Archive for June 29, 2013

Different views

When at a family wedding recently I realised that my children have a little more freedom than I thought I gave them.

let me explain….

As a VIP mum I often feel that I protect my children a little too much (is there such a thing?)  As I have mentioned before I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old, since my sight has noticeably deteriorated since 2008 when my daughter was just 2 years old I have continually question my own parenting and compared it to my friends.  for example, living in a bungalow I have a clear rule with my children regarding toys, I will tread carefully when walking in the kids rooms, but if they leave toys around the house they may be moved without warning or worse if trodden on, they risk being broken.  So my children learnt very quickly to be tidy with toys outside their rooms.

When walking between the church and reception venue in Hamble recently with my parents, I discovered that I actually have my children more freedom and trust than my mum had expected or could understand.

Working with a guide dog, we are trained together using voice and right hand signals to convey information, so I am limited to carrying or holding things in my right hand the majority of the time.  Resulting in my children learning to walk with or slightly in front of me without holding my hand, when crossing the road they will put their hand on my leg so that I know exactly where they are. Walking on a wide path by a busy road, my daughter was happily walking ahead with chatting with her cousin, my son was walking and skipping about 20 foot in front of us, my mum was continually asking him to walk with her and hold her hand.  He struggled with this and it didn’t last long before he got bored and ran off ahead a little.

My mum found this naughty behaviour (which I fully understand) but after me explaining that this was different to what he was used to she seemed to understand.  However, I feel that she found this difficult to understand eclectically as my sight is so poor.

The children do have rules when we are out like this, they do not cross roads without me, they do not walk around corners without me and if I feel they are walking off to far I will shout STOP and they are to stand still until I catch up with them.  To check the distance, we often make a game out of it on walking to the next lamppost or telegraph pole. as the reader, what do you think?

Am I too trusting of them? I would appreciate your feedback x

It sounded so simple…. Then you put me in the mix!

As well as blogging I keep up to date with friends and family via my Facebook account, the other day after what had started out as a fun conversation I put myself on the line and admitted to having been forced to admit that I had a limitation.

Yes…. I hear you all say, everyone does.  But this limitation wasn’t even something I had ever considered before, or even wanted to do.  And in the grand scheme of life is very unimportant and changes nothing.  But I started to bother me.

I thought the easiest way for you to see what I am talking about is to copy the post in below, including the comments.  As to protect the identity of my friends I have re-written the post and named them F1, F2 etc, etc.

I would be interested to follow on this conversation further, so feel free to comment yourself underneath on here.

THE STATUS:    An honest conversation with a trusted friend has made me realise that with my sight, there are some things I just won’t ever do….. Some I can get around, fudge through in a different way with help & support.  But today the realisation that there is something I won’t ever do, silly thing is that its only a small thing too…. But feeling 🙁


ME:  And it wasn’t even anything I though would bother me, it’s the realisation of limitation not the thing I can’t do.  Even my stubborn streak won’t get me through this one.

F1:  You will get through it hun!  Been there – spend some time wallowing in self pity and then equally important pick yourself up and get on with what you CAN do!

ME:  I know-its the kids, home, college, work is all that matters, but it’t limitations of not being able to do something so very simple for others——-even a small child can do it!

F1:  Yep!  Let yourself spend some time feeling sad, don’t try and ignore it.  Have a bath, get in you pj’s and bring out the chocolate!

F2:  If you don’t mind me asking, what is it?

ME:  Its very silly and ridiculous…….. Juggling!!!    Having looked after Miss Key the other evening while Mst Key & Simon Key did a juggling with scouts.  Mst Key came back telling how great it was & how his dad could teach anyone to do it, it never interested me, bit it set the challenge & the thinking cogs working.  So had a good talk about it & the answer was NO… I need to be able to follow the movement, although I do have some vision.  I have no ability to judge distance or quick movement.

Its not the juggling that is the issue, its the fact that it points out a limitation.  For example, I am not allowed to drive a car (legally) & have a driving license.  But  I can physically drive a car, on private property with the right support.  I know how to do it & can do it.  Its a silly thing, but its these little bits for me that stand out as a limitation.  That having discussed the options of making it accessible isn’t there, if I wish I could play blind football, blind cricket, if I so desired, silly isn’t it?

