Failing at my Escalator review (Independent living skills series 23)

I woke up feeling sick and nervous because I felt like I have a lot on my plate. I quickly got dressed and was ready to go. However, I had to wait for the van; and it felt like it was never going to show up, but it did.

The part-time Orientation and Mobility teacher was not there, so the plans were to wait on one more student who was going to be late, and then leave as a group. A few minutes later the part-time teacher showed up. Because Pensacola was offering a wet and windy day my teacher and another classmate and I went to the mall.

My classmate had only a few Orientation and Mobility lessons before, so my teacher taught her about the basics of landmarks and mind mapping. Once that was done, we headed to Dillard’s, so we could practice riding escalators. My teacher gave instructions to my classmate, and with a little coaching my classmate did great.

Then it was my turn. As you have read in my previous posts I was gaining confidence with this skill, therefore it should have been a piece of cake for me. When I got up to the lip fear took a hold of me. I kept feeling the cane tip move, since my teacher had me swap canes with my classmate for a bit.

My teacher had to give me a lot of coaching and encouragement. “Come on, you’ve done this before,” she said as I stood at the top of the stairs. I shook my head no and backed up again. “Come on, I’ll make a video for your blog,” She said. Nothing she said seemed to help. A few members of the public came up to ask if I needed help. Of course, I just explained I was in a lesson. After a few more tries I finally did it.

We then walked around the men’s department and went back up the escalator. For me going up is easier than going down. This time my teacher had me swap our canes back to its proper owner. It felt good to get my cane back.

Since we were back at the top my teacher had me go first. Still I struggled. Oh, well at least I did do it eventually.

Then we went to do an elevator lesson. It was good to hear the lesson again as it helps reinforce what I had learned. The elevator lesson was quick and simple.

Once that was over we went to Newk’s. I had the half and half meal. I had my usual chicken salad sandwich, and for my side I had half a bowl of macaroni and cheese, and a pink lemonade to drink. I enjoyed my meal.

After lunch, we went back to the mall and did a drop off practice. While walking to our meeting place I stopped by HallMark so I could get a Christmas gift for a friend.

When I reached our meeting place my classmate and I chatted up a storm while we waited for our teacher.  When we were leaving, a member of the public saw us walking and started yelling, “I’m so sorry for you; God bless you.” Even though sometimes we educate the public on blindness and the fact that blindness does not ruin your life. I chose to ignore his comments.

Then we went outside and worked on sidewalk travel, two-point touch, and basic street crossing.

Even though I felt sad about not doing good with my review, I say I’ll conquer the escalators next time.

 

 

Getting used to my new cane and tip (independent living skills series 6)

“Great, you brought your new cane; let me go get your pencil tip. I’ll be back in a minute,” my Orientation and Mobility instructor said, as I sat there eagerly waiting for my lesson to start.

Once she returned with the pencil tip, I decided against it. That was because I am a medium traveler and I need more tactile information. Because I did not like the marshmallow tip, and because Ambutech does not provide the type of tip I am currently using, my teacher introduced me to a tip called Ceramic. It’s small and has a rubber band around part of it. With this tip I get excellent audio and tactile information.

Because I needed to get used to my new cane and tip, another classmate and I went outside to walk in the grass. For me, I do not like to walk in the grass because sometimes my tip gets stuck. Once we were done with that, my teacher, classmate and I headed for the mall. The mall has laminate floors which made it hard to sweep my cane. My teacher noticed that my arch was to wide and had to correct me.

Another thing was I had to get used to my new cane. It’s like trying on a new pair of boots, you have to break them in. During my time at the mall, we came across some stairs. We worked on how to go up and down. I learned to descend; I can sweep my cane for feedback before going down. To ascend the stairs you are to bump your cane against the front of the step then step up.

After our lesson, we got a snack, and headed back to the center for lunch; It was nice to relax and to give my wrist a break.

Once lunch was over, my teacher, another classmate and I went back to the mall. This time the walk was smoother. I’m sure in a few weeks I will be adjusted to my new cane and tip. The only thing left is to name my cane; just for a joke…I shall call him Paddington Freedom.