Saturday, February 21, 2009

TBWCYL Day 52 - Sight for Sore Eyes

What a day. Today's task was probably the hardest one I have had to do. Initially, this honor was held by 'No Talk' day but not talking is nowhere near as difficult as...Loose a Sense: Eyes. That's right, I wasn't allowed to use my eyes today. I had to rearrange the days specifically for this one task because I couldn't do this on a weekday.

So, I started this by setting my alarm and at 6 a.m. I covered my head with a beanie to block out light. My wife was nice enough to take a picture of me when I was sleeping. Over the last couple of days, I crafted a blindness mask out of a pair of swimming goggles, tape, cardboard and painters tape. I blacked out the inside and outside of the goggles to block out all light to create the sensation of being blind. I also went and bought a dowel rod for a cane. Here is my blind kit.

Throughout the day I set tasks for myself to accomplish.
1. Shave
2. Make Breakfast
3. Make a pot of tea
4. Wash sheets
5. Check the mail
6. Work the Radio

So, that's what I did. I showered downstairs to keep myself in a dark room but threw my goggles back on and went upstairs to shave. My normal routine is to run a sink of water, lather my face, shave and rinse. So, I followed that same routine in hopes that I would end up with a smooth face. Here is the result.

Before(I apparently missed a spot on the lather step)

After(No nicks and no missed hair.)

I got dressed(turns out I picked a Hulk shirt) and went down stairs(13 steps) to make a bowl of cereal. I have watched blind people do things on TV and in movies so I have learned a few things. To pour a bowl of cereal, I covered my hand over half of the bowl and poured until I could feel the Cinnamon Life pieces hit my palm. I then put my finger at the edge of the bowl and poured milk until it hit the tip. Here is the result. I didn't spill, which was a miracle.

I must say, being blind is boring. I had to pee sitting down, I could turn the TV on but only to get news. I hadn't considered a few things in prepping for this task, one of which is I didn't consider how to tell time. Instead of looking up the number for Time and Temperature, I just planned on calling Diana but her phone was dead so I relied on NPR radio, the TV and I had to call Thomas once.

I had bought a book on tape, David Sedaris' Naked and I had previously loaded the disks and learned the remote with my eyes closed. Thank God because that contraption is more difficult than it should be and I sat in darkness trying to remember the sequence to get a disk to shift. I heard the start of Disk 2 more times than I could count before finally hitting the right buttons in the right order. I recommend it highly and it was a great listen. Both he and his sister, Amy Sedaris of 'Strangers with Candy' fame were featured on it.

Throughout the rest of the day I listened to the radio, napped, and made a pot of tea. If you sit in the dark all day, it isn't surprising that you doze off. I was listening to my book when I noticed that I had missed quite a bit of the story by dozing off. When I woke, I was thirsty so I put on a pot of tea and I have to say, blindness and hot burners are not a good mix. I turned on the burner and had to hold my hand above it to make sure it was working. I then put the kettle on but was never sure I had it directly on the burner. After it had brewed, poured it into a pitcher. I heard splashing on the counter as I was pouring and realized I was missing the pitcher. I did my best to clean it up but I wasn't sure I got it all.

After finishing my book on CD I went into the spare bedroom and pulled the sheets off the bed. I wanted to take a shot at washing something during this day and figured sheets were the safest thing to attempt. I turned the dial to where I thought the cold/cold function was, started the water and poured what I guessed was the right amount of soap in. I think if I were actually blind, I might have someone put marks on my washer and dryer to make this less of a guessing game.

I spent the entire day in my chair. I walked around from time to time, tapping my dowel rod as I went. I kicked the dog's bowls more times than I can count, once soaking my right foot in water; went to pick up my cane and bumped my forehead on the counter, and stubbed my toe on the bed. So maybe you can understand why I was hesitant to leave my cushy island.

I planned to stop the task at 7 or so because the task said 'today' so I wanted to get passed nightfall. I went outside a couple of times, once to lock the back gate and once to check the mail. In checking the mail, I tapped my way along the sidewalk, walked across the street, and returned home. Luckily, I didn't get run over. Funny story about that. I went outside to go to the mailbox and, of course, I couldn't see. After making it back, I removed my blindness and got to 'See the Light' and it hurt. I was sitting around prepping this blog and heard a scratching at the front door. Duncan barked and I realized, Hazel wasn't around. I rushed to the door and was greeted by the cheery face of my Dachshund/Terrier daughter. She had been roaming outside for 20 minutes and found her way back home...and I had no idea she had been missing.

I don't envy the blind. No reading, no TV, no matter how use to your home you still have to be constantly careful when walking, and if you do cook you probably don't do the best job. How do you tell if your steak is medium or well when you can't see how it is cooking. I thought a lot about what all I would loose if I lost my sight and it scared me. I think it would take me weeks to get over the idea of never looking at a comic book again. Not being able to watch my favorite movies or read a book would be excruciating and adapting to no longer driving would be strange. Not to mention I would have to adjust doing even the smallest things such as making phone calls or adjusting the temperature in the house.

That is all,


5 Ripples in the pond:

Addy's Daddy said...

How many of the photos that you took ended up being of nothing?

Trinity said...

There were about 15 pics that were just really bad shots of things. For every picture you see on this post there were 2 or 3 that were of the corner of a bowl or half of my face.

Erin said...

I think this one qualifies as a life-changing experience! It would have been interesting to venture out into public a little bit more on this one, but I have a feeling there would have been substantially more physical pain involved. Good thing your street isn't very busy.

Trinity said...

I would have liked to go out but Diana had to work and it was kind of risky to try and go out on my own. I wanted to go to the mall or something but Diana wouldn't even take me to breakfast.

Erin said...

Sounds like you needed a backup wife for take-you-out-while-you're-blind duty. Sorry I'm halfway across the country.