Complete Frustration

Ask anyone with low vision or no vision about the time it takes to do simple tasks and you’ll hear stories. Tasks that take the sighted person only a couple of minutes, take low or no sight people 10 to 15 minutes. That was me today. I should add that some of the delay today was my computer, but the bulk of my frustration came when a simple task — scan and crop eight pictures for my daughter to use on her yearbook page — took over an hour! My six year old iMac has issues, but there is no way it should take that long to scan, crop, and save the images (and Jane was the one putting the images on the scanner.)

My biggest problem was the cropping. Trying to get the crop exactly at the edge of the image was tough. Even though I use the reverse color screen so that black is white and white is black, there was stil so much glare from the images that it gave me a headache. Another problem was clicking the correct icon or checkbox when saving the pic in Photoshop. I am like one of those placekickers in the NFL that end up playing for multiple teams in one season: wide left, wide right, too low…

Up until today, I hadn’t used Photoshop in a few months. I’ve been wanting/needing to make a few banners to use in twitter and facebook, but I keep waiting for a “good-sight” day. They don’t happen too often anymore and when they do, it seems there are more important tasks I MUST do (like create invoices so we can get paid.) I guess that is what is so frustrating, I miss creating in Photoshop or Illustrator.
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Have you seen the newest iMac? I’d love to get one of these:
Apple iMac with Retina 5K display

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It’s Been Awhile…

It’s been about 18 months since I’ve posted anything here. I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions, but this year I do have one. It is to post more frequently here. Considering today in 9 January, I’m not off to a good start. My goal is to write on more topics than my visual impairment. Of course, most posts will have something to do with my poor vision, simply because it affects just about everything I do.

I will still whine and complain here, hopefully so I do it less to Eliz and the kids. I was told by an acquaintance that I should be thankful for what I have once when I was complaining about my sight. This person didn’t realize that I cannot pick up a book, a letter, a magazine and read it, or drive, use the washing machine, or a boatload of other tasks. This person just thought my vision was a little fuzzy. Believe me, I am thankful for what I have, so I can do without the “what for” when I’m complaining about not being able to do something that most everyone else can do. If you don’t want to hear me bitch and moan, you probably don’t want to read my blog, my tweets, or be friends with me on facebook.

I’m sure that many people don’t understand what folks who are blind or visually impaired deal with. There was a good article in the New York Times on Sunday called Why Do We Fear the Blind? Among other things, the article talks about the misconceptions that people with low vision or no vision have better hearing or sense of smell. As a kid, I was told that my hearing was better because I couldn’t see. As the article states, my hearing isn’t any better, I just have to rely on it more than someone with good vision.

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Socks

After I posted the Glaucoma Study entry, Eliz said that I should have talked a bit more about the socks task.  At the school where Eliz used to teach and our kids went, they would call this the Socks work.  It was work for me.  Here’s how it worked…  There were seven socks pinned to a board on a wall at eye level.  There was a table that was 30 x 60 up against the same wall that you could spread the 10 socks out on.  You then had to place the sock on the table under the correct match that was on the wall.

The first time I did this task, I was given the ground rules: I couldn’t touch the socks on the wall, I could get as close as I wanted, and, there was no time limit.  Most people had to this (and all the other tasks in the study) three times.  First time with both eyes, the second time with one eye covered, and the third time with the other eye covered.  I only had to do it (and all other tasks) twice since I have only the slightest vision in my right eye.  Believe me, 2x is enough.

I verified the ground rules with Maryanne before we started.  The last time I did this task the observer seemed to have a problem with the way I did this task.  She then started the clock and I began the task with my right eye covered.  It was covered from the last task and both Maryanne and I forgot to remove it.  I spread the socks out on the table, looking for the one I knew had no match.  It was easy to spot since it had cream or gray colored stripe near the top of the sock.  Now I just had to find the correct seven of the remaining nine and match them up.  So I hopped up on the table and zeroed in on a lighter gray sock on the board.  I found two socks that were similar in color and held them up close to the one on the board.  I could feel a pattern on one of the socks and knew that wasn’t the correct one.  I placed the other on the table beneath its mate.  This went on for about 18 minutes.  I missed two or three.

Now it was time for me to do it with both eyes.  It seemed silly for me to do it with both eyes, but at one of the other tasks I had done better with both eyes than with just my left, so I was up for seeing if it made a difference with this task.  I asked Maryanne to mix the socks up so that it would be a fair comparison.  She did and then started the timer.  I found the striped sock again and discarded it.  I hopped back onto the table and began matching.  This time it only took me about 11 minutes and I got ’em all!  I think that was the first time in the study that I matched them all correctly.  I was happy until I realized it took me about a minute and a half to match a pair of socks.

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