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.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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…
- is it contagious? Yeah man, stay far away I have them Medusa genetics. (obviously not)
- 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)
- 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
- 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…
- 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.….
- 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