Macular Degeneration and Me

Low Vision and High Hope

HOW CAN WE BRING HIDDEN DISEASES OUT OF THE DARK?

Perhaps you’ve had this happen to you – a friend or family member comments about your low vision issues and you feel it is insensitive or annoying.  Or maybe they are unaware how certain symptoms affect your vision and remark on your actions.   Just recently I was trying to walk across a grassy area and with no depth perception, I stumbled a bit. There were a couple of hoots of laughter from a couple of people.  In the past, I might have been embarrassed or upset but this time I used the experience to spread the word about mac degen.

Hidden diseases or hidden disabilities are wide-spread but receive little attention.  It’s easy to note the broken leg, the patched up head or bruises from an accident.  Not so easy to note are diabetes, vision issues, cancer, brain injuries, arthritis and many other of, what I call, these ‘other ability’ conditions.

How can we help bring hidden diseases or hidden disabilities out of the dark and to the attention of the public? Personally, I think a good sense of humor, a willingness to help educate, patience and the ability to accept that not everyone is on the same page might be good places to start. You don’t have to discuss your own symptoms or violate any privacy issues to help the public understand.

I believe most people are kind-hearted. Once they can identify with these unseen diseases you may find they have their own unseen issues.  BE PROACTVE:  find an easy way to explain your ‘unseen’ condition – check websites for key words to use, ask your health care provider to give you ideas, use a humorous antidote to make a point and, remember to remain compassionate with those who still may not understand.

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