Let me immediately preface this by saying that I didn't put this up to have anyone feel sorry for me. Far from it. In many cases, I actually do NOT identify my impairments lest I be molly coddled or treated differently. Hell, even my own wife forgets about my impairments (quite often, actually), and I love her to death for it. For those of you that actually try to treat me differently, I say this: PISS OFF, TOSSERS! I can hang with the best of 'em, and look good doing it, too! :D
What's it like living in a world where your vision is gradually going away? How does one mentally and physically prepare for losing, perhaps, one of the most critical senses to every day living? This is something that I've had to deal with since 1992.
I lost the last bit of vision in my right eye mid December 2005, the left one is gradually going away. I suffer from Pars Planitis (Inflammation of the eyeball) and Uveitis (Inflammation of the middle eyeball layers). Both of these combined cause decreased blood circulation. Dirt and debris would be washed away from the surface of your eye when you blink. The larger pieces that are unable to be washed away will eventually work it's way to the inner part of your eye, and exit out normally via blood circulation.
With Pars Planitis and Uveitis, the inflammation reduces the blood flow, so the debris just builds up over time. These diseases aren't contagious, and are quite rare; only one in every 100,000 men and one in every million women will have this affliction.
It's partially treatable, with steroids (Predforte, Prednisone and Prednisolone are the three most commonly prescribed drugs), however, the steroids do cause cataracts, which ALSO hampers your vision. This is the exact reason why I lost my vision in my right eye. The cataract got to the point where it prevented my iris from being opened or closed.
The whole sucky thing about all of this is that insurance companies will not cover anything that has to do with my vision, even if I were to get into an accident and have a shard of glass in the eye. "Nope, not covered!". PPO's won't even take me. HMO's will put a pathetic rider of indefinite length for any treatment covering my eyes.
Umm, hello? If y'all would COVER my eyes, I could get treatment, the surgery I desperately need so I can CONTINUE being a productive member of society!
Anyways, to get back onto WHY I'm doing this site. As my vision progressively gets worse, I know that a total loss of vision is an inevitability. So I'm taking pictures that I find to be memorable for one reason or another, and partially use this site to have a single place where I can upload them and look at them, so that when I do lose my vision, I still have the memories of my various trips.
I'm an avid fan of travelling, have been doing that since even before I was born. A site like this will allow me to reflect on my travel experience and remember the places that I've been to and have seen. While I will eventually lose all of my vision, I'm taking advantage of the eyesight I have left now and trying to do something constructive with my time. By having this site up, I can share with you my own experiences as I go through the path called "Life". Yeah yeah, I know it sounds cheesy, but I've always enjoyed entertaining others, and now I can do it with an educational twist as well.
As long as I am able to see, I will update this site periodically as I travel across the US (and eventually the globe). It gives me a brief break from the rigors of working all the time, and allows me to share my memories with those of you that may not have visited the places or seen the things that I have.
Maybe someone else will find use for these pictures. If you like the site, tell your friends about it. If you really like the site, send it into Digg.
As far as the rest of this site is concerned... there's a few tools and resources that I've utilized very heavily over the past decade in one format or another. If you find it useful... great! If you don't... sorry, maybe you should go get some laughs under the "Looneybin" section above. There's bound to be something on this site somewhere that'll help you out or make you have a laugh.
Thanks for stopping by, and ENJOY!
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