i have something called nystagmus (that’s a fancy way of saying my eyes dart around involuntarily). it’s not very pronounced so you need to consciously look for it. it manifests itself by me not seeing “very far”, my central vision being “blurry”, and my inability to read subtitles now – i use a magnifier when the fonts are “too small” as glasses don’t really help since it’s not a “lens” (the irony isn’t lost on me since that’s how my family and childhood friends refer to me) issue. my depth perception is compromised – i’ve always known intellectually that this is a likely effect but for some reason i only made the “connection” a few weeks ago. it’s more obvious to me as i played a lot of point guard in basketball and had a “decent” outside shot (i was particularly “skilled” at making free throws) – i now have trouble catching and throwing a ball.

the good thing is that i should have double vision but my brain compensated so i don’t experience this phenomenon and don’t get headaches. unfortunately when people should see two usually, i don’t based on my neurophysio tests.

balance can also be affected (that’ why PTs ask you to close your eyes to make a task “more difficult”). fortunately, all the core work they’ve asked me to do lately helps make this less of a factor.

i wonder how i’ll cope if i lose my vision entirely as i rely on a rollator frame and am claustrophobic…

just learned there are only two fears we are all born with: falling ad loud noises. apparently, we pick up the others along the way – i’m guessing through other people or our own experiences. it would have been handy to have known this fact sooner as a parent – having “mostly” already raised my son.

if i could only figure out where my claustrophobia came from then i can address it better…

i knew i watched a lot of tennis – i’ve always tuned in to the AO. i thought i liked it because my maternal grandfather, my dad, my sister, my uncle, and my aunt played. my 1st cousin in America even was on the team for his university.

my son plays tennis but neither my wife nor me “encouraged” him to take up the sport. i used to believe that my affinity was primarily due to environment but his “innate” interest makes me think it has something to do with genetics.

usually i’m on my computer most of the time, but the frequency of “long” matches in this years AO has seriously cut into my daily routine – as i’m generally home-bound, it’s a bit more obvious. honestly, i’d rather watch than do other things.

i knew this year was “bad” because i used to just watch a bit and just occasionally checked the score but this year i watched some matches until the end. Maybe it was a bit more “compelling” this year – regardless, a sign i watched too much was when i noticed the players’ sock colours: some of the “next” generation ones sported “darker” shades, whereas the more “well established” ones wore the “traditional” white.

“tangentially”, it didn’t help my schedule that i also watched the SuperBowl (not just the half-time show but also the game – they show different ads in OZ) yesterday – even if it’s “unfashionable” to admit i sometimes do watch the sport.

i was at my weekly neurophysio appointment yesterday for first time in 2020. since it was the session of the new year, she asked if i had any goals or specific plans for this year – honestly, nothing came to mind and i hadn’t really thought about it.

she reiterated that my daily exercise routine was meant to improve my stability and balance. and that “putting it together” in a regular walk outside might be beneficial for me. i wouldn’t impose on my wife as she is tired from work and does household chores. although i exercise everyday, the last thing i want to do is go out exercise and do more of it.

so it might be more practical to arrange an NDIS-funded carer to take me for a walk. i sometimes already do this indoors in our “long” hallway at home so you might be perplexed. i’m not very confident walking alone on uneven surfaces. i was given an “assignment” before to walk around our house – case in point, i only tried this once as aside from it was slow going my walker kept getting “stuck”.

she thought walking outside may be beneficial (she was even willing to write the NDIS a letter to support an increased funding for this activity). i did some digging and i think it’s prudent to arrange a “trial” first using my current plan before “committing”to it in full.

they estimate about half of the island was affected (and it’s only the beginning of our summer). it’s such a shame as it’s a beautiful place that we were fortunate to take my brother and his family (visiting us from overseas) to this scenic place a few years back. for a tourist place, it was not “too touristy” – if that makes any sense. it’s harder for the residents (and the wildlife) as they are on an island and can’t “easily” evacuate.

you know the bushfires were “bad” because i left a window open and we could smell the smoke even in Adelaide (all the way on the mainland). my wife said that sometimes it’s “smoky” in the mornings but never like this. it’s significant because people outside Australia are offering aid and support – it truly is a global community.

we’ve had bushfires in OZ before but according to the people with direct experience fighting fires for years it’s more “extreme” now. thoughts and prayers are welcome but i don’t really know what the right thing to do is…

