DWB – Driving While Blind

 

I left my sight behind at 55 MPH.

One minute I was driving along, chasing down a potential training contract. The next – nothing. Lights out. All of a sudden, I couldn’t see a thing.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. Despite what a lot of people envision when they hear me say I’m blind, I don’t live in total darkness. Blind is simply easier to say. Like many ‘blind’ people, I’m actually visually impaired (VI). My light perception is a little diminished, but I can still tell light from dark, see the color blue, and large objects within about a three foot range of vision are fuzzy but mostly recognizable.

But my range of vision is severely compromised. So I couldn’t see a thing beyond the hood of my Mazda 626 except hazy, rapidly moving shapes. And even the familiar things I did recognize inside the car were hella blurry.

So it was a real problem. I mean think about it. What would you do if you found yourself on a fairly busy road, going about ten miles over the speed limit, and all of a sudden you couldn’t see where you were going? Pull over to the side? Stop the car? Try to get help?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjvdMNDC3XE&w=300&h=300

Continue reading “DWB – Driving While Blind”

Learning 2 C

For better or worse, I am an extremely blunt communicator. For those who are familiar with the DISC communication assessment, I am a casebook Dominant. Unnecessary chit chat, euphemisms, or soft tones all strike me as either insulting condescension or irritating wastes of my time. No matter what the news may be, it is what it is, and how it’s delivered won’t change that. So I prefer any information be given to me straight, no chaser.

That isn’t the way a lot of people process bad news, however. As a result, many of us have been taught to err on the side of compassionate communication. I was always encouraged to use the sandwich approach; say something positive initially, followed by the ‘challenging information’, immediately book-ended by another positive or encouraging comment.

I have no idea how that approach would be used to tell someone they are permanently legally blind. Continue reading “Learning 2 C”

2 Broke 2 B Sick?

Ever since my brain tumor was finally diagnosed, I’ve been told I was something of a medical miracle. Apparently, a tumor that size should have knocked me out for the count a lot sooner than it did. At the very least, I shouldn’t have been able to prance around in stilettos and constantly master the new technology necessary to do my job, let alone fly around the country as I’d been doing every week for five years.

More than three years later, I still have no idea how to feel about that. People always ask me how I could have not known that something was wrong. To be clear, I’ve never said I didn’t know something was wrong. I remember being super tired a lot, but I was living in North Carolina and working a project in Beverly Hills. I chalked the fatigue up to the stress of being bi-coastal, and the idea that I could honestly make that claim was so thrilling to me at the time that a little tiredness didn’t seem like such a big price to pay.

Of course, brain tumors don’t exactly tickle, but it wasn’t as painful as you might imagine.

Continue reading “2 Broke 2 B Sick?”