Take the Bus

Back home from Lion Country! Nittany Lions, that is. We are Penn State! and all that. I rate the overall trip as a success. I made a few contacts and got some ideas.

The more I heard about what the kids were doing the more I thought we need a similar program for adults. How to use an ATM, do laundry, cook, use a long cane, technology…!

Just found an article on ATM use. Will write that up soon.

This morning I got the courtesy shuttle to the bus station. The bus trip was uneventful. Do I like riding the bus? No, but one of these days it may be necessary and I should have the experience.

The woman I was speaking with at the Summer Academy  (Virgil’s Mom! Did I mention I fell in love with Virgil?) said she has had mixed experiences with bus riding. The driver was nice but she was treated shabbily in the station at her destination. She may not even have light perception so her challenges are greater than the average person with AMD, whoever that might be.

Just the same, sometimes people can be royal pains. Make sure you have a few numbers to call in a crisis.

I did not ride with Greyhound but VisionAware did a piece on traveling on Greyhound (and other providers) a bit ago. They provided a number: 1-800-752-4841. This is the hotline for Greyhound. They like you to call 48 hours in advance of your trip.  If you have special needs, they prefer to know in advance. Reasonable, I think. I don’t like last minute complications either.

Remember you also need to be reasonable in your requests. Things like help finding a seat or the bathroom are within the realm of acceptable. If you are not getting even that modicum of consideration, I would expect that number also takes complaints.

Would I take a bus again? Yes, if it were my only option.  I would have to chose carefully to avoid the ‘milk run’ and hitting every village and crossroads along the way. I am just not that patient. This combination of public transportation and ‘Hubby Trailways’ transportation system worked out well.

The times I have been in England we were either driving (God bless us!), in a tour bus or on the trains. However, Britain does have a bus system. In British city transportation systems, stops are announced over the public address system, after which my first reaction was always to turn to a native and say “Excuse me. What did he say?”  Inelegant, but it got the job done.

Britain is not only supposed to be in the process of introducing free bus passes to those over 60 and those with disabilities (most of us on both points I would suspect) but they are also introducing a talking sign system. This is among several, other changes meant to make public transportation more accessible in Britain. See Jonathan Webb’s Bus Travel and the Blind or Visually Impaired for more info.

And FYI for you dog lovers, the Beastie Baby is now two days post when the vet expected her to live. Knock wood, cross fingers, cross toes, cross eyes. She still has not gotten the memo about her impending demise and we are not telling her!

Enjoy your evening!

written July 29th, 2017

Continue reading “Take the Bus”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
Take the Bus
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

Letting the Dust Settle

Good morning. Mildly frustrated….again. Suspecting this is the usual state for people with vision loss in the ‘mature’ years (and whom, exactly do we think we are kidding with that ‘mature’ business?😎)

The online dictionary gives the definition of frustration as “the state of being upset or annoyed especially because of the inability to change or achievement something”. Yep, that’s me. Upset and annoyed.

I miss my freedom and flexibility of movement. I want to be able to go where I want to go and do what I want to do when I want to do it. And I don’t want everything I do to be such a damn project!

I got back to hip hop this week after three weeks of missed classes. Variety of reasons. But then Tuesday I ended up staying home because I had gotten the feeling I had overstayed my welcome with that ride. (Take the hint, girl!) Wednesday I was going to ride my bike to yoga in the park but I got out of work too late. Tonight I tried a different class, one the Y is offering in place of yoga, and really did not like it. Honestly! Niggling little frustration after niggling little frustration!

Then, of course, I feel guilty. I had arranged for transportation, but two people inquired how I was getting home. Either of them would have volunteered to bring me home. That is not a requirement. They are kind. How can I be so frustrated when I am surrounded by kind people? What is wrong that I cannot appreciate what I have?

Summer plans are starting to formulate. I am one of the most fortunate people I know because I have people willing to take me to yoga events, blues festivals and even into ‘The City’. [New York City, that is.] Am I thinking of that? Of course not! I am thinking about how I am going to finagle transportation! How can I get to the kind souls so they are not driving so much? How can I be less of a burden?

When I start thinking this way I start to get very willful. I dig my heels in and say things to my husband like “Fine! I don’t care! I will walk!” Yeah. 20 miles in the snow uphill…both ways. Problem is: I would actually try!

