That four letter word… C. A. N. E!

So, THAT four letter word has come up.

I had the “CANE” chat at my last doctor’s appointment. Of course, my mind started the fight immediately …. Hold UP! I don’t need a cane, I don’t want to carry a cane, I’m not THAT blind!  or am I?  To me, a white cane screams “Holy Shit…Maria must be really blind! Look, she’s got a (let’s whisper) C-A-N-E!” …Geeez…no thanks.

Before I became legally blind, my perception of  a blind person was just like many others. The blind have dark sunglasses, guide dogs, and white canes! They walk around with that cane, swinging it back and forth… whacking away at everything in front of them! No offense to the blind community, but that is the mental “picture” when you do not know anything about blind mobility. Just being honest here.

Now, I will rock a cute pair of sunglasses…. But, I just don’t know if I could bring myself to carry… a cane. I’m NOT supposed to have a white cane. I’m not ready for it. I’m ready to come out of denial about it, but I’m not ready to accept it either… Its a really weird place to be. Really. Weird.

At my appointment, my doctor turned my thinking around. He said, “Maria, the cane is not only for you. It’s also for other people.”. What the hell is he talking about, I thought.  He continued, “It’s a way to let other people know that they need to move around YOU. People will see they need to give you space because you have – the cane.”

Let me get this straight. The white cane = Watch out and be kind, because this girl is blind – Oh. Okay.

Hmmm. I didn’t look at it that way. Maybe I only have to carry it in certain situations for now. Baby steps right? Hmmm… I suppose it would take some of the stress off of family and friends who help me around. I’m sure there have been plenty of people who have given me the look of “WTH? Can’t you SEE I want to get by you?”  Good thing I can’t see that “look”… ‘cuz there would be some words & finger wagging going on!! Oh Gurrrl, hold my earrings, hold my cell phone!! Ha ha! 

After thinking about it for a couple weeks, I made the call. It wasn’t easy to talk about, but I did get the process started. O & M training will start soon. Yeah. Cane Training 101.

By helping myself, I am helping others to help me. Does that make sense?? I hope so. Trying to make sense of this unexpected life is all I can do, as a new….. Girl Gone Blind.

14 Comments on “That four letter word… C. A. N. E!

  1. It just makes so much sense! And I know you can rock your new cane and make it look fabulous.

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  2. you do a really fine job of processing the terribly difficult stuff Maria… I continue to be in awe of the amazing woman that you are.

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    • once again.earest maria,. you have set the bar really high with your candid and brave self…..you are certainly MY heroine….love to you.

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  3. …and if they don’t get out of the way, you can whack ’em with it…

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  4. isn’t a cane just another opportunity to accessorize?……I think a cane is a fast track to independence for you. Most people who have canes are bad ass…..canes can become ninja sticks, blow guns or rifles… you could do tap dances with the cane….The cane could end up being a really good accessory for you…Good luck!!

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  5. Todd has it right. I bet you can really bling up a cane! Diane can surely help. I’ve seen photos of some of Kate’s dance costumes. 🙂

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  6. I can just picture you wagging that finger. So, I’m with the doc. The cane will keep you from having to WAG that finger and I’ll bet you get the fanciest one you can find.

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  7. oh, yah – I can see you rocking a cane. It’ll come in handy when you want to whack someone upside the head! But in reality, I see all glitter and rhinestones! A cane that says – watch out people, here comes Maria! This is just another tool in your arsenal to navigate through the world. You can do it 🙂

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  8. For years you have been an inspiration to your fitness ladies….
    Now you will also be an inspiration to a whole new audience.
    I have always admired how you can find the humorous side of any situation that life throws at you!
    Continue to be strong and positive!!!

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  9. Although I only met you once for a short period of time after reading all your writings and listening to your husband you are totally one of the strongest women I know of. May god answer all your prayers and hope you have a blessed day and many blessed days to follow.

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  10. Maria:

    Even with your daily struggles, you will get through this. You are an inspiration to me ALL THE TIME. You make me LOL while reading anything and just about everything you post. I know you hurt and are angry, but you sure are giving it all your might and you will be just fine. You are a true fighter, not a quitter and not even this can stop you from being the MARIA you are…funny, beautiful inside and out, a great mother, friend, wife, aunt, sister, daughter. I love you with all my heart. Keep doing what YOU do.

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  11. As always you inspire me I love ya and can’t wait to see you again at revival !!
    Just think cane= ooh girl you just didn’t weapon or a I tripped you on accident- purpose

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  12. I refused to believe I needed a cane, too. I went through stages and finally told my trainer at the Lighthouse for the Blind that it was time (it was really PAST time.) I went through the same thing about a guide dog – starting the application process and withdrawing only to begin again recently. Fortunately I have good blind role models in my life and while it is a process, I am finally moving into what is already an easier way to be. And people are really helpful around here, too.

    I like this post. The whole t5hing is a process that we can only know from the inside, isn’t it?

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    • Hi Mark….Thank you for the comment and sharing some of your thoughts! You’re absolutely right… The process of acknowledging the Need, and accepting the white cane is difficult when you lose your sight. I hated holding that cane, and sometimes I still do. You may be interested in another blog I wrote a little after this one. I kind of outline the stages of white cane acceptance From my experience. Here’s the link: http://www.girlgoneblind.com/white-cane-acceptance/
      Take care!!

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