Red and white cane…

No, not the diagonally striped one made of candy, so seasonally appropriate right now. This one is a collapsible aluminum white cane with a red bottom portion such as used by those with limited vision as a way to warn others around them that someone who might make unpredictable moves is about, and should be looked out for.

A week ago, Rumpole took me to visit Dr. Seemore. We hoped to hear reasonably good news about me getting a new lens in my left eye, maybe early in the new year. Instead, Dr. Seemore viewed my eyecondition with reservations, and while he did not say in so many words that I would be sightless in that eye, after all the numerous operations during the past two years, he telegraphed by carefully chosen words and phrases that the prognosis might not be as I had hoped. More tests in the new year, to see if blood supply into the retina is adequate to make it worth installing a new lens.

On the drive home from the office, Rumpole essayed to draw me out as to how I interpreted the conversation between myself and Dr. Seemore. As if interpretation needs to be made by doctors’ pronouncements! Unfortunately, it has been my recent and not so recent experience that doctors are notoriously loathe to give bad news, and in their avoidance manoeuverings end up severely pissing off a patient, such as your truly, who might wish for some necessary and unvarnished truths. I was righteously annoyed, and kvetched and carped about my chagrin all the way home.

Once we arrived, we partook of a good cup of coffee. Rumpole took his cup and disappeared into the front office. After several moments, he called out to me to come and join him there. He had logged onto the computer and got into the CNIB site. He patted the chair next to him and said it was time for me to order a white cane, which might be useful in warning off people walking near me to look out for my wild swings and lunges toward my blind side. And how did I feel about this anyway?

I felt okay, I guess. I spend half my time out in publick apologizing to people for knocking into them or slapping them with my wildly gesturing left arm, that is whenever I don’t cut them off in their eagerness to pass me by. The white cane will help shut me up in public; save some breath.

So my cane arrived in the post today – a tidy collapsible and lightweight pole good for probing ahead but not of cudgel-like proportions to knock others nearby senseless. It’s rather jaunty, like a fencing rapier, but not as dangerous seeming. Sort of reminds me of cross-country skiing poles, minus the stabbing bit at the tip. It collapses in a jiffy and fits inside my purses. A very practical little stick.

I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to using it. I’d really rather fake it, and pretend I see just fine, but unfortunately that ain’t the case. I bet Mousey will like my cane. We can play magic tricks with it – collapse it and hide it, use it to loft stuffed animals about the house, lift curtains with it to see who is hiding behind. I wish Rumpole wore a toupee on his bald head; I’d delight in flipping it off his head with my cane. The Mouse would chuckle with great glee. Maybe I can victimize some other poor toupee-wearing schmuck on the streets nearby.

They don’t beat up an old blind woman, do they?

10 Responses to “Red and white cane…”

  1. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Oh, how prosaic you can be about your eyes! Really! Honestly!
    But we’ve discussed this before: We have a choice – we can sit down and cry about our misfortunes, or we can laugh in the face of them; mock them with ridicule; then adapt and go on living life to the full.
    I’ve marveled at your endurance on the subject of your operations and witnessed some of your misery, day after day, as you healed slowly from each of the 5 operations you had; or was it seven?
    But you’ve chosen to laugh about it. This is a great post with good humour about a difficult bump that life has put in your way.
    And now I hear you are going to go back to painting? Congratulations!
    I’m waiting to see the results.

  2. Christine Says:

    You always find something to laugh about, G. You’re a great soul.

    What about a magic wand for Mousey for Christmas? The kind they have in toy stores, with glitter on them? You and she can play magic together.

    You could also use the cane to lift nudge to read items off shelves.

    I hope Seemore wasn’t stalling. It’s cowardly. I know because I can be that way too.

  3. suburbanlife Says:

    You are a supportive, dear friend and i don’t know how i would get on without you, LFB. G

    christine – the wands sound like a good idea – maybe the mouse and i can make some out of chopsticks and glitter and glue. Sounds like a january activity for us. Thanks for being such a suppportive cyber-friend! G

  4. Nita Says:

    I echo Christine’s words. You are a great soul. I have no other words.

  5. BiB Says:

    Fingers crossed for good news in the New Year and glad that you can have some fun with the cane in the meantime. Can’t you get Rumpole a comedy wig for Christmas?

  6. The Querulous Squirrel Says:

    Humor aside, this must be so very difficult and painful and there is no weakness in acknowledging that. I am having some minor vision difficulties which are likely to get worse over time and it definitely changes how I “see” my mobility and the things I can and can’t do in the future, like driving, which is already problemmatic. You are a great soul whether you feel a sense of loss or see the bright side. I imagine you do both.

  7. suburbanlife Says:

    Nita – thank you for the sweet comment. No, not great – just learning my lessons in life, as they come along. G

    BiB – thank you so much for your crossed fingers. Right now I keep losing the cane, which is a bit of a pain, but shall soon get used to it. The wig sounds a wonderful idea. I will put the kids to acquiring one – second hand and atrocious looking. G

    QS – that driving and having to give it up is a huge change for me, as it must be for anyone forced to adjust to getting around by different means. I hope you keep on top of your eye condition and mitigate increasing difficulties with good medical help. But I know, tough, yet sensitive, as you are, you will always accommodate yourself to changes in your situation. Like me you are a survivor, nay, better than a survivor – you find the gold wherever it glimmers in the gloom. At least, writing will always be something you can do – there are ways, for me too. Thank you for your supportive comment. G

  8. Deborah Barlow Says:

    G, Your voice cuts right through me with a clarity that is almost surgical. You are clear and you are brave. I’m not sure a comment to a posting is adequately formatted to communicate how deeply moved I was by this news, and how profoundly I have come to feel about you and your life. I am so enriched by having found your blog and your friendship. I hope I can offer succor of some kind to you as well.

  9. ybonesy Says:

    Ah, G., this is profound news and you write about it with such clarity, as Deborah pointed out, and lightness. I’m struck by how loving Rumpole is, and what a great friend and companion. And why is it that doctors can’t be direct? I guess maybe their talents come from other parts of the brain, and perhaps it’s hard to switch over. I don’t know.

    Speaking of clarity, we’ve talked about Santa Lucia, yes? Patron saint for clarity and blindness. All eye ailments. Do you happen to have a statue or image of her? She is my favorite of all the saints. Here is a link of her in my flickr account. I remember you commented on the post (blog, not flickr) about her.

    unfinished lucy

    And then we’ll have to find St. Anthony. The saint for finding lost objects. (The cane.) 8)

  10. suburbanlife Says:

    Deborah – what a sweet and loving comment, and I thank you. You are a treasure. You should know that i have read, last month a book from our local library, a novel about India, for which you and Elatia Harris were thanked as readers. it reminded me of how small the world has become due to the internet, for i reveled in reading a book which you had vetted and encouraged. I wish for you, David and your brood the very best Christmas celebration also good health, accomplishment and enjoyment in the New Year. G

    Ybonesy – thank you so very much for your kind words. yes, Rumpole is squarely in my corner, for which i am eternally thankful.
    I love your Santa Lucia painting. I know that i am remiss in not buying your linocut of the tea-cup as i intended, but i would much rather buy the Santa Lucia from you and have by my bedside as a little companion for those times when i need to be thankful for what i have and to beg for intercession to retain what faulty yet valuable eyesight i still possess. G

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