In DBT the question to ask someone who is being willful is “What is the threat?” What is it you are defending against when you dig your heels in and insist things be your way? Pretty good question because dollars to donuts I am defending against something!

In my case, I think I am defending against the loss of my lifestyle. The loss of my identity. Realistic fear? Certainly not for a couple of confused weeks. Best to let the dust settle. See how things shake out to use one more of my colloquialisms.

Of course, my style tends more towards blunt force than patience. I don’t totally embrace everything I teach. Apparently I also have some learning to do. Continue reading “Letting the Dust Settle”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
Letting the Dust Settle
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

How Many Favors?

One of the problems with being a cockeyed optimist and a Pollyanna is I always expect good things and relatively easy sailing. When that doesn’t happen, frankly, I become perturbed. I HATE to be thwarted.

Last evening I started downloading Golden Prey (book by John Sandford) from BARD. It has stopped several times since then.

I think it has to do with too much in my iPad memory. My ability to clutter up my environment extends to technology and cyberspace!

Another case of “do as I say, not as I do”. Deleting books you have already listened to is fine. You can always get them again. FYI for you non-technical savvy folks, your devices will run faster if you do.

My schedule is changing for the summer and I have to figure that out. Transportation will only pick up until 7 pm. After that my coach turns into a pumpkin! (Of course, for some of the ‘lemons’ I have ridden in, that would be an improvement!)

I have been picking up signs a woman who has dutifully transported me up for the last 15 months has gotten tired of it and needs a break. Changing my schedule so that I can ride my bike at least some of the time and take up some of the rest of the slack with transportation should work. I also have a co-worker who has started to take some of the same classes and who has offered to haul me. Also another gym friend.

People truly are wonderful and generous but they are not saints. Problem becomes they hate to let you down and will keep on helping even when it is no longer convenient.

I am starting to think I need some sort of rotation system. I already try to limit how many times I impose in one week. I try to keep it under three rides – counting someplace and back as two – a week for any one person. Except my husband, of course. He drew the short straw when he married me!😜

Once again there needs to be some sort of etiquette book for this! Any ideas about the ride dilemma? How many favors for the old, visually impaired chick is too many?

Still haven’t got the new pool liner. Got that call at 7 am as the rain poured down.

And my frustration that you may actually care about….Aipoly, or at least the free version I downloaded, did not live up to its hype! My diet Pepsi bottle was “a wine bottle” (however, that is a thought!) and my glare glasses were “one string of headphones”. I got too close to my sandal when I took the photo so that was “a basket” although when I pulled back and tried again, Aipoly got it right.

Now, in all fairness, I am cheap. The word free can be music to my ears. There is an Aipoly version for slightly less than $5 per month. That one is supposed to be much ‘smarter’. Since I am cheap and not in need of such a service yet, and since I can never remember to cancel those damn ‘free’ trials, I’m not downloading it. If you are in need of such a service and can remember to cancel a free trial, try it and get back to us please.

Type at ya later! Continue reading “How Many Favors?”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 5.00/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 5.00/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 5.00/5
How Many Favors?
Total Avg Rating: 5.00 out of 5 with based on 1 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

The Stuff of Life

Good morning. Fair warning; I might just ramble on this page. A bunch of little things happening. Nothing major.

Of course, little irritations are the stuff of life. I am also thinking they are more the stuff of low vision life.

I am waiting for transportation but I have no idea when they are coming. I got a call but the recording never clicked on. That meant anywhere from one minute to a half an hour. Better than yesterday. Yesterday they never bothered to put me on the schedule!

Fortunately my husband was able to take me. I seem to have a large number of ‘saviors’. Did I tell you a total stranger gave me a ride home from yoga? I was sort of stuck. The stranger told me she has been taking class behind me for six months. Couldn’t prove it by me.

That is a bit embarrassing. The next class also gave me a problem. I really wanted to talk to her but I could not see if she were there or not. What was I supposed to do? Walk down the back row staring at people? That would have been a bit weird.

I finally decided she had been told (and had observed!) that I am visually impaired. If she wanted to talk to me, she needed to speak to me first.

Why doesn’t someone write an etiquette book for these things? Miss Manners for the Proper Low Vision Sufferer!?!? There have to be some sort of rules! I get frustrated having to reinvent the wheel all of the time.

