See the White Stick? Blind and Invisible. What's the Problem?
You know when you walk into your doctors office? Does the receptionist smile to you nicely and say "Sign in please?"
Well imagine that situation, except you can't see much more than a blurr of light, you can hardly see the receptionist let alone the slip of paper you are meant to sign in on.
It seems to be happening to me a lot lately. I wait in line to reach the front of the line. Only to hear a young female voice say "Just sign in." Generally I would meekly say, "I'm sorry. Where do I sign?" Hoping that she may notice the white cane in my hand, at nearly five feet long and made with a binding of reflective tape, that even I can see, she fails to notice. "There is a signing in sheet there."
For Heavens Sake. Do you have eyes but don't use them?
Lately I have been getting more brusque in my replies. I am becoming the grumpy blind man who cries out " I'M BLIND!"
"Ok/ Just sign in/" The reply is enough to have me thrash around whailing like a banshee,.
Life is full of small victories. On one occassion I took up a pen and signed in. Across five lines of other peoples names it seems. There was a squeal of indignation from behind the reception desk.
"You should only use ONE LINE!"
Didn't I? Oh I am sorry I am blind. Is what I'd like to say. But keeping my mouth tightly shut, I stare blankly back towards the now whining receptionist.
It's Just Frustrating
It is not just the fact that doctors receptionists have become robotic in their demands to "Sign in." When some occasionally offer help they do so badly. One a few weeks ago, almost arm wrestled me to force a pen into my right hand as I attempted to take the pen in my left hand. Despite my protests that I am left handed, there was no way she would not try to force me to hold the pen in my right hand which was already full with my white cane and a bag containing medicines.
I just had to accept that with blindness comes stupidity. Sadly it appears that it is my own stupidity. Expecting that people will use their eyes. Understand what a white cane means, and then act appropriately.
Other Hubs and Articles
- Living with Disability: My Life with Blindness
What is it like to go blind? My own personal story of drifting into the realm of the blind.
- Technology is Essential for a Blind Student - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com
In recent years I have become more and more dependent upon adaptive technology. Being blind is new to me. Now I am also a full time student. Life as a blind student is made much easier by some great new technologies.