Falling Down

One of the worst things about my vision loss is the falling.  I have lost most of my depth perception.  When I am walking, I can’t see changes happening underfoot.  I don’t notice curbs or steps.  So, I fall down.  A lot.  I talked to my retina specialist about this depth perception problem and he told me I’d just have to be more careful.  So, I try to be careful.  It’s so embarrassing (and painful) to fall down.  I take a step but the sidewalk has shifted and I go down.  I hear the sharp intake of breath from onlookers as I hit the ground.  I want to tell them that I am not clumsy or drunk, but I just stand up, say that I’m fine, and get out of there.  Just be more careful.  Walk more slowly.  Hold onto someone’s arm, if I can.  Get used to this.  This is my life now – low vision living, bruised knees, bruised ego.

I am going to see my optometrist today and I will ask him about this depth perception problem, to see if he has any suggestions.  He is low man on my hierarchy of eye doctors – behind the opthalmologist and the retina specialist – but he is practical and helpful and may have better advice than “just be more careful.”  Hopefully, he will be able to fine-tune my contact prescription so that I can see better than I have been.  My rs doesn’t hold out much hope that I can achieve better correction, but he said that I could give it a try.  The good news is that this visit will be painless, with no shots in the eye, no dye injections, and no bright lights boring into my eye.  Just a nice visit and, hopefully, a little better vision.  And no more falling down.

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2 thoughts on “Falling Down

  1. Sounds like me during long period of gradual vision loss — until one trip over a decorative rock led me to five stitches in the emergency room, costing private insurance (then) $1000.

    The white cane has made these events mostly history. Steps are slowly probed, the sidewalk’s roughness perturbs the cane, and, most important, the cane reminds me I’ve lost vision. I am so grateful for this $35 prosthesis received with a little training from then available state services. Orientation and mobility training is NOT what eye doctors understand very well, but it’s possibly more important than eye exams and glasses prescriptions when the appropriate point arrives.

    Just saying, I love my folding white cane, called “Sticky”.

    Good luck and keep upright.

    • Thanks for your reply. I haven’t had the fall yet that makes me take the leap to wanting a cane. That is a step that I am not ready to take. It is reassuring to hear that you can actually say that you love your “Sticky”. I will see about mobility training when I have my low vision evaluation at ABVI.

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