Sunday, 8 April 2012

A sensory joumey

I have been on quite a journey since I last posted here. The images are of some sensory murals I was asked to paint which will be used to help children with visual & learning difficulties. The theme was to be space. The children will be able to interact with the murals. Some parts will be layered so they can touch them, feel the different shapes. The images were to be high contrast. As part of an induction day at the hospital where I work we were asked to take it in turns to guide a person with very restricted eye sight (a colleague we had never met before) & then to walk in the shoes of a person with visual difficulties by wearing a blind fold relying on a colleague to guide you. This heightened my senses like never before. The things we take for granted.

When it came to guiding you had to be careful to respect the other person’s needs & wishes. When I walked through the corridors, up & down stairs, unable to see, the trust you had to share with the other person was humbling. Ordinary places became so different. When it came to stepping out into the big wide world my senses went into overload. With all the sounds, the different feel to everything, with your touch, even through your feet. How you interact with people you cannot see & how they perceive you. How you cope with everyday things that seemed so potentially hazardous, bought tears to my eyes. We were given a talk by the lady who helps patients come to terms with their sight loss. How a person copes with being told they are going to lose there sight, for me the most precious of gifts I cannot begin to imagine.

Since my last post I have got the full use of my legs back. The B12 injections have helped a lot. I helped at the most wonderful Christmas party in one of the children’s ward. I witnessed the brilliant dance performance of the young girl I mentioned in my previous blog post, who had been so ill. I was privileged to hear the violin playing of a little lad who has had to spend far too many years of his young life in hospital. These youngsters deserve a far greater audience as they really have got talent. I also got to meet the young players of the football team my Dad encouraged me to support in a different life, when they visited the childrens wards & bought a smile to many faces.

I have managed to keep hold of my job so far this year. Accepting that I may always be susceptible to bouts of anxiety & depression is something I have come to terms with. Only now do I appreciate the longer I spent in denial, the longer & more lasting the effect on my long term health. No one can tell you what it feels like to need to go through life changing changes. Life is not always high contrast, sometimes its not always easy to see things clearly. Sometimes its about taking one day at a time. Appreciating what you have, rather than what you don't, something I have sometimes been guilty of. Ironically I do not like changes but even if I could go back, I have no regrets. My parent’s health has at times not been good but we still have each other & a lot to be grateful for. I have lost a few wonderful friends but made many knew ones. My new life has heralded many sensory joys, everyday brings a new challenge.

Take care
Debbie x


Caroline said...

What you have is infinitely more important than what you don't and as you have seen there are always those much worse off than ourselves...

for so long I dwelt on what I was missing and what I had missed in life but that can only bring on regret and misery and can spoil all that you have in the life you have left. I am trying to enjoy my remaining time as much as I can, hope you mange the same.

Jess said...

Nice to hear from you, you are oft in my thoughts and prayers.

Anji said...

It's lovely to see a post from you again Debbie.

Your paintings are amazing I bet the children love them.

My father went blind, he did a lot of things like continuing to make model engines, but he wouldn't go out for a walk, he was so afraid of falling.

Take care of yourself

Karen said...

Hi Debbie,
Your paintings are wonderful. From my experience of briefly losing the sight in one eye. I remember wandering round at times with the good eye shut just to see what it was like. It scared the hell out of me.
You are doing fantastic work for those kids.
I hope you are keeping well and it's great to see you post on here again.

Debbie K said...

Dear Caroline, Jess, Anji & Karen
Thank you so much for your kind & thoughtful words.
Sight is the most precious of gifts. The consultants & nurses perform miracles every day restoring patients vision, they really are angels.
Debbie x

Lucy said...

You're doing such great work. Good to hear from you again. Take care.
Lucy xx