So I am going away in October to Bali for a good friends birthday. She is one of my inspirational friends, well, all of my friends are, but she is extra special. She travels the world experiencing other places, cultures, people and all while keeping her career going. So, when she invited me to her special birthday I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way. This includes my fears, worries and judgments of myself and others Judgment of me. I wanted to be there to help her celebrate and when would I get the chance again, probably never! So I decided I would do it and deal with my emotions and concerns as we go. I am telling you this because in this blog I want to share with you a big part of a blind or VI persons’ life. ‘THE FIRSTS’
The firsts are something we can experience on a daily basis. It may not happen every day but I would say at the start of sight loss it does and it would maybe then reduce to around one a month. So let me explain what a first is. A first is something that you do or experience good or bad for the first time after sight loss or as your sight loss deteriorates. You realise you can no longer do it or you experience it in a different way. These are sometimes upsetting but can also sometimes be empowering. I will walk you through some of my firsts and I hope this gives you a little more insight into part of the journey we go through as a sight impaired person.
My first, first
This was the scariest of all. This happened directly after the accident. I sat there on the bathroom floor after hysterically running there, whilst my sons were following me to see what I had done. The first time I opened my eye lid and realised I couldn’t see. This is one and probably the only one first that will live with me forever.
My first, second
When Was in the hospital after coming round from surgery and I realised I needed to go to the toilet. Well let me tell you I had a mix of emotions about this. Who would take me? How would I wipe?? How would I wash my hands??? How would I get to the toilet? These all ran through my mind in the space of 10 seconds and I could feel the fear taking over. I mean I managed it with help from my mum and this I felt comfortable with and felt if I do something stupid it is ok it’s just my mum and come on she has seen me in all states. :0) So I done it the first toilet trip and I can safely say I manage the toilet all alone now!
My first, third
So my ext one would be the first time I ate on my own. This wasn’t in the hospital as I was literally spoon fed the whole time. This was some time after and I was sat at my own dinner table and I had a knife and fork. I managed to eat it all with only nudging some off of the plate. I have now mastered it and I have a system of bringing the food to the front of the plate. I have become used to mixing the food together creating as my auntie calls a perfect mouthful. Lol
My first, fourth
This was the first time I walked completely alone. I remember it like it was yesterday. It. Was with my rehabilitation officer Mavis. We were in the Manchester deaf centre, this is where they start the training. I learnt how to hold the cain, get comfortable with it and then she said of you go!! Well I was like WHAT! And then I did it. I walked from one end of the corridor to the other. I know this might not sound like much but let me say I have never been so nervous, scared, emotional and anxious in my life. Yet I have never, apart from the birth of my son felt a more sense of achievement and pride in myself. That moment, that first will stay with me as a positive first not a negative first forever.
My first, fifth
The first time I used my phone alone. This is kind of a second for me as I went through the same thing when I lost my right eye. Only this time having to learn to use it in a different way. The first time my husband was reading text to me and as we had not long met there were a few risky text lol Then I had to learn to use magnification and once I done that I could use it myself and regain my privacy. This time round was exactly the same although this time it was not just my husband reading my text it was everyone in the room as this time I had to learn to use voiceover. Yes thats right and as it was such a difficult and frustrating task at first it was easier just to allow someone to do it and everyone got a listen. Now though I am a pro at the voiceover on my iPhone, iPad and Macbook and thankfully I have headphones now!
My first, sixth
Well I am a coffee and tea drinker. Coffee is my favourite the smell has always got me. Love it! So as much as I was enjoying everyone making my hot beverages they just couldn’t make it how I liked. Fussy see! So that was it I decided I had to do this myself even if I was scared of burning my hands off. I was given a liquid level indicator from Mavis and was ready to go. Unfortunately this one was not as easy as I thought it would be. To give a little perspective I am on my fourth liquid level indicator. Lol I am defiantly getting better and figuring out if you hold the kettle a certain way and let it completely stop boiling before pouring then it helps. I admit with this I still get a little anxious but I will not let it stop me. I will ride out the emotions and look forward to my perfect brew!
I could really go on and on with these firsts I have experienced in this my sight loss journey and they are still happening a lot. If you have enjoyed reading this, perhaps I will do another series of these to continue sharing and hopefully giving you an insight into our journey.
Thank you so much for reading. Sending love and positivity