Friday, March 30, 2012

The Dilemma of Data

Logging data is one of those things that every single person diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes probably does initially, but that falls by the wayside after the first few years (or months!). It's one of those things that we all know helps, yet most of us struggle to do. We are told on one hand that diabetes doesn't have to be something that rules our lives; yet, it's hard to frame something as just a daily nuisance when it involves not only so much daily minutiae but also involves recording every single instance of minutiae into a paper logbook or computer system.

I personally find logging data manually to be incredibly useful. Sure, my pump records a lot of information, but there are things it doesn't record (like specifically what I ate) that I might want to know. Plus, the act of manually recording blood sugars and other events makes me much more aware of what is going on than when I don't record. For me, as someone with a visual impairment, the advent of computer software has also greatly increased the accessibility of keeping a logbook. Despite this, I still struggle with exactly why I'm taking the time to record all this information.

A paper logbook and iPhone diabetes management app Like other aspects of diabetes over the past few decades, logging has changed a lot. Those of us diagnosed before computers were common used ruled notebooks or binders full of loose leaf paper. There was often no data analysis component—we logged so that we could show it to our doctors, because meters back then did not have memory. In the late '90s meters began to come out with computer connectivity, and it seems to be at this point the whole idea of "data analysis" developed. These days some people still use pen and paper, but people also have the choice of using a myriad of computer applications, websites, apps, and computerized meters and pumps to collect, store, and analyze relevant data.

For me, I don't actually care that much about blood sugar statistics. Sure, it's great for tracking progress, but it doesn't actually help me improve my control in any way. Plus, almost all meters and pumps these days are able to provide some basic information about averages and glucose ranges, either through the meter itself or through accompanying software. So, when software is expecting me to enter data manually—which, as I said above, I don't actually mind—I really wish that it would provide me with actual tools I could use to improve my control. The current software out there seems little better than a paper logbook in providing these types of tools.

What I really want to see are causes and effects. I don't care about the fact that my average blood glucose is 8.2 mmol/L or that I've been waking up low every morning for the past few days or that I've tended to go high around dinnertime lately. I'm aware enough that I have a sense of this information without the nuisance of logging everything—and the very process of manually logging makes me even more aware of these trends. What I am interested in seeing is the cause and effects of variables on blood sugar, so that I could either control these variables or adjust my insulin to get tighter control.

With the huge craze on being able to quickly collect, skim, and analyze various types of data out there, diabetes software seems to be lagging way behind. Designers seem stuck on this blood-sugar-statistics model and on the before-and-after-meal framework for organizing data. What I would really like to see is diabetes software that views blood sugar as a dependent variable, and allows tracking of some standard independent variables (food, insulin, exercise) as well as the creation of any other independent variable event one wishes to track. Plus the ability to create parameters for these variables (time, intensity, or anything else) and filter results based on these parameters. Plus the ability to then filter blood sugar in various time relationships to one or more of these variables (before, after, during, between). Plus the ability to tag readings or events with any relevant notes and then search through and organize the tags at a later date. And then provides tools for visualizing and analyzing blood sugar in relation to all these other variables that have been collected. Want to see whether blood sugar always rises on the third day of an infusion set? Want to see how much exercise of X intensity lowers blood sugar compared to exercise of Y intensity? Want to see whether exam stress really affects your blood sugar levels? Want to see if you really run higher during the winter compared to the summer? Want to see if you go low every time you do X even though it's something you only do once a month? Want to see if an hour of swimming lowers your blood sugar differently than an hour of cycling? It's little things like this that would make manually recording information truly valuable.

As of yet, there is no software that even comes close to what I am describing. I am currently using a combination of a desktop application and an iPhone app that are okay, but far from perfect. And I think this, more than anything, is why I really struggle to log sometimes—because I feel like the data I log is never really taken advantage of and used in a truly meaningful way that will let me figure out some of the factors that make managing Type 1 diabetes so maddeningly "random" sometimes. Isn't diabetes really about problem-solving in the end? I want software that will actually help me sort out data and make decisions about how to solve problems, not just tell me statistics about my blood sugar.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Different, Deficient, Disabled

As I was crossing the street today, a boy walking with his father beside me suddenly cried in excitement, "Look! Look, she's using a ... she's blind!" He was young, maybe five, and his father (or, at least I assume it was his father) responded with, "Mm-hmm," and went on to shush him and drop back behind me.

