Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Look Into My Eyes

And so another milestone gets reached. It doesn't change anything in reality - nothing about me or my condition is any different to what it was 24 hours ago.

 And yet ... and yet ... somehow it feels like everything is a bit different.

This is my right eye. It's crap at anything that an eye is supposed to do. Massive distortions and a tiny field of vision.
This is my left (or what I laughingly refer to as my "good" eye).
I went to Torbay Hospital's excellent eye clinic today for a field of vision test, a fairly routine affair. I also got the standard Snellen eye chart test and a retinal scan.

I've been under the (self-diagnosed) assumption that I work on approximately 35 to 40% of a normally sighted person's vision.

I learned today that I've been wildly over-estimating what I can see in relation to what non-VIPs are able to. In fact, that makes me quite pleased with myself for managing as I do.

The consultant reckoned that the raw data gave me something like 15-20% of normal vision, strangely enough with the narrowest field of vision in my "good" eye which has moderate corrected acuity. The crappy right eye has a slightly better field although its corrected (with specs on) acuity is shot; I can manage the top - the biggest - letter on an eye test chart. Just.

All of which means that I am officially, as of today, what used to be called Registered Blind. These days it's known as being registered Severely Visually Impaired.

That's a grade up from the Partially Sighted status I've had for the last several years.

Like I said, nothing has actually changed since yesterday except for a label on my condition which means I can get a Blue Badge for parking and a few other benefit concessions; but I'm feeling quite odd about it all.


Sandy said...

Labels are always strange, whether medical, behavioral, racial, sexual or just pure opinion. None of us fit in boxes we are not square! Feel weird today and be you tomorrow x

Judith said...

Interesting. I can understand why you're feeling a bit strange. Labels! Ultimately meaningless but quite powerful all the same.

I have had a bit of a life-changing experience with my eyes too - severely myopic since infancy, and then developed premature cataracts as a side effect of a drug taken to correct a blood condition. So I have just had the cataracts removed and lenses implanted which corrected my lifelong myopia as well. It's extraordinary.