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.”
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.