F2:  I don’t see why you can’t try??  Think of how much fun it would be.  Just make sure you use soft balls so not to knock anyone out though! 🙂  Nothing is impossible, we place on ourselves our own limitations so if you say you can’t then you won’t, if you say to hell with it I am going to have a go…. then you have got nothing to lose and if you prove yourself right they you can say hell at least I tried!!

F3:  I think the thing is that you have to have a base to start with.  If you know that it is something that might be nearly impossible to do before you start, then if you still want to try then you don’t set your hopes up too high.  The bonus is that i you did achieve it then it would make it all the more special. let me have a think, I’m sure Mst Key is right.  He tells me enough that he is 🙂

F2:  Nearly impossible! See not impossible at all 🙂

F3:  just have to be realistic.  Thats all I’m saying, what the hell, I have been learning 5 for 6 years !!!!

F2:  There is being realistic though and shattering poor Theresa’s juggling dreams.  I anyone can you can Mr Key 🙂 xx

ME:  Oh dear, what have I started?  It’s not the juggling that is the point here.

F3:  Well it kind of is and isn’t.  I think the point is that you wont know what you can and can’t do till you try……

F2:  Excellent!  I look forward to hearing your juggling tales Theresa and Mr Key.

ME:  It’s got taken all out of context, I don’t really want to juggle.  I hate the word ‘Can’t’ I know what you meant when you explained it, no it’s not impossible, bit it just highlights the fact that I can’t just grab a set of balls & get going.  You said yourself that you need to think about how!  It’s something highly skilled when you get to your level, but at the same time it’s very basic and simple at the start point.  And I can’t just get on and have a go.  This sees me start thinking & analysing other things I can do or can’t do & the spiral starts & thats why it was never about the actually juggling… Hence why I never put it in the start of this post!  I appreciate the support & kind words from you all.  I’m not as has been suggested (by pm) fishing for sympathy or compliments on what I can do or try.  I wrote this because it was how I was feeling & at that very same moment on looking at Facebook it just felt right to put into words, stop it just being in my head & driving me even more crazy!

F3:  Nope no taking it back now lol.

F2:  Nope, you can’t back out now.  Learn to juggle woman then you can pass your juggling wisdom to me 🙂


It makes for this being a rather long blog, but I hope it gives you an idea of my thoughts.  Juggling isn’t the issue for me, its not even something like I said earlier that is of great interest.  It merely highlights that for me to do some things, I need to set myself up in a very different way than others.  Have to alter the way in which I do things.  My friends were being helpful with their comments, I am always open to constructive criticism.

I grew up not seeing myself differently to others, but now I do…… I feel so very different.

And this is the point.

Child’s Play

Today while at a friends house, their son was happily, quietly playing with Lego to make a old world village, I asked him if he would mind if I could build something with him.

He kindly asked if I needed him to help me as the parts where quite small and I may not see them, then he quickly told me that with Lego I didn’t need to see it, as I could just count the bumps on the top to feel how big and what shape the pieces are.

He then suggested that I built a church for his village. I asked him about the colours of the Lego as with them being so small I couldn’t see them and I was worried that it would be funny colours.

To which he simply answered ‘It doesn’t matter about the colours that’s the fun of Lego, the whole village can be all different colours and it doesn’t matter’

This bought back huge childhood memories for me, as a child me and my sister had built a huge pirate ship, it was built with whatever bricks we could find and was a giant rainbow.

Sometimes I think that as adults we aim for perfection too often, well I do anyway. Where as with kids it’s the fun of building and the game, not what you end up with in the end.

And also that as a grown woman I am never too old to sit down with a box of Lego and just build, sight or no sight as it is one of the first and still the most tactile toy available!!!

Feeling Isolated, yet surrounded by others.

Although I am a VIP, I pride myself on being independent and when I am within environments that I know or at least understand I am able to achieve this.

But move me away from my comforts and I struggle. I have often linked asking for help and needing support as a weakness and laughed it of as me being silly not being able to do things because of my eye condition.

After all,  lazy, I don’t like to just sit back and get others to do things for me while I am able to do it for myself.

A recent bought of bad health has seen me admitted to hospital. Which I am sure you will agree without adding in my eye condition is quite a daunting and scary thing.

But starting with the travel in the ambulance to get here, to moving from emergency medicine, to medical assessment to the current ward, I am feeling very low and lost.

