Oct 172011

This is a little annoying thing that happened to me this past Saturday.

It begins with my girlfriend and I going to Old Navy in Lancaster because she wanted to check it out and I did too.  I took a quick look but nothing really interested me but she was finding clothes for her so she kept looking and had to go try them on.  I decided to go wait in the car.  The problem is due to my poor vision I could not find the care in the parking lot even using my hand held monocular.  No problem, I figured rather than wandering around the parking lot and getting in someones way I figured I would go wait by the door.  The weather was beautiful so why not enjoy being out side.  I continued off and on using my hand held monocular to try to locate the car because I felt like sitting down but just wasn’t seeing it.  turns out an SUV was blocking it from my view.

I stood there for maybe 15 minutes then I heard her voice calling me from the parking lot so I was looking for you and next thing I know I sense two people walking towards me and one says “I want to talk to you!”  I also sensed a third one walking up behind me and thought I was about to get robbed  so I started walking away. When I turned towards the two I hear “We got a call saying your were using
binoculars to check people out” and they wanted to know why. or something similar to that. I was completely stunned that anyone would even question it.

That is when my girlfriend was there and said “He’s blind.” The one man said that’s a good reason.. Still having and attitude he asked who she was and she said my his girlfriend.  They seemed ok with that but still having an attitude then wanted my address and phone number.. I asked do you really need my address and that’s when I realized they were police because I saw the police car right behind them.

It would have been nice if they would have identified them selves as a police officer when asking for the information, especially considering I had done absolutely nothing wrong.

I really truly appreciate the person calling the police and embarrassing me in front of a busy store for just trying to catch a glimpse of the world that they surely take for granted but I will never get to see and enjoy. I like to see the little things like the colors of cars that my be going past out on the street or the seagull I heard fly overhead or try to see an airplane that’s passing overhead.  At one time I could see all of those things with the

monocular but my cornea transplant did not work out forever and I opted not to try another one to let someone else with better odds have a chance to see. I also can understand the police offficer’s attitude when they first got there but it certainly would have been nice to have them identify themselves as a police officer before asking for my address. I don’t typically give that to random strangers  I couldn’t see them well enough to tell they were plus the three of them seemed to be dressed differently.  An apology would have been nice and much appreciated as a confirmation I did nothing wrong even though I believe I didn’t.

Thank you for making me feel ashamed to go out in public.  I am getting over it but it’s going to take time.  Thank you for having the balls to ask me what I was doing yourself considering most people can tell right away that I am visually impaired.

When I am no longer embarrassed about this ordeal I guess I can add a parking lot to the places I am supposed second guess whether I should look around or not (even if that is to help me see cars coming to cros the street where people don’t pay attention to where they are driving.)  Also on that list is the movie theater  because I get harassed there during the movie that I paid to  see about using a camera.  I have been questioned by security at the mall too because they do not allow cameras yet thousands of people walk through a day with camera phones and are not bothered  I told the Security guard in a nice way about that actually laughing at the irony of it.  he was very appoletic and nice the whole time.  The list could go on.

All I want to do is lead a normal life as independently as possible.  I want to use the tools hat are available to me to be able to find things and see things with out having to ask someone for help.

Jan 082011

This morning while reading reddit I saw someone who is legally blind ask for some advice on a computer issue.  I saw some suggestions with good intention that really wouldn’t help and some things that were ignorant.  I wanted to address some of them here since I see this in real life all the time being legally blind myself.

The first suggestion that stands out the suggestion of wearing glasses.  That’s a great idea except for the fact that if someone knows they’re legally blind chances are they would already have glasses if they would help.  They Do not help me personally but I know of others who get much help from wearing glasses.  The other thing with this is glasses may help someone and the visually impaired person may even be wearing them but may not correct the vision enough to for them to do what they’re trying to do.

Another Great idea in theory is to get a bigger screen.  While it’s true you can increase the size of everything on a bigger screen keep in mind the visually impaired person may have to be very close to the screen.  A screen which is too big would cause the person to have to physically move their head to read a line or see different parts of the screen.  I sit with my face about six inches from the screen personally so that would be a big problem.  It also prevents me from using a laptop comfortably which actually sucks because I’d love to have one.

