Vision Update

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I thought it might be time to give a little update on my vision.  Very often, when I greet someone I haven’t seen in a long time, he or she asks “How are your eyes?”  I usually reply with a one word answer – “Stable.”  My vision has stabilized and I am thrilled about it.  I don’t ever want to take my vision for granted, but it’s nice to not have to think every day about what is happening with my eyes.

Since my cataract surgery a year ago, my vision has improved.  I can see pretty well at a distance.  Actually, I can see very well at the distance of the eye chart at the doctor’s office, since that is where I am corrected.  I have worn glasses since my surgery, thin lenses that are very different from the “coke bottle” glasses I wore in high school.  I have to have additional magnification to read.  I usually put on a pair of strong reading glasses right over my glasses.  It looks silly, but it allows me to read most things.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I was allowed to try contacts again.  It has been surprisingly hard to get used to them.  I thought it would be easy since I wore contacts daily for thirty years prior to my surgery.  Nope.  Itchy and scratchy and teary and crusty for the last two weeks.  I always used to see better with my contacts.  Now, that’s not the case.   But, it is much easier to see to read with my contacts plus reading glasses.

I have blind spots, but my brain has mostly learned to work around them.  I am most aware of them when I am watching tv and there are words printed on the screen.  I can not read those words because there seem to be “holes” in the letters.  I seem to be able to  deal with my blind spots.  My depth perception still stinks.  Thanks to mobility training, I have learned techniques to help me navigate sidewalks safely.  I sometimes forget that I have this trouble until I am somewhere unfamiliar and thump down a curb that I hadn’t noticed or trip down a step that looked flat.

One aspect of my vision that has not changed is that I do not see well enough to drive.  I have learned to love bus travel, though, and really don’t miss driving all that much.  I hate when people feel sorry for me about not being able to drive.  I think that I would continue to take the bus even if I were magically able to drive again.  It is inexpensive, better for the environment, and very interesting.

My vision is stable and I revel in that every day.  I don’t take it for granted.  When I visit my retina specialist, he is quick to remind me that my underlying problems are still present and vision deterioration could resume at any time.  I try not to think about losing more vision.  I have learned to live with my vision the way it is now and I know I could learn to live with it if it deteriorates further.  Meanwhile, I am still trying to find beauty underneath the surface appearance of things and seeking grace in my daily life.

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4 thoughts on “Vision Update

  1. I just found your blog doing research for my mom who just gave up driving recently because she is losing her vision from RP and other problems. It has been an inspiration. We are just starting out on our quest to find resources and what to do now?? She is depressed and going through a very difficult time. Do you have any advice and where to start to help or look for low vision resources or anything that might be helpful?
    Thanks so much,
    susan

  2. I join in the thanks for this update. Like all your friends, I’ve been wondering how your vision was at this point. The news is hopeful. And I’m uplifted by your creative and open attitude toward life: loving taking the bus, for instance.

  3. I too thank you for the update on your eyesight. It’s a wonderful thing to hear such positive thoughts. I will now be needing cataract surgery, I see the regular ophthalmologist 9/1. My Vitrectomy was last September and my retina specialist is pleased that the macula healed very nicely, but vision in that eye is very blurry due to the cataract. My other eye still has some edema, but I have 20/20 vision in that eye with my glasses and am so very thankful of that. Your posts are very encouraging thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for the update on your vision Belinda. I especially like the last sentence of this post, “Meanwhile, I am still trying to find beauty underneath the surface appearance of things and seeking grace in my daily life.” I have learned a hard lesson the last 18 months that things are not always as they seem. I am looking for the graces in my life and my friendship with you is truley one of them. Peace, Lisa

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