Back at it !

We are back from our short vacation, we had a great time, and kept quite busy. The kids had a blast water sliding and going to the zoo and shopping.

I enjoyed our vacation but I still have a hard time going somewhere new, it is stressful and then I seem to be a little more on edge and anxious the whole time I am there. I know that the only way around this is to keep doing it and getting over it and increasing that confidence I have in myself.

On our vacation we did some shopping and I had some not so good experiences. I want to share this experience with everyone so that they understand the frustration and they can either help if they are the person I would be relying on or know you are not alone in the frustrations if you are visually impaired. So I went into Victoria Secret with my daughter who is 10, (my husband and sons did not want to come ) I got my daughter to locate a store employee and I asked her if she could please assist me in finding what I was looking for. She said oh yes and seemed as though she was willing to help, so I explained I wanted a certain bra and the size that I would need. She says to me follow me ( my daughter laughed and lead me behind her to where she was going in the store ) she then opened a drawer and said here you go there are a few different colours. I asked her are they all the size that I am needing she says oh yes and walks away. So my daughter helped me pick out the colours and away we went to the till. I thought even though she wasn’t super helpful I got the job done. But oh no that was too easy. The next day I went to try on the bras to make sure and they didn’t fit at all, I thought this is weird I always buy the same bra in the same size and things have not changed so I had my husband check the size and to my surprise they were not the size I asked for in fact neither of them were the same size at all. Back to the store I go and explain to the lady that I had asked for a size and this is what I got and they are not the size at all. Finally I had my husband check the sizes before leaving to make sure I was leaving with the right ones this time.

This may seem like a petty thing to a sighted person but to me it is a huge deal, I have to rely on peoples honesty every day, when I ask for something it is not because I want to be a pain in the ass it is because I truly need your help or I would not be asking. Things like this always dampen my faith that people are doing or giving you what they say, and if I can’t trust that people are doing or giving me what they say that takes away my independence because I then have to take someone with me just so I don’t need to rely on those in stores and other public places.

Not all people are bad some will help and give you what you have asked for but it sure is frustrating how many times it does happen that that is not the case.

New way to Vacation

This summer we are going to be doing many things that we do every year, camping, going for walks, having fire works at the farm with the family, going to the beach, etc.. All the stuff lots of families do and we are also going on a little 3 day trip to the U.S.A. And doing things like going to the zoo and water sliding and so on. Why is this relevant you ask ? Well the reason I tell you these things is because now that my vision has gotten much much worse, I need to experience these things in a much different way.
It can be easy to want to just avoid doing these things since it can make you feel sorry for yourself or wish things were back to the way they were. But it is important to me that my kids don’t miss out on anything. I always need to remind myself that I can still experience all these things just differently.
My kids have been great, they are so understanding and loving. They will always take the time to describe something even without me asking.
Hearing my kids giggle and laugh while we do family outings, and listening to them tell stories while we sit at the campfire and enjoying the smell and sound of the campfire are all ways that I will have a great summer with my kids.
I am hoping that others that have to deal with the effects of vision loss are able to remember to experience life to the fullest and never give up.

Accepted !!!!!

