Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Aiding the Blind?

If I ask for help does it mean I am weak and needy?

This question faces the blind and probably most people every day.

Being blind I admit does have its problems. I can't read straight from a book or paper, I can't drive, walking is difficult unless I know exactly where I am.

But in many situations I can cope.

When I can't though asking people around me to help can seem a drain on their time.  It makes me feel needy too.  For instance yesterday my medical insurance company nurse called me on the telephone. Nothing special they call me every few weeks just to maintain their service.

Going over some of the medications I use she wanted to know the spelling of one of them. Now she does know I am blind. I take a stab at what I think the spelling may be. No it wasn't in their system. So what does she say?

"Can't you get your wife to tell me your medications?"

"No, my wife is in work."

:Then next time have her wrote out your medications so you can see them."

At this point I feel one inch tall and pathetic.

I understand nurses have to deal with patients, and put on an act of empathy. But the total lack of understanding of my frustration at not being able to do something was stunning.

I already have to ask my wife or her family to do a lot of travelling for me. Living in the country I often get the one bus out of town to go to the doctors, but then as the bus doesn't stop less than five miles from the doctors offices, someone, usually my father-in-law and mother-in-law meet me take me to all my appointments and back to the bus stop in time for the one bus back to nome.

That makes me feel awful in itself. Now people demand I ask more of others in order for them to gain some information. That is a seemingly trivial matter, but it is a laege mountain when you already feel a burden for those around you.