Saturday, August 2, 2014

Now I See You

For most people the idea of going blind seems (thankfully) a remote possibility, and certainly not something they will have to contend with.  For Nicole Kear, blindness seemed unlikely as well, until at the age of nineteen she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosis, a genetic eye disease slowly causing her to go blind. 

In some ways, this answered the question of Kear's clumsiness, her ability to run into inanimate objects and trip over things.  But, despite the resolution it gave, it also was a devastating diagnosis, changing the way Kear would live her life - trying to cram as much as she could into the years she still had as a sighted person.

Kear's vision disappears slowly - so slowly that the change is hard to detect, until she is no longer being able to read Dr. Seuss to her children.  Her independence is being challenged as her vision erodes and Kear fights to maintain the life she is accustomed to.  

One of my teaching colleagues is legally blind, and in addition to having a good sense of humor about her disability, she has also given me a better perspective of what it means to live without being able to read stories to your children and have to rely on others for help from time to time.

Kear's memoir will stick with me for a long time.  Her account of her life - with and without her vision- show how she is able to persevere and find happiness despite the many challenges she faces.

2 comments:

Ti said...

My father is blind after suffering several retinal issues related to diabetes and there is a blogger friend of mine who has this same condition mentioned in the book. She is grateful for her Kindle since she can make the text large enough to read. For now, this works for her.

I am terrified of losing my sight. I take this one medication for lupus that can cause eye issues so I have to have retinal exams every 6 months to see if the med is causing any problems.

Since this problem is a little close to home for me, I'm not sure I could read this book.

Anne Bennett said...

It's a memoir? How old is she now? I always appreciate books about people overcoming disabilities.