Uneventful Trip

Just came back from Walmart. When I checked the early days page Lin had published for today it was my first trip to Walmart as a visually impaired person. I would say what a coincidence but this girl has been known to ‘live’ at Walmart so it really was not.

Anyway today the trip to Walmart was….totally uneventful. Fine. No issues. I tell you this because in my cockeyed optImist (yes, there’s an upper case “I” in the middle), Pollyanna way I want to reinforce the concept there is hope. Yes, I have geographic atrophy with no scarring – just ‘no’ macular; my ‘divot’ just keeps getting bigger. And yes, I have no clue what it is like to be you in your situation.

However, for the great majority of us things can be OK with adaptations and the learning of skills.

I cannot drive myself to the store. My husband now parks near a cart corral. He makes sure I know we are down the line from the garden center or bank sign or whatever and then he turns me loose. I generally find my way back without incident. Do I wander around lost sometimes? Sure do. It is a matter of my not paying attention in the first place. I did that when I was fully sighted.

Absent mindedness is not a side effect of vision loss!

In the store I am using eccentric viewing…a lot. Although I carry my toys just in case, I seldom get them out. I have learned to use my peripheral vision and I am pretty good at finding things I need…and things I don’t need but really want. Got (another) cute pair of yoga pants and (another) cute scarf today.

There are times I have to be more careful and really LOOK. For example, I almost picked up hot sausage instead of mild today. If there are several varieties of something and the packaging is very similar you need to double-check. When you don’t drive often things don’t get returned. I have a chili potpie in the freezer that I could have sworn was beef. Been there for weeks. (Perhaps this is an opportunity to expand my horizons?)

I use a lot of habit learning. The credit card machine is now easy. That is habit training. I pretty much know what comes up next. Press the same buttons all of the time.

And if I don’t know or cannot see it, I ask. Sometimes I admit I am visually impaired. Those are generally the times when I know a full sighted person would have been able to figure it out and I don’t want to look like an idiot. Other times I just ask.

Nobody thinks the less of you if you cannot find something like the honey. Fully sighted people ask questions like that, too!

So there you go. One more page about my uneventful life. Stay tuned. Next I might write about watching paint dry!

Next: coming soon!

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