Sometimes It’s The Little Things That Matter
Thyroid eye disease (TED) has a huge impact on my life physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. But it has also necessitated small changes and those small changes help me cope with my ever-changing TED journey.
How TED impacts my vision
Since my TED diagnosis in 2019 I have had multiple periods of better vision and poor vision. There have been very bad times when I could not see my own face, times when I could not drive, and when I was even reluctant to walk out my own front door without a guiding hand. Then there were other periods when even though I could do all those things I still planned my outings so I did not drive west at sunset.
TED has been a roller coaster ride and I never know where the next stop will be. Unfortunately, I am still riding. I have found that if I make changes to my environment when my vision is in a good phase, I am better able to cope with periods when it is not. It is still hard, but being able to be more independent makes me feel stronger.
Making accommodations to make living with thyroid eye disease more manageable
As I write this, it is the start of autumn and it has been raining for days. I find it hard to see in low light conditions. I have made many accommodations to deal with the upcoming fall and winter darkness. Wherever I sit to read or work has much brighter light. I have changed lightbulbs and in some cases lamps and overhead light fixtures to accomplish this. I often have most lights on in my home. Even my kitchen preparation area has under the counter lighting that is always on whenever a knife comes out!
Color coding and simplifying
My clothes are arranged by color. Black pants never get hung up next to blue ones and the only dark socks I wear are black. It is just easier this way.
Making a list
I recently got a luggage tracker tag. When I unpacked after my last vacation I debated where to put that tag so I would remember it. I now keep a list of where I put “odds and ends” because I know if my vision deteriorates, I will not be able to find various things by looking around. I use that list for many items at this point in my TED journey.
Using my phone
Spending time in the garden is one of my favorite hobbies. I like planting and pruning, and yes, even weeding. Since TED it has been hard. If it is a very sunny day, I cannot always see. If it is a very cloudy day I cannot always see. If there are too many shadows or the plants are too dense, I find it hard to do the needed chores. Taking pictures of my garden has helped. I do not have to see clearly to take a picture. My phone focuses and corrects for color. I can look at the details on my screen rather than in person.
Making small changes
Now when I shop for a purse or tote bag, I make sure the lining is a light color. I recently lined the inside of my jewelry box with white felt to cover the black felt that hid everything. It just makes my life a little easier.
In truth, even on my best days my vision is not as good as it was before I was diagnosed with TED. But these small accommodations help me cope every day and will make a big difference if my vision deteriorates. Making my life easier and a little less stressful is just a good idea!
Have you made simple accommodations in your home and life that help you? What are they? Share with us in the comments below.
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