1. RP is the abbreviation for Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition.
2. What my RP looks like today: A little peephole (about the size of a dime) that is now fuzzy.
3. RP diagnosis at age 18 although the opthalmologist later indicated he knew when I was 13!
4. RP felt normal. Up until my diagnosis I thought I had normal vision -- didn't know anyone had peripheral vision and could see way out to the sides - goodness, what do you do with all that vision :).
5. Because of #4, just thought I was clumsy - received the Clumsy Awards at Girls Camp.
6. RP Recessive form: I am the only one in my family with this condition.
7. I quit driving at age 28 - thankfully no accidents.
8. I WALKED into a stop sign shortly after giving up my driver's license and began mobility training!
9. I struggled playing softball and volleyball prior to knowing that I had RP -- no wonder! Remember the great catch, dad! I recall a time in volleyball, I was just standing there while the ball dropped right in front of me. My coach was frustrated and thought I was dreaming about boys or something - which I probably was but had no way of knowing a ball was soon to land in front of me.
10. I enjoy educating about Retinitis Pigmentosa, blindness, and guide dogs.
11. It has been an interesting journey to have others question my 'blindness legitimacy' -- there is a man in our office complex that is convinced I am not blind and do not need a guide dog. I once said hi to him -- he drilled me on how I knew it was him - 'thought you couldn't see' ... Recently, not intentionally, I walked smack into him (FYI: Cricket was not guiding at the time) Perhaps, now he gets it. WHY would I fake it?
12. RP is unpredictable on its progress = anticipatory grief.
13. Just as you become accustomed to the recent change or loss of vision, it may take another turn.
14. Thanks to RP I have learned the meaning of interdependency and try to see it that way rather than resisting dependence or fighting to be independent.
15. It is estimated that 100,000 people in the U.S. have Retinitis Pigmentosa.
16. RP has helped me learn to breathe in courage ... breathe out fear.
17. If my RP was put in the middle of the circle of challenges, I think I may pull it back out rather than something else.
18. I was diagnosed with RP while Steve and I were dating.
19. My RP shins and scars above my eyes (the two places I seem to hit the most), I see as victory scars - means I am active and doing something (even if many times it is from random silly little tasks)
20. I have met so many incredible people because of RP.
21. RP has helped me be flexible ... not sweat the small stuff. By the time, I finished yard work today, I had 4 mini rakes that I had lost out in the grass. (I know blind skills but sometimes I don't use them.)
22. RP generally impacts night vision first - I don't recall ever seeing the stars.
23. RP can have secondary complications - cataracts, macula edema, flashy/floaters (had them all).
24. My parents first realized I couldn't see at night when I walked into the wall after the movie Jungle Book at age 3.
25. Retinitis Pigmentosa does not define me. I am a woman who is and does many things, one of which happens to be blind from Retinitis Pigmentosa. I am married, mother of two, have a master's degree and am an individual, marriage, and family therapist, small business owner, and simply love life most of the time.