4 Jan

by Pamela Berman

I feel so frustrated sometimes. Why can’t I just do what I need to do and not feel this awful stress breathing down my neck, my shoulders or is it in my legs today?  I know where I need to go, I know how to get there and for some gnawing reason, the stress is there.  O and M, check, I got it down. I know where I’m going and I know exactly how to get there. It’s simple, I just walk out the east side door of my building and just walk to the corner, stop, turn left, cross the street and walk down the block to the alley to relieve my guide dog. Hmm…What if he doesn’t stop at the corner?  Oh, that’s ok, I’ll know when I’m there. What if he crosses me on an angle and we’re not walking east on the north side of the street?  Will I know?  I will pay really close attention so we won’t veer, so we’ll stay on target, but there’s that stress again! Why does she have to come with us?  Today she’s in my head, just throbbing, as if all the sounds of the city weren’t enough, now I’ve got to have this pounding sensation going on in my head.  Don’t I have enough going on?!  I’ve got to safely cross the street, find a safe relieving area for my sweet boy and then find my way to the bus stop. Oh my God! Is the bus there now?  Who cares, I can’t board without first giving my sweet little boy an opportunity to go to the bathroom.  I owe it to him to keep him comfortable and safe.  I’m the one stressed here and I don’t want to put any stress on him, not if I can help it. Forget finding the alley, who knows if there even is an alley.  I’ll just give him an opportunity to go here, near where there should be an alley, or maybe where there is an alley.  My poor boy, is he comfortable?  Is he happy or is he stressing too?  I’m fretting over trying to figure out if I’ll be able to tell when a bus arrives at the bus stop and did mydog go, or does he have to go?  Well, I’ve given him enough time, I think, and we don’t want to miss our bus. So, now it’s time to conquer the bus stop.  Where is it?! We’re on the north-east corner, just west of Wabash, check, but are we in the bus stop?  Are we a little to the right or a little to the left or are we more than a little off our target?  Then we hear it, it’s a bus and we hurry around some obstacles, think it was a trash can, but maybe it was a planter, who knows, ‘cause I sure don’t want to be touching anything foreign outside here.  We hurry to the bus door only to find there were a bunch of other people waiting to get on the bus too.  Part of me is relieved, the other part is hoping that we didn’t just barge our way to the front of the line. This is when I love having my boy with me.  He never minds if I blame him for barging to the front of the line.  He’s such a good boy and at least 3 of the people waiting to board the bus are in awe of him, so all is good for right now.  We’ve made it onto the right bus and even to a seat without any upsets…but will the driver really remember to let me know when we’re at my stop?!

Pamela Berman has had retinitis pigmentosa since childhood.  She is active in the blind and sighted community and loves children.  She has a supportive partner of 20 years, two great sons and works at Blind Service Association as coordinator of youth activities and scholarships. Pam’s essay comes from the writing workshop she attended at Second Sense: beyond vision loss.


One Response to “Stressed”

  1. Andrea January 5, 2014 at 12:40 PM #

    Well done, Pam! I felt your stress. Keep on writing!

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