“Low Vision.” It’s not a term I was familiar with prior to joining a healthcare PR firm and having the opportunity to work in ophthalmology, but it is something that I am all too familiar with now between KOL conversations, patient case study reviews and my aging parents.
Simply defined, low vision is the deterioration of one’s vision, making it difficult to complete every day tasks. It can be peripheral or central dependent on its cause (Age-related Macular Degeneration or Diabetic retinopathy, etc.) and can manifest in the forms of distortion, contrast sensitivity, depth perception issues and various other inconvenient and even disheartening ways. Low vision can thoroughly impact a person’s everyday quality of life dependent on it’s cause and severity.
I am a firm believer in timing – that is, you are always exactly where you were supposed to be, emotionally, physically and spiritually. On a recent trip, I was indeed exactly where I was supposed to be.
Checking in late for a flight with an overweight suitcase, I was frazzled and I admit, a bit short with the counter agent whose assistance I required to make my flight and most important for my luggage to make my flight. As we went back and forth over the $100 overweight baggage fee and my disdain for said charge, a woman next to me was having a visibly difficult time navigating the self-check in kiosk. The gate agent and I both stopped our conversation and she attempted to verbally instruct the woman on how to use the machine.
“Ma’am, you just put in your confirmation number and select how many bags you are checking, once you confirm your flight information we can help you,” the gate agent stated.
The woman slightly confused and frustrated said, “I can’t. I have low vision. I don’t know what this says.”
The gate agent responded, “I don’t know what that means…” and as she trailed off a bit confused I chimed in.
“I do. Let me help you.”
We proceeded to gather her information and get her all checked in and on her way to her appropriate gate.
Some people would say this was a coincidence, I however, believe in divine appointments, and this was definitely one. It was a reminder of so many simple things; how lucky I am to be able to see, the importance in using what we have available to help others, and most notable that though ophthalmology is often an overlooked sub-specialty, it is an incredibly important and innovative field.
The gate agent gave me a first class upgrade that morning and didn’t charge me at all to check my bags. It’s important to remember that sometimes in slowing down, we actually get ahead.
-Written by Cassy Dump, Account Executive at Pascale Communications.
Read Cassy Dump’s bio here.