can honestly say that I can see better now today than I could any time in the last 5 years.

I've linked to the full blog post down below here but here's a shortened run down of the situation.

The Problems Begin

My eyes were never the greatest, I was one of those nerdy girls with big glasses in elementary school and high school too. It wasn’t a big deal though, and certainly nothing that I gave much thought too outside of the need to maybe get a new prescription every four to five years or so.

Anyone who first got glasses can relate, they may have seemed a big deal in the beginning, but you adjust and eventually they’re as much a part of you as anything else.

Things changed when I was 22 years old. My left eye had become prone to repeated infections and I had begun to see small bubbles in the air around me, bubbles that I knew couldn’t be there because I could never touch them physically. On top of that, my vision became very poor overall.

After I sought the treatment of an optometrist, I was immediately referred to a retinal specialist who diagnosed me as having a detached retina.

I learned that 80% of patients who see specialists with detached retina’s have already lost all of their eye sight in the affected eye, whereas through sheer luck I had still retained some, not a lot, but some.

We operated right away, and with the help a lubricated scleral buckling the retina in my left eye was reattached.

Although the vision I had left in my left eye was saved, to date there hasn’t been any real improvements. I still count myself as lucky that I can see at all in my left eye, though by some standards I’m nearly legally blind in my left eye.


I’d put off learning to drive by the time I was 22, a lot of my friends didn’t drive and I had my now husband, then fiancé to drive me where I needed to go, plus I was no stranger to taking the bus at 6am to get to school in another city.

Even still, it was a disappointment when I realized that unless there was improvement I’d never be able to drive, whether it was a car or even just a scooter.

I got used to the checkups every four with the retina specialist who operated on my eye. For the next little while I hoped that as long as I kept up with the regular eye appointments that everything would be fine.

A New Round of Trouble

A few years later the hope that things would stay the same came to pretty quick end when I noticed another sudden drop in the quality of my vision, only this time in my right eye.

A quick trip to my specialist confirmed that a tear was underway in the retina of my right eye. The doctor recommended an invasive laser procedure to fix the problem and prevent another detachment, and that’s what happened.

When some people ask why I don’t just have laser eye treatment to make my eyes stronger, what they don’t realize is that I already have. The procedure itself was quite the experience, I was awake and had to remain very still the entire time and felt the strangest sensation of tiny bursts of heat on the surface of my eye.

I’d hoped that my second operation would be my last, but alas it was not meant to be.

In 2012 while working a night shift at my day job I suddenly started to bleed out of my left eye and I felt a terribly sharp pain. I knew something had to be wrong with the buckle.

After an emergency appointment my specialist told me that a suture holding my scleral buckle in place had come loose, and another operation was booked to remove the troublesome suture and replace it with a fresh one.

Though the operation was successful, I decided afterwards to leave the care of the specialist who’d operated on me now 3 times in search of another specialist.

After about six months my family doctor was able to refer me to another retina specialist who agreed to take me on as a patient, and I’m very glad that he did because beginning this year I had begun to notice another decline in the quality of the vision in my right eye.

My One Good Eye

At my first appointment with the new specialist we discovered that the laser procedure had failed to prevent the retina in my right eye from dethatching, and for the fourth time an operation was needed.

This was the most invasive of the four procedures, and the recovery was slower than the first three, but I’m happy to say that it’s been worth it because the vision in my right eye today is better than it has been in years.

The decline in the quality of my vision in the right eye that I’d started to notice this year was completely reversed, and it’s gotten to the point where for the first time in my life I might need a slightly weaker prescription of glasses.

A Different Recovery

What was also different about this procedure was that it came at a time when I had more on the go than ever before in my life between two jobs and a hobby. For the first time I had to deal with the fact that dozens of people would notice that I had had an operation on my eye, as would be evident by the massive swelling.

Case in point was the Annual Devil’s Night Ball at the Staircase Theater in Hamilton, Ontario. For months I knew what my Halloween costume was going to be, a 1950’s bikini beauty pageant contestant complete with an era appropriate swimsuit I’d ordered online (the Vamp 2-piece swimsuit from right here at PUG no less :) ), a tiara and a winner’s sash that my husband made.

I only learned that I would need the operation the week before the ball, and the procedure itself was the day before the ball.

Before hand when I was a much more shy girl without the social life I enjoy now I was able to retreat to solitude and my day job to deal with the recovery process quietly with only a few questions from co-workers.

That’s just not who I am anymore, I didn’t want to run from the many people in my life, especially since of the so many that I’d met this year NONE had ever given me reason to think that they wouldn’t understand how I looked. A lot of this outlook came because of you guys, a community so accepting of people from every age, shape, ethnicity and orientation really helped remind me that if you give people a chance they can be understanding and accepting.

