Last night a friend even older than I am talked about old age being a full time job. She said that all that consumes her is “maintenance.” I have to say that disability at times falls into that same category, a full time job.
Since June my life has revolved mostly around my guide dog, Dave, making sure that he’s getting enough work (walks) per day, then pulling off his obedience training, feedings, grooming, and play time. Re: the walks and play especially, Dave would enjoy hours more than I give him.
For the last 3 months I’ve been trying to learn to use an IPhone. That, too, is homework and almost as all-consuming as the Dave demands of the day, but not quite as rewarding. Except that lately I’ve been getting a good bit of pathetic triumph, entering data, pulling off the texting.
I’m completely certain that I cannot convey the enormous effort it takes to keep up with the mobility and digital savvy of the sighted and hearing public. I began to try to explain all that I need to learn to my husband, when I had the cell phone on one knee, a midget Braille display paired with it on the other knee, and my laptop in front of me. All the finger strokes differ so monumentally for the three devices that it’s a mental work-out to manage it. I finally gave up and told Bob, “Just be increasingly impressed by my labors here!”
And that’s when I had the big reveal. I don’t need the Times daily crossword or Sudoku. With Dave and my IPhone, I’m challenging my aged brain to the max. Will that forestall dementia? Not sure. But it manages to keep me from going brain dead while I’m still breathing, at least at the moment.