Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome



Welcome to my blog.  Loving What Is Left is for people who are living with low vision, grieving the loss of some of their vision, and enjoying using the vision they have left.  I’ve lived with lower than normal vision for over 68 years.  During most of those years, I did not know what low vision was.  Now I can go to several websites to locate and browse low vision simulations.  As good as these representations are, none show the beauty accompanying impaired vision as well as Vincent van Gogh did in his paintings, Starry Night and Starry Night over the Rhone.  As you can see in the picture above this blog, the halos seen around lights during the early stages of Glaucoma and cataracts are truly wonders to behold.

There are many sites for sore eyes.  Few contain information from patients rather than objective professionals in the fields of health care, social work, and rehabilitation.  Even fewer contain information for patients who are transitioning from low vision to legal blindness.  I have experienced living with both and can tell you that the line between them is as blurry as impaired visual function on a bright, sunny day.

It is estimated that over 60 million baby boomers, my generation, will live with low vision at some time during what are called retirement years because of diabetes or age related macular degeneration.  If they plan to continue working, they need more information than what I am finding at low vision websites.  Sometimes high powered magnification and large print are not enough.  I also needed computers and books that talked, sighted readers, and a white cane in order to perform at a professional level because my reading speed was so slow before I became legally blind and vision loss below central vision made locating curbs and stairways problematic.

The unemployment rate for the blind and sight impaired is estimated to be around 80%.  Although the high hurdle of discrimination has almost been conquered, the rehabilitation services for people who lose any of their sight as adults is so slow when it is available that many with low vision must join the rolls of the disabled rather than stay employed.

What you will find at Loving What Is Left is more subjectivity than objectivity.  You’ll get plenty of information about diseases from the professionals.  What you will find here is feelings and opinions that people really don’t want you to share.  Low vision is annoying.  If you share just how annoying it is, you also become annoying.  It is OK to be annoying.  Annoying even has a good side called Advocacy, when grumbling creates inspiration, innovation, and change.

I’m glad you found Loving What Is Left and hope you will drop by again.  Meanwhile, if you are as impatient as I am, start looking online for regional resources such as support groups and low vision services where you live.  If you need help locating information, it is as close as your nearest reference librarian.  

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