Living Through The Life Of Ibz

Once you except your limits you go beyond them!

 

Hi all, sometimes speaking about a disability can be a touchy subject. It’s not all doom and gloom and I think it’s important that the wider public are aware of that. Personally, I get two extremes either people who get a bit awkward and quiet and are unsure what to say around me either because they are scared, I will get offended or because they don’t know how to act around me. A bit of advice just be normal (whatever that is), it’s just my eyeballs that are a dysfunctional so just treat me as you would anyone else 😊. The other type is where I get asked some silly questions as well as situations, I been in. So today I have dedicated my blog on some of them.

Firstly, I wish that this does not offend anyone I’m simply just showing how having a disability is not as much of a downer as it may seem and I just find some things people say to me extremely funny and if I can laugh about it I hope you can too.

 

  1. So, my absolute favorite question; My friend asked me a few weeks ago how I know when to stop wiping after defecating. I’m just going to leave this here but what amuses me the most is after this more of my friends had said this question was on their mind too, but they didn’t have the courage to ask me! Okay then I’m glad to know what’s on ya minds now…

 

  1. You don’t look blind; your eyes are not blue and hazy? Well you don’t look stupid but… This misconception about eyes looking hazy is usually people with Glaucoma. My eye conditions are keratoconus and bilateral rod cone dystrophy which is to do with a deterioration in my rod and cone cells in the retina. my eyes look normal because I had full sight until the age of 13 so they are fully developed. From this people also ask how I sometimes maintain eye contact? This is something I practiced a lot with my friends so knowing where your mouth is, I just look slightly above that, having been able to see a face in the past I can remember what a face looks like. Obviously, my eyes are not going to look directly at something, but I can look in that direction and hope for the best.

3.A vast majority of people ask me if I feel resentful about my sight loss and how I could even cope with going from being fully sighted to blind. I can empathies s in some regards as before I lost my sight, I had no idea how a blind person would get on in life and in the beginning, I had thought my life was screwed. But it is when people ask me if my mum dresses me and who does my hair or how I eat on my own which annoys me? Yes, at the start I needed a lot of support, however, overtime I have adapted to this new way of life and have some adaption technology which help me. (I will save this for another blog or video. Ngl (not going to lie for you oldies) it does take me much longer to get ready especially for my hair, on average 1-2 hours in the morning. This is just one example of how I have had to adapt and be more organized since losing my vision.

  1. I was once on holiday with my family and we visited an old church upon arriving one of the priests approached me and said would you like your sight back? Obviously, I was like yeah and he then told me to drink some holy water and take a holy bath and I would be cured in a few days. I refused this and simply said if it were that easy, I am sure my doctor would have suggested this hahaha he then went on to say that I didn’t want my sight back and I was being arrogant. Then forced my parents to take some holy water and pour it on my eyes. This is probably one of the weirdest experiences ngl. A similar occasion was when an Indian guy came to me and said for me to meet some guy in India who will get poo from a special bird breed and place it in my eye and this will cure me… this sounds so legitimate its insane, why this isn’t on the NHS yet baffles me…
  2. is it contagious? Yeah man, stay far away I have them Medusa genetics. (obviously not)
  3. How do you walk about? Just to clarify blindness is a deterioration in normal visual health not the ability of your legs. Additionally, if you mean how I know where I’m going when I walk around independently then, I am given training through my local council where a mobility officer comes out and trains me the route. This consist of hours/days of walking back and forth a route until its mapped in my memory 😊. I also have a talking navigation app called Blind Square, very similar to a TOMTOM but for walking.

7.why do you care what you look like if you can’t see?

So just because I can’t see you want me to go about looking like a scruff…?  Even when you sighted, you’re not looking at what you wear constantly its more that other people can see you and what you feel comfortable wearing. So just like anyone else I still have a taste in fashion, but I did lose my sight later in life so that also adds to it. Tbh (to be honest, dw oldies I got you) sometimes I feel like I have to put in more effort because I can’t see, I would say losing my sight has made me more self-conscious about my image  but this is kind of long so I will save to answer this on my YouTube channel soon  (soon can be 3-5 working years x)

