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Showing posts from January, 2014

Why I hate asking for help...

You often hear that the biggest problem with helping people is getting them to actually ask for help. Too often, people in need of help suffer in silence because they don't want to bother anyone and quite often when someone in desperate need finally does admit they need help, they are - mostly gently - admonished for not speaking up earlier.

I acknowledge this is a problem.

But today I want to talk about why I hate asking for help, because, to me, this is an equally big problem.

I'm doing a PhD right now, and PhDs are hard work. This hard work is compounded by the fact that I live with low vision - which is now getting lower. I am not the first person with low vision to study at a tertiary level, or even at a PhD level, not the first by a long shot.

Luckily, there are bodies founded to help people with low vision, and people who are completely blind (as opposed to technically blind, like me) to undertake tertiary education. For this I am very grateful.

So, at the risk of biti…

When learning to read all over again feeling like letting go...

This is a photo I took of my first reader - in Braille, that is.
As a friend said to me earlier, Ari and I will be on the same journey this year, both learning to read. Him, print, and me, braille.
I am excited - I do love a challenge.
At the same time, I have felt like I was choking on my own breath all morning. At first I put it down to nerves. When I first tried my hand at braille when I was 10, I just could not get the hang of it. I felt compelled to look at those raised dots all the time and try and read them by sight - which many people who work with the blind, do.
However, in my assessment meeting this morning - which was to check how sensitive my finger pads were and whether or not I could properly feel all the dots - I did very well. Apparently, I'm a natural. That's a good thing.
The feeling of choking didn't go away with that knowledge, though.
It wasn't until I was on the way home that it dawned on me why I was feeling the way I was.
I feel as if I'm l…

Tiptoeing Around the Internet…

Lately, I've found myself tiptoeing around the internet. Afraid to say much on Facebook or Twitter because it seems there is always someone ready to jump down my throat when I do. I also am very aware that I more often than not, recently, read other people's status updates looking for something to be wrong, to be critique-worthy.

I've been thinking about why this is.

Well, the internet is first and foremost a source of information, right?

When Facebook first started up, people used to post status updates like, 'Just had lunch, might go for a walk', for which people were mocked.

So, now people who don't want to be mocked, mostly disseminate information. As the Grumpy Old Man said to me earlier - my feed is like an advertising campaign for how to be a better person! Which is all good and well because goodness knows there is a lot of information out there and we can't all search the whole net on our own.

At the same time, it became a well known thing that a lo…

Hello! This is your wake up call!

Yesterday sucked. On top of what I wrote about coming to terms with my sight, the friend I mentioned who is fighting for her life was told her cancer is the incurable variety. She's full of fight, and is determined to stick around for a long as she possibly can, which all of us a grateful for! They say a positive attitude makes all the difference, and she has plenty of positive attitude!

So, this morning I woke up feeling pretty hung over. Pretty worn out by yesterday and not really up to picking myself up and getting busy living.

Anyway, here I sit at my desk. Two more stories written (first crappy draft, that is, but two more crappy drafts than I had a few hours ago).

I decided to take a break from writing and do a bit of reading instead. I remembered my supervisor had sent me an example of a colloquium document just before Christmas to give me 'an idea' what it would entail, although she emphasised that every colloquium document was different and so mine wouldn't b…

Asking for what you need…

Today has been a bit draining. Since about August last year, I have been trying to get a desk on Burwood campus of Deakin. The disability liaison officer I had been working with moved on from her position at Christmas time, so today I had an appointment to meet the DLO who would be taking over my case. She's lovely. We have a plan, which is good, but she told me I wasn't properly registered with the DLO because they had no medical report about my disability status - that is my low vision status. Why the last DLO didn't tell me this is beyond me. Without being properly registered they don't have the proper authority they need to advocate for me. So, I contacted Vision Australia to see what they had on record regarding my last assessment. They had an old letter from an optometrist I saw in 2009 who apparently assessed me as NOT being legally blind. I know, what the actual hell???

So, I had to make an appointment to see my regular optometrist again for a new assessment, …

Migraines, Work, and Extraneous Thoughts...

I have been suffering migraines this week - hence the lack of posting in the past few days.

For some reason they seem to be worse at night and most nights I go to bed with lots of pain around the front and top of my head, and also considerable nausea. I don't know what is causing this. I have been experiencing a very deep tone tinnitus as well, I'm not sure if this is related or just coincidental.

I've wondered if this is some sort of virus, as the Grumpy Old Man has also had a bad headache for days now. He thinks it might have something to do with the awful smell emanating from the roof cavity that one night. I don't know.

I'm profoundly aware of my sight deteriorating now, and am think it is definitely time to go see someone about it. Even as I write this blog post on my larger-than-life font screen at work, I'm straining to see the text - something is definitely up.

Anyway, whinge, whinge, moan, moan…

I have made it into the office today and that is a good …

Thankful Thursday!

Being thankful is a great way to increase the joy in your life. So, I thought it would make for an excellent second post of the year for 2014.

Here is what I am thankful for today.


Whatever created the awful stench in our dining room ceiling last night waited until after the festivities to make itself known! I was sitting in the lounge room at about 10pm last night and decided to go into the kitchen to have a late night snack. As soon as I stood up, my nose wrinkled in subconscious displeasure. There was a distinct smell of rotten fish in the air! I followed the smell to its strongest point and realised it was emanating from the air-conditioning duct in the ceiling in our dining room. It was foul to say the least! The Grumpy Old Man and I could not understand how it had suddenly appeared like that, either. We've had previous experiences with house ghosts and it occurred to us that perhaps we had a particularly pongy house ghost on our hands - either way, the decision was made to ca…

Happy New Year!!!

Love me a new year. It is a rare thing if I wake up on New Year's Day feeling flat or depressed. Today is certainly not that kind of day!

I feel all tingly and energetic and full of the possibilities of a new year! It is quite a buzz.

This year I'm looking forward to:


Seeing Ari off to school for the first time ever! The child has grown up attending the primary school as a 'baby brother at the school gate', most days, since he was a newborn. He basically feels as if he owns the place already. He was very happy to hear, this morning, that he starts school this year! He wanted to know if he could go to school today.Seeing Lukas off to high school. It'll be a new and different world for him, but he seems willing to embrace it despite not having any friends going to the same school. I think it helps that his two best friends from primary are also going to different schools from one another, so they're all in the same boat. Lukas is very excited to be learning to pla…