Learning to live with the loss of vision.
|The Life I Never Expected
Although I have worn glasses since I was in the sixth grade, the realization that I would someday be blind never occurred to me.
The full awareness of that possibility happened when I was thirty-eight years old. I went to renew my drivers license. When the lady told me to place my head in the machine and read the letters, all I seen was a bright white light. She told me to talk to my eye doctor and see if he would fill out a form allowing me to drive a few hours in the evenings. That was totally useless to me, I spent the evenings (after work) at home with my family. I walked out of there thinking my life was over.
A week later I decided to make an appointment with my eye doctor. He tested my eyes for about five hours and came to the conclusion that there was no apparent reason for me not to be seeing. The only other thing he could do was to send me to a specialist.
The specialist also performed tests on my eyes for about eight hours, although more thoroughly this time, and decided that my rheumatoid arthritis was to blame. The back of my eyes were all inflamed. After many visits to have steroid shots injected into my eyes, we gave up. There were no signs of any improvement and the task was useless.
I was then set up with rehab for the blind, who furnished me with dark sunglasses, taught me to use the walking cane, supplied me with kitchen utensils to make cooking easier and safer for me, gave me magnifiers to help me read, and finally taught me to read Braille. They also set up my computer so that I can still write my stories and keep in touch with family.
Although I am not completely blind at this time, I know it’s coming. I am finding it more difficult to cook and bake. I cannot do it when I am home alone as I cannot tell when meats are completely cooked, and sometimes I burn food. Which really irritates me because I love making my family surprise meals. Never a meal goes by that I am not burned or cut as a result. But I will not give up easily.
It is getting more difficult to enjoy family time. I cannot go outside alone because the sun to bright, and I cannot see anything until I trip over it. That also has caused bruises and scrapes. When the family sits outside they discuss the birds and squirrels in the trees, I cannot see them and it is very frustrating. With spring arriving, I get asked where I want flowers planted. I don’t care since I cannot see them anyway.
I had to cover all my windows with blankets or blinds to block out the bright sunlight, (which I miss very much), just to be able to clean my house. If I drop something, I usually need someone else to locate it or get down and feel for it. I do have to say that my family has had many laughs due to my vision loss, and sometimes it does upset me.
I no longer can tell many of the colors and need someone to confirm my clothes match. Which does not make it easy to take my seven year old granddaughter clothes shopping. I found a pretty yellow dress that I thought would look good on her, her reply to me was, “ Maw maw that dress is green not yellow.” I didn’t buy the dress. I also do laugh at some of the mistakes I make, but its hard not to sometimes.
What matters in the end, is that I will not easily give up my story writing, book reading, cooking, or trying to make my grandkids happy. I can’t beat it but I can learn to deal with it, no matter how hard it is at times.
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