So I decided to go to the Devil’s Night Ball regardless.

As you can see by the picture above, it was pretty obvious that something had happened. Most of my friends at first glance thought that it was all part of my costume, and I even won the 2nd prize at the night’s costume contest by judges who also thought my massive swollen eye was part of my costume. Some of my friends even joked that I looked like a contestant who had beaten up the actual winner for 1st prize! I could live with that I think :)

This was how I looked with my tiara, sash and Vamp 2-piece swimsuit courtesy of Pinup Girl Clothing the day after the procedure :)
It wasn’t all a walk in the park though, I didn’t appreciate the cold stares people would sometimes give my husband when the two of us walked together, assuming that I’d been punched in the face and worse that he was the one who did it. My husband is a very gentle and loving man and would never do anything of the sort, which is why it bothered me so much.

Like I said though, the people I care about the most were nothing but supportive of me, my friends in my stunt class told me it was a badge of honour a swollen black eye and it made me look like an even badder badass.

My agent was especially kind to me, calling me more than once just to ask how I was doing and how I was recovering. She was even able to book me one day on a production that required someone who looked like they’d been beat up, I really appreciated that.

Another challenge I had to face was a photoshoot and pinup workshop with none other than pinup bombshell and burlesque extraordinaire herself Miss Bettina May at the Toronto School of Burlesque. I’d saved up for months to go to this workshop/shoot before I found out that I needed the operation, and even though the shoot was only a week after the procedure and I still wasn’t fully healed, I couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass me by.

When Bettina sent an e-mail out asking if her students would be able to bring their own supplies such as hot rollers, I took the chance to explain my situation to her, about the procedure and how I would be unable to apply a great deal of makeup to the still healing area. Bettina completely understood and advised me to just skip the false eyelash application portion of the lesson.

I’m so happy that I went to the workshop because as you can see from the picture below I had an absolutely awesome time :)

My eye looks normal now, and there’s next to no trace of the operation from four weeks ago. I have another follow up appointment soon but my first 2 follow ups have gone so well that I’m really optimistic about this next one.

What the Future Holds

I’m very optimistic is the point I want everyone to take away here, I can’t tell you how incredibly lucky I am to have retained ANY vision at all in not just one but in 2 detached retinas. The best news is that I don’t have any other retinas to detach so I don’t have to worry about a third happening J

Even still, before my fourth operation my husband and I actually sat down one night to talk about what we’d do in case I did lose my vision entirely. I regret the fact that we waited this long to talk about the possibility, since there was no real reason to put it off other than we were both afraid to confront it.

I’m glad that we did though, we agreed that we’d learn to cope and that we’d deal with it together. My husband promised he’d do whatever he could to make adjusting to blindness as easy as possible, if that is possible at all.

There are a lot of resources available to Canadians young and old who are losing and have lost their sight I’ve learned, whether it’s through clinics, community groups, government programs or charities and that does make me feel a little better about the fact that if I did lose my sight there would be people there to help me.

I doubt that I’d be able to continue on with my day job in healthcare, I’d like to think that there’d be a way I could re-train and stay in the healthcare field, maybe even as a counselor for people dealing with blindness or even as a teacher.

My hobby of burlesque performing might also be a challenge with blindness, but I think I could manage. I might even use the chance to learn to be a better singer and make singing my main performance as opposed to just dancing.

The best advice that I’ve been given so far when it comes to my second job, acting, came from Joanna Haughton who you might remember I interviewed not that long ago. She told me as long as I could pretend to see the people near me then I would be fine, since acting’s all a matter of pretending anyways :)

I’m lucky though, I can still see and I’ve had so much inspiration from people who’d triumphed over much harder adversity than I’ve faced. Illnesses, injuries, life changing events, so many people that I’ve seen and read about make the decision each day to not allow the hurdles in their life define them.

They’re my inspiration, and I’m very grateful for them! My husband and my friends have been irreplaceable as well, reminding me that no matter what happens there will be people there to help me out if I ask for it.

The last thing that I want to say is that if you think you’re having trouble with your eyes in any way, don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your eyes checked and get them checked often.

