The past year as we all know pretty much sucked for me and there was a lot of changes in my personal life and with family, one of the big changes was after battling diabetes for 20 years my dad has lost his sight and is now blind.
This wasn’t a quick thing over night, his sight was deteriorating over time and then one day happened where he just couldn’t see anymore.
Now having sight your whole life and then suddenly losing it must be a scary thing to happen and you have to learn to adjust and adapt to it quickly, the simplest of tasks you take for granted seems like it’s very own mountain to climb, like trying to eat your dinner when you physically can’t see your plate or just walking to the kitchen to put the kettle on by having to feel your way through the house incase doors are closed or things are in your way.
Going out to the shops, doctors or even in the garden was a task as now he can’t see what’s around him and has to go off hearing alone or having to be chaperoned by someone else to guide you around so you don’t get lost.
As I watch him trying to adapt to the situation and make the most of a bad situation, I’ve noticed how all of a sudden people treat him differently and how much support is lacking from companies and people in general.
Taxis and Public Transport – Obviously being unable to drive, he now relies on taxis to get him to his appointments at the hospital, even after he has rang the taxi office and tells them where exactly he is and that he is blind and to look out for the white stick…3 taxis then pull up wait 5 mins and drive away, after the last taxi comes the driver shouts “Hopkins!” when Dad answers the driver says “didn’t you see me” to which my Dad responds does the white stick not give it away.
Now even though the driver now knows he’s blind he didn’t offer any help into or out of the taxi or even help him in the right direction, once the ride is over the change was placed into his hand without being told how much it was and he just had to hope they gave him the right change.
Supermarkets – This is from both staff and people in general, I’ve seen people barge him out of the way, jump the queues in front of him thinking he wasn’t with anyone and wouldn’t notice and even make comments. Help isn’t offered from staff at all with getting around the supermarket or help with picking items or even asking if he needs assistance.
Since losing his sight he went into himself for a while as he was trying to adjust to this new life but now he has come to terms with the fact and is very independent with it, he has managed to make cups of tea in his own way and still insist on doing some household tasks like washing up the dishes and moves around the house with little effort.
Now he wants to raise awareness for people in his situation that are having to adjust to a new life without sight.
I will keep you all updated on his journey and see where this new life takes him
Daddy Giraffe x