I tried not to smile. I like when young children see me doing everyday things like carrying grocery bags across the street. Many adults seem to think this is an amazing, miraculous feat rather than an everyday occurrence. Maybe, by seeing a person who is blind doing such everyday things at a young age, children will grow up believing I (and anyone else) are just as capable as they are. I began wondering at how negative attitudes towards people and their capabilities are formed throughout life, and thought back to my own experiences.

I was born different.

Some of my first memories are from when I was four or five years old. There's not much—snatches here and there, scenes of the house we lived in at the time. But nowhere in those memories is anything about feeling different. Nowhere is there any time where I was told "you can't" or where I felt inferior.

As a five-year-old I used to play Legos with my brothers in the playroom. We'd sit on the floor, Tupperware containers full of the colourful blocks scattered throughout the room, building our various structures. I used to plunge my hand into a container of blocks and burrow through the pieces, feeling for the right shape. When I found one, I'd grab it and bring my hand up close to my eyes. If it was the right colour, I'd use it. If it wasn't, I'd toss it back into the container and begin the burrowing search again.

It wasn't until later that I realized no one else did this. My brothers and our friends sometimes had to move pieces around with their hands to expose those underneath, but they searched with their eyes. Sometimes, they were faster. But sometimes I was faster. And, in the end, we build equally as well and how we went about finding the pieces we needed—with our hands or with our eyes—didn't matter.

It was around the time I started school that I became deficient.

Suddenly, I entered an environment that was almost exclusively visual and that I had little control over. I couldn't see what was written on the board even from the front row. I couldn't read any of the print materials unless they were enlarged and I squinted and got so close my nose brushed the page. When we crowded onto the carpet each morning for calendar and weather activities I couldn't see anything the teacher was doing.

Suddenly, I needed all sorts of special aids to help me access the visual part of the world. I had a paraprofessional in the room to read from the board, enlarge handouts to a size I could see, and describe what was going on when the teacher did presentations. My desk was cluttered with a slant board, magnifiers, a task lamp, and large print books. Later an entire table in the corner of the room was commandeered to house a computer, printer, and video magnifier (this being the early '90s when such things weren't common in classrooms). A teacher of the visually impaired came in several times a week to teach me how to use magnifiers and monoculars, assistive technologies, and braille.

Still, with these aids I was just as capable as any of my classmates. I never heard the words "you can't" spoken by any child or adult around me. Sure, I needed to do some things in a different way, but I could still do them in the end. My classmates, I believe, always saw me as just "one of the gang" and not really any different from them, except I couldn't see well. They went through great lengths to include me in activities, such as calling out my name in physical education when a ball was sailing in my direction, and yelling "Good try!" when I invariably missed (or flinched out of the way of the flying object I couldn't see).

I did not realize until many years later how hard my parents fought for me during my school years. When I wanted to participate in baseball in grade three they made it happen—even though it wasn't the same league that all my friends had joined (that league refused) and I ended up hating it in the end (they also did not let me quit ... I had to finish the season). But at least I got to try it. I participated in gymnastics and downhill skiing, swimming and piano, skating and art, track and field and acting. The worst injury I received was getting knocked unconscious (and breaking my nose!) when I ran headlong into a classmate at full speed as we were playing Freeze Tag. That, and many more minor injuries, were totally worth it for the experience of having an un-sheltered childhood. What other legally blind child played baseball? What other legally blind child started racing across the playground with their peers as soon as they exited the school doors (granted, I knew the school grounds well!).

It was when I started college that I became disabled.

Suddenly, to my surprise, the aura of blindness followed me everywhere. I wasn't just dealing with needing accommodations for my visual impairment—I had to face the attitudes of other people, too. I wasn't surround by people who had known me for years, people who considered my visual impairment to be just one aspect among many of who I was as a person. Suddenly, it was all new people—many of whom saw first and foremost the "blind student." Some of whom did not have a positive attitude about the capabilities of someone with a visual impairment, either. I had more than one professor over the years suggest that I drop their course for various reasons (usually before they met me and learned that my blindness wasn't such a big deal after all). Yet, I had other professors who, despite very challenging courses, embraced the challenge of making their curriculum accessible and were open to working with me to find a way through, even if it wasn't easy.

