29 July 2007

Problems with my significant other

As some of you may already know, I have a girlfriend who really doesn't want me to become blind. She sees it as a form of self-harm; believing that I really can't want this and that I'd regret it if I went through with it.

She does seem to be open to the idea of me using no-vision contact lenses, which allow me to achieve as close to the state I need to be in as I'm likely to ever get. I think I can live with this, for the time being at least.

Now it's just a question of finding somewhere that makes them to a decent quality for a reasonable price. All I've found so far is somewhere that sells them for £75 per pair, plus postage. This is, I think anyone would agree, very steep.

02 July 2007

Real Life Tests

One thing that seems to be a major stumbling block in terms of being able to treat BIID, aside from the obvious lack of support for the condition amongst the general medical community, is that the majority of people I have talked to don't believe disabling a person is effective treatment, in the long term. In short, the people I have spoken to about BIID don't believe those who suffer from it could cope with receiving the disability their mind tells them they should have.

I have been thinking about how to address this for a while now and it seems to me that the only way to prove this hypothesis either way is to test it. Basically, if we're to receive the treatment we need, it seems necessary to prove we can live with the results of the treatment. In my case this would be to prove I can live my life blind. This would be possible through wearing 'no vision' contact lenses (of which there are few manufacturers but those who provide them make good ones, from what I've seen), learning to use a white can properly (something I've been working on but it's more difficult than it might look) and so forth.

Obviously the contact lenses would need removing every night (from what I can tell, they're not the kind you can sleep in) but that can be worked around (Tesco sells a decent sleep mask that can be used as a blindfold for those times when the contact lenses can't be used, for example). There would therefore be obvious differences between the test and actually living with blindness but these differences are negligible and can be accepted within the parameters of the test.

The question is: what length of time would be suitable for such a test? My initial thought was for something between six months and a year of non-stop, in-role living. However, would six months be long enough to adjust and then actually have enough time to undertake the test proper? I'm not sure. Perhaps a year-long test would be better.

After all, if a person can show that they can live with a disability for a year, having a full life and be at peace with theirself, who's to say they shouldn't have the treatment they need? If it can be shown in this way that the disability provides a better standard of life for the person, surely not providing treatment becomes unethical?