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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

I am totally out of ideas

I'm 30, I've been legally blind since birth with RP. That was bad enough but never created many problems other then not being able to drive. Then about 4 years ago i was diagnosed with caratacounus on top of the RP and cataracts are starting. So, for the first time in my life I actually feel blind. I went from using a computer to haveing to use zoomtext. Reading glasses no longer work for me so I started using a handheld CCTV. All the adaptive equipment helps but it is fustrating to try and manage all of this stuff. It slows me down.
I am well educated, B.A. Communications Media manegment minor business administration, A.S. communications media arts minor electrical engineering and now I am back in school working torwds a A.S. in exercise science and wellness. Some now with all of this I have not been able to find a real job in years. I can no longer just sit down and use any old computer. So my past job working as deskside tech support is not possible. I worked as a videographer but I can no longer focus a camera or use video editing gear. Infact the only job I've had since is working in a deli and that was very difficult.
Sorry for all the venting I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm stuck in the house all the time. I feel like a burden to my wife, family and friends. I hate asking for a ride anywear. I hate having to explain why I can't read something or see the blackboard. Hell I'm skipping class today because we have to do a project that I will not be able to do. So instead of being the helpless blind guy having his hand held during the project I'll just not go. I'm pretty much stuck here anyway. I often cycle everywhere I love to bike, but even that is getting to difficult and pretty soon that will go away too.
I guess I don't really have a question I just don't feel as though anyone I try to talk to about this understands.

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Re:I am totally out of ideas

Well all I can say is I can't believe that was me almost three years ago. The story continued like this. I fell and fell hard further then ever before. I lost more vision I couldn't continue to my work at school because of the anxiety of being blind. It was not my finest hour. I called the state agency got the slow wheels turning. I reluctantly bought a cane, was educated in its use, and it has completely changed everything. I actually go places now and don't have a problem asking for help, it really is amazing. I'm still under employed but making progress, starting with a planned move to a area with better public transportation. With some effort things will be in place by the fall 3 full years since I wrote that post. But it took a pretty hard wreck before i was able to begin to climb out, I truly hope the others here are starting to find their way back up.

Re:I am totally out of ideas

You may feel alone, but you aren't. I think there are a lot of blind people out there reading your message like myself that understand your pain and frustration. I hate asking my family to take me places. I feel like I'm inconveniencing them some way and not only that, but I don't always want them to know my business or reason for going somewhere.
The other day, my stepmom took me to Disney Animal Kingdom and it was frustrating and disappointing when she would point and say, "Look over there do you see that -whatever animal it was at the time" and I couldn't see it. That happened several times that day. Like I mentioned it was very disappointing and made me feel abnormal or something. Have you learned to use the white cane yet? A lot of us blind people have to walk most of the time when we can't get a ride and I would encourage you to get Orientation & Mobility training to use a cane. I know it's hard, but don't just sit at home and vegetate, you just have to pull out your inner strength and courage and try to recreate or adapt to your new life as a blind person. State agencies in your area like the Florida Division of Blind Services where I live, should have vocational rehab and job placement services to help you, as well as providing Orientation & Mobility training. Maybe you could get a job answering the phone for a business or somewhere. Have you also considered learning braille? I am learning braille on my own using braille alphabet tiles that I bought from a website called FutureAids a.k.a The Braille Superstore. There is always grief and depression after a loss of any kind, vision loss included, but don't give up. Hang in there! I hope this helps you out and encourages you that there is life after blindness.

Re:I am totally out of ideas

The feelings you're experiencing are so normal, and I hope you can find some support where you live. I'm fortunate to work for Bosma Enterprises in Indianapolis, IN, and we have clients at varying stages of vision loss who hold one another up and struggle together in the transition process. I can tell you I work with individuals who have a before and after experience like you and are thriving professionally. Best to you, and vent away. It's healthy!

Re:I am totally out of ideas

I'm right there with you man. I'm a 37 year old former IT professional and graphics designer. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately it took going blind in my right eye to be diagnosed. The damage was done, i had thought my reduction in vision over the years was simply age catching up to me, but it was proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Now after 3 retinal detatchments and 14 surgeries, I'm almost completely blind in the right eye and my vision in my left is questionable at best. My career as a computer nerd is history, the computer screens just get washed out. I can't drive because of night blindness, most days I can't walk in a straight line. All the laser surgery left me with retinal scarring so bad that I'm now partially colorblind, can't see yellow, or tell the difference between green and blue. and lately I can't seem to find a job i can actually preform with any proficiency. if you can't tell, i take ALOT of anti-depressents, and all they do is make me gain weight. i'll probably be living on my sisters couch by next month, nobody wants to hire someone that needs help even filling out the application. is this where i write my name?
Sorry that sorta dragged on there... i'm really late, i'm really tired.
Hang in there, Family is what's important everything else is just window dressing. I'm sure your family don't even think twice about giving you a hand when you need it.

Re:I am totally out of ideas

Sometimes it just helps to vent without getting a lot of "have you tried's" and "You should try".
Because you have some adaptive equipment (CCTV and zoomtext) can I assume that you are or have received services from a state or private rehabilitation facility. Sometimes there is a local support group that is affiliated with one or the other.
If my assumption is wrong, on the afb home page (center section) is a place to find an agency or group to help.
There is also the CareerConnect section that may have a member who has a similar eye condition or circumstance that could help.

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