The Pros and Cons of Vision Loss

I’m a lucky guy.  I’ve been offered the opportunity to write a blog for the Guild for the Blind in Chicago. I’m excited and a bit overwhelmed about being the new kid on the playground of the worldwide web.

Friends ask, “What’s a blog?”  It’s a way to share thoughts about life with vision loss.  It’s a way to stay in touch and not feel isolated and alone.  Use your computer to tune me in much the same as tuning in Andy Rooney on your TV. Hear what I have to say.  Talk back to me.

I hope my blogs will strike a resonant chord with you.   I enjoy writing, the whole process from spark to finish.  I’ve had several stories published.  Oh, and I know the subject – I’ve spent the last twenty-five years watching the world turn into a thick, gray fog.  I see the world through all my senses except sight.

So, blindness.  I didn’t want it and I didn’t ask for it.  I thought it would be the end of the world, but it isn’t.  It’s not a picnic either.  For me, blindness has its pros and cons.  You may disagree.  Here are a few of mine:

Blindness saves me from having to sit through endless baby pictures; it pains me not to see the face of my beloved.

Blindness rescues me from my brother’s vacation videos; it hijacks the pleasure of sightseeing.

Blindness saves me a bunch on car insurance; it sucks when I want to get away.

OK, now I’ve said it: blindness sucks.  Some days, it’s jalapenos in my oatmeal when I swear I reached for the raisins.  Yes?  I am grateful for the honesty to say what, for years, I feared to admit.    I wanted to accept vision loss graciously, not to let them see me sweat, all the while, I felt like I was going nuts.  Anybody out there feel the same?

Follow this link to return to the Guild for the Blind website

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6 Responses to The Pros and Cons of Vision Loss

  1. Janice says:

    I am legally blind with strong center vision. I have a sister and a brother who are both totally blind. My sister is visiting me soon, both her and I are not sure what kind of activities to plan during her stay. She was sighted before and now she’s not. It’s one thing to make adjustments in life to deal with blindness. It’s definitely another to plan for activites. What kinds of activities do you do, especially if you travel to another city?

  2. Kathy Austin says:

    At this time of year, I love to be outside feeling the cool air with the sun still warm. Even now with so little vision left, everything is painted in a yellow autumn glow. While I can no longer see the trees changing color, just hearing the wind rustling through the trees and the crunch of leaves under my feet feels great. So in that vein, I might suggest a guided tour at one of the many gardens (okay, so I’m a gardener). The Chicago Botanical Garden offers tram tours that are described. I also just read an article in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune about the new lagoon at Lincoln Park Zoo. They have renovated the lagoon to be environmentally sustainable and have docent tours at different times throughout the day. Check the zoo website for more details. You might want to take in a play at one of Chicago’s great theaters. Broadway in Chicago has a number of described performances. The Chicago symphony also has afternoon performances that might not be as expensive as an evening performance. Even in your local community, check the community colleges as often times they will have musical performances that are quite good. The Guild’s website has a listing of a number of accessible recreational resources. Click on “Resources” from our home page and then click on “recreational resources.” Anyone else have any good ideas????

  3. Andrea says:

    Jeff-
    Congratulations on the blog! I look forward to your humorous insights. Thanks for a good laugh…
    Andrea

  4. Rhonda says:

    I, too, have RP. As I read through your blog I realized that you are saying almost the same things I have said about my loss of eyesight! Those of us with RP seem to have very similar expirences. I find that to be very interesting. Keep up the great blog and take care!

  5. Jeff flodin says:

    Hi Rhonda, and thanks for sharing your experience with RP. Recently, I have enjoyed the comraderie of an RP Support Group. Far from finding a rehash of horror stories and gripes, I find a lot of strength and growth among my fellow group members. In the past, fighting RP alone only made me lonely. Even so, my view of a support group was ten people with RP together and discontent simultaneously. Luckily,I took a risk and the dividends have been abundant.

    Rhonda, if you live in the chicago area, please check out the Support Groups link at the guild for the blind website home page. I attend one low vision support group and one RP support group each month at the guild. If you live elsewhere and are interested in resources, call your local low vision agencies or the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB). The FFB national office is 800 683 5555 and they can refer you to their affiliate in your area.
    Meanwhile, please keep reading and enjoying the blog.

    Jeff Flodin

  6. deidreralph says:

    Hi Jeff I love what you have written so far keep it up. I am legally blind and have had periods of real darkness excepting it. One of the hardest things was when I no longer could drive, my world shrunk, I couldn’t just go anywhere at anytime, and I really grieved for the loss of that independence. Ten years down the track and I have learnt so much, especially about myself and that my sight or lack of doesn’t define who I am. I am lucky that I have such a good sense of humor as it has help me deal with life in a more positive way, being creative helps as well, like you with your writing I paint. My lack of sight is a disability but my mind set and attitude won’t let it disable me, sure there are time when I get totally frustrated but that’s life and not just reserved for people like ourselves. I don’t think I want to try jalapenos with oatmeal, I have tried pebbles though at a party, the host had one of those Japanese pebble gardens on her coffee table and I mistook the pebbles for peanuts. I think the two of us could put together an interesting recipe book. Yes blindness sucks but there is always a funny side to everything and the best medicine is to have a great big belly laugh regularly. Cheers Dei

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