Thursday, April 12, 2012

life update

I haven’t written much since I said goodbye to Dee a couple months ago. I still miss her very much. Intellectually I know she’s not here, but when I first wake up, I think I need to go outside or is the water bowl empty? I walk out the door and feel as if I’m lighter or forgetting something, and it’s because I have no dog in my left hand. I also miss her being a guide dog, right now more than ever. However, Shelly says she’s having so much fun playing with her other dog, running around the farm, and going for long walks. She’s friendly and happy to see everyone as usual. She’s gained weight, so she’s not too skinny anymore!! Dee’s happy, and that makes me happy, even though I’m sad at the same time.
I have almost finished my guide dog applications. Southeastern still needs to come do a juno walk with me, but all the paperwork is in for them. Guide dogs of the desert has all paperwork, and I submitted my video last week. Guide dog foundation also has all paperwork and the video, and guiding eyes needs me to get a tb test and some other shot before they can send my application to the admissions people. I’m going to do that today. I really want a golden retriever or german shepherd, but it is soooooo tempting just to go back to gdb and get another lab. The health issues are just annoying enough to make me not want to wait for a non-lab breed dog.
The anemia is still here because I couldn’t get prescriptions for months since I didn’t have a Medicaid card. Now I have insurance again, but I won supplements in an auction started by After Gadget, so I have iron tablets which will hopefully help me not feel as tired and have random dizziness. I also have a b-complex, fish oil, and magnesium which should help with health in general and hypoglysemia. I’ve noticed that since I’ve been off supplements, I eat so much more junk food, and I can’t seem to stop. That is also not helped by the candida infection that I’m sure I have since I match 13 out of the 15 symptoms or something like that. Since I’m out of money, I’ve only been taking them on the days I have class in hopes that it will give me some mental clarity and concentration to make it through the four-hour lectures. I also notice that my balance is slightly off without a dog, and I walk slower on uneven surfaces.
A couple weeks ago, I went for a hearing test. I don’t remember if I’ve written about it here, but I noticed at the end of last year, maybe a little bit before, that I was having trouble crossing streets. I’d stand there at a lighted intersection that I cross frequently and think, “is that traffic on my right, or is it coming from my right side and going perpendicular to me?” And once I realize that it is indeed parallel, it’d be the middle of the cycle and too late to go. Consequently, I spend several cycles like this and take at least 10 minutes trying to cross. My travel confidence was going down, and I felt so incompetent. I lived in Minneapolis for 7 months, crossed eight-lane highways and the interstate, and lived on a lighted intersection that I crossed at least twice every day. I also noticed I was having more trouble than usual following people in noisy environments or having trouble hearing many people in a conversation. We’d be out at a restaurant, and I could hear the people sitting to my left, right, or directly across from me. However, if it was a larger table of more than four, I’d not realize someone was talking to me on the other side, or I’d hear them talking but not understand what they were saying. Sometimes, I can’t tell what direction people’s voices are coming from. I do better if people are sitting or walking behind me and talking than I do when they are sitting or walking in front of me and talking. The doctor says I have some hearing loss. He said that sometimes it only takes people to be aware of it and they will listen harder for sounds. I told him I’d been aware of it for a couple months, and that didn’t work for me. So, he’s ordered me something with amplification because he said he wasn’t concerned so much about communication as he was about safety. I said that was definitely my concern. Dee didn’t help with knowing when to cross because that was not her job; it’s my responsibility to decide when it’s time to go. However, I could tell her forward, and if It were the wrong time in the traffic cycle, she’d refuse the forward command. That would be so helpful right now. I’m hoping the amplification comes soon.
I still have not received funding from my state agency. I took out a student loan to not get purged from classes as well as to avoid being evicted. As I’ve written before, I’ve been paying my rent, and when I had Dee, dog food. That left little money for anything else; I could pay a reader/driver a couple times, and I could pay a couple times to go out to dinner for under $10. After that, I was broke, and thanks to my roommate, I can take a cab or pay for a reader or whatever after I run out. But, that didn’t leave me money for bills; my phone was shut off for months, and I didn’t pay my credit card bill. Since I didn’t pay my credit card bill, the bank suspended my checking account. I had my ssi and social security disability going in as a direct deposit, so I missed that money at the beginning of the month and therefore had no money for rent. Thank God my refund check came from my student loan. I keep getting declined to open a bank account, but I was able to sign the check over to someone else’s account and paid my rent and phone bill that way.
The quarter will be over in three weeks or so. Where has the time gone? So far, I’ve brailled a chapter of a children’s book, made 10 literacy games, turned in a 46-slide power point about phonics, read and attempted to memorize many tables and info about child development, and other mini projects. I still have to finish researching for a 12-page research paper and 15-minute presentation, finish research for another 15-minute presentation, do article summaries/reflection, read the rest of the info for child development, and practice my slate speed and accuracy so I can pass the test. School is overwhelming me right now. We went to a deafblind conference a couple weeks ago, and tomorrow, we’re leaving for the Louisiana state convention. I really wish I had this weekend to do homework!
Things I’m thankful for:
a friend that I met in Minneapolis last summer is coming to hang out and look at attending this masters degree program for teaching blind students.
My rent is paid and phone is back, so I don’t have to worry about that for another month.
My guide dog applications will be done next week, so all I have to do now is wait and pray someone has a dog for me this summer.
I have awesome friends who help me; whether it’s financially or can you tell me what this captcha says, they are great!