  1. One thing I really hate like literally despise is people who talk about me in third person, when I am right there! For example, I was at a coffee shop with some friends and the waitress asked my mate “ what would he like to drink?” like yo there is a difference between deafness and blindness and even with deafness you can still talk to the person(depending on severity ofc). I told the waitress that I fortunately still could hear and comprehend the English language so you can talk to me!. (in different words and a Brummy accent).My mates told me she felt incredibly bad. I did not want her too but sometimes people need to be told in order to educate them because I may be the first blind person that person has met so I understand the difficulties it could bring however, I need to set an example in order for that person to treat people with disabilities less
  2. Can you still drive? Yaaaa I drive a BMW E24 6 series (future chauffeur take note) like I put my white cane out the windscreen and skrr skrrrr…. Tbh I just find this funny coz I just look at the person (well try too) like wtf (what the flamingos) and then they understand what they’ve just asked me…
  3. why do you look at your phone if you can’t see it? Where else do you want me to look? Obviously, I can understand from the outside perspective it may look strange for a blind person to look at their phone but if I was looking at the sky and using my phone would that make it any better? Furthermore, in my case I use a speech software called voiceover which is built into the iPhone itself and it basically reads everything on the screen hence the name screen reader.….
  4. I’m going to add another one and this is more of a serious awareness. If you see someone who is blind or visually impaired at a crossing, PLEASE do not grab them or tell them to cross the road. A few weeks ago, I was crossing the roads near my house in Liverpool, as I was waiting by the crossing a man approached me and told me to cross. So, I trusted him and whilst crossing the road I luckily heard a car and stopped in time, but it nipped my white stick and it flew out of my hand. If I had been walking any faster or not heard the car that car would have hit me! Most blind people have training before going out on a route so either ask them (without touching them) politely if they needed any assistance if not leave them to it. I have also had people drag me across the roads even when I didn’t want to cross! Incase you are wondering how I cross the roads, either I listen for the beep or under the box there is a cone which spins when the man turns green.

This blog post was a lot different to any of my previous posts but, I enjoyed writing it. I hope that as much of a laugh it is that you can all also take something from it. Some of the situations are serious for example question 11.

With the end of a decade fast approaching, it’s a great time to look back on all the positive events that have taken place over the last 10 years but it’s also, good to look at all the times you perceived to have failed or even events which you associate negatively with because, you can now look back at where you was at that point in time and where you are now (hopefully in a much better and fab place in your lives). It’s crazy to think that exactly 10 years ago I still had my vision and had absolutely no idea that I was going to lose my vision. 7 years ago when I realized I was going blind I had internalized the fact my life was screwed and I had no purpose in life but, now 7 years later I can say I am in a much greater position and have slowly come to terms with my vision and no longer allowing it the stigma of being labelled as ‘disabled’ inhibit my choices in life. Something is only a disability if it prevents you from doing something, losing my sight has only made me a much stronger and passionate person, The total opposite of disabled as I have accomplished more in my life since losing my sight compared to when I had my vision.

Thank you all so much for all the constant support and messages I receive daily, Big love!!!

Wishing those of you who celebrate Christmas the most wonderful time and for the rest of your happy holidays and a very happy new year. (mad how it’s a new decade)

I have a lot of new and exciting things coming in 2020 and can’t wait to share and bring you along my journey. For the meantime I can only say that I am working on a YouTube channel which will coincide with this blog. I will talk about all things sight loss as well as food recipes and nutrition.  

Catch you next in 2021! 😊 X

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Ibraheem

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

There has been a long standing debate between food lovers and experts deciding if convenient food is healthy for you and granola is one them. Well apart from having great PR and marketing it depends what granola you consume. The majority of  granola’s on the market contain a huge amount of refined sugars. for example Jordan’s simple granola contains a whopping 7.70 grams of sugar per 45 gram serving! knowing you came here for the recipe, I will leave the nutritional information and the sugar debate at the bottom of the page.Now let’s get on with this recipe.

This recipe lasted me 5 days so depending on your serving size it should last 3-5 servings. 

INGREDIENTS:

Most of my ingredients are from Grape Tree. They are a food and health store based in UK who sell all organic and fresh foods from Nuts and seeds to syrups and grains.. (I will leave a link to their website down below).

Dry Ingredients;

Oats 2cups 

Chia Seeds 1tbsp 

Ground Flaxseed 1tbsp

A cup of Mixed Nuts or nuts of your choice (alternatively you could use seeds such as sunflower seeds).

Goji berries 1tbsp

Oil Free Raisins 1 handful 

1 handful of coconut flakes

Wet Ingredients;

Almond butter 

Peanut butter

Tahini 

Date syrup or any preference of syrup such as maple syrup.

