It is one of those things you hope never happens to you, and then it does. “Am I Going Blind?” (NY Times Feb. 23, 2018) is Frank Bruni’s intense and honest account of the life-altering experience known as vision loss. In his case, a stroke of the eye took a “chunk” of sight from one eye as he slept. And it might come back for more.
In the months that ensue, he navigates an altered dimension. There is the cycle of doctors, diagnostics, and treatment (or lack thereof). The seemingly endless stream of questions that sometimes are left hanging in the air. He resists the pull of fear or anger. Despite the increase in typos, he finds careful determination is key to adjusting as he works. He discovers the best antidote to weakness is strength.
He draws inspiration from others. David Tatel, a Federal Appeals Court Judge, who lost his sight 40 years before and coped successfully by never dwelling on it. Peter Walsten, Senior Politics Editor for the Washington Post, is not deterred by a lack of central vision. He tells Frank to remember, “it’s not your brain that’s affected, it’s your eyesight.” Joe Lovett, a filmmaker who documents his slowly progressing glaucoma in “Going Blind,” advises respect for the “blessings of the here and now’ because you cannot live in fear of “future losses.”
He is grateful for all the sights he can take in today and states, “My eyesight is in jeopardy. But I see some things more clearly than ever.” The fact is, he knows seeing clearly has little to do with visual acuity. I think it would be safe to say we can look forward to Frank Bruni’s clarity on the op-ed pages for a long time to come.
The article is recommended reading for anyone living with vision loss. It reminds us that life goes on.
Main Image Source: Ben Wiseman
About the Author
Dorrie Rush is a Visual Accessibility Expert and progressive proponent for Universal Access and Inclusive Design. She is the former Director of the Grunwald Technology Center and Information Resource Service at Lighthouse International 2001 to 2016. Dorrie is known to have an eccentric view, which is particularly useful in compensating for her central vision loss from Stargardt Disease.