Ironically enough, there’s nothing to be scared of when you walk into the grocery store with an eye patch on.
Given, it was close to Halloween, so maybe people thought I was some weirdo trying out a costume idea.
Nobody thought I was trying to rob the place or stab their children, in fact the nice lady with the samples kindly offered my unsightly figure a cinnamon bagel with cream cheese.
This is all a twisted way of getting to a point — a point where I thought twice in the span of two days I was about to lose my eye.
The first was in a Taylor recreational hockey league game, where after I broke through two defensemen and was attempting to push the puck past those players, a stick slammed straight into my eye.
I didn’t black out, but immediately I knew something was wrong. That was my prevailing emotion: something was wrong. Not the pain, not the potential stupidity of the other player, but something was seriously wrong.
Like I might never see again wrong.
Through the fog, I definitely more than once cursed about my stupid decision not to wear a visor.
After a trip to the hospital in which a vision test in fact confirmed I couldn’t see out of my right eye, more cursing of my hard-headedness or lack there of (depends what kind of jokes you like).
After 12 plus hours in the hospital and still no answer about my vision but some stiches holding the skin above my eye together, worse news was on the horizon.
A eye specialist told me that afternoon, hours before I what I had anticipated as the greatest Toronto Blue Jays game in history, that I might not ever see out of my right eye again.
This is what happened to Manny Malholtra, the doctor thinking she was clever relaying a hockey reference, but basically in my situation she said it was a little bit better.
Bruising behind my retina, could cause a detached retina and I could very easily loose my eye.
Again, cursing of the lack of visor.
That moment was genuine fear.
Two days later and my eye is slowly recovering, and I have to wear an eye patch so I don’t scare little kids in grocery lines, but I will most likely be able to see again. So it seems at the moment anyway.
For the price of a new stick, one that breaks 31 days after you buy it, and can’t ensure you see the road clearly when you’re fifty— you can have the best visor money can buy.
We’ve all seen moments like this, we’ve heard stories of NHLers or a buddy, yet we toil in the invincibility that it will never happen to us. I was that person just a few weeks ago and it’s time everyone wakes up and just puts on a visor. You’re not going to the NHL and no matter how long you’ve played without one, I can guarantee you will wish every second that passes after something bad happens without one on, will be a moment you wish you had back.
Byron Hackett is part-time wannabe athlete and a full-time sports junkie who more often than not is willing and eager to share opinions on everything from backyard wiffle ball to the NHL and beyond. Follow him on twitter @byronhackett1