Essentials;

Teaspoon

Table spoon

Cup measurement 

Mixing bowl

Oven

Cooking Instructions 

To begin pre heat the oven to 175.C

Add 2 cups of oats to the mixing bowl. 

For every cup of oats add one heaped teaspoon of mixed seeds.  

Add one tbsp of ground flaxseeds`

   Add one tablespoon of chia seeds to the bowl

Add a handful of nuts of your choice. I chose a mix of nuts; hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts.

 

The next few ingredients are optional but I would recommend including them in this recipe as they add great texture and enhance the flavours wonderfully.

Add a handful of dried goji berries 

Add a handful of raisins  

 

Add a couple of dates too, dates are a very good source of fibre and add natural sugars to the recipe which is why no added sugar is necessary.  

Add !tbsp of raw cacao powder 

Last for the dry ingredients add a handful of coconut flakes.  

Wet Ingredients 

Lightly heat up a non stick pan.

Add;

1tbsp of raw peanut butter

1tbsp raw Almond butter

1tsp date syrup or any syrup of your choice.

1tsp of organic tahini paste

Slightly heat the pan until it begins to form into a paste.

DO NOT HEAT FOR TO LONG AS THE MIXTURE WILL BEGIN TO BURN AND BECOME STICKY. 

Once you have created your mixture transfer the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and begin to thoroughly mix them together.

 

Having already preheated the oven it should be nice and warm now.

Place the whole mixture onto a baking tray; you can line the baking tray with baking paper to ensure it does not stick. 

Leave in the oven for 10-15 minutes (check after 10 ).

If the mixture looks golden brown, smells really good and feels crispy you know the mixture is ready. Once you have taken the granola out of the oven allow to cool for another 10-15 minutes.

 

Enjoy.

As promised I will now write a bit about sugar: daily recommendations and how to reduce eating so much refined sugar. 

Basic facts about sugar!

Sugars are found in carbohydrates which are naturally found in the majority of foods.The main purpose of sugar is to provide energy for example Athletes will want to consume glucose for quick bursts of energy as glucose is the simplest form of sugar that is found in our blood; also our bodies primary source of energy. However sugars are also added to drinks like soda and foods such as cakes to  make them sweeter and more appetising.

Many foods that contain refined added sugars are also very high in calories for example brownies and ice cream these also have very very low nutritional value. Eating such foods frequently can contribute to people getting certain diseases such as: diabetes type 2, obesity, stroke and many other life threatening illnesses.

Check the back of food products as sugar is just an umbrella term and can come under any of the following names; Glucose, Maltose, Sucrose, Corn syrup, Honey, Hydrolysed starch, Invert sugar, Fructose and Molasses, to name a few of the main one used, 

According to the NHS website which was last reviewed on the first of May 2018, added sugars should not make up more than 5% of our daily intake of sugars. This is roughly 30 grams of sugar a  day for people aged 11 and over. The website also goes onto say that fruits are better consumed whole rather than juiced, this is because when they are juiced the sugars are released which can cause tooth decay if consumed regularly. 

My advice to anyone wanting to cut sugar out of their diet would be:

  1. Do not follow any fad diets such as the Atkins diet. unless you are recommended to follow a specific diet by a doctor or nutritionist, you do not need to excessively restrict anything from your diet. Some people would try and stop consuming sugar considerably fast. do not do this as this would put your body under a huge amount of stress and could result in you to crash and therefore you will find yourself eating sugar the way you used too.  I would advise you to begin slowly for example if you ate a 100g bowl of cereal in the morning each down perhaps try lowering it to 95g and each day or every few days slowly restrict yourself.
  2. Eat   more fruits. Fruits contain natural sugars which our body can then transfer into glucose providing us with energy and fruits are a great replacement to your candy bars and usual treats.  here a few example of fruits I eat frequently: bananas, apples, pears,figs,dates,pomegranates and berries.
  3. using natural sweeteners such as honey instead of shop bought refined sugar. although it is also important to get organic honey  due to the amount of sugars and other ingredients added to the majority of honey in supermarkets. (I will leave ths for another post) 😉

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post. please let me know if you liked it and would like to see more content about nutrition and  recipes.

you can simply just leave a comment or follow me on social media and I will get back to you.

Much love & I wish you all good health.

Ibraheem.X

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References:

For more information and guidlines on sugar the  NHS Sugar Advice Page. 

If you have any questions or feedback please get in touch with me through the comment box below. Thank you!

