My visit to the Optometrist was very helpful. When I arrived, he tested my eyes (with contacts on) at 20/200 in the left eye and 20/70 in the right eye. I think we were both shocked at the change. No wonder I haven’t been able to see anything! He worked his magic with his lenses and says that he can improve my vision quite a bit with new contacts. The good news is that I will still be allowed to drive during the day.
He told me that he wanted to give me a referral for a low vision evaluation at ABVI. I was taken aback when he offered this. It feels, to me, like I am really entering fully into a new demographic – the visually impaired. It makes low vision seem more real, somehow. He told me that these feelings are very normal, but suggested that I not let them stand in the way of making an appointment. He said that they will be able to help me in several ways.
First, they have many products that can make my life easier. For example, with a lighted magnifier, I will be able to go to restaurants and actually read the menu. Reading menus has been such a struggle that I prefer just going to the local diner, where I know the menu by heart. This magnifier is one small tool among many that the doc thinks will help me at home, at work, and out in the world.
Second, they offer mobility training. He was quick to assure me that this isn’t just about using a cane, although he says that a cane wouldn’t be the end of the world. It would be a dream come true to stop falling down all the time. Third, they have many suggestions for transitioning into low-vision living. He convinced me, and I will make an appointment and see how it goes.
I left the office with new contacts ordered and a renewed hope that I will be able to maintain some normalcy in my life, will be able to continue to drive, and will find some tools that will allow me to keep working. It was a very good day.