Friday, January 10, 2014

It's the little things

One thing I have come to realise is that the littlest tasks can cause me frustration. As my eyesight has deteriorated I've noticed that tasks I normally wouldn't think about while doing are becoming more difficult. At first I get surprised that I'm having difficulty, then determined to do it, then just plain frustrated. The world really was not created with vision impaired and blind people in mind. 

I now find it difficult to decipher between coins when paying for things. Here in Australia, our 1 dollar and 2 dollar coins are gold (the 1 dollar is larger for some reason) and the rest silver. I can't tell the difference between the two gold coins even though they are different sizes unless I have the two in my fingers. Same with the silvers, I can't tell the difference between a 5 cent and 10 cent coins. Luckily I can still differentiated between the colours of the notes. 

Another thing I have difficulties with is using the ATM. I find myself with my nose almost touching the screen or withdrawing a surprise amount of cash. Or even better still, I press the wrong button and it cancels my transaction and I need to start again. I've taken to using the same ATM machines because they are predictable, unlike most of life, and I have learnt which buttons I need to press.

And then there is my number 1 addiction made harder - using my credit card to shop online. What smart person thought it would be clever to put the numbers so they are almost invisible even to well sighted people?! By the time I've correctly entered my card number I've usually given up, which is probably a good thing for my addiction. 

As much as I don't want to rely on others, I need to accept that I may well need to and that it is ok to do so. I could always carry around my magnifier and whip it out when I need it although I think I'd prefer to ask for help! It's intriguing how the littlest things can cause so much continual frustration. The sooner I realise that it's not worth wasting energy on, I can find a way to improve life. Giant credit cards anybody?!


  1. I was diagnosed with Stargardt's at the age of 13. By the time they figured out what was wrong with me (it took them a year), my vision had already deteriorated to the point of legal blindness. I am now 34 and I have had a long time to adjust to my condition. However, I still find it very difficult to ask for assistance, especially from strangers. My friends, husband, and even my son, yell at me when I get frustrated and don't ask for help. If it makes you feel better, you are not alone with the money thing. When they changed the nickels to the new nickel, I discovered they are larger and thinner then the old ones. Then I realized I can't tell the difference between the nickels and the quarters. I also hate ATMs and the little machines you use in the stores when you swipe your card. All of them work differently and all of them have tiny script. About the only good thing there is I can't drive so no matter where I go I usually have someone who can see with me to read whats on the screen.

    I have learned most things in life are not made for the blind. But look at the bright side, you have beyond excellent hearing, smell, touch and taste senses. I try to use those as much as I can and not rely on my sight.

  2. Little that awkward moment when the checkout person hands you your receipt and you fumble the air trying to find it. Or some says, "hey, pour me a cup of coffee" -geez! Thanks for this blog, it's great!

  3. little things like going through the drive thru and can't see what is on the menu...

  4. My boyfriend has Stargardts Disease, I read your blogs too him almost everyday, he feels happy too know that someone understands and gets what he is going through.

    Thank you so much
    you are an inspiration

  5. Yes, we Stargardter have trouble with the little things, but I found out that we can be good with the big things. So many people just see the little things and completely miss the "big picture". Examples? Others discuss whether the hair of this dancer is painted realistically or not, we see the geometric composition of the whole picture and how it relates to its neighbors. Others comment on the prizes in the shop window, but we can see the intriguing architecture of the whole building. Others wait impatiently for the bus, but we can can relax as we can hear it nearing already for a while. etc. etc.
    Cheers! Lorenz

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