 

Thank you to you all for the amazing support I have been getting on my blog site and on social media.

Sorry for the long wait but I had been so busy at college with it being the last term and I was keeping up with my deadlines. Managed to push through it though! Hope your all having a good summer break:) 

Today I will continue on my story of loosing my vision and what happened after my operation.

The Aftermath

So after my operation my light sensitivity had gotten a lot worse, i could barely open my eyes and was in quite a lot of pain. I was told from the hospital that this was all normal and should disappear within a week or 2 weeks max. so the first week went by and the pain had started to ease but my vision seemed to have gotten worse as the bright lights were effecting my vision, imagine walking outside on a bright sunny day when the light hits you and you have that blurry bright light for a few seconds its like that constantly. This is why I sometimes wear dark shades, it’s to ease my eyes from the light.

Weeks went by and my vision had only gotten worse which my doctor could not explain, this became very stressful for me over time as I was assured my sight should not deteriorate.

I felt like I was in a very closed environment not knowing who to talk to. not being in any education also just made matters worse.

Myself and my family knew that I was taking too much time of education so we started looking for schools that supported individual with sight loss, we found that there were not many, we were not having much luck and with council not helping much it was tough.

Finally after weeks I had a visit from Birmingham City council and they suggested 2 schools one which was a mainstream with a VI bit and the other a specialist school for the bind and partially sighted. Even though I had been in mainstream education throughout my life I found it daunting at the time to go to a mainstream school thinking I would be treated different, I had already noticed family and friends treating me different due to my sight loss and if I must admit it made me feel very self-conscious and being treated well ‘not normal’ becomes very annoying and makes you start to feel a sense of anger inside overtime.

well we went on to visit the specialist school and it was a very different experience, never seen classes so small with only a maximum of 8 in a class compared to 30 plus in mainstream. but the support and technology they had was amazing and just the right thing for me. I never really wanted to go their first because I did not want to be different but after a few weeks I decided it would be a better decision and if I wanted to achieve the education I wanted then the specialist school would be the best place. after all they were offering me to learn to read and use a PC again which I thought I would not have been able to do.

So I started the school in late 2012 just before Christmas, at the start I was worried I would not make friends as easily but being with people in the same position even people who had been blind since birth was a motivation for me that things were not as bad as they seemed.

I was taught braille which was hard but being able to read again even though in a completely different way with sense of touch instead of sight was truly amazing. also being able to use a PC again with the use of a high-end speech software which did not take me too long to get grips of was also an amazing feeling, I felt like even though I was going blind I still had hope in living a normal life just like I used too. things were going well and I felt like I was moving on.

I was only to realise that this was only the beginning and everything was going to get a lot worse.

It started of slowly, gradually the support I was receiving at the school was not the same. At first I just thought I got extra support due to me being a new student but totally removing my IT support lessons after only being there for a month I had barely learnt the basics, then my braille lessons were slowly being taken of and the general support I was receiving was going down. I spoke to my friends at first who said it was very weird and could not explain this weird behaviour.

Teachers were removing my assistive tech from me and forcing me to read print which I could not see, not giving me the choice to use my specialised equipment this was very hard, I was made to read size 72 print on paper and even that put strain on my eyes, I would go home very tired, angry and my eyes were in such pain I cannot describe.

I decided to talk to my family who were also angry and upset about what I had told them, this was unacceptable behaviour from a school of such standard. Many of these occasions happened at the school and I was continued to be mistreated by the school throughout the year. When I had first applied to the school I was already behind in my academic studies as for the events that took place prior (loosing my sight, and the operation) so I decided to go back a year but this year was too wasted as I was not given the efficient support so now I was roughly 2 years behind.

I do not wish to go into much detail regarding my issues.

It made my time getting through sightless even harder. My sight was still deteriorating and I had not much support at all so we had to look else where.

My Mum got in touch with an organisation that supports individuals who are blind/partially sighted and we met with two people. Once we told them my story they were angry and said something had to be done and were willing to support me through the entire process. firstly I needed a diagnosis and by this time I had been through enough and was tired of everything, my mind was full of confusion all I wanted was answers. we had many trips to the hospital but they too were not very supportive just doing basic eye examinations and not being able to see a problem with my vision and this just made the stress load even heavier.

Through the organisation I was given counselling by one of the members that was supporting me and it was good to be able to talk to someone from outside and explain about the way I was feeling and how all the events were effecting me, overtime it helped but having no answers was always playing on my mind and everyone knew that it was about time we got some!

