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.

About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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One Response to IPHONESIPhoneIPhoneIPhoneIPhone

  1. Bonnie Rizzino says:

    It is quite overwhelming and all consuming, especially at first, but all the technology that those of us with visual and hearing impairments have at our fingertips, will certainly challenge us for years to come.

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