Vision going dark/Walking in the Light 2/23/2013

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.

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Describe an Aha! Moment!

Some may think this is silly, however, I get an aha moment every night.  In our house, it is crowded.  We actually have 3 different households in one house.  The main one, mine, contains my wife, our oldest grandson, Micah, and myself.  The second household contains our daughter, her fiance and their son (our 4th grandson and brother to the oldest grandson) (We have full custody of the oldest one).  And lastly the mother of our soon-to-be son-in-law.  The aha moment is when everyone goes to BED!!!!

Daily Blog 1-3-11

Well today has been a blast.  I have changed my major for my bachelors degree to general studies and everything I’ve taken is applied towards that degree.  I only have 2 classes I have to take to finish up, senior seminar and government and politics.  So I got creative, hehehehe.  senior seminar is 16 weeks online, then I took 3 – 8 week courses.  Gov’t & Politics is in the 2nd block so it doesn’t start until March 21.  The other 2 – 8 week courses all start the same day as senior seminar, but both of them are religion classes.  Intro to religion and teachings of paul.  I am so stoked for both of these classes, I love biblical studies and learning about other beliefs.  It doesn’t change my religious beliefs at all, yet it does help me in being able to communicate with those of other beliefs better.  The Teachings of Paul, now those I love.  If I have a favorite section out of the New Testament, it is these teachings.  It’s hard to believe I’m almost done with this step of my education.  Now to prepare for the second part, the masters then the doctorate.  I look forward to the challenge and what I’m going to learn.

Daily Blog 1/2/11

Good day everyone.  Today was fast and testimony at church.  I bore my testimony today and mentioned how I use Mormon.org to share my testimony with those in the world who are searching for the fullness of the gospel.  Besides going to school, my life and that of my family are so surrounded with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So much so, even a picture of the Lord is over our desks.  All of my education is dedicated to the Lord.  I made a promise to my Heavenly Father I would never touch my books on the Sabbath, in return I would get good grades, which I have.  With this year being dedicated again unto the Lord, my classes and my service unto him is just as important.  Many teachers go into this field because they want to touch young minds.  I’m not any different on that point, however, so many student who have learning disabilities do not feel good enough about themselves.  I want to help change that.  In becoming a teacher and psychologist, I feel I can do both.  Even working with students who are in crisis, with my Associates degree in criminal justice, I know what things to look for and maybe be that interceding person to help save a young person from falling between the cracks.  Even if I can help just one child, then all I’ve worked for will be worth it.  The more I can help, the greater the blessing.  However, I do not do it alone, my Heavenly Father guides me and I do it all in the name of his son, Jesus Christ.  I do what I can today, tomorrow doesn’t exist only on the calendar.  The past cannot be changed, only today.  The differences I make today can make the biggest changes tomorrow.

postaday2011/1-1-11

Happy New Year.  Well, it’s the start of a brand new year.  Didn’t do any partying last night, unless you call playing games of Yahtzee, Boggle, Scatagories with the family at midnight a party.  We rang in the new year pretty quiet and that is the way the day has gone so far.  It is now to see what this new year brings.  A possible buyer for the house was supposed to call today, however I’m suspecting he really didn’t want to bother us on a holiday.  I hope he doesn’t call tomorrow as that is the sabbath day and I don’t do any business on that day, at all.  Well, I’m not doing anything else today, so I’m going to close for today and write more later.

postaday2011

Hi, everyone.  Well today is December 31, 2010, New Years Eve.  Another year gone and a new year to look forward too.  2010 has been interesting, heartbreaking, inspiring, spiritually uplifting, rewarding and nerve-wracking.  To look forward to better things in 2011, I have to look back to help set guidelines and hopeful plans for this new year. 

Interesting:  School has been very interesting.  I finished up on classes the 17th of Dec. and passed with A’s and B’s.  I’m only 1 credit hour short towards my bachelors degree.  I also look forward to starting on my double masters degree in the fall of 2011.

Heartbreaking:  Well this was not to good of a year in family and friends.  Actually the middle of Dec. of 2009  I lost my baby sister, Lou to cancer, as well as losing my dear beloved sister-in-law Becci on the 18th of Jan. 2010 (13 days after her 60th birthday).  I’ve also lost dear friends also to cancer and other illnesses.