After a few meetings we had come to a conclusion that it was time to seek support from outside and a secondary diagnosis was one of the options, me thinking there is nothing to lose, I took the option and hoped for the best.

My second diagnosis was to be in London at one of the greatest hospitals for young people in the UK Great Ormond street hospital an appointment was made. After all the good things I heard about the hospital it gave me a sense of hope, but having been through all this before I never set my hopes too high. not knowing things were about to change.

So my the day came and we had packed our bags for a 3 hour train journey to London, this was not only an exciting time for myself but it was the first time that my two younger sisters had come to London. I was nervous but also had a little bit of hope that maybe they might find the cause of my blindness. we had our support from the Blind Children Society with us too and she knew a support worker at the hospital.

we had arrived In London, I felt a buzzing feeling that similar to a sense of adrenaline because this was one of the best children’s hospitals but I also was scared that they would not find the cause as I had been through many tests already.

I was told the hospital was huge and that it was, as I can remember it sounded pretty busy.

I can still remember the feeling I had as I waited there slightly scared and slightly excited, I was called up to see the support worker Paula who welcomed us very well, she was blind herself and could understand everything that I was going through, she provided me with all the support I needed.

At first I had the basic how many fingers am I holding up test, I could only just about see her hand. I was told I was going to be having another test called an electro diagnostic examination, which basically is when they stick some electro stickers on your face and you sit and watch a movie or a TV screen and the test checks for many signals from your eye to the brain. As I sat there with all this equipment on me I felt like something out of a sci-fi movie haha.

I was called in by the doctor within 20 mins, I was nervous but something told me that it could be some good news.

After years and years of struggling to find out what was wrong with my vision and being through everything that I had within a few hours here they were able to tell me that I had some sort of retinal dystrophy, everyone was in shock that the hospitals in Birmingham based their views of some simple examinations, but although I was told there was nothing they could do to restore my vision I was at least glad I knew what was behind my sight loss, I could now breathe.

I had a few more appointments at Great Ormond street and they did some more tests the overall results were that they are not 100% sure why y vision went so drastically but know that I do have something wrong with my dystrophy but there are many eye conditions out there, and I just know I have some sort of retinal dystrophy. I would like to thank all the support I had from Great Ormand Street and from the British Blind community because they helped me pull through and get the results I wanted.

So once I had left my old school I went to a mainstream school which had the right support for me and at first it was a bit daunting but I settled in pretty quickly and made some good friends, i had managed to put my head down and complete my GCSE’s and came out with better results than I had expected which was great, and from now on things where getting better for me. After time I began to adjust with my sight loss and carry on with life.

I chose to go to The royal national college for the blind (RNC) as it is a place where I could carry on with my academic studies but also learn the skills I needed to become the person I am today, the college has helped to gain nee skills and reach over my expectations of how independent I am. I can honestly say i made the best decision going there, made some amazing friends and met some incredible people a long the way, I have learnt quite a lot and thank the college for giving me such an opportunity.

When I was first told that at the there was nothing out there to restore my vision or make it any better, I was upset/angry about it, the reason for being angry was due to the frustrations that had built up inside of me. I never really had someone to talk to apart from my friends who I barely told anything really to them, But a few of my friends I was quite close to and once I opened up and started to talk to them about anything I was going through I felt much better. I personally believe that you need all round support to help you get through a situation whether it be loosing your sight or even something like breaking your arm, Once you have found the people/person you can trust try talking to them it will help. Another step that helped and still helps me immensely now is health and fitness, keeping on top of my health and fitness from keeping a clean healthy diet to going to the gym regularly and playing a part in sports has all helped me in many ways and this change of lifestyle is what I will be speaking about in my future posts.

and again thank you all for the support it be a huge help and mean a lot if you could give the post a like and share it with others.

you can also follow me on any of my social medias to keep up to date with the progress of my blog. Click the links below to follow me and you can message me any questions or feedback would be great too!

Facebook page; Living Through The Life Of Ibz

Instagram;Ibz__98

Twitter; @Storyofibz

Email; ibraheem_7@outlook.com

Firstly big thanks to all for the continuous support, Sorry it has been a long time that I have not posted on my blog, the reason being I have started back at college and was settling in but hopefully from now on ai will be keeping up with it!

As requested and being tagged by many people I am going to do this Visually impaired Tag that has been going around.

