To Cane Or Not To Cane– That is the question

Hello to all my new readers! I’m so excited to have new readers and get more feedback from other individuals with RP or who have some connection to RP. I noticed on my last post there was a lot of feedback about using a cane. I said I was going to write another post.. so here it is! šŸ™‚

A few years ago, I started my Orientation and Mobility training. I didn’t know that i would need my cane for years and years, however now I’m realizing that wasn’t the case. I didn’t have the chance to complete my training because at that point I was going to school out of state and did my training on holidays. I learned how to cross intersections, travel down streets, navigate through a busy mall to find a certain store, etc. I did this all with a blindfold on and my cane.

At my previous school, I was pretty good because I had my best friends there (and my then-boyfriend). They were so willing to help me get from place to place at night, however now that I’m at a new school it’s a little bit more difficult. They also don’t have a good night escort program here, whereas they did at my previous school.

In the past, I would carry my cane when I traveled on an airplane, or when I went to places where I thought I would probably have issues. Now, I really want to have it in my backpack more so that I can use it on the really sunny days or whenever I’m having trouble with the lighting situation, outside or inside. I am traveling from school building to dorm or another school building a lot at night. I’m having all sorts of issues with that, as detailed in other blogs.

I frequently have incidents where I do a near-flip over a cement bench, trip over a curb, and so forth. I think, and so I’ve heard, that if I start gradually with my cane and work with it more and more, I’ll learn how much it really does help me. I imagine I’ll start using it more and more.

Since I have moved a lot within the past 1.5 years and I haven’t used my cane hardly at all, I have somehow managed to misplace my cane so now that I really do want to use it, I can’t right away. It was free through my state rehabilitation agency but now that I lost mine, I had to pay for another. It was 36 dollars, including shipping, from Ambutech which really isn’t that bad. The drawback is that it has taken almost 2 weeks to get here and still hasn’t arrived. It’s not like we need our assistive devices or anything, right? šŸ™‚

I’m not sure how my parents feel about me using my cane more. My father asked via text one day, “Are you sure you really need this?” After I explained why and asked him if that was okay (just to be courteous, since he was paying), he replied, “Sure, just curious.” But I’m pretty confident in that he doesn’t think I really need it.

My mother, on the other hand, understands more. I tend to vent to her when I injure myself and she knows more of what I go through. She recently offered to pay someone to help me get back from an organization meeting to my dorm on campus on Monday nights. I told her I appreciated it but I wanted to hold off on that for awhile. I think I’ll be a little more able and happy to do it independently.. meaning walk to the bus and get situated, then get off.. once I get my cane.

I will receive more Orientation and Mobility training soon. My instructor is going to give me a recap lesson over Spring Break and then we’ll continue our real intense sessions over the summer when we have more time. I think this will be good.

The biggest situation in which I really want to learn how to use a cane is getting on/off buses and finding a seat. This is where I meet the most negative/rude people and have the biggest difficulty. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Those of you who do use canes, or even really a guide dog, how do you find an empty seat on the bus?

Hope to get more feedback and hear from you soon!


Published by

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.

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