Mastering Life, Or Not
Ever since the accident with my temporary blindness happened, I keep thinking of how lucky some of us are and I'm also observing how others are handling themselves in certain situations. It's easy to take everything for granted and we tend to do so, till one day when something bad happens. When we don't have it anymore, we realize the value of it, but it may be too late by then as certain things we lose for good, unfortunately.
Last week I was chatting to an old friend of mine who I know since I was a little girl. I know he's living with a condition called partial dyschromatopsia. This may not be the exact medical term for the condition as I only know it in Romanian, but it's the closest I could got on the internet. Don't worry, I'm going to explain what it mans.
La dyschromatopsia is the alteration of color vision that causes partial color blindness. The most common form of dyschromatopsia is color blindness, condition in which a person may present partial blindness to the Red, green or azul and, therefore, it is difficult to correctly identify the more than 200 tones that the human eye can detect. source
All this may look too technical to you, so let me bring you some examples to understand better what I'm talking about.
There are different tests that you have to pass, when you need your eyes checked. I'm not talking about regular checks you do to see if you need glasses, but the color vision test you need, when you want to get your driving license or get it renewed for example. There are certain jobs where this test is required too.
Below I'm going to post a few Ishihara test plates you may need to read, when doing such a test, to establish if you can see colors or you're color blind.
I'm posting only two slides to give you an idea what it is like, but if you want to check your eyes, here's a link, where you can do a Color Blind Test. Have fun.
My friend is not color blind. He can't distinguish between green and brown and he's also having problems identifying different color tones but he can see certain colors.
When he was at the age when children start drawing and coloring, he always made the trees backwards, with green bark and brown leaves. That was a sign that something was not right, but back then life was very different and as this thing was not life threatening, no one knew what it was and was not considered a big problem.
At that young age life wasn't too complicated for him. I know his sister helped him when it came to shopping and selecting clothes to wear, but other than that, he had no major problems.
I remember once we went for a trip and being summer, there was a heavy shower in the mountains, after which there was a gorgeous rainbow over the cliffs, that you only see in the movies. Imagine everyone took out their phones and started taking photos like there was no tomorrow. My friend was quiet and after listening to us praising the rainbow for 5 minutes, he suddenly said "the rainbow is a big cheat as there's only a yellow line and definitely not a bunch of colors as you say" 😂 This was quite funny, but shocking as well.
I took this photo last year, while visiting an old lady in another city. There was a shower in the afternoon and after that, nature gifted us with this gorgeous rainbow. I was more than happy because most of the times you only see half of it and I think it was the first time I saw semicircle. This was an absolute beauty, so I took as many shots as I could.
Here's a cropped photo of the right side, to show you what that rainbow looked like from closer. I don't know about you, but I can distinguish (from left to right) purple, blue, green, orange and red.
Now imagine seeing only yellow, while people say there are seven colors. Is it a tragedy? Not by far. It is a shame, but not a tragedy.
When Your Life Changes In A Split Second
My friend was diagnosed only when he applied to get his driving license when he failed the Ishihara test. That was the moment when he was given a diagnoses and had to realize this is a condition he has to live with for the rest of his life.
According to this website, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are affected by color blindness, so it's quite a common thing.
I've read scientist have made experiments on monkeys and got some good results but the process has not been tested on humans and who knows if it will ever give results on humans. So right now there's no treatment for this condition, you have to live with it for the rest of your life.
This is when you ask yourself: How? Imagine being told that you're different and you may not be able to do what others do because you have this condition. Your chances in life got reduced. In theory.
Over the years I came to realize there are two types of people. There are those who are using their condition to make people feel sorry for them and also use it to make excuses. Some are living this way for the rest of their lives, truly believing there's nothing they can do as they have a condition. This may sound harsh, but it is true. Just look around and you'll find an example or two right away.
Others are looking for a solution to be able to cope with the situation and live a relatively normal life. Is it easy? Most likely not, but it's not impossible either. It depends on you if you want to be part of your own problem or contribute to find a solution that works.
My friend has a job that requires him to identify at least 4 or 5 colors every day. These are the basic colors among which there are those he can't really distinguish. His superiors, his doctor and his workmates know about his condition, it's not a secret and they also know they can trust him as he has never caused any problems.
