Blind. It is not a word I use to describe my son. I say, “He’s lost all vision in his left eye.” I have to say all because some people just don’t grasp that he is, well, blind in that eye. But, to me, he’s not blind. He sees just fine. He sees as well as you or I do…although, he did inherit the in-laws poor vision. Still, I don’t consider him blind.
The school has asked us to have his doctors fill out an ocular report because it may get him some additional resources for school. A friend who grew up with hearing impairment had recommended a similar thing to us, so, I was all for it. After procrastinating, forgetting then being reminded by Mr. F, I finally took the form to the retina doctor’s office to get it completed. I was hoping that I could just drop it off at the desk and return a few days later with BLI (blind) and PRO (prosthesis) written in the line for left eye.
Only, the form also requested the near distance and far distance vision of the right eye. It requires refractivity or some such medical term. So, the doctor’s assistant firmly stated that they don’t do that kind of thing there so they could not fill it out. I tried to protest. I asked if they could just fill out BLIND. It was to no avail because this lady was unmovable. I started to walk away then started to go back. Away. Back. Away.
From her point of view, and likely the agency that would be reading the report, the form needs to be filled out completely. For a moment though, I was stumped. Where do I go? What to I do? The doc that knows he’s blind doesn’t know his prescription but the doc for the prescription doesn’t know Mik is blind. The cornea specialist probably wouldn’t be able to fill it out either. The Ocularist isn’t even a doctor.
Sitting there in the car, it overcame me. Why does it all have to be so complicated? I just want someone to say he’s blind but I have to jump through hoops to get that. Everything on this journey has been about jumping through hoops. He’s blind, for goodness sake! He’s blind.
That’s when I stared crying. He’s blind.
So all this time I’ve been “really strong” about the injury and infection. I treated the loss as something insignificant and signed the kid up for gymnastics, told him to ride a bike, and jump into the pool. I call his prosthesis his “eye” and take it in and out everyday. Then a silly little form comes along that makes me cry like a toddler whose scraped their knee after falling on the concrete sidewalk. Perhaps, I haven’t really dealt with this loss after all.
When it is all said and done, I stick by my original statement. I don’t think of him as being blind. He sees just fine. You can call it that if you want but it’s not a word in my vocabulary.