I got my CCTV back from the repair shop. I held on to the loaner a few days just to be sure all was well with mine. Also because returning the loaner was a semi-major event. Pack it up with all sorts of cushioning. That, of course, made it all a little too much for the box so one of us had to hold it closed while the other one taped. Then I discovered they had neglected to include free shipping labels so I needed to call for them. No to mention getting the bulky box out the door and to UPS!

(UPS will pick up. You can schedule a pick up by calling 800-pick ups which is 800-742-5877. However, their website does mention a ‘residential surcharge’. How much, no clue. We are the strong back and weak mind type and just always take things to the store.)

It would be nice if there were local repair options but I don’t believe there are. FYI, though, when I was not sure the company was going to be able to supply me with a loaner, I called Blindness and Visual Services. As a former client I could have borrowed one from them, quality not guaranteed. Pack that one away in your memory for a rainy day with a ‘sick’ CCTV.

Last thing for this post, I have my first visually impaired counseling client! I won’t say much about that person because of confidentiality. Instead, just a quick comment about my (of course!😜) thoughts on it. To wit: it is happening slowly but it is happening. Remember that stuff about God closing a door and opening a window? The stuff about not forcing your fate???? How about “build it and they will come”? There you go! We are building and they are coming. Cool. Continue reading “The Stuff of Life”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
The Stuff of Life
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

They Get My Goat

Every once in awhile things just GET me. They get my goat – wherever the devil THAT saying came from! They get my goat ‘real bad’. [Lin/Linda: the origin of “get my goat” is at the end of this page.]

It apparently wasn’t enough my left scotoma got denser. I have been handling that – sort of. When I am waiting for a ride to class or walking the dog I have been checking it out and it is pretty opaque now.

I think that action is the visual equivalent of poking at a sore tooth – another old chestnut – and probably not good.

However I think I have discovered something doing it. If I want to see if, for example, a flowering bush disappears, and I want to look at said bush, I focus on a point nearby. I have to consciously put my poor, beat-up fovea on the bush to make it disappear. To me that means eccentric viewing has become a habit. There is at least one positive!

The second thing that has been happening is the weather. It has been raining for days. I am not only tired of the rain, I am just plain tired. There are biological reasons for it. Darkness leads to the production of melatonin and melatonin makes you sleepy. The problem really comes, though, when I am trying to drag myself through that melatonin fog and actually function.

School was Sleepwalker Central yesterday. Yawn.

Wondering if reduced light hitting the retina – or more precisely less retina to detect that light – would lead to being more sleepy. Can I expect to have less energy in the future? No one ever seems to have answers for my questions!

The other issue is people are driving me crazy! While there are people I am dealing with to whom I want to scream “Think! Can you do that? Think!” I am particular peeved with – one more time – the transportation company! Last week I was picked up at 4:55 for a 6:15 class.

This morning I was picked up at 7:05 to be to work at 8:30. Really!?!?!?! What do they think I am going to do when I am 1.5 hours early? Twiddle my thumbs?

I guess what insults me more than anything is the implication (I perceive) my time is not important. “Oh, she is just a visually impaired old lady. She doesn’t have anything better to do.” ‘They’ would say not.’They’ would say it has to work that way because it is a shared ride. I would not believe ‘they’.

Of course, my mind spins out to decades wasted riding the van or getting places obscenely early. I do the math. It would only take 16 days of 1.5 hours wasted to have squandered a day of my life! How dare they?

Problem is, this is my new reality. I bum rides from just about everyone I know but sometimes I get stuck riding transportation. It is what it is.

Tonight I got to the Y slightly more than a half an hour early. I walked to the cash machine and got some much needed cash. One job done. Maybe it is up to me to make sure my time is not being wasted.


About the phrase “get my goat”, dictionary.com says “This expression comes from a tradition in horse racing. Thought to have a calming effect on high-strung thoroughbreds, a goat was placed in the horse’s stall on the night before the race. Unscrupulous opponents would then steal the goat in an effort to upset the horse and cause it to lose the race.”

written May 10th, 2017

Continue reading “They Get My Goat”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
They Get My Goat
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

Special Favors

This evening I am staying home. It is normally a Zumba night. Did I want to go? Absolutely! Still I turned down a ride. Why? Because she would have had to make a special trip to get me.

I am really struggling with this. Every fiber of my being wanted to go to class. My ride volunteered, but she was already at the gym and would have had to leave, pick me up and go back there. So I turned her down.

