Last night I had my first fall from my low vision. I really hate being in the dark, the cornea graft eye sees nothing and my good eye isn’t strong enough to process anything without light.
I was out to dinner with some girls from work and had been doing so well independently. I had navigated myself to the bathroom and back twice and to the bar as well, I was feeling pretty chuffed with my independence and ability to navigate through crowds of people and stairs on my own.
When we finished dinner we walked out the back door and through an unlit outdoor path. I usually hold onto my friend’s elbow when we walk at night but the quick scan I’d done ahead looked ok and I had done so well already that it was only a bit further to the car, plus these were girls from work who haven’t really experienced me in situations where I need help, so I felt a bit awkward asking. I slowed down and watched how the girls were walking to see if there were any steps or inclines, but they looked pretty stable so I carried on laughing and enjoying the conversation. Then all of a sudden bam! The ground slipped out from under me and I went straight down onto the floor.
I realized that I notice steps or inclines/declines by the shadows they cast or from those round markers that the council put on the paths, but there's no shadows in the dark, so there was no way I was going to be able to notice the big step.
My cornea graft is a bit sore today but hopefully there's no trauma. Not only do I get to deal with the pain in my hips and leg from the fall, but I also have to worry about whether the fall was strong enough to cause a stitch to break or to cause the cornea to start rejecting.
It was so humiliating and scary, not humiliating because the girls thought anything of me, but humiliating because it caught me completely off guard and i was once again reminded that I’m a person with a disability and that this (shit) is real.
This is one of those times where Facebook has been really helpful. I got home at 11pm and posted an update about the fall and within minutes my girlfriend called and calmed me down and there were a bunch of other messages from friends who were up late, checking in on me. Being home alone so late at night when something bad happens makes you feel more alone and vulnerable, but having friends just a message away with Facebook has been a real life saver.
I am at peace with what is...