[nabs-l] Grabbing Etc.

Lea williams leanicole1988 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 8 14:39:01 UTC 2011


My dad has always tried to lead me by pushing me through doors. I
always hated it and would trip in to signs and stuff if he was turned
around trying to hold the door open for another behind us. I would
tell him not to and to let me go behind him, but he insisted in doing
it like this so he could see where it is that i was going. Leading me
by me hanging on to him would force me to be behind him and he could
not see me. I get people who wants to guide me the way the nurses do
to the older in the hospitle, holding my elbow, but I do not like this
either, I feel more likely to trip. If I am walking wiht someone and i
grab their arm, they grab my hand, I grab their arm again and they go
after my hand presistantly , I will either say let me hold your arm,
or I am going to hold on to your arm, all in a nice way of course. But
some people, like some of the bus drivers who I will ask to walk me in
to places that are complicated, like my doctors, will grab my hand and
I just go with it a lot of the time. It is how my much younger cuzzins
led me, but that was because they were to short for me to hold their
arms. One driver held my hand up really high and then ergently told me
to slow down, I was walking to fast and step up step up.
I had to go to the doctor for applying for a guide dog lately and the
new doctor lady insisted on me being on that aweful table instead of
the much perfured chair, so she grabbed my hand to make sure I did not
get lost in the tiny room and kept telling me to slow down I moved to
fast. I guess they think we do that granny walk or something?
I do not feel off ballenced so much, but more vollenerble than if I
held on to the person the right way. Most people are willing to change
to what i want as long as I tell them so.

