Tuesday 19 January 2016

The VIP tag in blog form

As you know, I'm a VIP.
I thought I'd do another post and tell you more about what it's like being a VIP. So I decided what better way to do that than the VIP tag? 

Before you ask, no this tag isn't about the VIPs that stand for "Very Important Person/people"; in this tag VIP means "Visually Impaired Person/People" which if you've read the rest of my blog know I'm part of this category. Now, this tag was originally a You Tube video tag but I've decided to mix it up a little and make it available for bloggers by changing a question around. So let's get started!

1. What medical condition caused you to be blind or visually impaired? 
I was born premature, 3 months early to be exact and needed treatment to get more oxygen in me. Once that was done my left eye became smaller in size and I'm very short-sighted in both eyes. I'm not really answering the question here am I? Oh okay, if you want to get medical here's my attempt at a reasonable medical explanation:

In terms of my eye shape, my eyes have a narrow angle which means I could eventually have glaucoma. I still go to the glaucoma section at the eye hospital to check the pressure in both eyes, as high pressure can lead to glacoma. For anyone that's interested, the last time I checked my pressure was 14 and 12. The reason why my vision is so unusual is because my retainer is flat at the back of my eyes so the vision in my left eye is very poor compared to my right eye which isn't much better. Basically what you can vaguely see from 1 metre away I can vaguely see it from 6 metres; oh and I need things to be in font Arial size 24. 

Whoa! That was a long explanation, so I should move on to question 2.

2. In 3 words describe your vision? 
Unclear, distant, and poor.

3. What is the hardest thing to do being blind or visually impaired? 
This is a tricky one so I guess the best way to sum up is... being independent and knowing when others poke fun. Hold on, let me explain! Don't get mad at me just yet, I know it IS possible to be a VIP and independent! Have you calmed down now? Good. 

Personally growing up I found that being visually impaired meant people would do things for me quite a lot so I didn't really learn how to do things on my own. Also, once I actually wanted to be more independent I found it difficult to convince other people that I can do things on my own (this is still a work in progress FYI); it's sometimes hard for people to understand that I do things a different way and have different techniques to get past my sightless. 

As for the poking fun bit, I guess ignorance is bliss because I didn't even know about this until a few years ago. My best friend revealed that when we were in year 7 I used to have a high pitched voice and whenever I spoke people (herself included) laughed at me.

Yes, I'm aware this has nothing to do with my sight but I wanted to include it. It's my blog so deal with it. Anyway... to cut this story short, she realised this wasn't right so she talked to my form teacher and the issue was resolved with me being none the wiser. To relate this to my sight because this is a VIP post not a "feel sorry for Nanji post" I think the fact that I can't see other people's facial expressions clearly (unless I'm you know creepily close to them) means that I often miss how people see me or the difference in the way they treat me. Maybe I'm just over thinking this? Or maybe I unconsciously knew I was being treated like that and chose to ignore it? Either way, my sight means I can't tell what people really mean. Also this wasn't a means to throw shade at the people who did this, it was just an example to explain a point. This incident is over and done with.

4. What is the best thing about being blind or visually impaired?
I think the best thing is all the cool equipment I get to help me out. Although it can also be the worst because some things are heavy af, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Some examples of equipment are: a monitor, laptop with zoomtext and audio note take, a CCTV (I think that's what it's called), a portable reader and a Freedom Pass which means I get FREE public transport (trains and buses) in London for 5 years until I have to renew it. Oh and I forgot to mention I get to meet some brilliant people from the council to help me with support and letting me know what I'm entitled to. 

5. What question do you get asked most about because of your vision? 
How bad is your eyesight? I think I get asked this because people realise that I have some vision left in me.

6. Do you have a cane, guide dog or neither? 
I have a white symbol cane although the colour is fading a little. 

7. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is loosing or going to loose or has lost their sight? 
To stay strong. It'll be difficult but you'll get through it. There are organisations out there that can help like the RNIB (Royal National Institution of the Blind) in the UK or Action for Blind. Do some research on your condition and talk to these organisations to see what to do.

8. What one piece of advice would you give to a sighted person interacting with  a blind or visually impaired person? 
To ask if the visually mpaired or blind person needs help. But don't just make assumptions; if we need help we'll tell you. 

9. Why did you decide to join YouTube or start a blog?
I decided to start this blog because I wanted to write about my sightloss and my experience living with sightloss; not as an advice blog just an account of how I see things.

10. Name 3 people to do this tag next.
Since this is the last question I'll finish off by saying I only know 3 people that are blind or partially sighted and I've known them since Primary School. I won't reveal who they are, but if they want to do the tag they can. If not, then that's perfectly fine. This tag is open too any VIP or blind person. So if you want to do it, then go ahead. 

That's all I've got for this blog post. I hope you enjoyed my answers to the questions. Bye for now!