Blah, BLah, BLOG
Rose in running clothes, smiling, throwing leaves up in the air. Beautiful, colorful fall day.
I think now that I am using the cane more, it seems there are less bruises, less accidents and more confidence. Really? A cane can do that? Yes, it can! With encouragement of others, particularly those who uses the cane gently pushes me on to walk the path in sweeps. The sounds of a tap side to side is becoming a familiar sound. It is a sound of reassurance, I shall not fall, but to walk with my cane standing tall. It was just weeks ago when I was feeling so much angst and fear towards my cane. Now, I feel more comfortable and I am accepting it as a part of me and who I am. Don't mistaken me, I still will not let Ushers to define me. I am still me. The cane will just be an accessory. I live in a small town where you don't see many people walking around with a white cane, so I get a lot of people staring at me. I have always cared about what people think. People staring at me, feeling pity or shock, whatever their reason is, it has always made me feel like I am second class citizen. Well, I have to stop feeling that way and get on with my journey into blindness. Yes, it is a journey into blindness and I have to explore the world with eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear well. Just because I have accepted using my cane, I will still go through the merry go around of emotions, it would not be real if I didn't. That is part of my acceptance, to allow myself to grieve and to grow as a person. Life is always about changes, that applies to everyone, including myself. For those who don't know me, I have Usher's type 2. I was born with moderate to severe hearing loss, started my education in a special class for the deaf using ASL as part of my communication. It wasn't until I was nearly 16 that I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (which in my case, started with night blindness, then developed tunnel vision and now have approximately 10 degrees of peripheral vision left - healthy eyes have approx. 160 degrees). The changes is ongoing, and hopefully this disease will not take me to the path of complete darkness. For now, I see light, colors and the beauty around me, and I shall take advantage of that as much as a can, see and do as much as I can, one tap at a time. So, if you don't mind, I'm going for a run!
dedicated to my friend Andrea xx
Dudley, my chocolate lab on the carpet of golden leaves~
Today was my last long run before we head out to Sacramento, CA for the California International Marathon. This will be our 3rd year participating. Years 2010 and 2011, Chris and I ran the full marathon. This year, I have put together for the first time a Canadian relay team. Eight people from different parts of Canada will come together to run this event, five runners and 3 guides. Dudley (my chocolate lab) and I were out the door at 9:15am with temperature of 0 degrees. It was one of those runs that you go out of the door with no plans, no nutrition and no water. I don't know what i was thinking. We were at 12K when we hit the dike and we both needed some water. I walked him into the ladies washroom and with my hands cupped under the running water and quenched my thirst. I look at my dog and told him to drink out of the toilet bowl for his water, he kind of looks at me thinking 'surely you don't expect me to drink out of the toilet bowl!' So back to the tap, cupping my hands giving him several handfuls of water. Well, now at least we are rehydrated and ready to run the last 12K. It was a quiet run, my mind was quiet, and all I could hear was Dudley rhythmic panting as I followed the edge of the road to home. As soon as we got home the sun was starting to make her appearance, yes, it is going to be another glorious day and am thankful that it was an accident free run. A couple hours later, I had to go out and do some shopping for our Team (Canada, Eh?) goody bags. Dudley was eager to keep me company and join me for a 5K walk. So out the door we go, walking up the hill the sun was on my back and felt so good. As i looked down the sidewalk I had a shock, I saw my shadow and seen something I had never seen before. It was the silhouette of me, my dog and my cane. My eyes started to sting, water welled up, and a lump in my throat. A silent, private sob escaped my mouth. I came to realization that this is who I am now. The cane is part of me. The sadness didn't stay long, seconds later I caught myself thinking, yes, this is who I am and I have accomplished many things that I am proud of, and will continue to do so. Only now, I have company. Cane and able. Is this acceptance? Well, maybe it is beginning. I am sure many of you who is reading this, had that 'aha!' moment of realisation and self discovery. What was your moment?
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Picture: top left - Dudley, my chocolate lab on a golden carpet of fallen leaves ~