The Visually Impaired Tag is to help you guys to have a better understanding on what my Visual impairment is. So lets get started 🙂 

1. What medical condition caused you to be Visually Impaired or blind?

I have 3 main eye conditions which are;
Kerataconus which where the Cornea undergoes progressive thinning and steepening which causes astigmatism,
Cone Dystrophy; is when the Cone photoreceptors don’t work, so mainly the central vision and colour vision is affected.
Retinal Dystrophy which just means there is a problem with retina which is not fully understood at this moment in time.and also have a slight nystagmus which means my eyes move around slightly, 

2. In three words describe your vision?

Unique, Pain and unclear 

3. What is the hardest thing to do being blind or visually impaired?

This is a tricky one, I would have to say the one of the hardest things for me is how different some people treat me now, for example someone will talk to the person next to me instead of me, there is nothing wrong with my mouth so you can talk to me! its just simply annoying. Also people not understanding that yes you may be blind but still can be quite independent, people get so amazed seeing me walk around my own house or cooking, even using my phone its like they have just seen a living miracle. makes me laugh at time but can be very very VERY annoying especially when comments are made like ‘oh my god, well done i am so proud, you managed to walk up the stairs all by yourself’… like yeah It’s my eyes that have a problem not my legs not my brain I am a fully functional human being. I think its hard for people to understand that as a blind person I can still do everything I just have my own techniques around things. I just don’t understand how much people underestimate blindness. But its funny when we prove them wrong!

4. What is the best thing about being blind or visually impaired?
I think there are many benefits of being Blind, I have met many amazing people and had many opportunities come my way. Another thing would be I don’t judge people, like I don’t make a straight forward judgement about a person or their appearance that as a sighted person you cant help but make them. And despise all the hardships its made me into a stronger person knowing I can live a happy independent life just like anyone else. Another thing would be being able to use all the amazing technology that is coming out which seems quite interesting.

5. What question do you get asked about most because of your vision?

How I lost my vision and how do I cope with it? I reckon I get asked this quite a lot because I used to be fully sighted and have grown in independance.

6. Do you have a cane? Guide dog or neither?

At the moment I use a Long cane, But I’m in the process of hopefully convincing my parents into allowing me to get a guide dog;)

7. What Piece of advise would you give someone who is going to loosing, or going to loose or has already lost there sight?

I would say thats its not going to be a walk in the park, its will be hard and i’m not going to lie it is a very scary process to go through, and the worst thing to do is to bottle it up and think you’ll be okay because eventually you will break, I know as I went through it all and still am. You need to let yourself have that grieving time, go through that depression stage but then you will overcome it, you will be a stronger person and live a happy normal life just like you used too.

there are many organisations like the RNIB and Blind children UK that have services to help you to get the right information about your sight loss and also will help you to get through it, Both of these have helped me in the past and i would strongly recommend them.

here is a link to the RNIB helpline; Link to RNIB Helpline

also a link to Blind Children Uk’s Website; Link To Blind Children UK

Another company would be LOOKUK who I am currently working with at the moment and have a few exciting projects in the making, one of them is a mentoring project where you can seek advice from a trained mentee. here is the contact details; Link To LookUK

8. What is one piece of advise you would give to a sighted person about interacting with someone who is blind or visually impaired? Do not assume that we need help. If we need help we will ask for it. I understand that your trying to care for us and it might be that you use your sight for that thing but we use our other senses to the best of their ability.
9. Why did you start youtube/blogging?
I started blogging for the main purpose of supporting other people that are going through the situation that I was in and still am in. I also hope it educated the public and breaks the stigma that is surrounding blindness. Also because I am taking part in a progect with the LOOK UK Foundation
10. Tag 3 people to do the Visually Impaired Persons tag?
The tag is open to anyone so feel free if you want to do it then go ahead 😉

Thats all I have for this blog post hope you enjoyed it, of you have any further suggestions  feel free ro let me know, you can follow me on my social media and contact me on;

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Email Address Link

Thank you! and I hope you all have a great Christmas and new year🎉

Hi everyone I would first like to thank everyone for the amazing support it means a lot 🙂 I have now also created an Official Facebook page which you could check out the link is at the bottom of my page. Also a big thank you to my sister Amy who created my official logo and cover photo. for descriptions of them go on to my official Facebook page.

So today I am going to talk about my experiences with secondary school all of which are impossible to explain in one  post.

Realising I Was Loosing My vision.

So i left primary school (junior school) and left with some decent grades behind me, I was still doing pretty well academically. It was time to start secondary school and yes it was a big change but I enjoyed it as I had a good peer group.

