Saturday, October 1, 2016

Unseen Disabilities

KK lives every day with a visual field cut. She has no peripheral vision on her right side -- a literal blind side. This field cut is something that is unseen -- both by KK and others. 

Just about two weeks ago, I had the privilege to speak at chapel at Holden Christian Academy. Before I spoke, KK and I did a little Q&A with the students. As we answered questions, I showed them how KK can't see anything on her right side. I heard the is shocking to realize just how much she cannot see. 

Oftentimes, the loss of her peripheral vision is not a big deal. Every now and then, it means she bumps into things and later on we wonder how she got a bruise on her leg. I have learned to use my words to give KK a verbal cue when things are on her blind side. She often asks to hold my left arm so that I am on her blind side. We have adapted.

The most difficult part of having a visual field cut happens when she bumps into people. It is especially difficult because people get upset and don't understand why she would walk right into them. Today, we tried to navigate our way through a large crowd. I apologized to people that KK accidentally bumped into and tried to quickly explain that she couldn't see anything on her right. By the time we got through the crowd, KK was scared and in tears. 

I think it is time to talk to her team at Dana Farber about getting an Identification Cane to help people see this unseen disability.

1 comment:

Heidi Peterson said...

I think that's an excellent idea. Glad you are so good at working the problems as they arise, Tanya.