To be the master of yourself is to fully understand who you are and take responsibility for your own life. source
I asked him how on earth is he able to identify those colors if he can't see them? He said to me, it doesn't matter how the color is called. You can name them daisy, sausage, cat, cucumber or violin, whatever you like, it doesn't matter. What matters is to be able to identify two identical ones. At this point I said he's a genius as it has never crossed my mind to think like that and I think it's safe to say neither have you. We're used to those names and we know which is which and that's all.
When you don't have that ability, you work out a system that works for you. He is able to see that one color is darker, the other is lighter and the third is even lighter and based on that, he can do the work he likes and he's good at it as well. I truly admire him, honestly. Finding a way to compensate what you don't have is an art.
Creating Your Own World
While having this discussion with him, I was thinking what if he would have inherited some artistic talent, like painting or drawing. His first reaction was I would do black and white. Imagine being talented at painting but not being able to identify the right colors or tones, or better said, seeing most of the tomes the same way.
We are used to leaves being green, the bark of the tree being brown, the sky is mostly blue, the water is mostly blue or green too and so on. These are the colors nature got us used to.
You already know I go to art exhibitions quite often, post about it as well and comment on what I see. Over the years I've seen a tone of artworks of all kinds, literally, in my country and abroad as well, from artists all over the world. We live in a modern era, where the sky doesn't have to be blue, the water can be any color you want it to be and standards are considered boring. However, I've never seen any artwork yet, from an artist that has a similar condition as my friend or is color blind. I know there are such artists out there, have seen them in TV, but have never seen any work from them in real life.
I truly hope one day I will have the pleasure and the possibility to visit such an exhibition, to see how these artists see the world. Would be a very cool experience.
This is just one story but how many are out there. How many people are living with certain conditions and/or disabilities and they can still make things work and do wonders.
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What an interesting idea. Checking out paintings of people with issues or conditions on their eyesight might reveal a great talent, indeed. Despite their condition, art and creativity prevail. I remember seeing a painting from a person with a disability, that only uses his mouth. It was amazing!
I'm glad you like it. Many people live with disabilities and still create wonderful things.
Wow. It was a great read. But the part you got made me teary was the part you told me about his color blindness act and how he identifies his colors. It doesn't matter what color it is, just name it with something that will always make it easy for you.
We got to master life.
Thanks for sharing.
If you're willing to work towards finding a way, most likely you'll find a way.
I didn't find out from reading your post whether the person in your story uses special glasses to optimize his vision. Is she wearing special glasses, Mrs. @erikah? Secondly, I agree with you that anyone experiencing the situation you describe will always find another talent and another way to overcome it. This is a natural form of human defense in my opinion. Last but not least, I believe that people can adapt to these conditions over time, with patience, and with practice. In addition to being grateful for passing the test, I also empathize with those who find themselves in the situation you describe. Hopefully, a cure will be found for it someday and good fortune will always accompany them. Blessing
He has glasses but not for this condition as there are no glasses for this.
When there's will, there's a way, but not everyone can see that. Some like self pity better.
I tried to find information about this, and it's true as you said that there are no glasses for that condition. But I read here there is a company in California that makes CCS (Colour Correction System) and EnChroma Cx glasses specifically for those with partial color blindness.
He told me there's a possibility in the US for some glasses, but it's out of the question for him because of the costs anyway. I mean the glasses cost around $1k, plus the trip and the visa to the US and so on. It would be a huge gamble and waste of money, not to mention the positive outcome is not guaranteed. Besides, he has learned to live with it, work with it.
That´s an interesting topic. I always knew I had some issues with colors identification but I didn´t really pay much attention to it as it´s often said that us, men, can only distinguish a few basic colors while women can see and identify many more. It was not until I first came across these tests that I realized I might have a problem. I actually call these tests "pizza tests" because that´s what they appear to me. I don´t see any numbers in those colorful circles, just little"pizzas". Out of all that you shared here, I could only see that 12 in the first one and I was not even sure. In all of the next ones, I see nothing. I actually just had my eyes checked a few months ago as I was going to get a new glasses and I completely failed all these color vision test with the optometrist. But I can perfectly live with it and yes, I can distinguish the red and green traffic lights :) On the other hand though, my spatial vision turned out to be excellent (way above average) in the tests. But I cannot really think of much advantage that it would give me other than being able to see even the most difficult 3D stereograms right off the bat :)
That is true or at least that's what they say.
I'm sorry to hear you have a condition too. However, if it doesn't influence your work or way of life, then you're fine. Driving is another matter though.