Inspiring and spiritual uplifting:  I’m combining these two, because they go hand-in-hand.  My dad passed away in Feb. 2009, and as my family and I are LDS, I knew I would be able to do the temple work for my dad, one year after his passing.  My mom passed away in 1993, and I honestly had been holding off having her temple work done to do them together.  In April of this year, I was able to do that.  Neither of my parents were LDS, so it was left up to me to do their work.  So, in one day, my wife and I baptized and confirmed both her parents and mine in the temple.  We then went through temple sessions, her for her mom, then for my mom, while I did my dad and then her dad.  Then we went into the sealing room and by proxy, married and sealed for time and all eternity her parents together and my parents together.  Then the most touching and emotional part came.  My wife was sealed to her parents for time and all eternity, then it was my turn.  Mine was interesting though.  My twin sister and I had been adopted when we were 5 days old.  To me, this eternally sealed me to my parents.  Even though I have blood siblings and my birthmother, the people who raised me and adopted me are my parents and I am now eternally a part of them.

Nerve-wracking:  Ever try to sell a house?  Talk about the biggest pain in the rear end.  We have been trying to sell this house since August 2010, and had a few people interested, but no takers.  Hopefully this will change in 2011.  We have so much waiting for us in Utah it is unbelievable.  With my oldest grandson being deaf, there is a fantastic deaf school close to where we will be living.  I’ll be able to finish school, online here in Missouri, even though I will be living in Utah.  The college I will be attending in Utah is Weber State University, and this is where I’ll be working on my master’s degree, which will take 3 years to complete.  I should be completing it just before my 60th birthday.

Future goals:  After getting my master’s, I will transfer to the University of Utah to work on my doctorate in psychology.  That will be in the fall of 2014.  That’s a ways away, but it’s my goal.  Well, that’s it for the end of 2010.  Let’s see what 2011 has to bring, starting tomorrow.

Next school term

Well, today is December 29, 2010, in just 3 days it will be 2011.  Some things are not going like I had hoped they would.  I’m still trying to sell this house, so our moving to Utah is drastically delayed.  I’ve been accepted to Weber State in Ogden, however I can’t get anyone to talk to me and classes start on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011.  I don’t have any books, nothing.  So, at the suggestion of another friend of mine, I’m going to change my major to General Studies and get my Bachelors degree that way.  I should not have any problem with completing it, basically a couple of classes and I’m done.  I already have 123 credits and you only need 124 to graduate.  1 stinking credit hour.  UGH!!!  Oh well, I’m going to take the classes online to finish, so if the house sells and we move I won’t have to worry about it.  I don’t plan on walking for my bachelors, as hopefully I will be in Utah by that time.  Last year I walked for my Associates, so that was the beginning.  I still have a Masters and a Doctorate to work on.  My Masters will be a double degree in special education and psychology, then I will go for my doctorate in Psychology.  My goal is to teach on both the high school level and the university level in psychology, besides having a private practice. 

I’m more interested in working with students who are deaf and have learning disabilities.  Yet my psychology I also want to work with youth that are dealing with child abuse issues, in all forms.  To coin an old phrase, to better be able to work with those with problems, you, yourself have to walk the walk and talk the talk.  Not all psychology majors come from an abusive background, those that have and recovered from it, learned to deal and heal from it and are sensitive enough to it, are the best to help those who are going through it.  It’s like a 12 step program, alcoholics can talk to other alcoholics, drug addicts to drug addicts, because they have been there and done those same things. 

Working with students who have learning disabilities, I understand this one myself.  I have dyslexia, although by my typing and the way I phrase things you would never think it.  I graduated from high school (barely), yet the teachers didn’t teach me how to read or write.  I had to learn that on my own.  Dyslexia was not diagnosed at that time, so I struggled to learn.  I would learn by pictures and images, thus I am a visual learner.  It didn’t help I am hearing impaired as well, although it was not diagnosed until I was 50 years old.  I was always being told I was not listening.  NO I couldn’t hear you. 

Becoming a teacher and a psychologist, fits with who I am, with who I’ve become in my life.  I am also a person who enjoys learning, in any way I can get it.  I jokingly say, “I’m a jack of all trades and a master of some”.  I don’t forget how to do things.  I was a meat cutter, I still remember how to do that.  Secretary for over 20 years, there isn’t very much that I don’t know how to do, except maybe brain surgery. LOL

Anyway, this is what I’m planning on doing for this next term.way