Monday, November 20, 2006

Keeping Hope Alive

There are so many press releases that come out, such as mice getting its eyesight back or something. It's sad that they don't wait to prove that it works. They come out with these press releases that show promising results. Then a reputable journalist will write how they "claim" to cure eyesight for mice.

Here is one on photoswitches.

I just wish they wouldn't blow the whistle before they can prove it consistently works in humans. Mice may have a different results (anatomically) compared to humans.

It's great that researchers are working so hard to find a cure for degenerative diseases, such as RP or MD (macular degeneration). I hope they come up with a great medical breakthrough.

There are so many clinical trials, such as one for artifical retinas.

This is someone else's best opinion:

-The retinal chip could be in clinical usage within 3-10 years.
-The neuroprotection-within 3-8 years
-Retinal cell transplant-within 8-15 years
-The cortical chip-within 8-12 years
-Gene therapy-within 8-20 years
-Stem cell transplant-within 10-20 years

There are so many "claims" that are coming out that I don't know whether or not to keep holding on to hope. It's almost cruel. Why not just let us prepare for blindness than to have hopes get high all the time?

When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I was constantly pushing thoughts of "going blind" in a dark corner of my mind, hanging on to hope that there will be a cure. But, with each passing year that goes by and more of my vision closes in, I wonder if it's fruitless. Where am I headed?

Should I prepare for it? Should I "give in" and accept my prognosis? Should I apply at Hadley's and learn Braille? I love to read and I would hate to give that up. I read somewhere that there's a high percentage of illiterate blind people. I don't want to be a part of that statistic.

I have had the greatest opportunity to meet some people online that are totally blind and deaf-some with CIs (cochlear implants). They amaze me. They function and can do anything they put their minds to. Many are working profesionals. They are psychologists, teachers, social workers, vocational rehabilitation counselors for the deaf and/or blind, lawyers, the list goes on. I am astounded that they wouldn't let "small" disablities get in their way. If they have a dream, they persue it.

Again, I am stuck in the middle. I guess I will choose to hang on to hope, but prepare myself for it, too. I'm not happy about it, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. (Easier said than done.)


At Thu Nov 23, 10:49:00 AM , Blogger Dave said...

Shari, thanks for posting on Buddha in the Beerglass, I did not realise you had a blog until today and have spent a good part of the past hour catching up on your life.

How blind are you? I have Ushers type II as well but still have about 13% of my vision left, thankfully all in the center. It has been stuck at around 13% for the last 2 years so it seems that I have hit a plateau (albeit temporarily).

Anyway thanks for your informative blog and do hold onto hope. Just think how much things have changed in the last 10 years, I think 10 years from now we will not recognise ourselves (and not because we are blind! :-) )

Take care.


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