One hundred and eighty-three

It is a day of celebration today – I am half-way through my year!!!!  I can’t even believe it.  I remember being at three months and thinking how long a year really is.  And now I’m half way!  Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my crazy adventures so far.

Blind 

Do my clothes match?  I almost dropped a knife on my toe.  Is my bum clean?  How can I tell without seeing the toilet paper?  Why did I turn on the bathroom light? I hope I took my multivitamin and not the drowsy extra-strength allergy medication I had left-over from my bug bite fiasco.  I have a bruise developping on my thigh from walking into the table.   I might have just shampooed with conditioner.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon blindfolded and tried to live my life as I would normally – but without the use of my sight.  According to a 2006 survey by Statistics Canada, over 800,000 people in Canada identify with having a seeing disability (from visionhealth.ca).

Life without being able to see was very difficult for me.  I take for granted how much I use my sight.  I rely on my visual sense to get through my day – from big things like not walking into walls, to little things like where I placed my water glass on the table so I don’t knock it over.  My other senses became heightened – touch was very important, as well as smell and sound. I used my visual memory to try and find things that I needed.  It became more and more important that I put things back in the same place so I could find them again.

I was a little disoriented at times when I was walking around my apartment and out on to the balcony.  I had to pay attention to remember where I was.  Everything took longer (although it was surprising how quickly I began to adapt).  I noticed more – the taste of bread as it entered my mouth, the sound of the traffic outside the window, the smell of different rooms.  The number of things in a row became important – two cupboards over is where I find the plates, the fourth button down on the remote control turns on the television (discovered by trial and error).

Making a cheese sandwich in the toaster oven was an ordeal.  I wore an oven mitt so I wouldn’t burn myself, but I know I was getting cheese all over it.  Cutting the slices of cheese became a dangerous task – is the cheese mouldy, how do I cut thin slices when I can’t see them and don’t want my fingers getting in the way of the knife, so can’t feel it?  Then I missed trying to put the sandwich on a plate and ended up with melted cheese on the countertop.  Although it did taste great!

The notes I took while blindfolded

Communication was difficult – with no way to use my phone, e-mail, the internet, texting.  Unless someone called me, I couldn’t get ahold of my friends or family.  And I had no sense of time.  At one point I just sat down on my bed, frustrated with the effort, not knowing what I could do (tv wasn’t great as I wanted to see what they were talking about, and everything I normally do involves sight – internet, writing, reading).  Sometimes I couldn’t remember where I put things.  Did I move that table behind the sofa or is it still there? Did I put the salt on the right or the left side of the cabinet?

I was happy when I got to take off my blindfold and use my sight again.  Everything just seemed easier.  I can only imagine the skills people who are seeing impaired have to maneuver our world.  I didn’t even leave the house and I found it challenging.

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4 thoughts on “One hundred and eighty-three

  1. Congrats on your half-year Lindsay! I’m entertained (and sometimes enlightened) every day when I read your latest post. Good luck with the second half!

  2. Pingback: One hundred and eighty-five PART TWO | threehundredsixtysixdays

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