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.
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.
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.
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!