CAVEAT:  you might have noticed that my title format has slightly changed.  i’m still starting it off with what ever comes to mind and after the colon i’ve appended what i think the post is about (you might interpret it differently or have an alternative understanding when you “read between the lines”).  it has been brought to my attention that some readers may not want to go through the entire thing for the title to make any sense.  this is not an egregious attempt to increase ‘likes’  or to act as ‘click-bait’ but shouldn’t it be part of ‘sharing’ to make stuff ‘more digest-able’ – looks like i still have a ways to go.

i underwent a medical procedure recently – recovery time is typically from one to two days –  because of my age it took me three days. so i temporarily stopped my daily exercise program for about two weeks – this affected me but i didn’t notice right away.  it became first obvious to me at a speech pathology session.  i used to get through them just fine even if they were during the afternoons – i didn’t feel winded afterwords but my sound production performance faltered occasionally.  Moreover when i went to my regular neurophysio appointment, she could physically feel the difference – i found out that apparently pain can also cause your muscles to “relax”.  At first i had done this to reduce my anxiety levels (but perhaps because i now take a natural supplement for it it’s less pronounced) but, also very importantly, getting my core strength up not only helps me avoid falls (and minimises potential injury) but also helps my speech.  Suffice it to say i’ve started up again and hoping to get back to the level i once was.

these aren’t directly related but are also from recent “trips” outside my house so…

i want to whinge about the three (let me be clear: not all or even a majority of them) taxi drivers driving skills were really bad:  the sudden stops-and- starts, not slowing down enough to take a round about, or abrupt jerking of the steering wheel.  These gave me a headache despite sitting in front and having the road visible – imagine how much worse i would have felt if i sat in the back.  i was going to complain about another thing but in hindsight one of my drivers was “self-obsessed’ that he would have acted that way to an “able-bodied” passenger.

Despite using my “letter board”, some drivers (not only taxi drivers but one support worker), still misunderstood me.  i suspect it’s either because they’re not patient enough to listen or having a preconceived notion of what i’m going to say (Ding!  Ding!  Ding!:  it’s usually wrong).  i understand that my speech can be hard to understand especially since this is probably the first time we’ve talked (on a few occasions i get the same drivers) but mistakes ca be avoided:  like going the wrong direction, it’s on the other side, that’s the wrong address, accidentally running me over,  etc.

we just want to feel listened to.  here’s a video by Purple Orange (it kind of reminds me of the You Can’t Ask That format on the ABC) about diverse communication shared on Darryl Selwood(Ph.D.)’s blog:  http://darrylsellwood.com/?p=998.  While i don’t  relate to everything said, i agree with the central premise of respect and the underlying theme of “not judging a book by its cover”.

it is very easy for me to accuse the drivers of not thinking: parking too close to the incline, the ramp, or curb so it’s “tricky” for me to get into or out of the car;  dropping me off by an entrance with only stairs ; driving “far” the door so need to cross the street, walk “some” distance, or negotiate a challenging surface (like inclines, uneven surfaces, pebbles, etc.); ask me directions or instruct them where to pass or stop; or turn the meter on while i’m still trying to get in the car (i believe the law states it should be only activated when i’m seated).  sometimes they can’t be bothered or are in a rush but sometimes i think it’s because they haven’t been exposed to or educated about disability – these are tasks they take for granted so there’s a need for more “training”.

FINAL WORD (let me know if these prompt helps with readability or i should go for more “traditional” headings – i know a poll is a more suitable for this but i probably won’t get enough respondents for a truly statistically valid result and, frankly, confronting my readership numbers scares me).  There’s a tension between keeping the post short-and-sweet and making it comprehensive enough to be informative – after all like they say, perfect is the enemy of good. Moreover timing is an issue, some thoughts have an ‘expiry date’ while others not so much.  While Twitter isn’t for me (trolls aside), it take me some time to type – this has the added bonus of letting me reflect and not simply reacting, All-in-all, i’m still struggling with the balance.  Furthermore, i feel the pressure to post frequently – as evidenced by the number of “self-corrections” right after i publish – when i should learn to recheck my drafts first.

 

i have just got back from medical leave “recently” and have been “out of commission” for the last few days due to a procedure (it should have taken only two days to recuperate but due to my age it took me longer to recover – i’m still not 100%).  Lately, i’ve been “scrambling” to salvage any hope of completing my research degree.

kindly excuse my “radio silence” for the last few (and probably next few) days.