[bct] Re: Relationships

  • From: "Jake Joehl" <jajoehl@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 13:22:13 -0600

Hi Jamie and all. I agree with you Jamie about the NFB. They just don't seem
to want to accept the fact that some visually-impaired people are different
than others. Some people with other disabilities are different than, say, their counterparts. Heck, even some non-disabled people differ from other non-disabled people. Wow what a concept! That is what makes America so great, that it is so diverse. Personally, I like asking for help whenever I cannot perform a
task, such as cutting meat or any other food. My life skills tutors, other members of my family, and other friends have all
emphasized to me that it's perfectly acceptable to ask for assistance when
doing things like buttering bread or cutting up meat. After all, cutting is kind of risky especially for someone with little or no vision. It is also messy. My roommate, whose vision is fading, has cut himself several times while chopping. That's what I don't
get about the NFB. They seem to think it's perfectly acceptable to be blind,
which it is, but then they don't want any of us to solicit assistance from
anybody. But back to BCT business. It would be great if someone did a podcast on restaurant etiquette.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Jamie Pauls" <jamiepauls@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, 31 October, 2005 11:10 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: Relationships

That was about as enjoyable as listening to a career cast. Well done. You
mentioned allowing your spouse to help with cutting a steak. This is
something I let my wife do quite a lot for several years, but I am trying
become more proficient at cutting meat. Why am I rambling on about cutting
meat? Because for several weeks now I considered asking Larry to do a
podcast on restaurant etiquette. Does he ever accept help with any food
items? Does he stay away from things that are difficult? Does being
previously put him in a better position to deal with food items than
who has been blind since birth? The NFB makes asking for help in a
restaurant seem like a crime. If I am misreading their philosophy, I will
stand corrected. I will admit that when I am out with the guys it is a bit
awkward to ask for help with cutting meat; much more awkward than when
just my wife and me. This is why I am working to really increase my skills
in this area. I'd be interested in hearing from others on this subject.
Incidentally, I didn't find anything to speak of regarding dining
last time I checked Fred's Head, although I did find my own AccessWatch
site. That was cool. I'll be braced and ready for any responses I get to
this post. (smile) Don't be too hard on me. Thanks and happy Halloween.

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rose Combs
Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2005 9:04 PM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Relationships

I'd like to comment on relationships but I am not able to do recording at
this point.  As I mentioned previously, my husband is working on his
Master's degree and his time is limited to help me this weekend as he has
project due tomorrow.  For anyone interested, he is obtaining his degree
through University of Phoenix online program, so, he never has to leave
to attend a class but there is a lot of teamwork and projects he has to
complete for each class he takes, and he is about half way through his
program right now.

We have been married for 30 years last May.  Tom is partial vision, and
ability to use it fairly well.  He does comment to me often that people
to be annoyed with him because he does not recognize them if they are
far away and wave at him or something.  Oddly enough, he has to take off
glasses to read which can be a problem if he forgets where he laid them
down, I generally know where he has been if he does not.

We have had our problems, of course, and as neither of us can see well
enough to drive, we depend on public transportation a lot, or friends and
family occasionally.  However, Tom does see fairly well and feels
to ride a bicycle.  Since we are in Arizona, we ride our tandem to and
work, to the store and to places that are reasonably close.  We have large
saddle baskets on the back and it it is amazing some of the things we have
carried home on it.  In 30 years we have had maybe four accidents, none of
which was our fault, three different cars have pulled out and hit the back
of the bike, damaging the baskets two times, once we went down in some
mud on a bike path a fall that happened so quick it was almost like we hit
the ground before we fell, and I broke my collarbone in two places, and we
were going about two miles per hour when it happened.

People around the area are used to seeing us, wonder where we are if we
absent for too long.

My husband tends not to be organized, he thinks that if he put something
back in the same room he got it from it is perfectly OK, and it drives me
crazy, not only do I have to hunt for it again, so does he because he
remember where he put it.  I tried the break this habit early in the
marriage by peppering his popcorn when he put the pepper where I normally
put the salt, but, alas, it got a laugh but did not teach him anything.

I remember one Christmas time when I had a severe cold but was tired of
lying in bed so I decided to clean up the desk and the end table near it.
dumped everything in the trash and then discovered a couple of weeks later
that I had also dumped our unpaid bills which explained why the checking
account seemed fuller than normal.  It was funny but some of the utilities
did not see it that way.  Since then I don't mess with the printed papers.

There is a lot of give and take in a long-term relationship, and there are
times when I do not understand things from tom's perspective and he does
always understand mine but we sometimes have to agree to disagree.

On the other hand, in the early 1980's when I was learning about
Tom read a lot of the books to me despite the fact that it was not always
easy for him.  In 2002 after he broke his arm I attended an Oracle class
with him to carry his flipper-port camera and set it up and to do his
so he could finish the course.  The only thing I did not do was help with
the final, not that I could have given him any answers, but by that point
was typing a bit better despite the cast.

Early on I tried to do everything for myself, cutting up my own meat,
insisting I did not need help.  In 1989 I had to have a glomus tumor
from my left ear and for a few months had absolutely no hearing on that
side, and during the healing process there were many things I could not do
well due to weakness in my left hand and arm--it was not connected to my
but the surgery did cause some weakness.  I started letting him help more,
and now it is almost routine that he will cut up a steak for me, except
he had his broken arm, then I had to do it for both of us.  He had to help
me even more in 1997 when I broke my collarbone, again on the left but
things like combing my hair hurt even when I was using my right arm.  I
in this figure-of-eight brace and could not even get dressed without help.
Of course, the first couple of weeks after he broke his arm I had to help
him dress, and It isn't easy to dress an adult male.

I gave tom information on University of Phoenix in 1996 after I signed up
CompuServe, and he was at a point in his life where he wanted and needed a
change so he pursued the BS degree he had abandoned nearly 30 years
When he said he thought he wanted a Master's degree I told him to go for
we'd rearrange things so he could have the time to do that.  It means our
social life is almost nonexistent at the moment but I am an avid reader so
don't mind all that much.

We don't do a lot except our jobs where we are not together.  We shop
together, vacation together (I know people who do not), we prefer to go to
parties together.  Tom prefers TV, I prefer books, he is a sports fanatic,
could care less but those things we work around.

In some ways for me it is like having a sighted husband but then again it
not.  Tom has always been willing to describe things for me, movies, items
at the store, even sporting events I am not particularly interested in.
is fortunate to be able to use the vision he has well.  I am not certain
he would handle vision loss, for now he would never carry a cane, although
he never objects when I have one with me.  I know he would definitely feel
the loss should it ever happen to him but I have confidence that together
would get through it.

After 30 years I cannot imagine having this type of relationship with

Rose Combs rosecombs@xxxxxxxxx

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