I started orientation and mobility training (or O&M training) with a white seeing-eye cane. So that’s been fun. I’ve yet to use the cane on my own but I will eventually. I like knowing I have the option to use it, its like carrying a security blanky with me while out traveling. I did run into a big ass dude the other night getting off the bus at a busy transit center. So soon, I’ll get tired of saying sorry and get over myself and use the damn thing. I read a great article from the BBC about how the author with low vision felt like a fraud at first using her cane and that is exactly how I feel. I don’t want any confrontation from strangers who see me get on the bus with my cane and then see me reading on my phone and can’t figure out how I can see my phone but struggle seeing my surroundings. For many people, blind = no vision at all but the reality is blind = lots of varying degrees of vision for the majority of us blind folks. And for many of us blind and low vision folks, our eyeballs and our brains do magic to help us fake it! It truly is amazing how much our brains fill in when we have holes in our vision. But we can only rely on that for so much. Also, it makes me tired as hell to have to be constantly scanning my surrounding hoping I catch ALL the hazards in my path–look up, to the left, down, oh shit don’t run into that person coming seemingly out of nowhere to the right, up again, down, to the right, oh shit a tree branch–and that’s with the sun shining or in a nicely lit room. Turn off the lights or after sundown and it’s even harder to catch everything.
So the cane will be tremendously helpful for navigating. I want to maintain as much independence as I can in this next chapter of my life. I just have to get over myself!