Tag Archives: low vision

It’s Too Easy to Stay Home

LIFE-IS-SHORT_BLOG-BUTTON

You know the feeling. It’s usually a work night. You made plans or signed up for an event but you don’t feel like going anymore. You’d rather go home and veg out. You’re in that moment of whether to cancel or go. Tonight I was in that exact position.

I was scheduled to join a dinner of some old college classmates who all took courses with the amazing Tony Brown.When I left work, it was drizzling. I hesitated for a moment and really considered going home to relax. Why did I want to cancel? It was mostly about my hearing and vision loss. I didn’t want to deal with figuring out where the restaurant was, walking in the NYC crowds in midtown, finding the table in the restaurant, and trying to hear in a group conversation. These small things can be a frustrating challenge for someone like me. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to just stay home.

However, this blog is one of the reasons I decided not to throw in the towel on this evening. I have been writing about living with Usher Syndrome and being a Latina who overcomes obstacles. I’ve heard some wonderful & encouraging comments from everyone. And I want to live up to my words. Going home would be giving up. There are times in the past  when I have probably missed out on great experiences.

So I went. What ended up happening? The crowds weren’t bad (rain kept other people away!), the restaurant was very well lit and almost empty, it was super easy to find the group, I sat next to a friend, and I heard about 70% of the conversation. Who knew? It went much better than I expected- I think I learned my lesson. It’s too easy to stay home, and I know it’s not in my character to do so. I love socializing, enjoying the city, and being active. I don’t ever want to let Usher get in the way of that. Life is short- we have to enjoy it!

Bonus: I highly recommend this Lebanese restaurant, Byblos, to all hearing impaired and vision impaired individuals in the NYC area. There was no amplified music, so it was very quiet. There were no steps and it was well lit with space to move around the tables. Food was delicious and the prices were reasonable too.

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Top 5 Obstacles for People with Low Vision

Did you know? The world can sometimes be a scary place for those of us with low vision. All of a sudden, things can pop up that we didn’t see. They were just in our blind spot. I have trouble seeing below my eye level line of vision. If a person darts in front of me quickly, it can appear as a flash of color and a shock to my eyes. I definitely might flinch or stop in my tracks. Sometimes I even squeeze my eyes shut and put my hands up because I feel like I’m about to hit something. Then I might realize it’s just a person who cut in front of me and then I relax a little.

I’m about to let you in on some obstacles for people with low vision that you might never have even thought about. It’s my personal top 5- enjoy! 🙂

5. Open kitchen cabinet door

I control this so it doesn’t happen too much anymore, but I have definitely banged my head a lot on open cabinet doors! I have trained myself to remember to close them before I leave the kitchen. That way I won’t forget I left them open when I come back.

kitchencabinetdoor

 

 

 

 

 

4. Sidewalk cellar doors

Haven’t had a problem with this yet but it seems very dangerous for blind people especially. They could be open and someone could fall inside. I steer clear and walk on the other side of the sidewalk- just in case!

sidewalkcellardoors

 

 

 

 

3. Person pulling suitcase

AHHH! Anytime someone is pulling a bag or a cart, I’m focused on looking at the person and don’t realize at all that they might have another appendage. Always have to look down, especially in NYC where people might be traveling or pulling their work bag. I have definitely kicked too many suitcases to count…

personpullingsuitcase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Benches, chairs, furniture, etc.

Unexpected furniture can throw me off. If I’m in a museum and all of a sudden, one room has a bench, I might not even notice. I love art- so I’ll be looking at that! One time, I walked right into a bench and flipped onto it, landing on my stomach. Good thing I have a sense of humor!! Oh, and good thing it had a cushion!

museum room with bench focused

 

 

 

 

 

1. The ultimate nemesis: THE WET FLOOR SIGN

This is an obstacle of the highest degree. It could be anywhere at any time. It could take different forms. If you kick it and walk into it, it makes a NOISE as it crashes shut onto the floor and everyone looks at you. If you were trying to walk around and blend in like a normal person, you  failed! Foiled again by the wet floor sign! And that is why it tops my list.

WetFloorSign

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus item: toddlers & small children! More on that soon 🙂