Coping and curing – ultimately the same thing

One thing I find quite upsetting, are those news and feature stories where someone has been cured of blindness, or that scientists are now finding more and more ways to cure blindness.

I am blind due to a detached optic nerve as well as cataract. There is no point in removing the cataract as my optic nerve will still be detached. My blindness is incurable. And I’d be extremely surprised if there was ever a way to attach my optic nerve. To cure me.

It may sound as if I’m bitter because of all these curing blindness stories, but that’s not the case at all.

What upsets me about them is the word cure. A cure is essentially a good thing. Cured of cancer, cured of alcoholism. But both cancer and alcoholism are things that are not good. And by using the word cure in relation to blindness, arguably puts blindness in the category with all the bad stuff.

I have said many times both in this blog and in real life, that blindness is extremely impractical and that I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. I mean that. But I think it is very important to recognize that blindness only is a bad thing because the society as a whole isn’t made for blind people. A blind person can work, raise a family, cook, do DIY, and pretty much everything a sighted person can do, except those things that involves seeing. As long as they get the right support of course.

An alcoholic or a cancer patient often does not have the abilities to live a very fast paced and high demanding life. And let’s face it. Apart from the life insights one might gain from cancer and alcoholism, there really isn’t anything positive about either of them.

But back to the curing of the blind. If YOU or someone you know has been cured of blindness, or if YOU have donated a hundred dollars to support cataract operations in developing countries, great. Congratulations.

But much as resources should be put into curing blindness, equally many resources should be put into coping with blindness and living a full and good life as a blind person. Many of us will never be cured. And blind people in developed countries who can’t be cured, will be eternally grateful if an equal amount of money, the cost of a cataract operation, and could be spent towards educating them to be fully contributing towards the society.

Finally, I will argue that curing blindness isn’t just making a person sighted. But it is to give blind people equal abilities to the sighted. According to this argument therefore, keep the cure stories coming. I certainly am as good as cured.

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5 thoughts on “Coping and curing – ultimately the same thing

  1. I have Stargadts Disease and there are currently some trials in the United States and other nations which hope to “cure” or at least arrest the progression of Stargardts Disease. I am not someone who worries about a cure, but many members of my Stargardts support group are very interested in these developments. As you say Linn, vision loss is impractical and the world does not conform to those who are blind or visually impaired. But I agree that as much emphasis should be placed on quality of life as on medical trials. One of the issues I imagine is fundraising. People tend to want to donate money for cures, not quality of life issues. I would love to see more awareness of vision loss among society in general.

    Michelle

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