It was a fall day in the late seventies when my parents and I sat in a hospital room in the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The doctors who had just completed tests on my eyes were explaining what it meant to have Retinitis Pigmentosa. They described how I would slowly lose my remaining sight and eventually be totally blind. My mind was racing and my heart was a well of confusing emotions. I was silent in that hospital room on that day. But, a few days later at my next visit, I wish I had been silent.
We went back to the same room with some of the same doctors and this time it was to get me on a rehabilitative program. One of the doctors described how some large, very thick magnifying glasses might help with the little vision I still had; another discussed the possibility of walking with a cane. Another told me how important it was for me to have an oversized magnifying glass and advised I use a flashlight to find my locker at school.