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May 16th, 2006

01:54 pm
Part 2, The Reader's Digest Version

I'm back, y'all. Woo! I've been avoiding this long enough.

So, as you might have guessed by my disappearance, my second surgery didn't go so well. I lost about half the vision I had in my remaining eye. Functionally, it seems worse than half. I can see blurry outlines of stuff and a little color. The best description I can think of is that its like wearing sunglasses that have been slightly melted and smeared up with Vaseline. I'm not going to sugarcoat this. It sucks ass. I can't read print anymore. TV is a lot less interesting and I an done with video games. I'm pissed but I've also reached the point where I'm doing everything I can to adapt and get on with my life. I'm learning Braille. I'm working with a mobility instructor who is teaching me how to get around using a cane. I taught myself to type (I've always had to cheat and look at the keyboard - lame, I know.). And I am figuring out how to use my computer with a magnification/screen reader program. I get frustrated a lot and am still kinda bummed out about everything. But, I'll survive.

I'm too impatient to waste a lot of time learning all these new skills so I've decided to go to The Carroll Center, a facility near Boston that offers a residential rehabilitation program for people with sudden vision loss. I will go to class 5 days a week for about 12 weeks and get a crash course in how to be blind. They'll teach me Braille, mobility, personal management skills, and skills for doing things around the house. I'm sure that I'll learn a bunch of other stuff too but those are the biggies. I could learn all of this stuff here but it could take a couple of years. I like the idea of total immersion learning where I can focus and learn everything at once. I think the Carroll Center offers the best option for helping me adjust as quick as possible.

I'm leaving on June 11, for a 2 week evaluation at the Carroll Center. They'll figure out how messed up I am and let me know how long I need to stay and what I need to learn. I'll go back in September to complete the rehab program that they set up for me. I'm feeling apprehensive about being away from Randy for so long, but I am also excited to get started. I feel like I'll come home feeling a lot more confident and comfortable with my situation. I'll have mad skillz that will allow me to have an independent lifestyle. If I'm going to be blind, I plan on being really good at it. The more skills I pick up, the better. I also think I will benefit from spending time with people who are going through the same things I am experiencing. I think it will help me get past my bitter/depressed phase. I'll get to bitch and get things off my chest and exorcise all my demons. I don't feel like I can do that here with people I know. It's too much pathetic whining to dump on people who, as much as they try, can't fully understand what I'm bitching about and why.

My trip to the Carroll Center will also give me some good subject matter for my blog instead of my usual insignificant rambling. I'll have a lot of free time to kill in the dorm in the evenings so I am planning to do daily updates about my experiences. I hope it will be interesting. It will at least be therapeutic for me. I've also never done an update from outside the state of Oklahoma so it will be an audreysaudities first. Woo!

I gotta jet. I'm short on time right now. I'm done avoiding this thing so I'll have more soon. Later.