I have been writing my blog now for about eight months and it was brought to my attention that some people might want to hear how a blind (or almost blind) person does day to day life. So, I thought I’d dedicate this post to giving a glance at some things I do a little differently then some people. I hope to bring some awareness to life with a disability and help others not take for granted the abilities they have and use those abilities to the fullest. I also hope it gives some inspiration to someone who feels like life is just too hard with a disability; with God, all things are possible! (Matthew 19;26).
My mornings consist of dragging myself out of bed by 6:30 or 7 o’clock to get going on my morning tasks. I have found that using the Kurig has been the answer to a blind girl’s coffee conundrum. I have never been good at making coffee but you factor in the whole measuring thing and then trying to fill a tiny water reservoir and it often times ends up in a mess. But then this nifty little invention came out and, poof! Problem solved. Here is the first example of how we can view a modern convenience as more than just convenient. I still have enough vision to pour cream in without too much trouble. However, if I am not at home and my environment is very different, this poses a problem. Lighting plays an enormous factor in how well I see or poorly I see. It can make me feel a bit like a child to have someone pour my cream for me at times. But I am so grateful I have loved ones and friends who are willing to assist me.
(Side note— Using the individual little creamers, like from a restaurant, are handy as well)
It’s now time for the animals, assuming they have let me get my coffee first. My dog is very routine as well as my cat. They each get treats in the morning and will sit in the same places every morning until they get them. After they are taken care of, it’s time for me to sit and have my devotional time. I have my Bible on my phone as I’m sure many of you do. There is an audio version on it but what if I want to just read a couple verses? Well I have voice over capability on my IPhone. I just touch the screen and it will read line by line to me. I will get devotional books from audible or download devotional apps to read. This means I have to have earbuds of some sort with me most of the time so as not to disturb others around me, if in fact others are around me. Voice over means privacy is limited, but having the earbuds helps with that. The second example of modern technology being more than just having the latest new gadget. This phone allows me to read my bible first thing in the morning, last thing at night, 3:00 a.m.— whenever the Lord impresses me to. I also really enjoy hearing the author read his or her devotional with emphasis on the places they intend in their devotionals.
(Side note— I love to listen to a book or devotional while I’m cooking, folding laundry, doing dishes, etc.)
There are a couple of medications I have to take daily. We have several medicine bottles around so I place a rubber band on mine so I know which ones to take without having to ask someone else. In the shower, I have a rubber band around my shampoo bottle as well to differentiate between it and the conditioner bottle. I use rubber bands for many things like this around the house. Telling the difference between my toothbrush and my husband’s, putting one on the ranch dressing bottle because it’s my go-to dressing, putting two rubber bands on the onion powder but only one on the garlic powder, things like that.
(Side note— I’ve also used foamy letter stickers on certain things like makeup, other seasonings, cleaners; to identify what they are. I can feel the outline of the letter and know what it is.)
I love to cook and try new recipes. I have rounded “bump dots” that I place on my oven to mark the temperatures I use the most. I line up the arrow on the dial with the dot and… voila! Oven is preheating. The burners are a little trickier. I have a glass top stove so it’s totally flat and smooth. I use what sight I have to get it as close as I can but I usually have to adjust the pan once it gets cooking. I can hear the difference in how rapidly it’s boiling for example so I know when it’s mostly centered. I also listen for a certain sound meat makes when it’s being browned. It crackles more when it’s almost done.
(Side note— I keep my wooden spoons and cooking utensils in one crock on the counter and all my little cooking tools in another so it’s easier to find them when needed)
I have a color identifier for choosing my clothing that is close in color shades. I have a liquid indicator to hang on the side of my glass to know when it’s full while pouring a drink (admittedly I don’t use that one a lot). I have a computer program that talks to me as I’m typing to do these posts. I use the same program for Emails, searching on the internet for resources, creating folders, and all the techy stuff I can seem to figure out along the way. I do have certain frustrations that I can’t jury-rig my way around. Things like, if I drop something on the floor, it’s not just bending down and picking it up. It’s down on my hands and knees, feeling around on the flor until I find it. Of course, this is also how I determine that my floor needs sweeping. If I or someone in my household, eh-hem… leaves a chair or TV tray, or any other non-regular object out where it shouldn’t be, I will likely find it with my toes or this and knock it over. I have a gift of finding any cup with something in it and knocking it over. Having to memorize the remote control and TV stations. These are just part of my life. It’s frustrating, sometimes exhausting, often exasperating, but it’s my life. I can focus on the spilled drinks, lost items on the floor, rubber bands as a staple décor piece, or I can be eternally grateful for the fact that I will never judge someone on sight, always have a special appreciation for a lyrical voice, listen closely to the pastor’s sermon because I’m not visually distracted. We can always find the negatives in everything, but it will never bring contentment or peace. Focusing on positives can give a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and purpose. If I have to get down on my hands and knees then there is my lunges or squats for the day. If rubber bands are part of my décor, I promise you I won’t just have to worry about staying on trend. If I have to use earbuds to hear my phone, that just means more time I can block out all the negativity surrounding me with God’s word. Friends always, ALWAYS, look for all the good things or your days will be empty of joy. It’s there, grab a hold of it and run with it! You will be a trend setter and people will want to be around you just for your positive attitude. It’s infectious.