Whether the environment is dark or a new form of unstable, it's good to have a plan
Whether the environment is dark or a new form of unstable, it’s good to have a plan

 Top 10 Ways to Cope with Vision Loss

With Retinitis Pigmentosa (or RP, for short), a progressive eye disease that continually diminishes your field of vision, there isn’t a single adjustment, one is continually adjusting to new loss. At times, it’s slow and stealthy. Other times, it seems like every day you feel your vision is worsening. It takes a toll on your psyche.

About five years ago I went through an awful period. I felt like I was losing vision as often I now lose things around my apartment. Trust me, that’s a lot! I went through the wringer, emotionally. How did I cope?

Here are the top 10 ways I got through it. 

I offer them now as advice. 

1. Tap into faith, meditation, whatever works to release tension.

2. Keep a journal and date it. Name your fears. Write down your frustrations. It will give you insights later.

3. Stop blaming yourself for something beyond your control.
Don’t say, ‘How could I be so clumsy?’ Our words define us so avoid negative talk. Safeguard your house as much as you can and seek training from a low vision professional in your community. But know that mishaps will happen so be sure you have a good soft ice gel pack to bring down swelling for everyday accidents. 

4. Talk out your fears and frustration with one or more friends. I had some that made me laugh at myself and others that encouraged me with kind words.

5.  Cry. Scream. Wail. Then get over it.

6.  Offer kindness to yourself. Whether it’s ice cream, lunch out with a friend, or a nap, give yourself a treat when you have a bad vision day.

7.  Focus on what you CAN see and do and not what you CAN’T.
For instance, I love running but couldn’t do it safely in my neighborhood. So I found a springy track at the high school. As an added bonus, the many lanes provided extra space to run cockeyed and still stay safe!

8.  Shift your outlook. RP = Remain Positive. Find a mentor who copes well with vision loss and emulate his or her philosophy.

9.  Imagine yourself as a sitcom star. Laugh at what a hilarious character you’d make!

10. Decide on a plan of action.
Fear of losing one’s independence and livelihood is HUGE when you’re losing a lot of vision. Create a professional game plan. Use, friends, rehabilitation counselors and anyone else who might offer good input. Assess your talents and natural interests, then find a way to channel these in a profession. For example, I couldn’t teach in the classroom anymore because of my vision and hearing issues. But I knew a lot about how to educate and was enthusiastic. So I adapted my skills to the public realm and became an inspirational speaker. 

Not knowing how to channel emotions during periods of abrupt loss and change debilitates a person. Vision loss is out of one’s control but the one thing, I realized is that I do have control over how to RESPOND and that empowered me. 

encourage

There’s nothing remarkable about any of these coping strategies. I’m not an expert eye professional though after so many years of facing vision loss, I now think of myself as an experienced combat vet! These are simply choices I made during a bad period of vision loss. I continue to make them because they bring me light in my confusion. See which ones work for you! 
***
You have just read, Top 10 Ways to Cope with Vision Loss.  Copyright July 14, 2015.  Please leave a comment and share. 
Top 10 Ways to Cope with Vision Loss
Spread the love

12 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways to Cope with Vision Loss

  • July 14, 2015 at 10:00 pm
    Permalink

    So much of life is attitude. I thank you for this. Not only did my mother in law face eye cancer last year (she kept her vision) but, in a falls prevention program, I met several participants who had RP. I’ve shared this on Facebook and Twitter.

  • July 14, 2015 at 10:03 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you, Alana.
    Eye cancer! It seems like there is a never-ending source of cancer nowadays. So glad she was able to keep her vision.
    The more I hear about the Falls Prevention class, the more intriguing I find it.
    Thanks again for passing it on.
    Amy

  • July 15, 2015 at 4:18 am
    Permalink

    there is something very personal and symbolic for me in the “eye matter”… though my sister’s vision is ok, she went through whole bunch of operations, weird glasses etc… and it wasn’t until that one operation she had when I was 16 that I saw her as my friend… I got scared and thought that one tiny mistake of the surgeon and she might be blind for life… that was it. From constant fighting to sisterly love 😀

  • July 15, 2015 at 6:10 am
    Permalink

    Hi Emilia,
    Glad that something from my words touched you! It’s funny what brings us closer together. We are drawn to our family and friends when they face a crisis. We realize how precious they are to us and, of course, we want the best for them. I’m so glad your sister’s operation was successful and her vision is okay now.
    Thank you for reading my post and taking time to comment.
    Amy

  • July 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm
    Permalink

    I love the idea of thinking of yourself as a sitcom star and laughing at it all. My current diagnosis is much different than yours, but it gives me a 25% chance of losing most of my vision, and it’s terrifying. I think I will bookmark this page, as it may help me later. Thanks for your strength.

  • July 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Rhonda,
    Yes, Good idea — bookmark it. I will have other tips coming up. And more adventures.
    Amy

  • July 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    Your coping strategies are good and common sense, although most people can’t be rational when they’ve lost something and will not gt it back. As always, you’re an inspiration, Amy. I cope in a similar way to this with my loss of mobility. At least I can get from point A to point B.

  • July 16, 2015 at 8:35 pm
    Permalink

    You’re right! Actually, they can all be applied to coping with any problem. In fact, I just did #5 today. LOL 😉

  • July 16, 2015 at 8:38 pm
    Permalink

    I think once you set your mind to it, the coping techniques on this list wors. Because the loophole (#5) allows you to be irrational and give in to your emotions once in awhile. Then be done with it. I used #5 today briefly. 🙂

  • October 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm
    Permalink

    Great to read a post that deals with what i know to be one of the most difficult areas to deal with when going through vision loss. As someone who is visually impaired myself, I believe that it is essential more is done to help people deal with the emotional trauma. I have made it my mission through writing and my life coaching to help and I see you seem committed in the same way. Awesome blog post on the subject.

  • October 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm
    Permalink

    Good morning, Larry,
    What a pleasure to find your comment!
    Thank you. So glad you found my post.
    I took a peek at your site and look forward to exploring your blog on healthy living!
    Amy

Leave a Reply