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for the Blind

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Legally Blind - use an ID cane?

I am legally blind as of about 4 years ago. I have adjusted pretty well and have a positive attitude, BUT,,, this bugs me. I realize I am hiding my blindness. Though I am pretty capable most of the time and in many situations you wouldn't notice I'm blind, there are times when it's a real issue of course. I realized lately that I rely on friends and family too much for my physical well being. I KNOW I have to have a cane when I travel alone. It's the only way to get help changing planes, etc. I can see where I'm going, but can't read signs, can't make the quick decisions necasary in a busy airport, you know? Can't always see a curb or step. But I had to admit my own prejudice.I don't want to carry a cane because I am embarrassed and don't want to admit that I am "THAT" blind. And here I thought I was handling this so well! Ha!

I would love some advice on how others handled this issue. Most of the people I have talked to so far are less sighted than I am and had no choice in the matter.Am I just denying myself some aid because of my ego? Thanks!

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Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



I want to thank the writer. I have been legally blind all my life and I think this post has helped me get comfortable with using my cane myself others opinions don't matter since most won't tell you anyway. Thank you.


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



I want to thank the writer. I have been legally blind all my life and I think this post has helped me get comfortable with using my cane myself others opinions don't matter since most won't tell you anyway. Thank you.


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



I am not legally blind, but have low vision and grappled with the cane decision about a year and a half ago. Like you, I can see where I am going but don't depth perception. I ended up contacting my state agency for the blind and found their resources to be extremely helpful, especially with the decision to get a cane. It sounds to me that your situation may best be solved by using a mobility cane as it is sturdier than an ID cane and can help you figure out if that space in front of you goes up or down. It also serves as an identifier, to let others know that you don't see very well and, take it from me, it is worth having when you need someone to point you in the right direction or to move out of your way! I think you should contact your local state agency for the blind and speak with an Orientation & Mobility Instructor as this person can evaluate your needs and help you make the right decisions. I did, and I owe her my life...everyday!

If you have any other questions or would like to discuss this further...with an experienced cane user, please feel free to contact me (emara996@gmail.com)


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



These post have been so helpful. I've been legally Blind since birth, with relatively stable acuity. I was raised to "be sighted," and in some ways am just coming to understand myself and a Blind person. I've had an ID cane for years, which I only use on unfamiliar routs. A couple of months ago, I injured my cornea, and I absolutely needed my cane for mobility. I struggled a bit, but made my way. However, I discovered that my cane is way to short, and that I do really could use some O&M. Since then, my injury has healed, but I'm no longer satisfied trying to go along like I can see everything. I'm also no longer okay with standing in line at a restaurant and either (a) ordering whatever the person in front of me orders or (b) having an embarrassing and complicated conversation with the person taking my order as I attempt to get help with the darn menu! So, I've decide to embrace my Blindness, and am committing to having a cane with me every time I go out. No matter what--I too can ride a bike! On another note--there are many un-shoveled sidewalks in and around Boston where I live. The unpacked snow is dreadful with a cane. I've been thinking about getting ski poles--Erik Weinhmer (sp?) and other Blind climbers use them in the mountains, and it seems like they'd be useful in the winter time. Anyone have suggestions?


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



The one thing I have not seen on this post is the fact that your friends will be releived NOT to have you hanging on them. When you area out with friends they do not have to watch out for you as much. My best friend told me she loved me dearly but it was so much nicer not to be constantly watching me walk into things! As far as being looked down on because of the cane, you are wrong! I find people are impressed that we can get around as good as we do with it. So you look down on people in wheeI chairs or other aides? It is the same thing. I have named mine Charly and I wouldn't go anywhere without him. Charly and I are an item around town. He even saved my life when I accindently stepped in to traffic before the light turned green my way! The car hit Charly first not me! (He was a litttle scratched up but ok)! Besides who can see the looks on others faces? And who cares as long as you are safer then without it! Put your pride aside and raise your cane up high!!


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



Hi, my name is Paulina iam legally blind and i do use a cane it helps when i don't where iam at but i still don't like using but i think that you shouldn't worry your friends will say because what matters is what you think about yourself and most of my friends are sighted and they are very helpful they are great best of luck Paulina


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



Hi,
I spent more than ten years dodging, denialing the fact that I would br more independent, mobile, and safe using a cane. I thought I be a lot less attractive with one. Well I was wrong ! People like us can and should every device to makeour lives good ones. When two of our girls were determined to have inherited my problem , we didn't think twice about it. Get a cane, or get two, get mobility training from your local agency and get back in the game.
Best of Luck - keep us post on your progress
Annie


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



Thanks for this post. I too am resisting the white skinny friend. I feel exactly like you do - I don't always need it, I don't want to be looked upon with pity, I don't want to stand out, and I don't want to admit it to myself. But ya know what, your post and all the subsequent messages have actually made me feel one step closer to getting one. So thanks!


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



I think you will get both responses; - surprise and understanding. Regardless of what others think, you need to focus on your own safety. It is not an easy hurdle.
When I use my cane in stores, I sense that others are puzzled at my rummaging through clothes racks, stacks of books, etc.. When I don't use my cane in stores, I bump into everything - people, displays, etc. The cane, certainly, allows more independence.
I think the folding ID cane might be o.k. in familiar places. However, it is very important to get O & M training.
Amie


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



Annie thanks! I feel kind of stupid riding my bicycle somewhere and then using my cane when I go in! I am probably taking my life in my hands on a bike, but I stay on sidewalks and just go on familiar routes. People really don't understand different forms/degrees of blindness. Sometimes I am really okay and then suddenly I am having a hard time. I almost fell down the stairs a museum today because the lighting and contrast was so bad. Going up I could see fine because the shadows fell differently. I also came in from bright sunlight to dim light and I can't see much of anything for about 15 minutes. I think I'm about ready to "come out of the closet" with the cane. I wonder if my sighted friends will be shocked - or say "thank God!" I think I depend on them too much for my safety.


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



Hi, I understand your feeliings since I am in the same situation. I use the bigger, more noticeable cane when I go to the city and try to maneuver in crowds - but use the ID cane when I am in more familiar territory, ie; a doctor's office. I carry the small ID cane in my purse at all times, just in case I need it. It is puzzling to others since it is obvious that we can see some things - and not others. Amie


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



Thanks so much! This helps. (I have fallen up stairs too!) Another related question... I have a folding ID cane - white with a red band. Do I need a regular white can or is this one fine for my purposes?


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



I wish I could go back and edit my last post but there seems to be no way to do that, so I will write another one to add to the first.

There is no denying the cane will make you stand out more and that may be difficult at first. It is a hurdle those of us must deal with as we take up the white cane. As I said it took getting bruised to swallow my pride and learn to use the darn thing but I'm glad I did. I have since gone on to become a guide dog handler but the cane still is a good "skinney" friend.

Remember that just because you use a cane that it does not diminish you as a person unless you let it. Keep believing in yourself and you'll be ok.

Take Care


Re:Legally Blind - use an ID cane?



I see that you have given good thought to this, and you make some very salient points.

It took falling up a flight of stairs and getting bruised in both body and dignity to convince me I needed the cane. I realize that perhaps your sight is not that far gone but your inability to read signs and distinguish landmarks is a problem, and the cane will make life a little easier. You might consider getting some O&M instruction especially if your sight is likely to deteriorate further.

Well that's my two bits. I wish you well whatever you decide to do.

BTW the cane can be handy when you're in a crowd as people tend to clear the way when they see it. LOL!

Good Luck


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