I don’t FEEL blind, why do I need this cane?

OK, I’m back to staring at my feet instead of using my cane. It’s the losing-vision equivalent of the combover.

My ever-changing vision seems to have settled down into a “blind from the nose down, 20/20 from the nose up” situation. OK, it’s not as wide as normal vision, but it’s much wider than it ever was 2009. That’s the good news. The bad news: It looks (from my point of view) like I’m carrying a large box everywhere I go.

You know how it is when your arms are full. You can see in front of you, you can sorta see left to right – but the cat better not get in your way or else it’s getting stepped on. That’s how I see (as of this week).

Of course, my arms aren’t REALLY full, so I can point my face down and see the floor. So I’ve been doing that a little.

“As long as I keep this hair on the side and comb it over, I’ll never be bald!”
Am I telling myself “If I can walk without the cane, I’m not really blind anymore” ? I really hope not. If I come away from this year without learning a thing or two, then I’m a moron.

So, how are those Braille classes going?

Uhh… I haven’t been back to the class since that one time.

What about your O&M Training?

My wha…?

Orientation and Mobility.

What’s that?

That’s how you learn to get around.

I’ve just been teaching myself. Feeling the edges of curbs, listening for the quiet of traffic lulls.

It’s a freaking miracle you didn’t get run over. Why haven’t you taken classes?

I dunno. I taught myself to read, to ride a bike, to drive a car, to drive a stick shift, to shave, to breathe fire, to edit film, to cook, to rebuild a VW, to re-wire a house, to build a PC, how to program in BASIC and HTML… and if I remember the stories of my childhood correctly… how to walk the first time.

The way my mother tells it: I didn’t crawl, or even stand. I just sat and sat, and then one day (at around nine months old), I got up, walked across the room, took back a toy stolen from me by a cousin, and walked back to where I was sitting.

Knowing myself, I’m sure I was practicing walking in the other room when/where I could do it without being watched. I hate when people see me learning how to do things.

You’re a moron.

I know.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David on December 28, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Hey,

    I’m an O&M instructor. I stumbled across your blog and I like it. It’s good to read a first-hand account, written with humor and honesty. You wouldn’t believe how dull the professional literature is.

    Thanks for writing,

    David

    Reply

  2. […] It’s led to some awkward conversations, especially if they have no idea that since out last meeting I’ve lost a ton of vision. It doesn’t help that I do all I can to appear sighted. (Yes, I know. I’m vain. We’ve covered this topic.) […]

    Reply

  3. […] It’s led to some awkward conversations, especially if they have no idea that since out last meeting I’ve lost a ton of vision. It doesn’t help that I do all I can to appear sighted. (Yes, I know. I’m vain. We’ve covered this topic.) […]

    Reply

  4. Hi, my mother suffers from tunnel vision for the last 30 years. She is now at probably last stage of going blind. I can understand how exactly you feel. She is kind and loving sometimes and strangely changes mood few minutes later. She forgets about what people has done or bought for her. She doesnt want to use her stick because of what she is going through. She cannot accept that she is going blind or when she can see things, people talk about her. People judge her vision. We are all very sad. My mother lives in Malaysia with 4 other daughters. She split from her husband (my father) 12 years ago. She lives alone with one of her granddaughter. Thank you for your diary as it helps me to understand her better. I am the eldest daughter and I live in England for the past 12 years.

    Reply

  5. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiences in life. Coping with a vision loss is always a challenge. Your use of humor to recount your stories is extremely refreshing and inspiring. Thank you for sharing these.

    Reply

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