My post could be titled:
"I wish i were a dog!"
With my eye disease that leads to fully blindness with ongoing years, i look also forward in a "Huh? Its nighttime always now, how can this happen" future. I don't know how fast the progress is and how long i am still able to see at least a bit, but darkness is my destiny for sure, nevertheless whether it will come tomorrow or in 10 years. And as this is a gene defect, there is still no chance for healing. Even if the scientists experiment on some solutions, they are yet far away from anything useful. If a medical capable or interested person amongst you are interested in my detailed illness, google for "Retinopathia pigmentosa" or "Retinitis pigmentosa" (the old name of the same disease).
I am sure, that human have more complicated tasks to fullfill and more complex needs to do, and with keeping in mind that seeing is one of the primary senses of humans (in contrast to dogs), i am sure, i am not able to adapt as fast and good as this dog did.
But nevertheless i am adapting to the ongoing loss of sighting i already face every passing year. Many of the people around me are astonished how i handle things, even without looking at it. It makes no sense to watch though, as i, when i look at it, wouldn't see it anyway.
If i enter a new area e.g. i start automatically counting steps and direction changes and remember then, even for use on a second visit weeks later. When i reach my destination, in most cases i am able to tell you exactly how to move back (and are able to perform it). Thats normal life for me. "Normal people" don't care if there are 10 or 12 steps at the stairs. I do, as it makes the difference for me between "get down properly" and "land in hospital with a broken leg"
. This happens without even consciously thinking "Oh, don't forget remembering the stairs count".
I often hear and notice even silent and short noises others won't. I recognize and remember sounds better than others. I differentiate people on how they sound while speaking.
My memory seems better trained than most of the others around me. If you tell me your phone number, address, whatever, i am normally able to memorize the data immediately (of course only up to a certain amount) and can repeat it even after hours. This comes, because i can't use business cards or even a slip of paper to write such and other information down. I am not able to read it again anyway.
I found ways to differentiate money (coins and bills) from feeling and weighing them and comparing sizes with other items (e.g. my wallet, my thumb, whatever nearby i know the size of), found ways to tell when my glass i just fill up is full without spilling the fluid all over the table and so on.
Sorry, if this sounds like bragging and you get the impression i will tell you i am a superman with all that special abilities. That is not my intention. I am just trying to equalize my disadvantages in normal life with some cheating.
There are many "tricks" to adapt and equalize the problems you get when you can't see sth. So i am still not desperate about my disease and use more the way of thinking "Thanks god, that i was able to see at least a bit for so long time!" than "Shit, why must i suffer!". The people who know me will testify, that i am a funny, life loving person, even with
But i am also sure that there are many situations i will not be able to adapt in any way. E.g. do you know how often i walk out of the house wearing different colored socks? Colors are one of the real problems when you can't see. Colors are not tangible, weighable, measurable. My Mom, also suffering the same gene defect, uses a small gadget that can recognize colors and speak the color name aloud. That works fine for very basic colors, but won't when you get to pastel-colors. So this is only a small helping hand, not more not less.
And i definitely miss some things badly too, like driving a car and be mobile in all other ways also, like going out alone to foreign areas. And also doing some hobbies i loved to do earlier, like computer gaming, driving RC-Racecars and throwing boomerangs, that i am no longer able to do. And i think that's
make the main difference between me and a dog! The dog don't miss anything and have no wishes and needs, beside the basic ones like to be feeded, get a home and such, in my opinion.
So i come to the summary of my (sorry) too long post: If i only were a dog