Unlike my sister, I do not have a cane and have not received any mobility training.  Similar to most people, I had considered canes to be something you start using once you are completely blind.  It had never been introduced to me as a tool “to help you not run into anything” as the mom simply explained to her child in Joy’s last post.

As Joy also mentioned in her post, I contacted my state’s department of rehabilitation regarding cane training on the exact same day as she did.  Although it would be fun to pretend that this “coincidence” has something to do with twin telepathy, I think it is actually the result of Joy meeting with the young lady with RP who began using her cane as a junior in high school.  For some reason hearing that was the final straw for me.  It seems strange to me that this was the final straw that motivated me to look into cane training considering I have had so many experiences or rather literal “run-ins” that truly should have been the last straw. (which for our International readers is a phrase often used meaning The final additional small burden that makes the entirety of one’s difficulties unbearable.) Why didn’t I get a cane after I punctured a hole in my shin during a cross country meet because I didn’t see the bleacher? Why didn’t I get a cane when I was feeling anxious about navigating my way around campus my freshman year in college? I could spend days coming up with similar questions, but instead I will choose to focus on the present fact that I am getting a cane.

I am sure there are readers wondering why my sister and I are making such a big deal about something as simple as using a cane.  Why is this so challenging and why are we analyzing it so much? I know there are plenty of visually-impaired people that seamlessly use their canes and do not feel it defines them in any way.  I have read some inspiring blogs written by people who explain that they don’t even consider vision loss to be an issue or struggle in their lives.  While I have every intention of getting to that place, it is just not where I am right now.  It means a lot to me when people accept me exactly where I am, even if it is not where they think I should be or where they are.  I hope that doublevisionblog is a place where people can feel okay to be exactly where they are in their journey with vision loss or anything they might be struggling with in life.  I will be adding updates regarding cane use to the blog as I receive training this fall.

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12 thoughts on “The Last Straw

  1. I am going through a very similar thing, except I have had a cane for awhile.. I just haven’t used it very much. With my vision degenerating, I’m now needing to use it a lot more. Sure, I could get by without it but the freedom I feel WITH it, is great. I really hope to get a guide dog sometime in the near future. The cane does bring with it some freedom, but it also creates a barrier, I feel. Many people will be nervous to interact with you when you have a cane, but when you have a guide dog, I have heard that that goes away and is replaced with curiosity because a lot of people like dogs. I look forward to your updates about this, and please do check out my posts as well. 🙂 Happy Travels!

    • Thanks Jessica! That is an interesting point about the dog vs. the cane. I think that would certainly be the case here in the Northwest where most people just love animals. I will be keeping up with your blog to see if you end up getting a guide dog and to keep up with your other posts. Thanks so much!
      Jenelle

      • Jenelle, I really want a guide dog still and have looked into it quite a bit. I guess I just have to wait til I become legally blind. That is not something I particularly want but look forward to the opportunity to get a guide dog. I told myself the instant I become declared legally blind I’m going to fill out the app! I’m glad you will also keep up with my other posts. I love reading yours!

        Thanks,
        Jess

        • Thanks for keeping up with the blog, Jess! Yes, I’ve been reading yours too and wish you could get the guide dog without all the technical “legally blind” rules. Keep me posted!

  2. I am not in your or Joy’s situation but I can totally understand the reluctance to use the cane. Maybe something similar to how I felt accepting medication for my depression. It was a hard choice and I tried every other way to manage until it was inevitable for my situation that meds were needed for functionality. And I hated that conclusion. I am certainly seeing the fruit of it now but it wasn’t a flippant choice at the time.

    • Thank you, Joni! That is a good comparison with the medication. I wonder if you felt hesitant to tell certain people about your depression and medication for fear of the assumptions and possible judgements they might make? That is wonderful that you were able to make the right decision for yourself and it sounds like it has really paid off.
      Thanks again for keeping up with our blog!
      Jenelle

  3. I can understand how this has got to be a very difficult choice. I love Joy’s comment about “this is how I roll.” I will be praying for each of you that you can have the confidence and determination to continue to live exactly where you are and share your struggles and accomplishments. You are both very inspiring!

  4. well, you certainly are very inspiring to many people. i am learning a ton by reading these blogs!!
    love, mom

  5. Continually inspired by both of you wonderful ladies. Ours is a journey of constant adjustments. My twins are seven, and no canes yet, but we have to let Sunday school teachers and others know that yes, they are “visually impaired.”

  6. When I read, “It means a lot to me when people accept me exactly where I am”, it immediately reminded me of what an accepting and open person you are, and always have been. I hope you feel that acceptance from everyone around you as you begin your journey with a cane. xo

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