Karl (louderback) wrote,

By way of catching up…

Where to begin? 'I've been out of touch quite a while. Changes! I'll list the recent changes…

I've made Doc Pontiac my primary care physician. Doctor Jujube is out save as a specialist. I like Doc P. He seems a down-to-earth sort.
I am using JAWS exclusively at home and at work. I now have a registered version and there is no more rebooting every 30 minutes. My writing skills are deteriorating. I can still type, but my screen reader and spelling checker are not catching the errors I used to catch. People tell me my spelling and spacing both are off. I check things as thoroughly as I may, but should you encounter problems, bear with me.
I am using the white cane all the time now. My white cane teacher has been patiently admonishing me to go ahead and use it at work even though I can do the "wall-hugger" thing and get to the bathroom and break room without the cane. I am using it but it is uncomfortable for me. I have problems using the cane because of my perceptions of others perceptions. I need to just ignore it all. I do get around better and faster with the cane than without it.
I am out of touch with all my friends. I haven't phone or written anyone since late last year. The boys understand I'm sure, but I feel bad that my only contact has been when they called me.
I am acquiring lots of new phone acquaintances. I have spoken with nearly two dozen people since about October. Mostly they are people of whom I want advice regarding my low vision. While they have been, without exception, well meaning, helpful, upbeat people, they haven't been able to get me much that is really useful.
One of those recently met is Dave S. who works for the same company I do. He has offered the most sensible advice to come out of all my phone conversations with many people. He was a little disheartening in some ways. He used to do what I do for a living and basically got out of it because it was such a pain. So I guess it can be done, but I still don't really know how to accomplish it.
Another recent acquaintance is Barb G. who is a very upbeat and interesting person. She is friendly and we seem to have some things in common. She is completely without vision in any practical terms (1%) and has different problems than I have. At least, though, she is a sympathetic voice. She is an artist.
I went to an art show in which Barb participated. I find that my taste in watercolors has altered. The blurry, runny washes that I used to like are now abstracts to me. The not-blurry-at-all sort of watercolors is now more to my taste. Art shows, as movie theatres seem to be off my list.
Jeanne L. was here last week and discussed a number of goodies from the catalogs I have of disabilities-friendly gadgets. She left me a voice mail to the effect that she has ordered a number of things we discussed. I will order myself the things she said she couldn't order - a 4-track player and a few minor things. I am eager to get a more portable 4-track player than the one I have. It will make my life easier in several ways. I must remember to ask her for a recommendation… she offered to provide one
My mother is going to apply to RSB for some assistance. If she qualifies, it may be very helpful to her in that it will put her in the loop for a lot of independent living and assisted living organizations. Her vision is better than mine, but she has glaucoma and may qualify.
I may be spending three weeks in Kansas City sometime soon. There is an organization called Alphapointe who may be conducting an "assessment." I think that this assessment has a great many physical components designed to gauge the capabilities of the wheel chair bound paraplegics, quadriplegics, and the like. There are also a number of personality-related tests that I assume are both aptitude and personality-related. Since I am looking to keep my current job more than I want to find a new one, I am less interested in those. I think the greatest value of these assessments will be in determining a "hard" measurement of my visual capabilities. I am also looking forward to sending some time with people who have similar problems and with people who have worked for some time with these problems. It is possible that Alphapointe will have some of the gadgetry that people keep recommending to me. I look forward to playing a bit with any such that is available. If anyone out there has had experience with Alphapointe or a similar organization I'd be grateful for any comments you care to make.
I am not writing prose at all. I am still writing about a poem a day. I am going to collect them all and put them on my web site one day. I need a good title. I am not writing prose because it no longer flows from me onto the screen as it once did. The ideas are there and the urge to write, but putting it down is so slow that I find myself more upset while writing than I get relief from writing. I think I can write poetry because I never wrote that in the sort of trance that overcomes me when writing prose. Poetry is more abstractly, more dissociatively constructed.
I am finding more and more things that once were easy and are now, if not difficult, at least less easy to do. My writing is just one example. In that case, the keystrokes and locations I had memorized are now changing and they don't seem to be as easily acquired as once they were. Similarly, my web surfing has come to an abrupt halt. I have migrated from the three or four sites I visited regularly since my vision changed to visiting only my LJ friends page (http://www.livejournal.com/users/louderback/friends). I do not commonly respond there any longer. I think this is because I can no longer gracefully navigate an unknown page. JAWS is not very good with web pages unless you are simply willing to sit back and have them read you the entire page. Even then it is not much good for columnar pages. I am moving away from many things that were once central in my life, writing, reading, computers, and the Internet. I need to find some replacements.

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