Some people don’t have a problem with asking for and taking special favors. My ride home from school is a club advisor. Tonight we took a student home. Five miles in the wrong direction. Wasn’t the first time. My friend felt used. I don’t want people to feel used.

So where is the line between a doable favor and a burden? Where is the line over which people feel used? I looked online and found page after page of sites telling you how not to be used. How about a site that tells you what is an acceptable request and what is going over the line? How about a site that tells you how not to be a user?

With rides I try very hard to make sure they are going my way to begin with. My usual rides home from school both live within a mile of our house. To me that is not excessive. Is it?

I try not to lean on any, one person too much. My maximum burden for anyone is three trips a week. Most of those three times include a there and back combination. Is that too much?

Where is the etiquette book on this????? Etiquette says to do as much as you can to ease the burden. I try. I am always ready on time. I wait at the bottom of the driveway. It says to consider your task and the person you are asking. How is that match? Usually good because they are going to the same place.

I am thinking I need something a whole lot firmer than what I have. People are fantastic and I want them to keep being fantastic. Yes, there is self-interest here, but I also want them to not be inconvenienced either. Neither of those things will happen if I over use people or take advantage of their generosity.

‘Tis a dilemma, so I am throwing it out for discussion. What is too big of a favor? When should you not ask? When should you refuse an offer? What are the rules on this???????? Continue reading “Special Favors”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 4.75/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 5.00/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 4.50/5
Special Favors
Total Avg Rating: 4.75 out of 5 with based on 4 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me

How Am I Supposed to Get Home?

Vulnerability. I guess this is a feeling many of the elderly and disabled have, but I do not like it!

What brought this up? Yesterday. Yesterday stunk! There was a series of unfortunate events that once again drove home the point I am not the queen of my world. Maybe not even a princess.

School had a two-hour delay. Bad roads. I had been told the transportation company would make accommodations for bad conditions. Apparently not the case. They wanted me to go in early as usual. No clue what I was supposed to do if I got there and they decided to close for the day. How was I supposed to get home?

My husband took me but he has been sick. It has been aggregating another medical condition he has. He says I worry about him because he is my back-up ride. Well, there is a grain of truth in that. Also not sure how I am going to manage my life and his needs if he is down and I am blind. Best not to worry about now. Put it away if you are not able to deal with it in the here and now. DBT distress tolerance skill.

Then my ride home, who has been totally reliable for the past ten months, forgets and leaves me! She came back for me, basically wasting an hour of her day, but I had limited options and she felt awful. Just the same, there was a certain sinking feeling associated with the whole thing. I really felt lost. The world can quickly go to Hades and there is not much you can do about it. Vulnerability.

So what exactly can be done? I found all sorts of stuff about dealing with emotional vulnerability a la DBT but very little about reducing actual vulnerability. I am talking about the real deal here. I want to be less vulnerable!

What I found was actually on a disaster website…and yes, there are times I think AMD qualifies. 7 Ways to Reduce Vulnerability and Prepare for Disaster suggested knowledge. Know your risks and know your options. Once again, have plans B,C and all those other letters.

That leads to their second suggestion which is having a social network. There is strength – and flexibility – in numbers. Have a number of people you can depend upon. Whom can you call for rescue?

Remember when you have run through your personal resources, there are always community resources. Whom can you trust to save you? Under what circumstances? Police and fire departments have responded to plenty of calls from people with lesser needs than, for instance, being stuck ten miles from home and having no way to get there. Know the non-emergency number of your local community services and, when all else fails, call. You might not get a ride in a police car, but they should know which church or social agency would be willing to come to your aid.

That taps into another suggestion: be adaptable, and creative. If the usual solutions don’t work, try the unusual.

I cannot really see how I can bend two of their suggestions – impact avoidance and mobility (mobility problems being a huge part of this mess!) – into being useful to my dilemma, but I might be able to use the last one, subsistence. The article suggests having go bags for natural disasters. Might be an idea for my situation, too. I try to make sure I am not stuck without my phone. I carry cash and at least one credit card. Packing a lunch and a change of underwear might be a little extreme but not unheard of. The basic idea is to have resources.

Not saying doing these things will eliminate vulnerability but they might limit it some. At least I feel a little better about it. How about you?

Continue reading “How Am I Supposed to Get Home?”

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
How Am I Supposed to Get Home?
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me