As a young kid I was quite a mischievous child and due to this I had to ‘leave’ my first secondary school.

I then went on to a private boarding school, this was a huge change as it was my first time living away from home and I had to make completely new friends.I was now doing well in my studies. I was enjoying my freedom. Living away from home at an early age gave me a lot of confidence.

I went through a faze where I would not wear my glasses, they weren’t working for me so what was the point?  plus I never really liked wearing them, and I know a lot of people struggle with this issue, but as time went on I started to realise that my sight was getting worse and even if I did wear my glasses they made no difference at all.

I would get severe headaches which would sometimes last as long as a day, as my sight continued to deteriorate the headaches would last longer and occur more frequently. I also started to experience a sharp burning pain in my eyes, I found that the only way of relieving my self from this pain was by closing my eyes as it would help relieve some of the pain or by having a sleep. Amongst all the changes I experienced with my vision the ones that really stood out for me where:

1Black floaters – These are basically black blobs that appear at the centre of your vision. They distort your vision by starting to block bits of your central vision and can progress to block the majority of it

2Light sensitivity – This is when the lights look a lot brighter than usual because my eyes could not adjust to the light normally, due to this my eye would sometimes hurt because of the bright light.

3. Blurry Vision – I was unable to see anything clearly at a distance and I had to be at a closer range to see clearly. As a result of this I was unable to participate in practical activities such as football and basketball. This was really hard for me to come to terms with at the time. plus at this time I never knew why or how this was all happening.

I remember walking one day with my best mate in the dark as we were walking he noticed me tripping over curbs and bumping in to lamppost, he knew something was not right. My mate advised me to go and get my eyes checked out.

Anyone affected with any disability or illness will know how frustrating it is. I faced many days of uncertainty not knowing what was happening to the world around me. At this time I was in a whirlpool of emotion and confusion as I never knew what was happening and what or could happen next!  As you can imagine this was quite overwhelming to deal with at the age of 13.

I went through a process of denial, refusing to accept my sight loss. At this point hiding my worries seemed like the best option. The last thing I wanted was to stand out or to be treated differently. I wanted to continue life as normal,hoping for the problem to go away.

As time went on I started to notice that lights were looking even more  brighter and would distort my vision,  I could not look at my phone or a computer for too long as it would cause severe eye strain and my headaches would start.

It got too a point where my headaches would occur more frequently and I found it hard to focus in lessons. Teachers thought I just did not want to work, I would constantly get told that my handwriting was messy. Well what do you expect I could barely see it. I would have my face right next to the page to read and the teachers would think I was being disrespectful and not wanting to learn. So eventually in mid 2010 I finally came out and asked my mum to arrange an appointment with the opticians. They did the usual can you read the letter on the board? and I could read up until the third – fourth line. there was also the test where you have to read the small writing on a card I could just about tell there was something on the card but i could not read it, I  had not really known how bad my vision was getting until this point. The optician was unsure why my vision was getting worse at the rate it was. I remember there being an uncomfortable silence in the room I was eventually told that there was nothing anyone could do and i was then refereed to see a professional at the hospital. despite everyones reassurances I was still anxious about it all.

In fact, even throughout the few weeks waiting for the hospital appointment my sight was deteriorating. I could now not read normal print size anymore, I could not read my own handwriting let alone seeing where the lines were on a page. I was struggling quite a lot in school, usually I sat at the back of the class but now I could not see the board et all. however the teachers would have none of it at first thinking I was just messing about. They never really took it seriously. It got to a point where I would get my mates to read and write for me but still teachers thought I was either cheating or messing about. I kept getting in trouble and it was frustrating sometimes I just would not go in to my lessons, I became more rebellious about school. without a diagnosis I found it hard to justify my self to anyone, when I was still so confused. So I went to my first hospital appointment and they said my eyes looked fine, there was nothing obvious that they could find, bearing in mind they were still using the same basic tests. I mean what was the point of getting referred to see another doctor to do the same tests and chat the same rubbish!

