Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)

Search

Loading...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Phyllis Slater's Story: Part One 1995 - 2000

By Phyllis Slater

1995 - 2000

At a yearly check-up with my ophthalmologist (M.D. specializing in eye care), I told him the story about how I twice took the side passenger mirror off our car while pulling into the garage.  Considering how my husband cares about cars, he was surprisingly calm about my little “mishaps”. Another time I almost walked into a waitress who was walking towards me.  At the last moment I saw her and move to the right. Oh yes, what about the time I walked into a yellow cone warning me the floor was wet.  Darn those fighting cones.  Ha. Ha.

A visit to the Retinal Specialist gave me a diagnosis for my vision problem.  It was Retinitis Pigmentosa.  A quick web search on the
Internet told me RP, as they call it, is an hereditary disease for which there is no cure.  In my particular case there is no family history of RP. My grandparents came from Eastern Europe early in the 20th century, so my early family history is lost.  I called the Retinal Specialist back and he explained the genes thought to cause RP could lie dormant for generations  Further, the doctor explained the progress of the disease is unpredictable:  No one can predict whether my field of vision will narrow and then stabilize, stop at some point, reduce to only shadows, or leave me totally blind.  What’s in store for me?

 As an administrative assistant and organizer for twenty-five years, I
set  down on paper how I felt and what could I do further.  The Retinal Specialist said studies show high levels of Vitamin A Palmitate and low doses of Vitamin E are recommended.

 Realizing this bit of misfortune was not my fault, in the future I must be gentle with myself. I’ll try to keep things simple: Make sure furniture isn’t moved from accustomed locations; move breakable items to safer places; be extra careful about spilling liquid and other items than could make the floor slippery.

 When I was at the deli counter recently, I could see the food in the
 glass display.  Even the price tags weren’t problem to read.  However, when the  counter person handed me my purchase  - I could not see it. She was holding the package in my blind spot. I thanked her for the help and mentioned I was developing a blind  spot.  She smiled her understanding.  That was my first experience with  admitting my new challenge to others.  It was not as hard as I expected... Accepting the idea that  I must change the way I do things,  the next few years will be spent learning from others.

 In the meantime, life will continue, and a new “normal” will develop.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter

Archives

Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at fredshead@aph.org.

Disclaimers

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.



The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.





The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.





Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.





Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.





Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email fredshead@aph.org to request permission.





Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.





Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.





Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.