Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s Blog.
In this blog, I would like to take the time to reflect and give all of you an update on my journey with vision loss- from a recent visit to the eye clinic on June 24.
But before that, I will recap a little by taking you back in time for a short while. For someone like me, growing up with having so many vision problems, I really don’t enjoy seeing the eye doctor too often, it is because every time I go, there is almost never good news. So, some of you may already know this, it was last year’s visit to the eye clinic that gave me the wake up call that I must do something about the decline of my vision. It was also then I went to seek support through the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) in my community and started accessing the services that they offer for people with vision loss. At that stage, I learned that for my visual acuity, I was considered to have Low Vision. Even back then, the term Low Vision looked big and complicated for me to understand, but I’ve learned to accept it, and slowly it did make sense as to why it applies to me.
Then, after having to accept myself for having Low Vision, I am now faced with a new ‘stage’ of acceptance…
When I had my eye exam done a few weeks ago on June 24, my visual acuity had declined once more (well, as it always does, so I guess this shouldn’t be so surprising).
So, here is the full story of that particular day. On the day of the exam, I was slightly nervous because I went by myself; but when I was seated at the waiting area with many people that were also alone, it made me feel better. Despite the anxiousness, I still tried my best to remain calm. Everything went smoothly, I had my visual acuity tested, dilated my eyes and pressure measured, then I also had photos taken. When I sat down with the doctor, I had a few questions that I prepared in advance to consult with him. Everything went well up until when I asked the doctor whether I would be considered as legally blind. Personally, I think it is not a question that I should ask so directly, but I did anyway because I was curious to know, and I wish to seek for the truth, even when I know that sometimes truth hurts the most, but I still believed that I have the right to know. But when his answer was ‘yes,’ I stunned for a while, a while almost seemed like forever, and I didn’t ask more, since that was my last question, so I left afterwards.
And you may ask why I didn’t write about all of this few weeks ago and why now? Well the answer is that: I thought I ‘d heard it wrong, I thought that it might be a mistake, but truly it wasn’t. Few days ago, I was contacted by the CNIB because they’ve already obtained my results, that’s when I know it’s not a mistake. And when I sat down to discuss the results with my Low Vision Specialist, it became quite clear that all of this is indeed not a mistake. And what’s more, I notice the changes that are occurring to my vision, no matter how much I wish I could deny it, I know I shouldn’t and I mustn’t do that anymore.
However, I’m not writing about all of this trying to complain, seeking attention or pity. My decision to write about this is as a part of sharing my journey with vision loss openly to all of you. This time, I am fully aware that my vision loss is not a myth, it’s a reality. Now, I also think that I have grasped a solid and confident answer when I face people who would questioning me for any reason about my visual impairment or about why I use a White Cane, I can give these people good reasons, with no hesitation or fear.
Nonetheless, I was and probably still am in this grieving process of this very special kind of loss. But, everything doesn’t end here, and in fact it begins here. I shall continue to share my experience and spread positive awareness through my speeches and also in my blogs. Together, working with other advocates all over social media, we will end the negative social stigmas on people with disabilities. We will no longer allow the challenges that we face to break us, but we will let those challenges become strength and pushing us forward.
Thank you for reading to the end.
By: The Invisible Vision Project