On 11/8/11, Jewel <herekittykat2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Add to that my situation, where touching me can sometimes shoot severe
> pain up and down my body (I have fibromyalgia), and you have a recipe
> for disaster. When someone grabs me, I stop everything I'm doing and
> say "Please don't grab me." If they don't let go, I wrench my arm away
> or if they are touching my back (which is a super big no-no with me,
> since my spine is super-sensitive thanks to two slipped discs along
> with fibromyalgia), I arch my back whether it's painful or not, to
> show them that it's not all right to touch. I'll tell you one story of
> when grabbing me caused a problem...
>
> I was walking from the library and my cane was sweeping back and
> forth. Suddenly someone came over and grabbed my cane arm and wrenched
> me sideways. I shouted in alarm and wrenched my arm away, but my arc
> had already been interrupted and I didn't realize that there was a
> pole right in front of me. This was one of those metal poles to hold
> up a handicapped sign. I hit it full on becaus emy cane's arc had been
> interrupted and didn't catch the pole, and now I have a dent in the
> upper part of my forehead from that pole. It didn't break the skin,
> but I can always feel the dent if I rub my forehead.  Plus it caused a
> minor concussion. I was soooo embarrassed by it, but realized later
> that it wasn't my fault, that it was caused by this person grabbing my
> cane arm. Sheessh!
>
> ~Jewel
>
> On 11/8/11, Joshua Lester <jlester8462 at students.pccua.edu> wrote:
>> LOL!
>> My brother guides me all around Walmart, and he likes to go faster
>> than I can go.
>> He doesn't understand that I can't walk at a normal pace, because of a
>> Syatic Nerve problem.
>> Blessings, Joshua
>>
>> On 11/7/11, Sam Hogle <hogle.sam at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Actually, I've had the opposite problem. For some reason, guides think
>>> they have to go slower. The funny thing is they think I can't walk at a
>>> normal pace, but they also think I can see the curbs we walk up or down.
>>> I will never understand people.
>>> On 11/7/2011 11:50 PM, Joshua Lester wrote:
>>>> Wow!
>>>> Arielle, you've been through it!
>>>> That's not necessary, that they do those things!
>>>> I've been through alot of stuff regarding this, as well.
>>>> I've also had guides go faster than I'm accustomed to, and I've
>>>> fallen, because they didn't go at my pace.
>>>> I always tell people, if they guide me, that they must go at my pace.
>>>> Blessings, Joshua
>>>>
>>>> On 11/7/11, Arielle Silverman<arielle71 at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>>> Hi all,
>>>>> I don't know if any of you can relate to this, but for me, being
>>>>> grabbed or pulled by the arm or back is more than just a dignity
>>>>> issue; it's a safety issue as well. I have always had poor balance,
>>>>> and when someone is putting pressure on one side of my body, or
>>>>> propelling me from behind, I feel unsafe and unbalanced. If I were to
>>>>> bump into an obstacle or trip while being pulled this way, I feel I
>>>>> would have a much harder time regaining my balance. For some reason,
>>>>> many sighted people think leading me this way is helpful, but in fact
>>>>> it's not only unnecessary, but makes safe and efficient travel more
>>>>> challenging for me. For example, I went on a white-water rafting trip
>>>>> in high school and one of the river guides tried to pull me up into
>>>>> the boat by my arm. I felt unbalanced and asked him to let go of my
>>>>> arm and let me get into the raft by myself. The guide told me to stop
>>>>> arguing with him and pulled me up into the boat. As I was getting in,
>>>>> my foot slipped and I wasn't able to stabilize myself because of the
>>>>> one-sided pressure on my body. I fell and bruised my leg, and was
>>>>> incredibly annoyed that the guide didn't listen to me. I also feel
>>>>> very unsafe when people attempt to grab my left arm because I am a
>>>>> left-handed cane user and my cane arc is impaired when they do this.
>>>>> The absolute worst is when someone grabs me without any verbal
>>>>> communication at all, such as a bus driver who grabbed me by both
>>>>> shoulders without saying a word because he thought I was going to run
>>>>> into a pole that my cane had just barely cleared. Needless to say, the
>>>>> silent grab scares me to death!
>>>>> Because of these experiences, I have learned to dig my feet in and
>>>>> will not follow someone who is grabbing or pulling me, especially if
>>>>> they are holding on to my cane arm. I will politely ask them to let
>>>>> go, and most people are just shocked that I don't want them to do
>>>>> that, especially if I have asked them for verbal directions.
>>>>> Unfortunately, many people think the only way to "help" a blind person
>>>>> is through this kind of physical maneuvering. Sometimes if I ask
>>>>> someone for information or directions, they will answer my question
>>>>> and then say, "Do you want me to help you?" I guess implying they are
>>>>> offering to physically lead me there. I will of course tell them they
>>>>> have already helped me a lot with the directions and that I really
>>>>> appreciate their help and don't need any more. If someone does the
>>>>> silent grab, or if they refuse to let go after a polite request to do
>>>>> so, then I will gently but firmly disengage my arm. Fortunately this
>>>>> has been very effective. If time allows I will give a simple
>>>>> explanation for not wanting to be grabbed, such as "Please don't grab
>>>>> me-it makes me feel off-balance" or "Please don't grab me-it's easier
>>>>> for me if you just walk beside me" etc. I do think that most people
>>>>> are just very ignorant and don't necessarily grab out of pity, but
>>>>> because they believe that grabbing is the most effective way to
>>>>> provide guidance to the blind. I try to educate them and some
>>>>> definitely do understand. I do feel guilty about times when I have
>>>>> snapped at people and not had the time to explain, such as when
>>>>> crossing a street or getting on a bus. But even though I feel bad, I
>>>>> don't regret my action because to me, it's a matter of safety above
>>>>> all else. I've also found that in some circumstances it's actually
>>>>> more efficient to do things independently than to be "helped". For
>>>>> instance, I went to get a pedicure a few weeks ago and the pedicurist
>>>>> insisted on putting my shoes and coat back on me after the pedicure
>>>>> was over. I tried to politely refuse, but she wouldn't hear it. Thing
>>>>> is, for whatever reason she was very methodical in putting my shoes
>>>>> on, and it took her about twice as long to do it as it would have if I
>>>>> had done it myself.
>>>>> Incidentally, I've never understood why some people get confused about
>>>>> sighted guide and think the technique is for them to grab my elbow and
>>>>> walk a step behind me. Even when I teach people the proper way, they
>>>>> will occasionally "get it backwards" and want to grab my elbow
>>>>> instead. Isn't it a lot harder to lead or guide someone if you're
>>>>> behind them than if you're in front of them?
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Arielle
>>>>>
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Lea Williams

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