San Diego

Why a San Marcos author is glad he went blind

Mark Carlson put his information canine, Saphron, accountable for not solely his sight, but in addition his social life.

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A San Marcos author says he is glad he went blind practically thirty years in the past. In this Zevely Zone, I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Carlson and his finest good friend, a information canine named Saffron.

“Saffron, come on baby,” stated Mark Carlson as he and his information canine gave me a tour of the house that Mark has by no means seen. “Just think of it as you’ve just switched off the lights,” stated Mark who walks via his home with confidence. 

“Everything in this room I have never seen,” stated Mark. “I don’t even know what color the carpets are.” I informed Mark the carpets had been brown, and he stated, “I was rather hoping for orange shag but then again I was born in the 70’s.”

Mark does his personal laundry, dishes and housekeeping and he’ll even make you a cup of espresso in seconds. “Here you go,” stated Mark handing me a cup. “Really when you think about being blind it is like living in a house where the lights have been turned off,” stated Mark.

He says if he had been to stare at a shiny window, he might solely detect mild. Mark had imaginative and prescient till his mid-30’s. His father and brother each suffered from Retinitis Pigmentosa. Mark too went blind on the age of 35. “I started noticing that my vision was closing in and the tunnel vision was getting tighter and tighter,” stated the 61-year-old.

Using a system referred to as Pen Friend, Mark has catalogued most of his belongings with labels. When he scans the labels, the system tells him what they’re reminiscent of his intensive DVD assortment.

In the kitchen, stickers assist him navigate his home equipment. “This is one, three, seven, nine,” he stated whereas exhibiting me the stickers on his microwave. His garments have labels too. “I prefer to do it myself because for years I would get dressed and my wife would say you’re not going out like that are you and I would say no honey I had not planned to,” stated Mark.

In 2020, Mark’s spouse of 25 years, Jane, died from power well being issues and a coronary heart assault. “Devastating,” stated Mark. “I depended on her more than I realized.”

Mark needed to learn the way reside on his personal. “It took me awhile to get used to the angles,” he stated utilizing his hand to information him as he walked via his house. “Occasionally I’ll crash into a wall because I was pointed the wrong way,” stated Mark. “My forehead and my shins a testament to occasional collisions.”

Mark says he misses seeing issues. He cherished gazing on the stars, watching sunsets and seeing his personal paintings which he hasn’t seen in virtually 30 years. “Yeah, I do. But I know exactly what they look like. I remember the Lincoln portrait very well,” stated Mark. He is blind. He has a listening to incapacity. He is a man. “Yeah, those are my three disabilities. Being a guy is much harder to deal with than being blind,” laughed Mark.

Mark loves humor and writing. “This is my first novel,” stated Mark. “Vengeance of a Last Roman Legion.” This e book referred to as Out of the Darkness is half one among a four-part collection. “I am very proud of it,” stated Mark who has written 16 books.

His greatest hit is titled Confessions of a Guide Dog: The Blonde Leading the Blind. “That was my first published book,” stated Mark. “That was about my first guide dog Musket.” He wrote a sequel about his present information canine named Saffron. That e book is titled referred to as Confessions of a Labradiva. “Another Blonde Leading the Blind,” laughed Mark.

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Mark is blissful to let his information canines be accountable for his sight and social life. He says typically occasions, he walks in a room and buddies say, “Hey Saffron, how are you? Oh, hello Mark how are you doing. “It’s wonderful the individuals these canines have attracted, we’ve got met individuals who walked on the moon. Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan and Alan Bean,” stated Mark.

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Thanks to his canines, Mark says he is dwelling a life that is over the moon. “Losing my eyesight was the best thing that could happened. All I did was give up my eyesight but that I gained from it is far more wonderful,” stated Mark. “They have changed my life.” 

For extra details about Mark’s life and books go to  

For a hyperlink to Confessions of a Labradiva: Another Blonde Leading the Blind click here.

For a hyperlink to Vengeance of a Last Roman Legion: Out of the Darkness click here.

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