The ambulance crew were fantastic, very descriptive and explained what they were doing and even where we were on our journey especially when we were travelling down the corkscrew of a slip road off of the motorway, which whil laying down and travelling backwards felt like a roller coaster ride!

Emergency medicine was very busy and nurses and doctors were rushing everywhere, I was really looked after and treated brilliantly, every time a nurse came passed my bed they asked if I needed help to get to the bathroom as they were all aware of my sight or lack of it.

Following hospital guidelines on time etc ( the politics of the nhs) I was moved to a medical assessment unit for further looking at. The handover on this ward was detailed about my eye condition, but sadly not passed over clearly to the next staff that took over, so having buzzed for assistance to go to the bathroom I was advised that if I couldn’t walk I was to use a commode…. So I corrected them that I was able to walk, but couldn’t see, which she argued over as I wore glasses, surely I knew where the bathroom was (don’t worry, the compaint went straight in to the staff the next day and the bed allocator who spoke with me about my preferences before I moved to the ward I am on now)

The porter that took me between the two wards was unaware and grumpy that she had been apparently stood by the side of my bed being ignored for 5 minutes, so she got a firm explanation of my eye condition and how it was polite to make people aware of her presence!

The ward I am on now was not able to accommodate me in, but I was given the next best thing. The ward I Amon with just 3 other ladies has a bathroom directly opposite me. The layout of the room was thoroughly explained as was the location of the bathroom, the rails and most importantly the help call buttons.

The odd slip up with cleaners moving my table or my glass from one end to the other has occurred, but the ladies on my ward have helped greatly, although immobile they have always explained the new location of the table or the glass perfectly. Just this morning they advised me of a wet floor sign just at the side of my bed that I would have kicked into.

Hospitals are not my favourite place and I know how busy the staff are, so hate to feel that I am making a nuisance of myself when taking up their time with silly little things.

The reaso sharing this with you is because, just this morning I had a great chat with the nurse. I explained my condition, my worries and had a really good chat, she then helped me sort out my clothes within the locker so I would find things easier. She briefed her staff about me and even got one of the assistants to help me plait my hair to cheer me up. She told me that all of the things I needed, whether that was medication or being told where food was on my plate wa all part of my care, nothing silly, nothing was because I was being stupid. She said that she would expect everyone on the ward to receive the care that they required with all of their needs, not just the medical issue that had bought them into hospital.

I sometimes need reminding of that. Just because I see my disability as a failing on my independence, others don’t and they would be failing within the job they were assigned to do if they did.

Fun Fairs

Lots of blogs this week, but I get to break from the usual boring home, study routine when my two children are home.  As I said before, I won’t let me being a VIP affect them or the fun they get to have.

So, on Sunday as a birthday treat we went to the fun fair at Hayling Island, I have never been there before, but friends had raved about it & how much fun the kids could have (big & small!)

They weren’t wrong.

With a 3 and 7 year old it is often difficult to find the balance on somewhere they can both have fun and do things together or with me.  Of-course my faithful GD came along too although she didn’t partake in much of the fun, just the run along the beach afterwards.

For me, I got to drive! only on the bumper cars, but didn’t I make the most of it, first with my son, then with my daughter and then they had their own car and I got to go alone.


We went on the halter skelter, the log flume, the balloon ride, even the rickettly old roller-coaster (I didn’t want to ask if it was part of its design or age that made it that way)

I know many people do these sorts of rides with their eyes closed, so most can guess what that feels like, but how about if your eyes were a blurry haze?

It makes things seem there that aren’t, it makes it feel that you will hit your head or that the cart your in will come off of the rails.

Also with no depth perception I have no ability to judge the hieght of a climb or the steepness of a drop….. But for me that adds to the excitement.

So to say that I had just as much if not more fun as the kids would be an understatement …….. We loved it!

The weather was just right and like all good funfairs I got to enjoy an old family tradition of having my bucket of pennies and playing on the slot machines too, dropping the coin at just the right time to not fall on top of the pile, put to push some of the coins down into the winning bit.

Who says sight loss has to make you miss things, it just makes it a different experience, but having never had brilliant sight I can’t say is it were a better or worse experience, my children had a fabulous time and that was the whole point of the day.

Me getting to join in so much was an added bonus!

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