I have always been inspired by people who have suffered the loss of a part of their physical selves and have not let that stop them from doing what they love. They appear to be more whole than any of us. Bethany Hamilton, the professional surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. Noah Galloway, the Army soldier who lost an arm and a leg in the Iraq War. Usually when we meet these people on 60 Minutes or in People magazine, they have come out on the other side of their devastating loss and are confidently and comfortably living their new normal, sharing their stories in hopes of reaching others in similar situations.
Having experienced the loss of working anatomy myself, I now have a different perspective and a complete understanding of what it has taken them every day, sometimes every minute, to make the choice to keep on keeping on. No matter how great their attitude, faith and inner strength, I know their path to acceptance and a focus on the future and not the past is a tremendous challenge not just for them but also the people who love them.
People who know me only casually or meet me and learn of my vision loss praise me for my good attitude and positive spirit. I thank them but always follow that up with the true reality: I still have some bad days. It’s my way of letting them know in six words that although I may appear to have survived the worst of it, dropping a bobby pin on the floor and not being able to find it, given the day, really piss me off or make me incredibly sad.
I will never be on Dancing With The Stars but I am here and I will tell you about the bobby pins and not being able to see colors or drive a car. But I will also share with you the joy I feel being able to read again with the help of some amazing equipment and the laughter of eating one of my bird’s pellets because it looked like an Apple Jack to me. And I will disclose the plain ole non-vision related facts such as that I am 50 years old and still eating the Kellogg’s product of my youth.
Don’t judge me. I may like my cereal sweet, but this blog will not be sugar coated.