Catching Up

by

It’s been a year since my last post and a lot has happened in the world relating to my vision.

Beginning earlier this year, I noticed I was not seeing things like i used to. One morning i tripped and fell over a large sidewalk planter. Another day I fell getting out of a taxi because I didn’t see the curb. And then there was the day I walked face first into a metal sign… The bumps and bruises were adding up, and my confidence was going down.

On February 29th I saw my opthamologist for the usual round of exams, including vusual fields. This time when we all huddled around and stared at the paper charts, we realized that my remaining islands of vision combined were about 20 degrees. According to the US Government, I was now legally blind.

My doctor went into some sort of coping/therapy speech, anticipating that this would be devestating news to me. But I felt… Joy? Excitement? Basically, an adrenaline rush of massive relief.

FINALLY, I thought. After years of living between two worlds, not fully sighted and not legally blind, finally I felt like a round peg in a round hole.

For some reason I needed the label, the diagnosis, to feel justified in using my cane, or any other form of help. I always felt strange using a cane when I wasn’t “technically” blind. Basically, in the words of another RP’er, “I feel like I’m pretending to be sighted when I don’t use my cane, and pretending to be blind when I do.” It is a strange space in which to live.

After the “relief” wore off and reality set in, what followed was a period of mourning for me. And that is perhaps one of the most challenging things about slow vision loss: You grieve. You adapt. You overcome. Your vision changes. You grieve. You adapt. You overcome. Your vision changes.

So i grieved for a bit. I let myself feel the suck. The last time I grieved that deeply for my vision loss was 12 years ago, when I had to stop driving. This time was different though… This time I knew the cycle would end with me adapting and eventually overcoming.

Which brings me to today and my efforts to adapt to my new “status” and ever changing vision loss: I am currently enroute to San Francisco for a week of Orientation and Mobility training at the SF Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. And then next August 2017, if things go as planned, I will receive a guide dog at Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Exciting times ahead, my friends! Thanks for joining me on the journey. 

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One Response to “Catching Up”

  1. thepensives Says:

    Challenges make you wiser and stronger and you have the perfect attitude towards that growth!

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