“I’m Visually Impaired, But . . .”

by Dan Roberts

As we age, we face a number of challenges not enjoyed by the young. It seems like every day brings another condition that makes us wonder, “Is this the Big One that’s going to do me in?”

Fortunately, most of these conditions are temporary, rearing their heads only to warn us that we’re not as young as we used to be. Maybe that extra cupcake was not a good idea. Maybe that extra step up the ladder wasn’t worth wearing an ace bandage the rest of the summer. Maybe if I had a better way of sorting my mail, I would have remembered to pay that water bill.

But unfortunately, some ailments don’t go away. Age can bring on vision and hearing loss, memory decline, osteoporosis, arthritis, incontinence, diabetes, and any number of other nasty annoyances to make us miserable. And the older we get, the more they pile up, until we start thinking that maybe old man Job didn’t have it so bad after all.

That’s when we need to boost our morale by putting things into perspective. We can start by reminding ourselves of specialties we have developed, or hope to develop, that can give us the confidence to continue down a road filled with obstacles. In other words, what specialities do we have that can balance the negatives? That question can be answered by completing this thought:
“I have [a condition that’s tough to deal with], but . . .”

Below are responses by 30 people from the MD Support community who were asked to finish the sentence as it relates to their vision. We encourage you to make your own list, and then allow your specialties (you know you have them) to balance, or even outweigh, the challenges in your life. With how many of these can you identify? How many more can you add?

“I’m visually impaired. but . . .
. . . it doesn’t define me.”
. . . I’m very thankful for the good things I have.”
. . . I’m a trouper!”
. . . I have a strong and determined mind.”
. . . it’s just one part of my life, and I’m getting on with it.”
. . . I’m a good planner.”
. . . I know how to adapt.”
. . . I keep up on assistive technology.”
. . . I’m persistent.”
. . . I’m otherwise healthy.”
. . . I’m financially secure enough to take care of myself.”
. . . I’m proactive.”
. . . I don’t hesitate to ask for help.”
. . . I believe in myself.”
. . . I have a full life.”
. . . I have supportive friends and family.”
. . . I’m anxious to learn new ways to do things.”
. . . I can dance.”
. . . I make things happen.”
. . . I have found that living in the world of books is a pretty good replacement for people no longer around.”
. . . I believe in dreams.”
. . . I believe in a higher power.”
. . . I still have my sense of humor.”
. . . I have employment skills.”
. . . I keep busy volunteering.”
. . . I’m working through it and overcoming the fear.”
. . . I have confidence in the future.”
. . . I’m trying every day to adjust to the new norm.”
. . . I continue to learn how to help others.”
. . . I continue to learn how to help myself.”
Now it’s your turn.