Yeah, it doesn´t have any significant impact on my life. And I think that many people (or many men to be specific) actually have some form of color vision deficiency, it´s kind of normal...
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this condition before. It’s surprising how there is a whole lot to learn out there each and everyday.
Most people are suffering from one disorder or the other but we just choose to brush it off and not get tested.
I must say, your friend a such a genius because who would think someone with such a condition would be able to identify all sorts of colours and live a normal life.
Some people would rather wallow in self pity instead of finding ways and means to help themselves.
This condition gets diagnosed sooner or later as you need to do tests frequently. And yes, self pity is very common and leads nowhere by the way.
I wish most people knew this.
I had no idea about your accident but I'm glad it was temporary and wish you never experience anything like that again.
I wrote about it here 😎
I wish that too. It was scary.
Now I can say I was also temporarily blind cause I don't know how I missed that :) I used to have very frequent power outages in my previous house, fortunately not at my current place.
It's very rare here, but it happens from time to time.
This is an interesting story to read. I love how talented your friend is. Very positive in life despite the challenge that he is experiencing.
Thanks for sharing. A must read story. This will surely brings motivation to people who will read this.
A story like this can motivate us to be better, for sure.
Yes you're right.
I hope one day you will visit such an exhibition and share it with us. I think it could be really interesting.
When I see what kind of problems people live with, I think how beautiful my life is. At least for now I don't have any health problems. Everything is going well etc. I hope medical science will develop so much that there will be a solution for everything.
At least you can appreciate what you have. Most can't even do that as all they see is what they don't have, which in most cases is wealth.
I also hope one day people can have the help they need.
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That's a nice number.
Yes, it is @erikah 😊🌹 Soon bigger?
So far my vision is normal after taking that sample test to test it. I really feel sad whenever I see someone or read someone's story about their condition and whispers to myself that I'm still lucky and I should be grateful for it and do not take it for granted.
For the part of your friend, I'm really proud of him that he find ways to overcome his condition. Some would just give up and let how things be.
I can say that he already mastered his life and for sure he will paint his world one day. I have high hopes for him.
What you shared here is truly an eye opening also about our different and inborn conditions that we mustn't give up just because we have them.
We can go with our life and reach high as we carry them in our journey.
They say when there's will, there's a way and life proves us that is true. My friend has found a way to live with his condition and make things work, which proves its possible.
Anything is possible as long as we are breathing and hasn't give up yet.
In the first picture, I see these numbers: 12,8,6
In the second picture, I see these numbers: 5,3,15
I hope it is really not 6 in the second picture but 5 so that my vision are normal.
It is difficult to have eye problem. That was why I once had purchased a pair of glasses for a student. He told me he cannot participate in my class because he cannot see clearly. I heard him, and felt the need to help.
Then he had glasses on the next day. But after a week it was broken. I felt very sad because he did not took care of it. But I felt worse because he had no regrets, as if he dis not value the help I extended. 😌😌😌
Looks like I made a mistake, you're right, it's 5, not 6. My apologies. There's a link in the post, to a full test, if you like.
I'm sorry the student could not appreciate your gift. I know how frustrating it is to pay for something that is not appreciated by the person you want to help.
I also did a lot of mistakes with my grammar and spelling in my first comment. 🤪 Im sorry too.
It's often not until we don't have something that we realise how important it is to us, either a physical attribute, person, situation or other things. I imagine life without vision, all the wondrous things I'd miss, and I don't like the thought. As a diabetic, that's a reality although I work towards not letting that happen. But it's not just vision, but those other things I mention and more. I think it's worth our time to live each moment, be present, and to make the most of life, and be our best version along the way, where possible.
That is very true, unfortunately and we must never forget this. We should make the most of what we have and also do everything we have to keep it. Health especially, treat it like it's not going to last forever, because there comes a time when we're going to go down on the slope.
I'm on that slippery slope already. 😁
Reading things like this always takes a toll on my emotions, i am being reminded of how ungrateful i have been, here i am complaining of how broke i am and how i need to add on some weight to get the perfect shape that i desire while people are out there with their various challenges, some trying to stay strong and build their confidence again while some are wallowing in Misery. This is a wake up call to me.
Thank you @erikah i learnt a lot from your post
I'm glad you see it that way. We always want what we don't have, but in some cases those things are not possible to have and are not small things either. Some are blind, others are deaf, while others are missing an arm or a leg.