I sat down a few years ago to write about my own process of adjustment to blindness. There are textbooks, manuals, and guides out there and they all do a great job of describing how someone who is blind learns the skills of blindness. I wanted to do something different though. I wanted to tell the story of the process of blind rehab in a literary style. I took myself back in time and wrote about learning everything from three letter words in braille to the triumph of the “Drop-off lesson.” I even included quite a bit about the emotional adjustment.
That body of writing became ten chapters in my book, Out of the Whirlpool, a memoir of remorse and reconciliation. This page contains those ten chapters. The titles have been changed and they have been edited so that they can stand alone, outside of my book. This body of writing will always be available to anyone who wants to read it.
My own rehabilitation process occured in the early 1980s before much of the technology I use every day existed. In those days, I couldn’t just pick up my phone and say, “Call my husband at work.” It was rehabilitation as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs invented it during and immediately after World War II. Times have changed. Newly blind people today may learn the skills of blindness differently. This is an intimate look into the trials, struggles, and triumphs of the process that gave me my life back.
Here’s one comment from a reader who spent his entire professional life in blind rehab..
“Your book is getting better as I go along. I see this book becoming an excellent guide for a newly blind person. You did a great job of presenting the rehab skills the way they should be learned and applied. That, along with the personal adjustment to life as a blind person is very graphic and real.
It is like the reader is blind going through each experience. Even for someone like myself with vast blind rehab experience it gives light to how a newly blind person deals with each hurdle.”