Thursday, March 7, 2013

I Gotta Go to Rehab... Its Not What You think.

Amy Winehouse famously sang the lyrics "They tried to make me go to rehab and I said no, no, no." in her hit song Rehab. Unlike Amy I acknowledge that I need to go to rehab... not for substance abuse issues but for low-vision. Now many of us who have low-vision will think that it isn't necessary for us to go but we must. Sometimes our pride gets in the way because we might not feel like we have a disability. The reason we feel like we don't have a disability is because of our ability to adapt. I didn't realize for a couple years before my official diagnosis of Stargardt's that I had been engaging in adaptive behavior. But with most people who have some form of macular degeneration our vision is deteriorating and we'll eventually need to adapt our behavior with some assistance.

Just like the stigma that surrounds the word rehab the word disabled can be negatively perceived in society. But this perception is not so much negative is it is a reflection of society's ignorance. The reason they're ignorant is most of them aren't around disabled persons or don't know that people around them are disabled. How are we supposed to change people's perceptions when we don't even acknowledge our own limitations? Having a white cane or some type of adaptive device isn't a matter of looking cool its a way of adapting to our circumstances. Yeah we don't want society to narrowly define us as disabled but view it as an aspect to us that is no different from the color of our skin, our hair color or sexual orientation.

Now I'll admit I'm nervous about going to a low-vision specialist yet eagerly excited. Its no different from going to school or getting training for a job or career. At my recent follow-up visit with my ophthalmologist it was made more evident I need to go. When you go to your eye doctor it's generally standard procedure for them to dilate your pupils so they can perform certain examinations. When you're done it decreases your visual acuity. It eventually wears off. So I got a brief preview of what my vision might look like in the future. I was still able to see around the room but seeing the time on my phone was difficult. I have a large phone and the numbers were quite blurry. Seeing this made me think how can I adapt to this and this is were a low-vision specialist can help. I even took pictures with my camera and I couldn't see what I was looking at, but  oddly enough they came out pretty good. *smile* In one of my previous posts Nick News: Out of Sight: How Blind Kids See the World the documentary gives a good explanation on how the visually impaired adapt to their surroundings. "So I gotta go to low-vision rehab and I say yes, yes, yes."

*Disclosure some of the links are affiliate based with Amazon or Google and I do recieve a commission if links are clicked.
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