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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why Can't People Put Things Back? - Guest Blogger

Anyone who is blind will emphasize with this story. We are
forever having to deal with trouble from sighted people. I
realize that they simply don't understand. They don't get
it because they don't have to. They can see. They don't
have a clue what it's like to live without vision.
My friend posted this wonderful rant on a DB related email
list. She gave me permission to repost it here. I'm not
trying to encourage complaints about sighted people. I
hope that this story and others will help people understand
the issues we face every day.
This woman is totally blind and hard-of-hearing. Her
husband is blind but hearing. They have a young son
together. Here is her story:

Why Can't People Put Things Back?

Blind people have things in order for the most part. When that
order gets messed up, bad things can happen.

My husband and I always put things back where we got them, and
make sure all chairs are pushed in before we leave, things in the
floor are picked u so we don't trip.

I had an aid that was coming to help me with a few house chores
a few hours a day. I can do these tasks on my own, but it would
take a much longer time and I haven't learned to take my time
and be patient yet.
Although, the deaf-blind life will teach me this. She would do
things like sweep and mop the kitchen floor, vacuum the living
room, and anything else that would be difficult with bad balance.

My first aid didn't do what she was supposed to. She would just
sit around and talk on her phone, or something else that I'm not
sure of because I can't see to find out for certain.

I requested a new aid. They sent another lady that was younger.
They told me she could sign. She got here and her voice is
right at the perfect tone that I can't hear at all. She
couldn't sign. I had to hold my hand out and let her write
everything. This was especially difficult because she wouldn't
listen when I told her to go slow and big.

She came back the next day and I was going to the kitchen to make
my son some oatmeal. The aid wasn't even supposed to be in the
kitchen that particular day. I get over the baby gate and start
walking toward the table. My right leg, which is weak, hits
something and that makes me lose my balance even more and I fell.

I didn't just half way fall. I completely lost all balance and
there was nothing to catch myself with. We have an island in the
middle of the kitchen. I fell and hit my right cheekbone on
that. All of my body weight was falling, and there was nothing
that caught me except my face on the island counter. I'm just
thankful it was the corner.

It was the most horrific sound. "Crack!" and then I got
extremely dizzy, and my head was roaring. I couldn't hear
anything for few seconds except the roar. Slowly hearing began
to come back and My soon was crying. I pushed my self up even
though I was shaking, to see what was wrong with him.

Nothing was wrong with him. He didn't fall. He just saw me fall
and it must have scared him. I let him know I was OK and didn't
make a big deal out of it for his sake, but I could already feel
my face swelling.

I knew this was going to leave a bruise. I knew I had to go to
the dentist later in the day. If anyone sees a bruise on a
woman, they immediately suspect the husband put it there.
Especially with the location this one. So I called my husband
at work and let him know if I should still go. He said yeah, but
wanted to know what happened. I told him that I would tell him
when he got home.

I put ice on it for a long time to try to get the swelling down.
Then I tried my best to cover it with make up before I went out.
I guess I did a good enough job, because no one mentioned it.

I wish I had someone to take a picture and show you all. The
mark is still there. I have a big ugly bruise now, and it's
very sore even for me to touch it.

I called the agency that provided the aid and told them I wanted
to cancel my services. I don't want an aid anymore. I will do
the chores myself, even if it takes me four times as long. I
just have to remember to pace myself and that will make it a
little easier on the balance.

My husband was really ticked off because the fall was the aids
fault. He asked where the chair was so I told him and he didn't
quite understand. So I went and showed him. He was like me,
"what was it doing way over there? What for?" He wanted to know
why she didn't tell me that there was a chair in the middle of
the floor. I told him I didn't know but I had already canceled

Why can't people put things back where they got them? There are
so many things that I can't find because the aids put them in
strange places. I found a measuring cup in the pantry, and the
bowl down with the pans.
I'll never understand why if they don't know where something goes
to ask and find out. Don't just stick it anywhere it will fit.

Having help made things harder for me and my husband because we
never knew where anything was. We thought about quitting the
service for that reason alone. But me falling and hitting my
head was the last straw.

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