Category Archives: Partial Blindness

Winner, winner

Okay, so one of the things I had been struggling with is the fact that I can’t really share meals with my family the way I used to. I come from an extended family full of food lovers, and we do our bonding and make our best memories over a meal. So not sharing evening meals with my own immediate family was affecting me more than I had anticipated.

I don’t expect them to eat what I eat, and I don’t even have the desire to try to convince them to. I know it would be a futile effort. It’s certainly not something I came into overnight, so I couldn’t expect that of them. I did come up with an idea however, and that was to serve one fully vegan meal per week, one they would be most likely to enjoy. I ran the idea past them a few nights ago and while the kids were immediately against it, my husband was on board. That alone surprised me, but then he went a step further and told the kids he thought that since I do so much for them and I make compromises all the time, that they should be willing to do this for me. And then they all agreed, and I was in heaven. It was so nice to have their support in this. Not to mention, I fell in love with my husband all over again, for stepping up like that.

Anyhoo… ever since, I’ve been trying to find some easy vegan recipes that aren’t too off the wall for them, and I’m coming up rather short so far. Because they are mostly super picky eaters. I only plan to do one meal a week, so I’m not terribly worried. I’m sure between Pinterest and a good old fashioned Google search I’ll find plenty.

Tonight was the first night we tried an an all vegan meal. In order to ease them into this, and to show that I’m not just trying to introduce them to a bunch of foreign foods (think seitan and tempeh), I served waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, with fresh red grapes on the side. Waffles made with almond milk and egg replacer, and coconut whipped cream. They loved it, and we all agreed that it was delicious! I had never had the coconut whipped cream before, and I dare say it tastes better than the dairy version. Winner, winner, vegan dinner.

Oh, and also today I had a visual field test at my neuro-ophthalmologist’s office and it turns out my eyes have both improved! I can now see 51% with my left eye and a whopping 27% with my right.

It’s safe to say that today was a really good day. Tomorrow is infusion day, so I’ll get to relax in their new heated seats and sip coffee and read a book. I’m livin’ a glamorous life, folks. Envy me. I dare you.

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A little sense of freedom

I’m trying to become a contact lens wearer. I used to wear them, years ago, but gave it up for some reason. So I figured it would be no big deal to join that club again.

I was wrong.

With my MS relapse and resulting vision loss in September 2013, I have a significantly unique challenge. While my left eye has the stronger prescription, the nerve damage left my right eye with a very small field of vision. My brain has adjusted since, so it doesn’t even pay attention to what the right eye “sees”. What normally happens when you close one eye is that everything you see shifts to the left or right, right? Well, that doesn’t happen with me. What I see with both eyes is exactly what I see with the left. Meaning my right eye is essentially blind. Where I’m going with this is, when I try to put a contact lens in my left eye, it’s jarring to see my finger coming straight at my eyeball, and it’s impossible not to blink. So I’ve been having trouble putting them in. A week ago Saturday I worked so hard to put them in, and then all day I was feeling frustrated with what I was seeing. I thought it was just because I was outside a lot, and I didn’t have the anti-glare feature that my glasses give me. That night when I went to take them out, I discovered there was no contact in my left eye. After feeling around on the bathroom counter, I found it. All dried up. I had to go back and get a replacement. Then this past Thursday when I took them out, I inspected them before putting them in the case, and noticed a small tear on the side of the left one. Strike two. I know I have to practice and find a system that works for me. The only trouble with that is that contact lenses are not really built for the level of practice that I am subjecting them to, apparently. Not to mention every time I drop the lens I have to fish around for it with my hands because even with the tint on the edges, I can’t see the lens because it blends in. I need high contrast.

All that to say, I ripped two lenses already, and was growing very discouraged. Because when the contacts are in, and I’m walking around sans eyeglasses, I feel so FREE! So uninhibited. It’s hard to describe the feeling, or rather the importance of the feeling. It’s like there is one less thing to worry about, if only for awhile. The literal weight off my ears is fabulous. The cochlear implants are there no matter what, so it gets crowded. With contacts, I can wear sunglasses come summer, I can run without having my eyeglasses slide down my sweaty nose, and I can swim with my kids and read lips and recognize faces!

I went back to the eye doctor today and she suggested getting some color contacts, which would be much easier for me to see, making the inserting process much easier and hopefully minimizing the risk of tearing the lenses. The only problem is that the colored lenses cost twice as much as the clear ones. That and the colored portion does seem to interfere a smidge with my field of vision. I’m wearing a pair right now with no prescription in them, just to try out.

So now all day I’ve been debating whether it’s worth the extra cost, and whether that smidge bothers me or not. I think the Smidge (I’m calling it that now, I may as well capitalize it) is very slight and I don’t really notice it once I get focused on other things. And after writing that last paragraph about all the benefits of contact lenses, I think I’m leaning toward going ahead and getting them ordered. I swear, I’m so indecisive at times I drive myself crazy.  But I’ll give it another day or two just to be sure. That would make Wednesday my deadline for making the decision. So there, Wednesday it is!

How’s that for letting you in on my thought process? There were other things I wanted to blog about but they will just have to wait for the next one. Happy Monday, y’all!

 

A glimpse at regaining independence

I received approval today to use the paratransit service, and I am beyond excited. The service provides people like myself with rides to pretty much anywhere in the city. All I have to do is schedule the pickup within 24 hours, pay the fare, and off I go! I can apparently schedule online, which I tried already for two of my upcoming appointments, and I’ll probably call tomorrow to confirm that I did it right.

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No more pulling my husband out of work for doctor’s appointments, dragging him and the kids out at dinner time for my support group meetings, and who knows what else? I can go on shopping trips, get groceries on my own (up to 8 plastic bags), even take the kids to the library or the museum on days off! Just dreaming of the possibilities is more excitement than I have had in a long time.

Be thankful for the independence you have, because it can be taken in a heartbeat. My optic nerves were damaged as they are in a matter of weeks. I used to enjoy taking trips, sometimes just driving for the fun of it. The second to last time I remember driving (and enjoying it) was when I went to the abbey for a weekend getaway with my sister in august 2013. Even then I should not have been driving. A week later I drove my kids to their first day of school, with one eye closed to reduce the cloud in my left eye’s  field of vision, scared out of my mind and feeling reckless and over the top stupid for putting my children’s lives at risk. And that was my last time driving.

So there goes my Nascar dream. Is there a competitive arena for bumper?

Okay I got off track, didn’t I? Here’s the lesson: be thankful for your independence, whatever form of it you have. It is a gift.

Here comes the bus

I will start off this post by assuring everyone that #1 – my husband found my driver’s license, and it is still valid, so I was within my rights, and #2 – no one was harmed during the events of this story.

So. I walked the kids to the bus stop the last two days, and it has gone very smoothly. I was sharing this fact with my husband and I guess in the matter of sharing, I told him I would like to continue the daily procedure. But my crappy memory told me this morning that he had said, or the kids had said, that he would continue to drive them. So at 7:50 this morning I was freaking (I do that, it’s not pretty) because he was still in the shower and oh my gosh, they need to be at the stop in TWO minutes! No way, no how is he going to be out and dressed in time to drive them, and only Superman could get us there that fast on foot (or cape?).

What was a frantic Momma to do? Thinking fast, I grabbed my coat, keys, and purse, and the kids and I got in the car. And I drove the three blocks to the bus stop. We pulled up just as the bus rounded the corner from the other direction, making it JUST. IN. TIME.

I didn’t run over anyone, I didn’t hit any cars, I didn’t even run into any curbs. No harm, no foul. Daytona is not in my future, but maybe bumper cars??