[nfbmi-talk] Newbie...

Raymond Juliano rayj1941 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 26 18:36:28 CDT 2009

Hi Reggie,

Thank you so very much for replying to me.  I appreciate it.  In a way I
feel sort of funny for joining this now when I still have one good eye that
has been doing the job of seeing for me.  But if that goes, I will be
legally blind.  I did not want to wait until the last minute so to speak
just in case my good eye stops functioning.

I have a lot of interests and things that I like to do and want to do
whether I am blind or sighted.  Thanks for the info on the screen
reader...goes to show how little I know about such things.  I like to write
poetry and have started converting some of my poems to song lyrics, and then
I put guitar chords to them and the melody comes into my head.  A few of
them have turned out pretty good, but so far I have not recorded any of them
yet.  Since I've been in the medical field for so long, I've started writing
what I call, "Medical Music", which are sort of funny songs about medical
things like colostomy and colonoscopies but still get the message across of
not putting off such things even tho they are not the most pleasant.  I've
written about circumcision and vasectomy, and I wrote one for diabetics who
don't take care of themselves, develop gangrene, and need an amputation
called, "The One Leg Polka".  Things that most non-medical people don't like
to think about or talk about, yet they can relate and see the humor in
them.  When I get enough of them I plan on recording a CD, which some of my
instructors told me that I should do.  I am not the greatest guitar player
or singer, but I am willing to give it a try.  Most people with a sense of
humor seem to like them.

I am also concerned about playing chess without sight, as I now play about
20 games a day on a website called, gameknot.com.  I enjoy the game, but
I'll never become really good at it because I don't really study the game, I
just like to play it.  I know some of the great grandmaster have played
blindfolded chess games, but I am nowhere in that category of chess player.

I know there are a lot of things that I could continue to do with or without
sight, but the thought of becoming blind makes me angry and frightened at
the same time.  There were signs of the impending CRVO in my left eye at
least fifteen years ago, and even tho I mentioned it to doctors at the time,
no one seemed very concerned about it, and now that makes me angry that I
didn't become more of an advocate for my own health at that time.  Perhaps
if I had been put on blood thinners back then, the CRVO might have been
averted, but then again, maybe not.  It just makes me mad and I know I've
got to get over it and I'm finding it hard to do.

And it makes me afraid of my future.  I am still working full time as a
nurse anesthetist and am hoping to retire in 19 more months and I am hoping
I will be able to see and be able to enjoy my retirement after working at it
for 44 years.  I'll be 70 when I retire and we plan on having my wife start
nursing school, but if she has to take care of me, I have a lot of questions
about how that will work.  I've always been the caregiver, and I hate the
thought of being dependent on anyone.  I also think that maybe God has done
this to punish me for not being a better person.  I don't know...at times it
is very confusing.  I never thought I would lose my sight, and now what I
feared most is happening.

What do you think is the best method for an adult to learn Braille?  Fred
Wurtzel, the president of the MI NFB told me about the Illinois Braille
Series and Braille in Brief.  He gave me a phone number to call to see if
the NFB had it.  I have not done so yet, but am planning to.  He also gave
me his cell phone number and invited me to the MI Convention Nov. 6,6, & 8
but we will be in TN at a hypnosis seminar that week.  Perhaps I could
attend next year or maybe another state meeting some time.  He also
suggested I call the MI Commission for the Blind and he gave me their phone
number too.  Work has been so busy that I haven't yet had a chance to call,
and this Fri. we are flying out to PA for a family wedding and then on to TN
for that week long hypnosis seminar.  But I am going to call those numbers
when we return.

Thank you for your phone number too...if things quiet down yet this week, I
will give you a call or if you like you could call me as we are usually home
here in the evening.  My home phone number is:  906-586-6222 and I would
welcome a call from you.  Thanks again.

Well...time for a late supper as it has been a long day for both my wife and
I.  Take care of each other and stay in touch when you can.  Thanks again
for writing.

Ray Juliano

On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 9:25 AM, Reggie & Brooks <regandlon at wideopenwest.com
> wrote:

> Hello Ray:
> My name is Regina, and although I am a fairly proficient cane user I have
> chosen to use a guide dog.  I am blind from birth as is my husband.  We are
> in our 50s, and I also work in the medical field as a transcriptionist.
> First of all, I admire you for getting a "start" on learning to live as a
> blind person.  You are definitely doing the correct thing.  No use in
> stopping living, right? (smiles)
> To answer you concerning how email is done, we use a screen reader that
> actually reads exactly what you would see.  There are commands to get from
> place to place on the screen.  There are 2 major programs.  One is Jaws
> from
> Freedom Scientific and the other is Window Eyes from G. W. Micro.  Both
> have
> opened up a lot of opportunity for us, both to keep in touch and also as
> far
> as working.  Computers are everywhere! (smiles)  These programs have a
> computer voice that can be changed to a voice to your liking, even a
> British
> voice if you are so inclined.  They work in other languages also.  I use
> just the voice when doing email, but when I work, I supplement my listening
> with a braille display to intermittently put a check on what I am typing.
> Typing is mostly muscle memory, and I know where my fingers are at any
> given
> time.  A good keyboard helps too. (smiles)
> As for learning braille? I would urge you to do this.  Eighty percent of
> those who have worked or are working (only 20% of the blind) read braille.
> I worked 31 years for Henry Ford Hospital until transcription was
> outsourced
> to India, GRRRR, oops pardon the personal comment,  but braille was a huge
> part of my career.
> I will stop for now so my email is not a book, but if you wish to contact
> me, I would be happy to chat.  Phone is below my signature.
> Reggie
> (313) 7597279 which is free for me to call so I can call you back so you do
> not have to pay.
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