[nabs-l] Could someone lend me a hand, please? (Question about juggling multiple items)

Jewel S. herekittykat2 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 4 20:47:32 UTC 2010

Hi everyone,

As the title suggests, I need a bit of help...some advice, really. But
I sure wish someone could literally lend me a hand. I need that third
hand something fierce!

Here's my dilemma. I will be starting school at the local community
college in two weeks. I have a very nice High Sierra rolling backpack.
It has a retractable handle with a T-grip which makes it easy to pull.
However, I also have a long white cane and a T-grip support cane. One
hand for the white cane, one hand for the support cane (I have tried
carrying things in my right hand while using the support cane and I
simply can't put enough weight on the cane to use it properly if I'm
holding something...if it can hang on my wrist, and is not too heavy,
I can do that, but it must be very light, such as a bag of light
groceries {a bag of papertwoels, a bag with shampoo and conditiner,
some small grocery items, etc.}, and one hand for the rolling
backpack. That just doesn't add up to two!

My primary doctor and my chiropractor have warned me several times not
to put anything more than a few pounds on my shoulders or back, and
definitely not a backpack full of books, so carrying the bag on my
back when I use my support cane is out of the question. I have several
slipped discs in my neck and severe misalignment in my back and hips,
so I have to be careful not to carry too much. I also have problems
with my arms and wrists; if I carry something heavy on my wrist or
forearm, it will start tingling and sending lightning bolts of pain up
and down my arm. Further, with my bad hips and knees, using a waist
harness of some sort to pull the backpack seems out of the question as

I brought this concern up to the Disability office at the college and
they and I together could not think of anything to solve my problem. I
suggested a volunteer pulling my bag from class to class, but they
said they do not have the means to find someone or schedule such a
volunteer's time. I am going to ask my VR counselor and my O&M
instructor about it tomorrow, but I wanted to ask here. Surely I'm not
the only one who has had this dilemma? Are there any of you out there
who use both a white cane and a support cane with no hands for rolling
backpack or other items?

Any advice, suggestions, or ideas would be invaluable to me, as I'm
truly at a loss. I didn't even think of it until yesterday when I was
at the college and tried to do it and couldn't, and was in no
condition to walk without my support cane without stumbling and/or
falling often.

Check out my blog about accessibility for the blind!
Treasure Chest for the Blind: http://blindtreasurechest.blogspot.com

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