How do people develop a positive attitude in one instance but a negative attitude in another? How important are early experiences? Seeing someone with a visual impairment crossing a street with a white cane versus seeing them being guided by someone. Seeing someone portrayed in a movie as capable rather than helpless. Hearing people talk about lawyers and doctors and teachers who just happen to have disabilities rather than about how people with disabilities need help and charity because they aren't as capable.

For me, the experiences and attitudes I was exposed to growing up made a huge difference in my own attitude today. My disability was never ignored—but it was never used as an excuse or a reason for why I couldn't do something. I could do anything—I just might have to do some things a little differently. And that was okay!

How can we—all of us, whether we have a disability or not—help to foster positive attitudes of disability ... deficiency ... difference at an early age in life? So that children will grow up to be parents, teachers, and employers who truly believe that all people, regardless of their ability or disability, are capable ... they just might have to do some things a little differently.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Full Disclosure ... Or Not?

I was 17 and it was one of the first real jobs I'd applied for. Walking up to the customer service counter at Walmart, I'd asked for an application form, which I then took home so I could use my desktop video magnifier to fill it out.

A few days later, I was excited to get a phone call inviting me to an interview. (I was sure getting an interview must mean I'd practically gotten the job.) When I arrived at the store, however, I was surprised to find a dozen other applicants milling about nervously. We were all escorted into a room and handed a stack of papers. It wasn't until I noticed that everyone else was frantically scrounging through their purses and bags for pens and finding hard surfaces to lay the pages against that I realized these were forms we had to fill out. Lots of forms.

I had kept my white cane folded and stashed in my purse. I was 17, this was my first job interview, and I wasn't about to instantly brand myself as different the moment I arrived by walking in with a white cane. And, staring at the multiple sheets of paper with faint blue print, I still didn't want to brand myself as different. Who would hire someone who's first act was to say they couldn't do something?

So, I searched my purse until I found a pen and a handheld magnifier, pressed my face to the page, and painstakingly filled out the forms. I was unable to read and write simultaneously, so my strategy was to squint through the magnifier to read, then take the magnifier away to write, then peer through the magnifier to check my writing, then move on to the next question, and so forth ... It was painfully slow. I tried to ignore the fact that everyone else was getting up and handing in their papers while I was barely done the first page.

I felt a huge sense of relief when I finally got up and handed in the forms. Even though I was, by far, the last one.

When it came time for the actual interview, I decided that the possibility of being asked to fill out more paperwork or do something else I couldn't see well was worse than the possibility of being branded as different. I took out the white cane and unfolded it halfway. At least they could tell what it was, hopefully ... but it hopefully wouldn't be the first thing that jumped out about me, either.

I thought the interview went well. I was nervous, being a teenager and all. At the end of the interview the interviewer told me that I would probably be hired as a greeter. I was ecstatic as I left the store.

I never heard back from them.

I tried waiting. I tried calling. I tried getting the employment counsellor I was working with to call on my behalf. We never heard back. Nothing.

To this day, I'll never know what happened. Was I just too timid in the interview? Or was it discrimination—their belief that, because I was visually impaired, I wouldn't be able to do the job? Or, did my reluctance to take out the white cane—and reluctance to ask for help filling out the forms—paint me in a negative light? Perhaps it painted me as someone who was not only self-conscious but also reluctant to communicate a situation and explain what I needed.

I had a job interview yesterday. Nowadays, I handle things very differently. I walk in with my white cane unfolded and in full view from the start. I will admit: I am still self-conscious doing this. I can't help but wonder what's going through the interviewer's mind when they see me, knowing that very few people have direct experience working with individuals who are blind. Oftentimes I'll learn what's on their mind as the interview progresses, because they'll ask me. "This job involves travel, how will you handle that?" "How can you use a computer?" "How will you supervise kids?" "There's lots of reading ... will that be a problem?"

I know that some people with disabilities would refuse to answer such questions. In the U.S. it is illegal to even ask them (I'm not sure about Canada). And, sometimes, I do get asked simple and awkward questions which make it clear that the interviewer thinks I'm unable to do the most basic tasks of daily living independently. But my philosophy is that if I don't answer these questions, how are they ever going to learn? Clearly they have never interacted with someone who is blind. What good would it do to clam up and refuse to answer a question, rather than answering it with ease and inviting them to ask any others they might have?

