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.