It was the end of Spanish class. I slung my bookbag over my back and started to make my way out of the classroom. My next class was physical science all the way at the other end of the hallway. As I passed the second column of seats from the door, I failed to notice the cord across the floor. It was only a few inches from the ground. Between my nonexistent peripheral vision and mask I missed it.
It caught my feet and I hopped back to escape a fall. I looked down to see the cord for the first time. Feeling both angry and embarrassed, I rushed out of the room.
On Monday I was in a dark parking lot.
I was coming out of dance class around nine o’clock on Monday night. Usually my mom sits in the car during my class then pulls up closer to the door when the other cars leave. It is easier for me to be able to come out of the door and turn straight into the car rather than walk through the dark.
Instead, my mom had come in with me to order my costume for competition. As a result, the car remained four spots down from the door. When I emerged from the light of the studio to the pitch black of the night, I had to take a second to readjust. Even exhausted I felt the familiar wave of frustration and fear come over me. I took my mom’s hand and walked slowly to the glowing headlights. Once I was seated in the car I let out a long breath.
Today in class I squinted at the board.
We were reviewing for the test tomorrow. The teacher had prepared a review game for us to play using our chromebooks. The basics of the game were to read the questions and answer choices on the board, then click the shape on your screen that corresponded with the correct answer. It’s really quite simple, unless you can’t read the board.
At the beginning of the game, I tried. I leaned forward in my seat, squinted at the words, and made out some of it. Then the answers got longer and the words got smaller. I was done. For the rest of the game I clicked random answers and stared at the wall. It wasn’t like the review was graded. I didn’t care. I was annoyed with both the situation and myself.
The point of all these stories?
We all face our own daily challenges with our low vision. No matter how much or how little of your vision you have lost, it comes with its own set of obstacles.
All the little daily annoyances can add up. There are also the bigger challenges that we face. I am, for example, starting to worry about how I am going to take the ACT for college. The mole hills can wear us out just as much as those mountains can.
There really isn’t a lot that can be done for these small inconveniences. We can ask for help and work through it, but in the end, we have to just deal with it sometimes. These things have happened and will continue to happen to all of us. The world isn’t designed for blind people. We have to adapt to fit the world.
It’s not easy and sometimes it can get to be too much. The only advice I can give is to keep faith. Things might get worse before they get better. Especially with a progressive eye disease and no known cure. All I can tell you is to try and adapt to the sight world, hoping one day it will fit us a little bit better.