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Saturday, June 1, 2013

An invisible disability

One aspect of being legally blind that causes me to have internal debates with myself is this...to look at me you would not necessarily know that I have a visual impairment.  I call it an invisible disability.
 Sometimes I feel like it would be easier if I walked with a cane or a seeing eye dog even though I am not at that level of blindness to warrant such aids.(I wouldn't mind the dog though!)

I know that it surprises people when they see me struggling to see things.  Socially it is a  hindrance.  I often wonder if the people who are unaware of my low vision just think I am rude.  It is not uncommon for my husband to point out someone who is waving at me or smiling at me, so that I can wave back.  But how many of these friendly greetings do I miss? 
In high school and college how many chances to establish a friendship or relationship did I miss?  I certainly did not have any of those "eyes locking from across the room" romantic encounters!

I do not want to come across as feeling sorry for myself because I do not.  I am merely taking a moment to describe one of the challenges I face.  Do I tell people right away about my vision?  That way they do not think I am blowing them off if I do not say hello?  But on the other hand..my disability does not define me and I do not want to bring it up every time I meet someone new.

I just got home from dinner with two of my best friends who I have known for over 20 years.  Both of them tell me they forget about my  visual impairment and that in all the time they have known me they have not noticed that I do not make eye contact well.  I was glad to hear this.    It shows I have been living my life and not letting my vision pull me down.









1 comment:

Roland Delhomme said...

Heather, you're a delight, and you're engaging to talk to. In fact, it's one of the things that knocked Chippa off his feet about you...