To backtrack a bit, on December 6, 2011 I received the hardest news I’ve ever had to deal with. During a standard eye exam (and to get new lenses in my glasses) the doctor diagnosed me with “Open-Angle Glaucoma”. I knew enough that glaucoma was not curable, only treatable. It didn’t help any that I had no insurance to cover the medication for my eyes.
Over the course of just a little over a year, I have had to watch my eyesight fade. When I found that I could no longer drive at night or when it was raining or snowing, I knew then my vision had gotten worse. Even the computer screen was getting fuzzy and I had to zoom everything on it to 150% just to read anything. Just about a month ago I applied for assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation’s Division for Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Voc. Rehab. scheduled me an appointment for a new eye exam with a visual field exam with an eye specialist. To give you an idea, in December of 2011, I had 20/20 in my left eye and full peripheral vision and I had lost 1/3 of my vision in my right eye with no peripheral vision. Now, one year later, I have only the vision of a “pinhole” in my right eye. My left eye, the vision has deteriorated to the point that I have less than 10% peripheral vision and I can only see what is directly in front of me. The computer screen is still fuzzy and not getting any better.
Now we have today, February 23, 2013. I have had several bouts where my vision will completely fade to black and I see nothing. I know this is where I will be in time, and yes it scares me. However I know I will survive this.
For the past 7 years I have been going to college to become a teacher in Special Education. With my going blind, Voc. Rehab. is teaching me Braille and how to get around on my own. The more I learn, while I still have what limited vision I have, will only help me in the future when I am completely blind.
At the first of February I ordered the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price in Braille. I was surprised to receive 11 beautiful binders of the scriptures in Braille. Now I can’t wait to learn how to read them. Of course my wife says they are just to big to carry to church, and she is right. Luckily I also have a Kindle Fire Tablet that has the scriptures on it and there is a built-in reader so I can hear them spoken.
Satan will try anything he can to break the Children of Heavenly Father, and he thought he would break me with this. Not going to happen. I’m only 2 classes away from finishing this part of my degree. I have the opportunity to do my student teaching at the Utah School for the Blind, but I have to learn Braille first, then go down to Salt Lake City to take a class on “Teaching the Visually Impaired” at the University of Utah.
I have a long ways to go and decided to blog about the journey.