More Short Handle Work

This is backdated, because i didn’t really want to post it on the day of the actual work. It took place on the 5th October, but i wrote this on the 9th. Just in case this doesn’t backdate correctly. I will write it as if it’s the 5th. You’ll see why i didn’t really want to post this when i get into it.

Today i had some more
Short Handle
Work. It was just me and my rehab worker. There was another rehab worker observing my main rehab worker. We started at about 4 o’clock.

We started at the college again. My rehab worker said that he wasn’t going to tell me the foot positions, because i said that i thought i knew them. Because of this, i thought that i was under pressure to remember them. It turned out that i didn’t know them as well as i thought.

After that, i started to improve a bit, until at a particular road crossing. We had just crossed a road, and i said that we had to go left. It turned out that we had to go right. The reason why i thought it was left was because i would kind of use the traffic as an indicator. I think that if the traffic is to the right of you then you are going left. By this i mean, if the road is to your right, then you are going left. This is wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe i made such a stupid mistake. I had been doing the route for nearly a year!!!! I still haven’t forgiven myself. I will have to make sure i know where i’m going before i give the direction!!!!!!!

The rest of the way went without a hitch, but i was more tense because of the earlier mistake. We didn’t do the whole route, just down to where the Co-opp is.

After that, we discussed exactly what would be happening at the hotel i mentioned in
My Last Entry
Apparently, my rehab worker is going to create a taylor made program for each of us. For me, i think he wants me to be able to get around the hotel independently, and do a bit more short handle work, as well as teaching me the route around the hotel with the cane. He is going to finalise all the details with me within the next couple of weeks. He wants me to give him any feedback from the hotel experience. He was the one who suggested it, so he wants us to tell him even if it is negative.
My next lesson is going to be going through the route with the cane again. Just to make sure i know every individual turn etc.

I also think today i found it hard to focus on what i was doing. I can’t be doing that, otherwise there is no point in doing anything. I must focus from now on.

I’m not sure whether to bring the laptop for November to post at the end of each day. I’ll have to see what my Rehab worker says. I’ll keep you posted though.

The main reason why i didn’t want to post this was cause of the earlier mistake with the direction. I must learn not to be so hard on myself. I want to make sure that after the hotel, that i am totally confident with foot positions, and also, i want to talk to a GDMI who is also going to be there about that horrible gait. I want to believe that it’s not that bad.

Short Handle Work

Today I was doing some short handle work as part of
The Guidedog
The Short handle, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a handle that the person holds onto, while the instructor holds the other end. It isn’t really like a normal guidedog harness, instead it is just like the handle of the harness. It is to simulate a dogs’ movements.

I started at about 3 o’clock. There was another mobility worker observing, plus a Guidedog mobility assistant, who I met
Back In November
And a person from Technecal support, who was from Scotland. She basically makes sure that all the rehabilitation workers and such are singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak.

So anyway, we met at the local college, where we walked around the car park for a while, just to get me used to the feeling of the harness again. We also worked on foot posissions, and commands and such. I was actually quite shocked that i could remember the foot positions as well as i did!!! I just needed a little hint sometimes.

After this, we went through part of the route i have learned from the college back to my house, with just the short handle. It was alot more straight forward with a dog than with a cane!!!!!! There is one street in particular that is quite cluttered, and i didn’t even notice the clutter with the short handle!!!!!!! The only thing i noticed was the way the dog will sometimes stop if there is alot of people coming down the street. You would then just give it the instructions to go forward again.

I learnt a new command which was the “Back” command. That would be if you forgot something, or something. It is similar to the “Left Behind” command, in that the dog goes across your body just like it would if it was doing a “Left Behind”.

I noticed a massive improvement in my confidence, and the Guidedog mobility assistant noticed especially how much i had improved. That was a good boost for my confidence. I think it also helped that i knew the route, so it was less nerve wracking. My gait was also fantastic which was really great!!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing that was wrong with today was that the tension wasn’t quite right in the harness. My mobility instructor has said though that the tension isn’t always quite right at the start, and that when Guidedogs do a matching visit, that then they will check to see if the tension is good.

It was a really good day!!! I’m glad i improved the confidence, and the voice commands. I am now starting to believe that the gait will correct itself in time too!!!!!

My mobility instructor is going to do alot more short handle work in the future with me, so that i am as prepared as possible for when i get the dog.

I must keep thinking positively.

I will keep a record of each time i use the short handle, so that i can let you all know what the latest is. Just pray that my confidence continues to grow!!!!!