Catch Up with Kate: Riding Solo in FloridaBy Kate Bosley -
Well, we are back from Florida. It was amazing. I loved it but for me it was strange not having Phoenix with me. I missed her enormously having got used to mobilising with her support. However, I was busy having fun so I coped in the end!
Without Phoenix’s assistance, I had to get used to using my white stick again. I had a challenge using it as it broke on the second day. The ball broke on the bottom of it which meant I couldn't roll it in front of me, which is how it's used. It was difficult as I needed to use the stick to walk independently around the parks. I tried permanently holding hands with my husband so he could guide me but it wasn't easy for either of us. To help the situation, I thought it would be wise to find a centre for blind clients and see if I could get help and possible buy a replacement.
Although this seemed like a good idea at the time, I also knew it would take a day to arrange which would affect my family and spoil the holiday. So I asked my husband what he thought. We decided to stop off at a supermarket and buy a tennis ball. After pushing the guide stick into the ball, I could mobilise independently and it meant I didn't walk into things. But, despite this breakthrough, it wasn't easy to use as it didn't roll in front of me. Although the solution wasn’t ideal, I managed the next 3 weeks with it and it made me realise how lucky I am having Phoenix.
Otherwise, the holiday was good but I was a little worried about Phoenix; after this time apart, would she remember how to guide me? I couldn't wait to get back to her.
I will let you know how we got on the next time I write!