A couple of days after having what I thought was a small stroke, I woke in the early morning worrying.
I was now partially sighted. But suppose when I got up next morning my peripheral vision had miraculously returned? I felt really anxious: how would I explain to people? After frightening and worrying them, and all the trouble I’d put them to, would I have to tell them give it had all been nothing?
I switched the light on and tested myself.
Close one eye and focus on an object in the middle distance. Keep looking in exactly the same direction. Stretch my right arm out to the side and then slowly this bring my finger round, being careful to continue focusing on the same direction, and note when the finger appears in view.
What I see is the tip of my finger suddenly appearing as if from behind an invisible curtain and then gradually the rest my finger in my hand come into view. is
Repeat from the left side. Now I can see the finger coming all the way, it doesn’t suddenly pop into view.
This convinced me for a while that my condition really hadn’t improved but for several days I found myself obsessively checking over and over again that the peripheral sight really had been lost and I wasn’t a fraud.
I also felt guilty about the white stick. I don’t need this to help me get about and there’s no need for it when I’m walking about in the quiet streets of the village where I live. But in a crowded street I would need it, just as a signal to others that my vision is not good. I took the white stick out with me one day to try and become familiar with it but I felt oddly embarrassed and shy. I suppose it’s because I have this feeling that I’m not really entitled.
Perhaps this sense of somehow not being ‘properly’ disabled is quite common, I don’t know.