Would a cane be useful for crossing roads?

Would a cane be useful for crossing roads?

Hello everyone,

I was born at 25 weeks along with my twin sister and I have been having sight problems since then, I've had laser eye surgery twice when I was a baby, because of how premature I was and how too much oxygen was getting to my tiny lungs, I ended up developing Retinopathy of Prematurity from which severe myopia, cataracts, nystagmus and astigmatism have now developed from it, I am not blind but I have low vision and I find it hard to do a lot of things, I cannot drive nor I feel that I can do any work at all, I was speaking to a Sight Loss advisor from RNIB and she was very welcoming, she did talk to me about getting a white cane, but I thought to myself: "Why would I need a white cane if I can see quite a lot already?", I can only see through a pinprick of light, so tunnel vision is what I also suffer with as well, I have very little peripheral vision so I am going to the hospital's orthoptics clinic to get a visual field test to see if I meet the criteria for registration as partially sighted, but even if I don't believe I need a white cane, should I take it anyway and the mobility training that goes with it? I am having difficulty crossing main roads (only with no pelican crossings), I have been almost knocked down 4 times and it's scaring me a lot. I talked to my rehabilitation officer and she's happy to give me Orientation and Mobility Training along with a cane if I find I can use it, but I'm just wondering if people will judge me for using a cane? Do you think my friends would care?

Comments

Reply to Tiziano's Boy

LelaPatterson

Hi there. Lela here. It’s always useful to have a long cane with you because it lets the community members know that you have a Vissual Impairment. A lot of people are often very supportive, so please don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if your struggling with navigating around your local area. Just do what feels right for you. Don’t worry about what other people think; sometimes there’s a lack of understanding about being a VI person and the challenges we all have to overcome. That’s why we have RNIB, an incredible charity which raises awareness of being VI. I’m really pleased that I have been presented with the perfect opportunity to volunteer for RNIB. It’s fun and it’s given me a lot of things to think about.

Disable comment 0

Reply to Tiziano's Boy

SteveW

If you have tunnel vision, this will affect your ability to move around safely out of doors. Wile you do have some useful vision you cannot scan your surroundings rapidly enough to be sure you have seen all the hazards. I would suggest you try out the cane and the mobility training- which will also include planning journeys so you cross roads at crossings you can safely use. Most cane users have a degree of vision- only about one in ten blind people actually have no sight. You don't have to use it all the time- I never use mine indoors.
How other people react is a difficult one- most people must realise already that your sight is poor. At the end of the day it is how you feel that matters- if using a cane gives you confidence your friends will probably accept it. Why not chat to one or two of them about it?

Disable comment 0

Reply to Tiziano's Boy

Tez1

Hello Tiziano's Boy
I totally get your situation and your concerns. recently registered as partially sighted and offered a cane and training myself. My two big fears were, "What would other people thin? Would they think I was "faking" blindness etc? As I too have an element of useful vision.

I also felt that because I could "see", like you, that I didn't really need a cane. However, I do now have one, and am waiting for training. I always carry it with me - just in case, and am plucking up the courage to not give a damn what other people thi9nk, and rather concentrate on keeping myself safe.

if I had hearing problems, I would wear hearing aids, If I needed help walking, I would use a wheelchair or stick etc..so, why wouldn't I want to use a cane?

I could not agree more with what Steve has said, and I hope that in time, you accept the help of a cane and that it truly works out well for you. I'm writing an online blog about my own experiences if you would like the site address, plus let me know.

Its a difficult journey - BUT, you will get to where you need to be. Keep strong
Terry

Disable comment 0