Trying to be hopeful

I have been with my boyfriend for two years now and I love him dearly. Lately we have been having issues because of his early onset macular degeneration. I get frusturated because he dropped out of college twice and can't seem to find a career. I know he is scared that his vision is getting worse, but I don't know how to help. I worry about our future a lot and about his depression. He feels like he will never be able to do the things he wants in life because of his vision. He is only 22 and can barley drive. I feel so helpless trying to help him, but I am just as afraid of the future as he is. What do I do? How can I help him?

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Re: Trying to be hopeful



There is nothing that a visually impaired person cannot do. Disability is only a state of mind. With the use of adaptive equipment and training with it, the mobility can be made easier.

I would like to pay my respect to those fighting with these disabilities and surpassing them.


Re: Trying to be hopeful



im happy to find your site! i wanted everyone there to know that blindness is not the end of the world. but its difficult at times and we need to adapt. im totally blind in my right eye and have very little vision in my left. i adapted as best as i could and did all of these drawings. i paint too. it takes me a very long time to draw or paint but i did it! im hoping this can be an encouragement not to give up on your dreams!


Re: Trying to be hopeful



Your BF is lucky, you are there for him.
The above are great. Two organizations that will help him and you become part of the Blind Community are the American Council of the Blind and the National Federation of the Blind. The latter is larger. I found that just knowing that there were totally blind persons doing just about everything was great.
He needs to have filed with social Security. They will certify that he is legally blind. This will make him eligible for benefits when he wants them. He may be eligible under a parent?s account. That will also mean he can claim ADA coverage without needing to get an evaluation. The SSA evaluation is done by the State Voc. Rehab agency. They often have other resources and employ blind people in many roles.
Life Coaches can also help him sort out the various issues and options. Since, you employ them directly they are there to help you address your issues in all spheres of your life. Their goal is to see you THRIVE. The others are employed so you can survive.
Good Luck and Enjoy


Re: Trying to be hopeful



Hi- Losing one's vision is very scary...I would also suggest looking for an agency that services the visually impaired in your state. They will offer vision rehabilitation which includes learning to use the computer and other technologies with a visual impairment, learning how to do activities of daily living with low vision such as cooking, laundry etc, and how to get around safely and independently which is called Orientation and Mobility. All of these skills are important to learn so you can be independent, work a job, go to school, and stay engaged in life. I am visually impaired and now use a guide dog. I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at age 25 and have lost my vision gradually.I was able to work as a nurse for 28 years before my vision loss forced me to give that career up. I have not driven in over 25 years-but still was able to work, raise my children and lead a fulfilling life. It can be done!! Many of us experience anger, depression and other strong negative emotions as we grieve the loss of our vision and the life we imagined for ourselves. Counseling can help us come to acceptance and get on with life as a visually impaired person. Vision rehab is also critical in the process of adjusting to vision loss. And as Empish said-a support group can be an invaluable resource when we are trying to learn how to live with vision loss. You meet others who are doing it and may be empowered and inspired by their stories. You learn you are not the only one and can glean the collective wisdom of the group. Support groups welcome family and significant others and can be helpful to you too. Depression is painful and it can hold your boyfriend back from moving forward. It is important that he get some support or counseling to treat it. You can use the VisionAware Directory of services to find agencies that can offer these services at: http://www.visionaware.org/directory.aspx?action=b... You can narrow the search by entering your state. Your boyfriend's condition is progressive and it is never too soon to start learning the skills he will need to live a full life. The good news is there is SO much out there to help the visually impaired be successful! But he has to be ready emotionally and be willing to ask for the assistance. Sometimes that takes time and patience from loved ones. Stay positive, learn all you can about the condition so you can be well informed and realistic about the future, and look for resources that can help. All the best to you both...Audrey


Re: Trying to be hopeful



Hi trying to be hopeful. By sending this pot to VisionAware you have made a good important first step and that is reaching out for help. That is great that you are trying to be supportive of your boyfriend and trying to find support and resources for yourself and for him. Perhaps a support group might be helpful? I am not sure where you are located but there are usually support groups for people with vision loss in your state and attending a meeting or two might be a great place to start. Talking to others who can relate can be a relief and lets you know that you are not alone in what you are dealing with. Also learning about assistive technology and careers would be good too. You might want to alert your boyfriend to AFB’s CareerConnect. They have a great mentoring program where he can connect with others who are visually impaired in all kinds of careers. I am a blind mentor myself and work in the public relations/journalism field. There are also all kinds of career resources and employment tools on the site for him to look over. Sometimes just knowing what is available is helpful. The website for AFB CareerConnect is www.afb.org and then just click on the link that says CareerConnect. Also, for a support group you can contact the Foundation Fighting Blindness. They are a national organization and focus on eye conditions like MD. They should have a support group in your area.




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