The flip side of this is that before interviews I go through lengths to hide my insulin pump and make sure all its alarms are turned off. I make sure my blood sugar is high enough that I have no chance of going low. My visual impairment is an obvious disability. Even if I didn't use a white cane, I would want the interviewer to know why I was unable to make eye contact. It's something that has a huge impact on how I'll perform the job—not because I can't perform it but because I may have to do so differently. But my diabetes isn't obvious. No one has to know I have it unless I tell them, and as of yet I have never had to ask for any kind of job accommodations for this disease. The one thing I don't try to hide is my Medic Alert bracelet; but, if anyone has ever noticed this, they have never asked about it.

The decision of when and how to disclose a disability or a condition like diabetes is complex. I've known people who disclose it right on the cover letter. I know others who call up and tell a potential employer when they get invited for an interview. I know others who don't say anything until they get hired—and this is actually me, in regards to diabetes. Would I do the same if I had a relatively minor visual impairment? Would I feel comfortable disclosing my diabetes if I was applying for a job where my disease might require accommodations?

It's hard to say, and it's definitely a topic of ongoing debate among health- and disability-related communities. I do believe that it can reflect positively on someone if they are able to comfortably talk about their disability and the types of accommodations they require—but it depends a lot on an individual's own comfort level. It also depends on the job; there are some jobs where it may actually be advantageous to state a disability or illness near the beginning of the application process. In the end, I'm not sure there is any "right" answer to when and how to disclose a disability or health condition to a potential employer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Braille: Powerful, Flexible, Elegant—and Misunderstood

Note: This post is about braille and one aspect of the braille literacy issue (some would say "crisis") which currently exists.

I sit on the bus during my commute home reading a novel on my BrailleNote to pass the time. As I read, my fingers skimming lightly over the raised pins of the refreshable braille display, a child sitting nearby turns to her mother and asks what I am doing. “She's blind," the mother answers, "so she has to read in braille."

I pause in my reading and briefly ponder the nuances of language which have just taken place. I realize that whenever people speak of braille, it is usually preceded with "has to use" or "has to learn." I wonder why this subtly-negative "has to" often precedes the mention of braille. I think of the role braille plays in my own life, of how it has made my hobbies, my studies, and my employment so much easier and, indeed, possible. I think of how braille was not something I had to learn and use but something I chose to learn and use; and, as someone with low vision, it's a choice I am thankful to have made. I am thankful to be proficient in a skill that, regrettably, the majority of blind and visually impaired people do not possess. Braille is a powerful tool, an incredibly flexible means of communication, and an elegant form of reading for those who choose to become proficient—but it is also very misunderstood, not only by the sighted public but by many blind and visually impaired individuals themselves.

The usefulness of braille is undeniable. While the unemployment rate of people who are blind in Canada hovers near a shocking 70%, the unemployment rate among those who are proficient braille readers hovers closer to 10%—only slightly higher than the overall national unemployment rate of 6%. There are many tasks, important for work, play, and daily living, which cannot be easily accomplished by looking closely at large print or by using speech output. Pressing an elevator button. Referencing notes during a meeting or discussion. Reading financial records. Keeping an organized filing system. Using a microwave independently. Delivering a public speech. Jotting down a quick phone number or memo. Using a ruler or other measuring device. Reading and following a map. Understanding a flowchart or diagram. Distinguishing a credit card from a library card from a bus pass. Tasks such as these are taken for granted by people who are sighted, and any employer would expect an employee to be able to perform them. But for many people who are blind who do not read braille proficiently, operating a microwave or discreetly jotting down information during a meeting or phone conversation is no simple task. Why is the braille literacy rate among people who are blind at less than 10%, while the print literacy rate among the general Canadian population is at more than 99%? Why are more blind and visually impaired people not learning and using this powerful, flexible, elegant system of communication?

There are several misconceptions about braille which are held by people who are blind in addition to people who are sighted. Many believe that braille is very difficult to learn, that it has become obsolete in the face of advancements in computer technology, and that braille use is slow and awkward at best. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Many people see braille as a last resort—something that a person "has" to use when all else fails. Why is braille never spoken of as simply something someone uses or knows, without the "has to" part?

