New Visions

"Seeing" things a little differently

Living a monocular life, part 1

(This is the first part of a series of posts that I will be writing about living a life with monocular vision. My goal is to inform people of the difficulties that people with poor vision have to overcome. So many minute little things during the course of each day that most would never think about…..)

Definition of Monocular – involving, or affecting a single eye : suitable for use with only one eye

My friends and family members have a tendency to forget I have poor eyesight. I guess that means I can “cover it up or fake it, fairly well. It’s a lifestyle for me, I’ve learned to work with it, around it and sometimes just plain ignore it. Every minute of every day I deal with situations concerning my eyesight.

Obviously, after reading the title to this post, you may guess that I can only see out of one eye. In my good eye, I am moderately nearsighted and I have floaters drifting around in my vision when I focus in on anything.

So as I go through each day…..from attempting to put my eyeliner on straight to reading the small print on a computer and trying to decypher distances with everything I see or grab is difficult. Stairways and steps are difficult because I can’t judge how high or low it may be and every time I reach to grab something from you, I may miss it entirely….you see, monocular vision does not see in 3-D at all. Judging distances can be quite entertaining at times. Although I can’t see in 3-D, how do I paint landscapes on canvas halfway decently?

( below is a sample of my paintings )

painting by Slc

I don’t blame anyone for “forgetting” about my little disadvantage, (I certainly don’t want to be pitied), but sometimes I hate explaining to someone who really ” knows ” me that I can’t see this or read that or why I really shouldn’t be driving in unfamiliar places at night.

When I drive through a fast food chain, I can’t see the menu….so I need to know up front what I want to order. I can’t see house numbers on the mailboxes when I am looking for an address and I have difficulty reading street names on signs so I usually pass them up and have to turn around. These are just a few examples.

I constantly deal with some level of humility on a daily basis. Anyone who lives with a disability understands what I mean and the feelings that go along with it. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am so grateful for what I do have. I know things could be so much worse.

On a positive note, I blend in with average people more now than I used too. Before my surgery, my eye looked disfigured and it was immediately noticed by everyone I came in contact with, creating comments and stares constantly. I dealt with it for fifty years in my own naive way.

Now, post surgery… eyes are beautiful and I have the wonderful opportunity to live and be myself without wondering what others are thinking about my physical appearance. In fact, I am trying to get used to others giving me compliments on how great I look or how young I look, etc. (I also dropped thirty pounds). I’m definitely not used to the compliments and I’m still trying to learn how to react to them….but it sure does feel good!

So this is my world, I do what I can with what I have been given and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone!!!!!

For more reading on this subject click on the link below….


11 comments on “Living a monocular life, part 1

  1. csrima
    June 29, 2015

    This is an old post, but I stumbled upon it, and enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing…much of what you said, I can relate to. I was hit in the eye with shotgun spray during a hunting outing almost 4 years ago, and lost usable vision in my right eye. After a few surgeries and time, my injury is not as noticeable any longer…I also wear glasses which helps to distract from it. There are, like you said, many humbling aspects of every day life. Even things as simple as receiving my credit card back at the gas station serve to remind me of my “disadvantage.” I also spend far too much time worrying about how my wife and daughter (with another on the way) would be provided for if I were to ever lose vision in my left eye due to some incident or deterioration.

    This was an oddly encouraging article, because it was a reminder that there are others going through it and making the best of it 🙂

    • sherrylcook
      July 9, 2015

      Hello csrima,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love connecting with others that share the same oddities. Most people just don’t understand some of the things we go through and worry about. Different people have different issues. I am just being openly honest about some of my humiliating and humorous situations!

      Chin up! Life is an adventure and we must blaze our own trails…

      Sherry L. Cook

    • sherrylcook
      September 19, 2015

      Thank you for writing! And I’m glad that you received a touch of encouragement. Yes… Receiving anything from a glass, credit card, money or whatever can be quite a surprise when you miss it entirely. Lol. I can’t help but wonder what the other person is thinking! Good luck to you in all your endeavors!

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  3. Kara Sullivan Frederick
    June 6, 2012

    I have many things to say, but that will be for another time when I’m not already emotional after reading your experiences from having your eye like it was. I can honestly say, I always wanted to know, but it never changed my perception of the wonderful person and an amazing dance teacher that you are. You never backed down and ran things with such confidence, that I myself, am inspired by. As you probably remember or not, I have very very poor vision. I hope I can soon write you an email and explain what I’m going through after having a beautiful baby boy and how reading your blog has brought a new light to things. I love you! I am honestly so happy for your surgery and for you. It couldn’t have happened to a better person. Good Luck with your new chapter in life! You deserve it.

    • sherrylcook
      June 7, 2012

      Kara, your words mean so much to me, I teared up while reading your comment. Teaching dance was probably the best thing that ever happened to me, other than my children of course. I met so many wonderful people during that time and I still consider many of them good friends to this day. I never knew you had poor vision also. If I have inspired even one person in a positive way, then my life has been worthwhile. Most of my life was spent trying to “fit in” and now, because of the problems I have, it’s turned out to be my biggest blessing. I’ve been writing my memoirs which I hope will be printed by the new year. Please email me and tell me more and thank you so much for writing, means the world to me! Love you too!

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  6. Chris Sheridan
    April 6, 2012

    Your writing conveys your experience very well, and enough that I can get some sense of what you have been through and are dealing with. I like your paintings, and my only disappointment was that I couldn’t open to a larger version the painting on the upper right side.

    I’m happy to read you write that post surgery “my eyes are beautiful”. 🙂 Congrats on losing 30 pounds, and I hope you get many more compliments.

    • sherrylcook
      April 6, 2012

      Thank you for the compliment! I don’t know why you couldn’t open the other picture larger, I’m not computer savvy, or technically inclined. Its been an amazing year my friend. by the way, I found your blog through a comment you made on another one! nice going!

      • Chris Sheridan
        April 6, 2012

        You are welcome, and thanks for telling me that you found me from one of my comments, cause that’s always fun to know. Glad it’s been an amazing year for you, and hey, go for another one!

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