When I was a CP in the fall of 2010 I was working at the Wildlife Express train at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I loved working there. It never felt like a day of work to me because of how much fun my job was. Being that I was away from home I was really looking forward to working on Christmas to be a part of guests Christmas at Disney. I was really sad when on Christmas Eve I scratched my eye taking out my contact making it so I was not able to work Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

On December 23rd I was getting ready to go to bed when I decided it was time to change my contacts.  I had had them in way over the recommended time I was supposed to.  I was only supposed to have them in a month and I had had them in for over 3 months.  When I took them out before I went to bed that night it felt good to get them out and I did not think much else about it.  The next morning on Christmas Eve I put a new pair of contacts in my eyes.  It did not feel too great so I took my glasses with me in case I would have to take my contacts out and just wear my glasses until my eye felt better.

By the time I got to work at the Animal Kingdom my eye hurt worse than I have ever felt so I went straight to my managers and told them what the situation was and that if it doesn’t get any better I may need an ER so I could go to a doctor.  I took out my contacts, put on my glasses and went to the Wildlife Express train to work my day.

My first position was conductor where my main responsibilities were to give a spiel and watch to make sure people stayed seated while the train was moving.  My eye hurt so bad I could barely keep it open which made it very awkward trying to talk to guests when my eye was basically totally shut.  It was watering like crazy and completely red.  It got to the point where I could not perform my responsibilities to I got an ER to go to the doctors.  I was very sad about this too because I had been on my program since August and I had not used a single sick day yet.  I wanted to go my whole program without missing a day of work but my eye was so bad I had no choice but to go home.

I left work and had to find a doctor.  Being that I was not from Orlando I had no idea where to go.  The only place I could think of was the medical center I knew that was behind Epcot for Cast Members.  I drove over there and when I got there they told me that that location was not for College Program students and the closest walk in care center was a place called Centra Care which was over by the Crossroads shopping center a couple miles from Downtown Disney.

I got to Centra Care and had to sit in the waiting room for 3 hours until I saw a doctor.  The doctor confirmed that I did in fact scratch my eye pretty good, prescribed me some eye drops and sent me on my way.

I went back to my apartment at Chatham and the only thing I could do was watch tv.  As long as I was looking straight ahead I could watch tv.  It didn’t really matter though eye opened or closed it still hurt really bad.

I spent my Christmas Eve and Christmas day in my apartment watching Christmas movies.  I watched just about every Christmas movie I could think of.  Christmas Eve I went out for dinner for a little bit.  My friends family was in town for Christmas and they invited me and our CP group from the train over for dinner on Christmas Eve.  I left the gathering earlier than everyone else so I could go home and rest my eye because it was still hurting very badly.

Blind CP Christmas Dinner

Blind Christmas Dinner with my CP Friends from the Wildlife Express Train

Even though I was in a lot of pain and I was sad that I did not get to work for Christmas I really did have a nice and relaxing Christmas with my friends.  People were stopping by my apartment all the time to keep me company during those few days.  I am thankful for the friends that I made at Disney and for the love they showed me during Christmas when I was in pain.  It was my friends who made the difference between me having a sad Christmas or a memorable Christmas.  They definitely made it a fun and memorable Christmas for me.  I will never forget my blind CP Christmas in Florida.


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