Kelly, the mobility officer, is coming by to bring my darker UV sunglasses – those huge, Matrix-looking ones that most people associate with the elderly, but I love them because they completely block the glare even at the sides.
Kelly and I also discuss the new technique that I need to learn for my long cane.
It’s about 2 inches longer than my guide cane, but the handle is cushioned and much more comfortable. I find that I’m still stumbling because the guide cane only gives me about 1 step warning about the terrain in front of me. The long cane should provide better awareness than that.
We walk across to Stratford Parkway station, which is relatively flat, so she can train me with the new long cane.
I'm sure I'm not going to need it for very long, but during the next 12 to 18 months my vision will vary and I still need to be mobile and safe - especially considering that I will still be visually impaired in my left eye with only 6/60 (20/200) corrected vision.
I can easily ignore the passengers coming and going because they are only transparent blobs of colour to me.
Though I'm exhausted after the hour-long training session, I can’t rest yet. Still need to get the blood work done. After a quick sandwich, I rush to catch the train with my new long cane in hand and walk over to Stratford hospital. The blood work takes about 20 minutes, after which I get the next train back home. It’s 12:30pm and I'm sick and exhausted, but my day is STILL not over. The dentist insists that Muna have an adult with her for her 2pm appointment.
I take a nap for about an hour, jump the next train into town and walk Muna to the hospital. Again.
Dental appointment goes well. I think. I can’t be sure.
After all, I watch a cleaning, filling and x-rays through a blur of light and colour. The dental office is remarkably bright and the air conditioning, remarkably loud.
I can’t wait to leave.
Finally, we leave. Train.
One of the kids helps me into bed. I’m not sure if I’m fainting or falling asleep. But as unconsciousness washes over me, I think, what a saga…trains, pains and all these ordeals.