Also due to their poor vision transportation can be a big problem for those who are legally blind.  Just because you know someone who is legally blind who drives doesn’t mean everyone drives. I do not drive and honestly I wouldn’t even consider it if I could legally blind because I know how my vision is and would not consider it safe.  At least in the United States public transportation isn’t a priority so many areas have little or no public transportation.

Jan 242008

Today I’ve been thinking that I might be willing to give a cornea transplant another shot if the opportunity ever comes up.  I have had a couple and both rejected.  I have no idea where this is coming from but it’s on my mind today.

The most recent one was fine one day and I woke up the next morning everything was very blurry.  Before that things were great.  I was noticing things every day that I had never seen before.  I went to the doctor and they put me on eyedrops ever hour 18 hours a day and it slowly got better.

Things stayed pretty good for a few years but then my vision in that eye slowly got worse.  It happened so slowly that I didn’t even notice it until one day I realized I was using my “bad” eye which hadn’t every been operated on.  That set off a long period of depression.

The eye doctors told me that I could get put on the list for another cornea but at that time I decided I didn’t want to because they weren’t working for me they might have a better chance for someone else and thought it would be selfish to get another one.

I’m not sure why the sudden change of heart on it but I really do think I would like to give it another try.  Maybe it would work better this time.  It would be worth it to me even if it didn’t last forever to have the opertunity to see things clearly again.  It would be great to be able to just read a book with out a huge difficulty

It would be awesome to be able to see nature.  Geocaching gets me out there alot.  I would love to see the hawks and other birds that fly along the Susquehanna river.  It would be wonderful to get the chance to see a bald eagle or just the shapes of complexity of trees.  Right now they’re just a green blur.  I didn’t aprecieate having the chance to see these sorts of things enough in the past but I would now.

Most importatly I would love the chance to see Molly’s face.

Jan 032008

I got to spend a couple hours in a book store yesterday.   I love books and could have walked out with a car full if it wasn’t so inconvenient to read them.  If they were readily available I would probably read all the time.

Large print books are available but they are expensive and still not quite big enough for me to see.   There is also not much of a selection of large print books out there.

It would be great if one of the ebook devices would actually let me increase the size of the text and also increase the contrast.  It would be nice if one could purchase any book at a reasonable price. 

Hopefully some day technology will enable something that works for everyone. If a device worked for me I’d probably have it loaded with science related stuff.

 Posted by at 8:52 PM
May 032007

My grand mom came up to visit last weekend and she brought some old report cards of mine that she had found in her house. They were from elementary school. That was when I still liked school. That whole thing reminded me of the time when I stopped liking school.

It changed in sixth grade. I didn’t realize my good eye had gotten worse but the doctor said I should have another cornea transplant so I put my name on the waiting list. Sometime in the middle of that school year they called my mom saying they had one for me.

When I went the Wills Eye Hospital where I had always gone. The doctor. did not want me to go to school for 2 weeks after the surgery. Actually I was not supposed to do much of anything.

When I went back to school I had one teacher who took me aside and told me how he knew I was faking it. He knew I just didn’t want to wear glasses even though I was wearing ugly safety glasses to protect my eye. The other choice was some eye shield thing. He also knew how I just wanted a vacation and I didn’t have eye surgery. It should have been a great time because I was seeing things I had never been able to see.

He really was an ass but I didn’t realize it at that time. He was the only teacher that never got anything to my vision teacher to be enlarged and didn’t want to let me go to the room in the school where my CCTV was because I might cheat. It was fair to make me struggle and take longer trying to read something that was difficult because he was too lazy to get things enlarged.

His answer to me not being able to see the blackboard was for me to stand up right in front of it to copy his notes exactly. That was good because I’d have the rest of the class telling me to move so they could see it. It made sense to him..

He’d also say he knows that glasses would help but I just didn’t want to wear them. I never told anyone because I was stupid enough to believe his crap.

My vision teacher found out and she was pissed. Actually I think she was more upset than anything. I think she talked to him or something because he backed off a little bit. I think I brought a doctor’s note directly to him. I really wish I had stayed in touch with her. She was a great person and a true friend. He would still tell me how he knew I was faking it to get out of doing the work.

After that I hated school. I enjoyed learning and would always be chapters ahead of the class but still did crappy in school because I didn’t care. I’d only learn want I wanted on my own and only did enough of the work to pass.

 Posted by at 11:30 AM