It took me an awful long time to even consider picking up a white cane even though I knew it would help me. There was always that stigma of finally admitting yeah, you are blind. I didn’t want to be that guy. So I continued to not use a cane and continued to bump into things and trip over God knows what was left in the streets. Be the A-Boards or the tables and chairs outside the Costa Coffee (other coffee shops are available). But as many times as I would walk into something and end looking like a fool with arms and legs waving around trying to regain some sort of dignity from the situation, I still refused to pick up the dreaded cane of doom.
With pressure from colleagues and one all mighty fall over a tree stump (seriously, who put that there) I decided to go for it and start some training with a long cane. If I had to use one word to describe the first time I through that thing around the streets of Stroud, it would have to be terrifying. This was is, I am now looking at a whole life of blindness, I finally had to accept who I now was and instead of being worried about I have to now embrace it.
After a few training sessions I was allowed to keep my very first cane and use it all by myself. The stabilisers were off and there was no stopping me now. Apart from the over hanging trees of course, I will cover them in another post.
For me the freedom that a long cane gives you over a symbol cane or no cane at all of matter is overwhelming. I feel confident, people notice it and above all it has become an extension of my arm. Gliding and guiding me from place to place with seem less effort, but the best thing of all is that you could be walking along the high street in a busy town and you are quite simply, as the heading would suggest, The Moses of the High Street. Just like the red sea did for him, the people part for me. It’s actually quite amazing.
Since using my cane I have moved towns and started a whole new life away from the place I spent my whole life in. But truthfully, it was the best decision I ever made. Pushing myself to achieve things is what life has been about for some time now and that will no be changing any time soon.
The morale of this story is that what helps you doesn’t always seem appealing to you when you are first going through sight loss. However in your own time, when you can accept the condition and learn to live with it, there are many, many products that are designed to help and make a big difference in your life. But it has to be when you are ready and not before. It must never be pushed upon you, you will know when the time is right. Reposted with permission via Moses of the High Street – Real Life Humour.
Marc is 30 years old and lives in the UK. He was affected with LHON and registered legally blind In 2006 at the age of 19. He started writing his blog, Real Life Humour, in 2016, and has had several of them published by Huffington Post UK! Find more at: Marc Gulwell – Huffington Post UK