in our hoUSe.....!

in our hoUSe.....!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What can you see?

I've never asked my daughters this question before!  Since one of them is visiting us this week, I decided to now ask this question and one other.  We were sitting in our office area - she on the floor; DH and I in our respective chairs at our computers.  I turned to look directly at her and said: "Look straight at my nose and tell me what you see."  My elbows were resting on the arms of my chair, and I was about 5' away from her.  She could see my face and my extended elbows, the tops of my knees, and she was aware of the light from the window behind me and the stained glass disk hanging in the window.  She could NOT see my legs below the knees, the floor, the top of my computer cabinet, or anything on the wall above it.

Retinitis Pigmentosa
ONE of the aspects of Usher Syndrome
The limits of her field of vision shocked me.  I'm not really sure why because we knew that she had recently had to give up her driver's license because she could not pass the visual field test.  She "never saw the moving light at all!"  Normal peripheral vision is close to 180 degrees.  Hers is about 30, so we're told.

This prompted my next question - one I have been reluctant to ask, but she willingly answered.  "Are you relieved to no longer be driving?"  I had thought her need to give up driving would be a crisis, a critical life-altering experience to which she would VERY slowly adjust, find her drivers as necessary, and go into some type of immediate - and understandable - depression.  Instead, she has been more pro-active than usual, found people willing to provide services in her home (the hairdresser, the dog groomer, the speech pathologist), found drivers for work, back-up drivers when needed, friends and neighbors to drive her to shop and to attend to daily needs, and SHE IS VASTLY RELIEVED!!!

I had no idea how stressful driving had become for her.  She had for several years given up driving at night and in rain, but honestly, she and I had driven several times in recent years between NC and New England, sharing the driving almost equally.  She never drove in the NY - DC stretch, but who likes that stretch of 95 anyway?  I NEVER felt uncomfortable with her driving or concerned for her or my safety.

Well, all that's behind her now, and she has handled the changes with aplomb.  It has not been a crisis; it has been a gift.  By her own admission, she manages things in her life much better on a deadline and so her driving needs have been addressed and arranged - all before her vacation in NC!  I am immensely proud!

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