Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Did you know ....

... that February is National Low-Vision Awareness Month? I didn't know either until I stumbled upon that little tidbit on a disability site I visit. When I saw that, my antenae immedietely perked up. You see, Michael has low-vision, partial blindness, legally blind, whatever you want to call it. Since he hasn't always been this way, there has been a huge learning curve for me, and for him these past 6 years.

Just this past week, I again, left open a cupboard door in the kitchen and he smacked his face right into it--ouch! I still say "here!" and poor guy, he has no idea what I'm talking about. I use gestures he can't see, I glare at him--which is probably a good thing he can't see, most of the time. It has taken me a long time to really realize how much he doesn't see.

Michael has done remarkedly well, considering. He has learned to take his time and slowly scan an area when he needs to. He has learned to be content being driven around by his wife and others. His backseat driving has even lessened over the last 6 years. When we walk into a darkened movie theatre, he holds onto my shoulder as his eyes adjust to the darkness. Dark rooms of any type are a real bane to his life.

We tend to avoid crowds now. State fairs, malls, even the church lobby can cause havoc with people rushing hither and thither. We, sighted ones, can be so assuming that others see just like us. Expecting everyone to have peripheral vision and see what's coming up on the side of them, or the toddler who is right underneath our feet. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I have tried to convince Michael to wear a patch over his bad eye or to use his white cane in those instances, but to no avail. Don't ya think he'd be ruggedly handsome with a black eye patch? aka one those pirates from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean? ya, I thought so too.

We are thankful that he still has some sight left and is able to read, watch tv, see Josiah grow up and see my smiles. I am proud of his determination in school, even tho he reads so much slower than before.

That's just a little glimpse into our lives, living with a member who has low-vision.


Rhoni Renee said...

I've had a learning curve of this sort with Jon. It's so easy to forget since there's rarely any indication that he only has one functioning eye. But occassionally I still point out the passenger side window and make a comment or walk up behind him on his right side forgetting that he won't see me there. It's moderately reassuring to know that his mother, sister & grandmother all do the same things on occassion.

Sherry C said...

it's been quite the journey your husband has been on sounds like your both managing very well. He sounds like he is very motivated and doesn't give up. Thanks for sharing.

Amazing_Grace said...

Does your hubby know Basic Sighted Guide? He could use it when going into dark rooms and crowded areas.



Mary Ann said...

Wow. That is a lot to adjust to. Sounds like both of you handle it quite well.


*carrie* said...


Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your life and Mike's--there is so much we take for granted when we have "perfect" vision.

Kathy in WA said...

Gail - wow! That is difficult. You explained it all so clearly and sweetly.

What happened? I remember you said it was an accident. Did you write about this and I totally missed it??

Thanks for your sweet words about Joshua! He's growing up into an amazing young man.