Sunday, 29 June 2014

Back at it !

We are back from our short vacation, we had a great time, and kept quite busy. The kids had a blast water sliding and going to the zoo and shopping.

I enjoyed our vacation but I still have a hard time going somewhere new, it is stressful and then I seem to be a little more on edge and anxious the whole time I am there. I know that the only way around this is to keep doing it and getting over it and increasing that confidence I have in myself.

On our vacation we did some shopping and I had some not so good experiences. I want to share this experience with everyone so that they understand the frustration and they can either help if they are the person I would be relying on or know you are not alone in the frustrations if you are visually impaired. So I went into Victoria Secret with my daughter who is 10, (my husband and sons did not want to come ) I got my daughter to locate a store employee and I asked her if she could please assist me in finding what I was looking for. She said oh yes and seemed as though she was willing to help, so I explained I wanted a certain bra and the size that I would need. She says to me follow me ( my daughter laughed and lead me behind her to where she was going in the store ) she then opened a drawer and said here you go there are a few different colours. I asked her are they all the size that I am needing she says oh yes and walks away. So my daughter helped me pick out the colours and away we went to the till. I thought even though she wasn't super helpful I got the job done. But oh no that was too easy. The next day I went to try on the bras to make sure and they didn't fit at all, I thought this is weird I always buy the same bra in the same size and things have not changed so I had my husband check the size and to my surprise they were not the size I asked for in fact neither of them were the same size at all. Back to the store I go and explain to the lady that I had asked for a size and this is what I got and they are not the size at all. Finally I had my husband check the sizes before leaving to make sure I was leaving with the right ones this time.

This may seem like a petty thing to a sighted person but to me it is a huge deal, I have to rely on peoples honesty every day, when I ask for something it is not because I want to be a pain in the ass it is because I truly need your help or I would not be asking. Things like this always dampen my faith that people are doing or giving you what they say, and if I can't trust that people are doing or giving me what they say that takes away my independence because I then have to take someone with me just so I don't need to rely on those in stores and other public places.

Not all people are bad some will help and give you what you have asked for but it sure is frustrating how many times it does happen that that is not the case.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

New way to Vacation

This summer we are going to be doing many things that we do every year, camping, going for walks, having fire works at the farm with the family, going to the beach, etc.. All the stuff lots of families do and we are also going on a little 3 day trip to the U.S.A. And doing things like going to the zoo and water sliding and so on. Why is this relevant you ask ? Well the reason I tell you these things is because now that my vision has gotten much much worse, I need to experience these things in a much different way.
It can be easy to want to just avoid doing these things since it can make you feel sorry for yourself or wish things were back to the way they were. But it is important to me that my kids don't miss out on anything. I always need to remind myself that I can still experience all these things just differently.
My kids have been great, they are so understanding and loving. They will always take the time to describe something even without me asking.
Hearing my kids giggle and laugh while we do family outings, and listening to them tell stories while we sit at the campfire and enjoying the smell and sound of the campfire are all ways that I will have a great summer with my kids.
I am hoping that others that have to deal with the effects of vision loss are able to remember to experience life to the fullest and never give up.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Accepted !!!!!

I began the process of applying for a guide dog in February 2014. It has been a very long process with papers to be filled out, doctor reports, eye reports, phone interview, home interview and a review by the board. I was ecstatic on Friday June 13th 2014 and got the phone call I have been waiting for. I have been accepted into the Oregon Campus of GDB (Guide Dogs for the Blind). I was beyond happy and excited I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. I got a date that I will be going into class for a two week period to get and train with my new guide dog. I leave for Oregon on August 31st returning on my sons 7th birthday September 13th.
It is going to be hard to wait some more for the next 11 weeks but at least I know that the waiting will come to a end on August 31st.
People may wonder why I am getting a guide dog as I am not Completely Blind but it is defiantly a miss conception that you must be completely blind. You just have to be legally blind which is visual acuity of 20/200 or less than 20% visual field. I defiantly am passed the legally blind requirement by quite a bit.
Getting a guide dog is going to do so much for my self esteem and confidence when travelling alone. I have a great deal of anxiety when walking even in familiar areas. I have a fear of getting hit by a car or missing a major obstacle and being injured or simply walking into the street and not knowing it. And I like to walk fast but I can not do that now as I have to be very careful not to miss things with my cane . I am also sick of getting jabbed in the gut when my cane gets stuck in a crack on the sidewalk or road. To have that confidence and independence back will be a huge thing for me. I am excited to not be so self conscious ( I hate the stigma that comes with using a white cane) and confidence to go to new places and not worry so much because I will have a guide dog and not be alone I will have a partner in crime so to say.
I will defiantly be keeping up my blog while I am away for training. As well as for the summer while I wait !
Until next time !