contact me at

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Random Musings

            This blog entry is going to be a little different than the usual.  I have four short subjects I would like to discuss.  They are mostly unrelated topic.  Come along and join me in a wild ride through random musings.



Smelly Problems

            Our old dog is having a rough time.  She is at the end of her life, and looking rather worse for the wear.  At 15 years old, she is deaf, has severe Arthritis, Diabetes and Cushing Disease, and also has a tumor in her rectum.  Poor thing.

            These last few weeks have been particularly hard for her.  Although she still has good days, she  usually has problems with her bowels.  This causes frequent accidents in the house.  On the bad days, it literally drips out of her.  That's probably more information than you wanted to know.

            I try to be patient but it's created a difficult situation for me.    Obviously, I can't see the messes.  They happen all over the house.  It's a mobility nightmare.

             Often I get trapped in one place.  I can smell it.  I know it's there.  But I don't know where it is.  I don't want to move for fear of walking through it.    Last night I got trapped in my chair.  I  really needed to use the bathroom but no one  else was home to clean up the mess or tell me where it was.

            I was coming down the stairs this morning to  get ready for my planning meeting.  The professionals were due to arrive any minute.  I took a few steps and then went back up.  I told my mother it smelled bad down there.  She  assured me that my father had already cleaned it up.

            The doorbell rang just as I  came downstairs.  We  let the guest in and I headed toward the kitchen.  I don't care what my mom said.  It smelled horrible.  Sure enough, there was another accident.  I was only a few steps from walking through it.

            It was embarrassed to have guests arrive to that aroma.  We explained what was going on.  It's clear by looking at her that the dog is not doing well.  I don't know how much longer she will be with us.



Meeting Madness

            This morning, I had a meeting with my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, Orientation and Mobility specialist and  state Deaf-Blind Outreach trainer.  As you can see from above, we got off to a shaky start, at least in regards to air quality.  It was still crazy for me.  The two who can't sign arrived on time but the one who would serve as my interpreter was 20 minutes late. As we sat waiting, I could hear my parents and the two professionals talking.  I had no idea what they were saying.  My mother said it was just chit chat.  It still bothered me not to know what was going on around me.

            I have a hard time with meetings like this.  I try to keep it one-on-one whenever possible.  Otherwise I can't keep up.  Today there were too many people.  Every time I wanted to say something, someone  else was talking.  It's very frustrating because it's supposed to be my meeting.

            Mostly we talked about Mobility training.  I was discouraged at first.  They kept talking so much about safety being more important than independence.  It sounded like they were saying I simply can't get around on my own because it won't be safe.  That's not really what they said but it's the attitude I got.  I hope that isn't true.  I want to be able to do more than I am doing now.

            We scheduled three Mobility classes for this summer.  We are going to work at the  elementary school that is right by my house.  Later, we'll move to the university campus.  We'll see what I can do and  try to come up with some realistic goals.  This could turn out good.  We'll see what happens next.  I will try to stay patient and positive.

            I'm also getting more  computer training... thank goodness!  I hope to spend this summer focusing on computer and mobility training.   If everything goes right, that  might  actually occur.  It's going to be an interesting summer.



Isn't It Ironic?

            One really exciting and major thing happened at my training meeting this morning.  And yet, I'm not at all excited.  It's great but it's ironic, too.  Why does my life always have to turn out like turn?

            The big news is that I am now the owner of my very own Deaf-Blind Communicator (DBC).  I have been waiting so long for this.  It is going to be  amazing to have this access to face-to-face communication, TTY and text messenger.

            So why am I so glum?  I now have the DBC... but my M Power is broken.   You can't use a DBC without the  M Power.  See the irony of it?

            Hopefully we can get my M Power sent in for repairs soon.  It will probably take about a month before I get my machine back.  Even though I  have the DBC, I'm still stuck waiting.  (sigh)  Eventually we'll get the two units together and I'll be all set... I hope.



Heart Warming

            Yes, it's another story about children.  I can't help it.  I love children so much.  I want to share my wonderful experiences  with others so they can feel the love and joy, too.

            I was back in second grade today.  This was a party for all who have volunteered in the classroom over the year.  Of course, I was pleased to attend.

            We had snacks and drinks.  The children set the tables for us and served the food.   They even remembered to put their napkins on their laps while they ate.  (Manners have been a big part of second grade.)

            After eating, the kids broke into small groups to rotate among the volunteers.  They talked with each adult and  told jokes and stories.  I had my Screen Braille Communicator with me.  The kids typed on it to talk with me.  They really seem to enjoy it.  So do it.

            Where do rabbits go after getting married?  On their  bunnymoon.

            Why did the rabbit cross the road?  Because the chicken  stole  the Easter eggs.

            Why did the man drive his car  to the sun?  Because he wanted a hot rod.

            The students made adorable stationary sets  for  the volunteers.    They dipped their fingers into paints to make little fingerprint lady bugs on Post-It notes and pencils.  Andrew had something special he made just for me.  He  used  a slate and stylus to  write, in perfect braille, "Thank you very much."  Then he made a fingerprint heart on the paper.  I can feel the paint to "see" the heart.  I was so touched by the gift and knowing how hard he must have worked on it.  This is something I will cherish deeply.

            Thank you, Andrew... And to all the other second graders.  It has been a wonderful year! 


1 comment:

  1. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I work for Sense, the UK deafblind charity . To mark this week's international Deafblind Awareness Week, Sense has created a new portal called the Sensehub at It will allow people to enter and share a world of sensory experiences online.

    Sensehub will feature lots of interactive elements, including
    Sensori, a live twitter feed that captures every twitter relating to senses like smell, taste, touch, sight and hearing,
    Sensemarks, a live feed of bookmarks capturing everything about the senses, and
    a whole new way of tagging your facebook photos.

    From the weird to the wonderful, you’ll find it all here. On behalf of the UK's 250,000 deafblind people, we would greatly appreciate if you could help us share this portal link.

    If you would like more information visit

    Caroline Schmitz
    Sense, The National Deafblind and Rubella Association
    101 Pentonville Road
    London N1 9LG
    0845 127 0060