If anyone wants to talk to me about this please feel free to leave a comment below or you can send me a message on Facebook or on Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I can’t wait until my next blog post, I’m not sure what it’s going to be about just yet but I have a week to figure it out :)

Take care and hugs,

Tahitia :)

Views: 213

Comment by Ms. Natalie Ruth on November 22, 2013 at 10:29am

I'm so glad the procedures you've had have been able to help Tahitia!  And thanks for being so open, it's helpful to see others remaining optimistic when facing difficulties because it's a nice reminder for the rest of us to do the same.  Good luck with everything!! =]

Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on November 22, 2013 at 12:20pm

Thank you so much Natalie! It's hard not to be an optimist when I have people like you and members of this community to turn to if I'm ever feeling down. I'm going to be fine, but no matter what I know that I have you all with me :)

Comment by Aoife 24K on November 22, 2013 at 6:25pm

My dear, wonderful friend I just want to send you lots of love and a super big hug. You have been through too much. But you obviously retain a super good attitude. And what I love is that you are not withdrawing from the world with all of this stress. You are in fact going forward and challenging yourself to grow. You go girl!

I have told you that I have had eye problems. But what I want to talk about is my visits to the ophthalmologists, especially the retinal specialists. l guess that it has been for the past ten or fifteen years. I have kind of lost track of when it all got worse. But it always seemed like I was the youngest person there! Everyone seemed to be about 80 or 90 years old. It was very weird! It must be even weirder for you given that you are a lot younger than me.

I wish you all the best. Oh one more thing, someday I want us both to be able to actually see each other in person!

Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on November 23, 2013 at 8:53am

It sounds like this is another thing that we have in common Aoife, I really wish we didn't have it common though :(

Like I said, I've been lucky enough to have so many friends both in my area and in the PUG community here (including you of course) and I've seen so many amazing and inspiring stories of people who've had to overcome catastrophic injuries or illnesses, and it reminds me every day that I have reason NOT to be optimistic :)

Thanks Aoife and yes I know that somehow someday we're going to "see" each other in person :)

P.S. You'll get the biggest hug when that happens!

Comment by Desilu on November 23, 2013 at 9:16am

Thank you for sharing this Tahitia, not only because "we" (yep, the ROYAL PUG WE) care about you (and everyone here!), but also because this may have helped someone else that may have been having similar problems and not know what to do about them - and that losing your eyesight is not the end of the world. A reminder of our mortality and fragility (despite our stubborness not to be fragile) is always needed, as well as the reminder that it is not the end of the world and that there are people, places and things that are there to help you along the way. I feel for your husband... too many are quick to judge based on the outward appearance, but unfortunately, without that judgement, many women/men who are being abused would not get the help they need.

Anyhow... I wish you the best. And I love how the pic from the shoot "covered up" your bruising by the posing - fantastic work and thought process!!!

Comment by Shy Anne on November 25, 2013 at 5:17am

You know, I think that even were you to loose your eyesight you would continue to do whatever you happen to want because you're the kind of person who isn't afraid to go out there and take risks so blindness would be a small hurdle between you and enjoying life. You're an extremely brave woman and I think that you will keep going no matter what. 

That aside, it's absolutely wonderful that the surgery improved things a bit and I hope that things continue to improve. <3

Comment by Tahitia Belle Fille on November 26, 2013 at 11:50am

@Desilu Thank you so much Desilu, I'm glad to hear that you worry about me but you don't need to worry, I'm seriously going to be just fine.

It is exactly like you said, blindness, though extremely inconvenient and life changing is not the end of the world, and it certainly won't stop me from being a part of this community and being friends with all of you awesome ladies. Nothing could ever take me away from you all :)

@Shy Anne You are so sweet and I promise you that I aside from maybe needing a little help to get around being blind won't change anything about me :) I'm really optimistic though that I won't be needing a walking cane just yet. My right eye's getting better every day and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will get even better :)


You need to be a member of Pinup Girl Style to add comments!

Join Pinup Girl Style



(somewhat melancholy....but..)

Started by BooPGirL in PUG Fans Around The World May 5, 2020. 0 Replies

I'm looking for examples of funeral appropriate style. Any suggestions? Continue

Sale: Bettie Page Aurora dress XL

Started by Marta in PUG Fans Around The World. Last reply by Susanne Brown Mar 11, 2019. 1 Reply

Sale: Bettie Page Aurora dress XLNever worn, new without tag, Belt Included!99 USD+…Continue

Tags: dress, pink, evening, formal, page

Doris pants in Chocolate brown

Started by Tabitha Burch in PUG Fans Around The World Feb 10, 2018. 0 Replies

I'm looking for a size 2x in the Doris pants in Chocolate brown. They are so out on the website. If anyone has a pair or know when it will be restocked, I need them!!

For saleBirdie dress floral S

Started by Marta in PUG Fans Around The World Oct 6, 2017. 0 Replies

Selling size S Birdie dress without belt, worn very few times. 70$+30 shipping worldwide.

© 2024   Created by John at Pinup Girl Clothing.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service