First off, braille is not a foreign language. The mere fact that Microsoft Word insists on "correcting" my grammar by capitalizing the word "braille" whenever I type it shows just how deep this myth runs. While English and French and Japanese should be capitalized, braille should not—just as the word print or audio should not—unless it is referring to Louis Braille, the inventor of the code. Braille is just that: a code. When someone reads braille they are reading the exact same English (or French, or Italian) as a print reader, they are just doing so using patterns of raised dots rather than lines drawn on a page as the coding system.

Another myth, largely related to this idea that braille is a foreign language, is that braille is hard to learn. While becoming fluent in braille takes much dedication and practice (just as reading print does—ask any primary school student!), the basics are not hard to learn. The alphabet can be learned in just a few minutes and proficiency built in just a few days of practice, and punctuation and numbers in just a little more time. This basic level of braille can (and should!) be put to immediate use labelling items and keeping personal records. Braille contractions, which must be learned if the user wishes to become truly fluent in the code (as this is the format almost all books are published in), will take several weeks to months to fully master. And braille does take practice—you cannot learn it and then not use it and expect to retain the skill.

Unfortunately, many people—particularly those who lose vision as adults—learn uncontracted or contracted braille initially through rehabilitation training and then fail to make use of it on a daily basis. Just as with any new skill, braille must be practiced in order to be retained and build proficiency. Imagine learning to play the piano and then never practicing! Although you may retain some memory of the positions of notes, the chances that you could perform in front of an audience are slim at best. Imagine learning to add and subtract and then never using it outside of the classroom! Braille, like any new skill, requires practice. It may be slow and tedious at first, but as with other skills this will slowly give way to speed.

One of the bigger myths is that braille is becoming obsolete and unnecessary due to advances in technology. In fact the opposite is true—technology has made braille more available and portable than ever before, which makes the drop in literacy rate from more than 50% in the 1950s to less than 10% today a bit ironic. I have seen countless articles over the past few years about technology replacing braille and making it obsolete. Where are all the articles saying how technology has vastly expanded braille accessibility? In the past braille books had to be transcribed by hand, dot for dot with a slate and stylus or cell-by-cell with a braillewriter. These days, however, a braille document can be produced in a matter of minutes through the use of a scanner, computer software, and braille embosser. Many products such as the BrailleNote and Braille Sense contain refreshable braille displays in extremely portable and versatile packages. Refreshable braille displays can also be connected to standard computers, tablets, and cell phones (not all, but many). Far from making braille obsolete, technology has enhanced the usability and availability of braille far beyond what could have been imagined when Louis Braille invented his code. It is now possible to store hundreds of books on a flash drive to access anywhere—on the bus, at work or school, or at home—rather than needing an entire room to store a dozen large volumes that make up a single book and being limited to carrying around one or two volumes at a time. (This is one area where people who read braille were way ahead of everyone else. Braille readers have been using electronic books for the past 10-15 years; the rest of the world is just starting to catch up!)

Also, while a lot of people who are sighted marvel at the ability of someone with a visual impairment to feel braille dots, many people also believe that braille is inherently a slower reading medium than print. This misconception may be "confirmed" when, after a few weeks or months, a beginning braille reader continues to read haltingly and with awkward pauses. To dispel this myth you need do nothing more than listen to a proficient braille reader to realize that braille can be read fluently, eloquently, and with expression. Some parents and teachers of students with visual impairments fall into this trap, and as a result set low expectations of their braille readers' speed and inadvertently create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If a child is only expected to read 50 words per minute, then that’s all they’ll read. If they're expected to eventually reach 200 words per minute or more, then that’s what they’ll reach. Every new braille reader (child or adult) should have the opportunity to listen to a proficient reader read aloud so that they can know what is possible.

Finally, one of the most harmful and widespread misconceptions is that braille is only useful if a person cannot read print at all. This is so far from the truth. A large number of adults with low vision say they wished they had learned braille as a child. There are those with low vision who learn braille and are amazed at how much they were limited by large print alone. And yet, there are countless people with low vision who do not learn braille because they do not think they need it. If someone has low vision then braille should definitely be considered an option—and not a last resort! I, as a low vision person myself, would not be able to have gotten as far as I have—through two undergraduate degrees, student teaching practicums, most of a master's degree, and become a successful professional—without braille. I could not make oral presentations, or read from notes during meetings or lesson plans during teaching, or read and write while commuting to maximize time, or quickly use a system for filing papers, or even find an elevator button gracefully, without braille. And just because someone with low vision uses braille does not mean they must do so at the expense of print. I, and many others, happily utilize both mediums on a daily basis depending on the task at hand.

