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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Losing my sight to Optic Neuritis

I have MS, it wasnt bad enough that I survived breast cancer way back when, and was told to pack my bags. I didnt listen and took some pretty aggressive treatments. Well, long story short is I lived! its been 19 years, but it is not without its damage. My immune system over reacted and started attacking itself, and this includes my optic nerves. If I get over stressed or over heated the optic nerve or ON swells making it feel like someone smeared vaseline all over my glasses. its all fuzzy. I can tell light from dark, but am left with a world of grey. Cant read books, cant watch TV, Cant master knitting or sewing without running over my fingers OUCH! but Im trying. I get out and RUN every morning. My husband is a good spotter, and while this is a come and go thring right now, it will become permenant and last longer and longer. What tips can you give me to be ready? Should I get a doggie now while I can see and train him/her? should I get special programs? I already swtiched to listening to books instead of reading them. I wear sunglasses in the grocery store to keep my ON from freaking out. I dont run alone...what advice would you give to someone like me who is headed straight at your world? How do I prepare for this? Im more than a lil freaked out.

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Re:Losing my sight to Optic Neuritis

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Re:Losing my sight to Optic Neuritis

first you need to know how to use a cane, a dog might be useful like another poster said it's personal choice but a cane is important learn how to use a white cane, obtain one and use it often. learn to landmark and feel textural changes. Also, yeah, learning blind tech and braille is crucial but braille is even more so.

also, don't be be ashamed of your eyes, learn nott to be and be proud of who you are if your eyes happen to scare people, oh well, they'll have to learn to deal with it, and tough because you're blind and so what? also, learn to relax a bit and take things without stressing out a lot, because a lot of stresses come in life and to always stress is not fun. I get criticized for laughing a lot and finding a lot of things funny. I never change because I smile about most of my challenges. people might be freaking out and I am like okay, whatever, I'll just figure this out. no damn use stressing like that. also, as a blind person grow some tough skin. you'll get some mean insulting comments because they are ignorant and don't know and don't ever want to learn, and keep making them. and you'll have lots of challenges so you need to be tough and face them

Re:Losing my sight to Optic Neuritis

I know what it is like to lose sight. My site has been degenerating in bits and bobs over the last 30 years.

When I moved to Nevada the Bureau of Services for the Blind and the National Statler Center for Careers in Hospitality helped me greatly with technology, training and finding an employer.


Re:Losing my sight to Optic Neuritis

I'd just like to piggyback on that last post, and say that, YOU GO GIRL!!!!

Re:Losing my sight to Optic Neuritis

hi. first off, congrats on overcoming everything that you have so far. My son and i are also cancer survivers.
My suggestion would be to begin educating yourself on adaptive products available to blind/low vision folks, there are hundreds of assistive living devices, from cooking items, to games, color identifiers, screen magnifiers, braille/speech software... you name it.
Start learning how to get around your home, and maybe other places with which you are familiar while wearing a blindfold to improve your spacial awareness: maybe even practice some Orientation/mobility with a professional accessed through your state's visual services organization. You could even teach yourself braille online, and/or gain access to braille materials. Biggest thing is try not to panic, it's not as bad as it would appear to be. like i said, you've overcome more difficult things in your life, you're obviously tough, and you'll get through this. As for a dog, that always comes down to personal preference. i've been totally blind since i was six, and never found a need for one. either way, training for service animals is done by specialists, not by the user. whoever provided your dog should you choose to go that route, would train you on how to use it.
best of luck to you.

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