Will Someone Please Turn on the Lights? Part II

If you have Retinitis Pigmentosa you’ll understand this. Yesterday evening as we were getting ready for bed I asked my husband, “Where’s Bailey?” I scanned the room. Our Cavalier Spaniel is always right there with us at bedtime.

I looked right at my husband, already in bed. “Where is Bailey?” I repeated. He smiled, knowingly. “She’s right here.” And she was. She actually was right on the bed beside my husband, maybe three feet away from me.

It’s funny. With my limited visual field I make efforts to scan in a methodical manner, but still I miss huge areas. In the moment I truly think I have covered the entire space.

I blame my brain. The brain is expecting normal visual fields, and if that were the case I would have seen my sweet Bailey. It unwittingly fills in the gaps, but not accurately. After all, the brain is receiving only a small percentage (less than 20% in my case) of a normal viewing area. In this case, it filled in the entire space with the rest of the bedspread, minus the dog.

Sometimes the brain fills in something else entirely. When I was still working as a therapist, I would spend most of the hour looking directly at the client speaking to me. Suddenly I would be surprised to notice a bookshelf or draperies, seemingly out of the corner of my eye. Seemingly, since I really cannot see anything out of the corner of my eye. I had to glance in that direction just to confirm that there was no such thing on that wall. My brain had put it there.

2 thoughts on “Will Someone Please Turn on the Lights? Part II”

  1. I can relate. I’m not sure all people with RP will be able to, since there are different stages. Friends sometimes ask me if I’ll be completely blind some day. I tell them, half jokingly, yes, but only when I’m dead. I know we’re all with RP are hoping for a cure. It can’t get here soon enough, can it?

    1. Good point about different stages of RP. I feel fortunate that I still have as much vision as I do. And yes, we are all looking forward to a cure!Thank you for your comment.

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