Major Breakdown: Just a Night with RP

I’m coming to realize that most of my breakdowns are at night. This might be partially because by the end of the day, I am exhausted because I go to school full-time, work part-time, and have a lot of other things to deal with. But this is also because, at my new school, I have to negotiate traveling campus by myself. I haven’t used my cane in about a year. (It got lost when I moved.) I didn’t use it as much as I should anyways because I was afraid of what people would think since I’m not fully sighted (obviously) but I’m not completely blind either. That story is for another post though.

Last night, I was traveling from a student organization meeting to the bus stop and then from the bus stop into my dorm. Normally, this isn’t that bad of a process. The first time I did it however, I had the other “major breakdown” I recently blogged about. The buses are not very well lit, so once I get onto the bus it is very hard for me to identify seats which are empty and seats which are taken. The fact that different buses have different seating arrangements too is difficult. I might think about talking to them about putting a little brighter bulb in their lights because they are pretty much useless, in my opinion. I got to the bus stop fine, had a little issue getting seated, and then managed to get off (after bumping somebody, of course). I arrived in my dorm room and then just kind of broke down.

I started texting one of my best friends, Patrick, who is a lifelong friend. His father is also blind. He bluntly said, “You wouldn’t have this problem if you carried your cane, you know.” And then that’s when it suddenly hit me. He is so right. I need to get over my problems with carrying a cane and carry it. Another friend, Skylar, who is in a wheelchair said, “You not carrying your cane is like me not using my wheelchair.” Again, very true. These are both assistive devices which help us so much that we really should use them. She had to overcome her wheelchair and now I’m going to work on overcoming my cane. (Like I said, that story is for another post)

The cane would help me in many ways. For one, it would be something that others could physically see to identify that they may need to watch out as I don’t have full vision. A lot of other individuals would also take this as to maybe help. While I want to maintain my independence, I will admit that sometimes just a little help in some of these situations would be quite nice. It would also help alert me of various obstacles that I might encounter ahead. It would avoid a lot of situations as I wouldn’t bump into somebody, my cane would. I have a feeling many would be more understanding to this.

Since I lost my current cane, I talked to my Orientation and Mobility Specialist and she told me the right cane to order. I’ve ordered it and so now i”m anxiously awaiting it’s arrival. I never thought I would be so excited for a cane to come in the mail.


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Jessica N and Makiko

Jessica is a proud Texan. She graduated in 2014 with her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and is now employed. She is visually impaired and has a retinal disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Originally Jessica started blogging about everything from being diagnosed with the disease to where she is now, almost 9 years later. Then, Jessica went to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was blessed with Makiko, her new guide dog. Now, her blog "The Way Eye See The World" is about everything related to visual impairments, including guide dogs.

6 thoughts on “Major Breakdown: Just a Night with RP”

  1. Oh yes the cane or not to cane. I’ve been using mine more and more. I think it’s a battle for everyone that is visually impaired. We can see certain things and it feels weird using the cane. Well it’s helped me. Keeps me from running into people and things. And of course it’s saved me from some horrible falls down unexpected stairs. And it lets me have my peace of mind. Yes I battle with the cane but it’s winning and that’s ok with me.:)
    Good luck with your adventures!

    1. Jim,
      That’s actually going to be a title of a future post.. 🙂 “To cane or not to cane!” I imagine once I get in the hang of using the cane again and deal with all the emotional side of using a cane, I will really appreciate it. I really appreciated your post and totally agree that it is probably something that most visually impaired individuals go through. I have hurt myself so many times, had numerous surgeries, etc., from falling down or tripping over something. Unexpected stairs— the worst! I hope my cane will soon win too! Hope you’ll follow my future posts and I get to hear from you soon.

    1. Don,

      Good to hear from you. I hope you’ll follow my future posts as well. I plan to write another cane blog later this evening. Mind if I ask why you haven’t tried a cane? I have 30 degrees and feel that I really need the cane (once I put my pride to the side), and with you having 13-15 I would think it would be pretty hard. More power to ya though!


  2. I can relate with this post in so many ways. I have also had mobility training but get really nervous using my cane– in fact, I can’t remember the last time I used it, yet I seem to remember a thousand situations where it would have helped me out! Great blog– I look forward to reading more! My twin sister and I have RP and also write a blog– if you’d like to check it out!

    1. Joy,

      Thanks for sharing your blog with me. I will definitely check it out. It’s cool to meet more RP bloggers. 🙂 Like you, haven’t used my cane in forever but I can think of many situations in which it would be very helpful.

      Please do keep reading and letting me know your feedback. It’s appreciated! 🙂

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