I began the process of applying for a guide dog in February 2014. It has been a very long process with papers to be filled out, doctor reports, eye reports, phone interview, home interview and a review by the board. I was ecstatic on Friday June 13th 2014 and got the phone call I have been waiting for. I have been accepted into the Oregon Campus of GDB (Guide Dogs for the Blind). I was beyond happy and excited I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning. I got a date that I will be going into class for a two week period to get and train with my new guide dog. I leave for Oregon on August 31st returning on my sons 7th birthday September 13th.
It is going to be hard to wait some more for the next 11 weeks but at least I know that the waiting will come to a end on August 31st.
People may wonder why I am getting a guide dog as I am not Completely Blind but it is defiantly a miss conception that you must be completely blind. You just have to be legally blind which is visual acuity of 20/200 or less than 20% visual field. I defiantly am passed the legally blind requirement by quite a bit.
Getting a guide dog is going to do so much for my self esteem and confidence when travelling alone. I have a great deal of anxiety when walking even in familiar areas. I have a fear of getting hit by a car or missing a major obstacle and being injured or simply walking into the street and not knowing it. And I like to walk fast but I can not do that now as I have to be very careful not to miss things with my cane . I am also sick of getting jabbed in the gut when my cane gets stuck in a crack on the sidewalk or road. To have that confidence and independence back will be a huge thing for me. I am excited to not be so self conscious ( I hate the stigma that comes with using a white cane) and confidence to go to new places and not worry so much because I will have a guide dog and not be alone I will have a partner in crime so to say.
I will defiantly be keeping up my blog while I am away for training. As well as for the summer while I wait !
Until next time !

Birthday Party !

Today is my best friends daughters first birthday. I attended the party and had a good time, but these things do not come with lots of anxiety for me. When there is a lot of people around it is hard to know if I am in peoples way or where an open chair is. Even for simple things like when there is food out to know what there is and where it is, these are all so awkward for me, I end up not eating at events like this because it is just easier. I miss going to functions and not having to worry about the food part, the other things like finding a open chair and having a difficult time with crowds is not new. I am very grateful for my friend Janelle she jumps right in and helps and knows I hate to ask, she will make me coffee (perfectly I might add), close her blinds so I am not having to wear sunglasses in the house, and she even made me a plate of food no questions asked. I can not express how much she means to me. There are not many people that will do that for a friend. We would all like to think all our friends would but when push comes to shove you really find out who your real friends are.
I need to work on my anxiety and work on asking for help. I do not like to ask for help, lots of this is not wanting to accept that I need help sometimes. I am defiantly working on being my own advocate. I joined toastmasters in September and this has helped me overcome some of my shyness and in turn is helping with the anxiety.
Anxiety or worrying is so much a part of my life that I don’t know a life without it and would love to have a life without it. I don’t like to complain about my disability or throw pity parties for myself, having said that there are so many days I want to wake up and be able to see whatever I look at clear as day, I feel like it would be easier and less time consuming.
I think that sighted people take for granted a lot of the small things. There are many things that I do during my day that would be much easier with sight. For example showering when someone decided to move the shampoo or conditioner from there original spot. Who said shampoo has to go first right ha ha ! Then doing your hair styling with your hands and no mirror, try it sometime. I like to do my make up and look pretty like everyone else, I used to be able to use the mirror and just be close enough to lick it, but now I see a blurry mess in the mirror so make up has been interesting. I have gotten pretty good at doing it with no mirror, you might ask how do you know? ha ha good question and the answer is thank god for friends that will tell you the truth when you send them a pic. Making kids lunches and keeping each one right because god forbid they would all like and eat the same things. Coffee I love coffee but it has become a regular occurrence spilling it or missing the cup with the sugar or cream. Cooking has become interesting some nights, figuring out when things are cooked or not cooked is sometimes like Russian roulette. And don’t even get me started on the grocery store and trying to find what you need there! And even simpler walking, being able to walk and not think and pay so close attention to where you are and where you are going. Counting corners making sure you haven’t missed a corner, making sure someone is not parked on the street and I am going to walk into there car, ( that is plain embarrassing and happens regularly), people take sidewalks for granted they would be a godsend in our town. Going to see my daughter at her musical, they sounded great but not being able to see what is going on or where she is, can be heart breaking but I am just thankful I could be there to support her and hear her.
I don’t want to throw a pity party but one can not help but think boy would that be nice, in a man it would be nice to win the lottery kind of way.
But every day I am beyond thankful for my friends and family and those that have been there for me, and really make a difference in my life and keep me positive every day.  And do things that make me smile, like my husband painting my nails. You are all Awesome ! Love you all !