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Low Vision Lighthouse
2019 04 06 I was told I had “early-onset macular degeneration” twenty five years ago. My vision loss didn’t bother me appreciably till the lat few years. About a year ago The Lighthouse, a registered “charity”, called me, told me there’d be classes for coping with low vision coming up that I qualified to attend. Such classes with room for me finally arrived: now, after eight or so weeks, they’re about to conclude. I thank them and commend their efforts to help people losing their sight. I’m going to develop this module to tell low-vision stories. I used to have extra-good vision: maybe I’ll add a good vision story or two as well.
Some of my classmates are “legally blind”, others have “low-vision”. None of us are totally blind. But “blind” I realize is a condition of many degrees; it’s a continuum, not an either-or.
Watch me, I won’t look “blind” at all in some respects, then you may suddenly see: he’s worse than we thought.
I had the pleasure this Tuesday of telling one the faculty members that the main benefit I was getting from the meetings was the discovery that I’m very fond of the participants, on both sides of the “desk”. I’m especially fond of the stories fellow classmates tell against themselves and their disability: there’s humor (and humility) among the afflicted.
Nearly all the “faculty” members, our teachers here, are victives of low-vision themselves. I have the impression that all faculty members are themselves alumni of these classes.
One gal had us all laughing the other day a she narrated an adventure she had at home recently. She explained how she maps in her mind where her landmarks are: “the tree with the puddle at its baee is in that direction: if I keep it on my left I’ll be moving north …” Brenda’s husband calls her. She answers. “Coming.” Het feet start getting wet. Sure, she’s near the tree. Then her feet get wetter. Well, maybe it rained. Then her whole self is wet: … She’s walked into the pond!
For the last year the VA has been dragging its feet with respect to providing me with the proper eyewear.. They promise new glasses but don’t send them. They say I’m entitled to quality magnifiers; but havn’t sent me any such. It’s unbelievable to me to discover that one needs a prescription to buy strong magnification. I need 3x or 3.5x; opticians sell only weak magnification. Walmart will sell me whatever I need but wants to test me themselves, won’t take my word or the VA’s word.
Do you realize that once upon a time anyuone could buy arsenic? or opium? or cocaine?
Well, Lighthouse didn’t breat any speed records getting me mine. Just the lat two weeks.
Ah, finally, I have all the magnifiers I need. Why didn’t I have them a year ago?