Mama June Says She Gained 25 Lbs. Because She Is Going Blind and Can't Exercise
The From Not to Hot star, 38, reveals that while she’s already completely blind in her right eye, she’s undergone four surgeries to repair what little vision she has in her left.
“It’s been physically and emotionally draining,” Shannon tells PEOPLE. “Losing my independence and having to rely on other people for everything has been crazy.”
Shannon says the vision loss in her right eye is the result of childhood cataracts that were never properly treated, and her left was damaged by retinal detachment, a disorder of the eye in which the retina separates from the layer underneath.
Still healing from the multiple operations and dealing with shooting pain, “I can’t do anything and have to lay down most of the time and take care of my vision,” she says. ” I have to worry about that right now. That’s my main concern.”
Shannon has been temporarily relocated to North Carolina with boyfriend Geno Doak to be closer to Duke University hospital, where she’s being treated, while her daughters Pumpkin and Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson are still living in Georgia.
Adding that she’s gained 25 lbs. in the last six months due to her health problems, Shannon says her weight isn’t a huge priority for her right now.
“I’m just focused on getting my vision back,” she says. “I can lose the weight, I know that. And I know I don’t want to go back over 200 lbs. I’m paying attention to it more.”
While Shannon says the vision in her in her left eye is “a four out of ten,” that’s a number she’s perfectly content with. “Nothing is guaranteed,” she says. “Even if it stays as good as it is now, I’ll be happy.”
Mama June: From Not to Hot season 2 premieres June 15 at 9 p.m. ET on WE tv.