I went with my mum for another appointment only to be told we had come on the wrong day. As we were about to leave a lady approached us and told us that she is a doctor, she asked me for my permission to trail a ‘new machine’ My Mum was all for it forgetting it was me being tested not her.Its not like I wanted to be used as a guinea pig haha! Anyway we went in and I saw this ‘new machine’ it looked like something out of star wars, it had a squarish body, with a small long thing and a chin rest (basically its hard to explain) I sat on a comfy chair ones I wish we had at school. and had to put my chin on the rest. The lady was like ‘I’m going to shine a little light in your eyes’, It was the brightest light ever, it was like someone shoving the sun in my eyes and after her burning my eyes through she said she thinks she can see a problem and would want to check with the ophthalmologist (A professional eye doctor). So this guy comes in and looks at my eyes.

I was told I had an eye condition called Keratoconus which is an eye condition in which the normally round domed shaped clear window of the eye otherwise known as the cornea progressively thins causing a cone shaped bulge to develop, the change of shape and thinning of the cornea and in some cases scarring of the cornea impairs the ability to focus properly causing poor vision. Professionals to this day are unsure why this occurs but they no its more common with people with Asthma and allergies, so i understand why I got it. It affects 1 out of 1000 people.

I still remember to this day the doctor looking up and smiling at me saying ‘don’t worry I promise you won’t go blind its nothing major’. on hearing this i was happy thinking I would still have my vision. I was referred to a contact lenses specialist who would then give me my first pair of contact lenses. my left eye was more worse than my right I found it exciting to have a pair of contact lenses no more spectacles!

At first I found my contact lenses helped a bit my making things less blurry, but not so much with the reading. My vision was still getting worse and after weeks my contact lenses were useless to me and I had to go back in for another appointment. This time I was told my sight was deteriorating at a fast rate and something needed to be done fast.

The doctor told me about an operation called Cross Linking which involves placing some vitamin drops in my eyes then shining a UV light for about half an hour in them the result is meant for the cornea to get stronger and hopefully freeze my vision where it was. The procedure was not funded by the NHS at the time and was roughly about £3000 per eye. My doctor said he would do his best to get this procedure funded for me. Again my mom signed for me to get both my eyes done at the same time even though I wanted one done but oh well haha!

A few months went by and I was stressing out as my sight kept on getting worse, I was trying to hide it as much as I could, but I couldn’t anymore it was too obvious as I was bumping into lampposts, falling over the pavements. I learnt the hard way that I could not ride my bike anymore, I was riding with my cousin and I could not see him properly in front and I hit his back tire and fell in the middle of the road. Hearing a loud horn beep from behind I turned around to see a truck driver shouting how much of a silly boy I was, I was lucky not to get hit I guess but at the time we found it quite funny not knowing it was going to be the last time I was to ride my bike. I could not recognise people’s faces anymore unless I was right up to them. I found it really hard to cope with this and as i never really told anyone how I was feeling, everyone assumed everything was okay.

I missed quite a lot of education in year 9 going in and out of hospital appointments and as now the school noticed my vision getting worse, they said they were not able to support me anymore and I was forced to leave. I left in mid year 9, now I had no eduction and my sight was still deteriorating as you can imagine it was very stressful. Finally in April I was told I was to have my operation on June 5th 2012 (Queens jubilee day) I felt over the moon that there was hope of sorting my vision out and stop it from getting worse, plus the doctor said I would not loose my vision so I felt like I had hope.

The day of my operation came and I was both excited full of hope and also nervous, I remember the doctor letting me play pac man on his phone as I waited and waited. It was time I handed the phone back to the doctor and walked in the operation room with my mum. They told me to lie on this bed and breath slowly through a mask, The surgeon said it would be over in a blink of an eye. I started to breathe in the aesthetic until eventually everything went quiet and my surroundings darkened, I was passed out.

Details of the aftermath of my operation will be available in the next instalment.

If you are or know someone who is loosing there vision and want support from other people in the same position as you then why not get inn touch with LOOK UK, which are an organisation who aim to help and support people with a visual impairment.You can also talk to other people in the same position as you!

contact LOOK-UK on

website: www.look-uk.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LOOK_UK

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LOOKnational

Email: youth@look-uk.org

I hope you are enjoying my blog, if so please support me by sharing it to others Thank you in advance.

As requested by a few people I will soon be doing a Q&A so please send me in any questions  you have. you can contact me on:

Twitter; https://twitter.com/OFFICIAL_IBZ

Official Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/Livingthroughthelifeofibz/ Email; ibraheem_7@outlook.com

 

Me at 1 years of age

I was born on the 26th of February, I was born on time without any problems with my sight  the only thing I had was dilated kidneys which basically meant that my kidney was swollen due to a build up of urine in my kidneys, but I was on a high dosage of antibiotics for three years and I was fine.

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