And so, there are (what I think) are the main misconceptions about braille; misconceptions that are held not only by people who are sighted but also by people who are blind. Misconceptions which—among other causes—hold people back from learning braille and, more importantly, from becoming proficient and graceful in reading and writing it. A lot of people just don't realize the possibilities in braille, and the flexibility of it, and the fact that it is fast and is efficient rather than clumsy and slow—but they have to practice and believe it's possible to get there! This post is, of course, not addressing all of the obstacles to people learning and using braille, but I think if braille could be reframed so that it was viewed as a valid choice people make rather than a last resort, perceptions toward braille, and the number of people learning and using it, would change for the better.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Between Two Worlds

I sometimes feel as if I'm living between two worlds.

When people ask me, "So, are you blind?" or, "Are you sick?" I have to answer, "Well, yes. And no. Sort of. It's complicated."

Am I blind?

Yes, I am. My visual acuity—which cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses—falls roughly within the range of 20/600. This places me squarely in the "legally blind" category; meaning that, according to government records, I am classified as blind and am eligible for certain services offered only to individuals who are blind. I use a white cane when travelling most of the time, the white cane being the international symbol of blindness—recognized the world over as indicating that its user can't see. I am a fluent braille user, another tool which is practically synonymous with blindness. Before braille's invention in the early 1800s literacy was virtually inaccessible to those who could not read print. I continually depend on paying close attention to my other senses to give me information I miss visually.

But, I'm not really blind. At least, not in the way that most people think of the term.

Unless you see me using a white cane or reading braille or holding an object two centimetres from my face to see it, you probably wouldn't know I was blind. In fact, even if you did see me holding an object two centimetres from my face to see it, you might not know I'm blind. The most common comment I get when people see me doing that is, "Did you forget your glasses?" I have to tell them that, no, I'm visually impaired and glasses (and surgery) don't help correct my vision.

The truth is, although my vision is quite low, I do have a great deal of usable vision when compared to someone who is totally blind (those who have no usable vision). And not only do I have usable vision: I greatly enjoy using the vision that I do have. I am a visual thinker and a visual learner. I read large print daily. I rely on visual landmarks when out and about. I enjoy photography and art.

Am I sick?

Well, yes, I am. I have a disease, a process gone awry within my body. A part of my body—the insulin-producing beta cells in my pancreas—no longer function. I perform blood tests on a daily basis to make sure certain values are within safe ranges. If the results drift much outside these ranges I can quickly find myself in a life-threatening situation. I wear a Medic Alert bracelet, branding me immediately as someone who has a serious health condition. I take injections regularly. I carry emergency medical supplies with me wherever I go. I am connected to a medical device day and night. I have had this disease keep me up half the night with monitoring and treatment. I rely daily on an external substance, which if it were ever withdrawn would quickly kill me. I am waiting for a cure.

But, I'm not really sick. At least, not in the way that most people think of the term.

Unless you saw me testing my blood or changing an infusion set or pushing buttons on my insulin pump, you probably wouldn't notice that I have Type 1 diabetes. In fact, even if you did see me using my insulin pump to bolus for a snack, you may not realize I have Type 1 diabetes. The most common comment I get when people see me doing this is, "So, who are you texting?" And I have to explain that I'm not texting, I have diabetes and use an insulin pump.

The truth is, although I rely on external medicine for my daily health and yes, even survival, it does not dominate my life. It does not determine my day, nor does it determine my life decisions. I have not spent any more time in hospitals than most healthy people; in fact, the only time I’ve visited the hospital because of my diabetes was the time I was diagnosed.

I live between two worlds. I live between the world of the blind and the sighted (that grey area called low vision—although I don't mind being called blind, either). I live between the world of the sick and the healthy (that grey area called chronic illness). This blog is about my thoughts, ideas, rants, ramblings, and experiences living life as someone who is legally blind and has Type 1 diabetes. I hope it gives you a glimpse into both of these worlds.