Monday, March 22, 2010


On March 16th
We went to Spokane.
Appointments (P.T. and Neurology) went well,
Joe is doing well.
Lost a little muscle tone- understandably so, he's not working.
But small improvements overall.
He does NOT need a support cane or stick,
using the white cane should be enough,
but he may need to learn to use it completely without sight.

Saw Sharon - Technology Counselor (DSB)
She's awesome. She's hilarious.
We learned a lot about how to make the computer accessible for Joseph again.
and programs and electronics that can be purchased for him.

He now has a talking watch, large number alarm clock,
talking calculator, and a digital voice recorder.

We will be starting Braille this week.

Another post coming soon.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Prayers needed.

A dear friend just found out that their 2 1/2 yr old daughter has leukemia. Please send prayers their way. Briana, Eric, Elena, and Lily we are fasting for you today.

Love the Mechams

Friday, March 19, 2010


I would like to win just 1 giveaway, once. This is the latest giveaway I've entered!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

White Canes (clarification)

This is a "white cane", Joseph's is a little different though. I realized the term white cane can be confusing, so I will clarify. It is all white or white and red. Joseph has a white and red cane, it's called a cane but it more of a long stick, with a roller on the end, so it can be swung back and forth in front of the person using it. There are also support canes made all to look like white canes too. So when you see someone walking with a white or white & red cane (or stick if you will), it means they are legally blind- to fully blind. The cane swings out in front of them just a couple inches wider than shoulder width, so far people have understood when they've seen us around and moved out of the way when Joseph is out and about, using his white cane, which I appreciate.

** News flash** Joseph went walking today without Albert (trek pole) and just the white cane and he walked great!! Good balance, and walked really straight!! We will keep practicing.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Yet another update on Joseph

Sorry for the month-long absence, we've had a lot going on and very little time to write about it. In fact this should be the 1st of many updates.

Joseph will see his neurologist on Tues (the 16th). He will have a physical therapy session first. During which they'll determine what kind of stick or cane will work well for him and get him started using a white cane. (and the normal physical therapy stuff).

White Cane
Why is Joseph goin to use a white cane? A white cane identifies his as legally blind, so it will or should make others aware that he can't see them. The cane will also help him find bumps, steps curbs etc, that he can't see, before he gets to them. He will learn his white cane skills without vision (using sleep shades and resisting the urge to look down) When he is good with a white cane he will be eligible for a guide dog.

The Department of Service for the Blind (DSB) has an Orientation Training Center (OTC) for those with vision loss ranging from visually impaired to totally blind. The OTC is in Seattle, we went there on Tues the 2nd. We had a guided tour of the facility and the apartments. We had a packet of info about the OTC before we came for the tour, but we had yet to make a decision about Joseph attending there. They have terms that are 5 weeks long with 1 to 2 week breaks, he would have to live in Seattle during term.

The OTC offers many classes: home EC, shop, computers, keyboarding, zoom text, jaws, orientation & mobility. braille etc, we saw all of the classrooms and met most of the teachers, who talked to us about their particular subject. It was a great facility and the tour was awesome. I was a silent follower for most part, and I left the decision about attending up to Joseph. He said that his mind says its wonderful, but it doesn't feel right. So he won't be attending there. He has opted to do the training at home.

** update (since I originally wrote this)**
Joseph's mobility counselor came over yesterday and he now has a white cane and has started training with it. We should be receiving our braille books here soon and possibly participating in a class via telephone through the OTC. And that is an exciting/scary thing because braille is supposed to be pretty darn hard to learn. - side note Steffi, (mobility counselor) has said that she was very impressed with Joe's ability to learn A,B &C in braille one day when he was introduced to it. She was equally impressed with his rhythm with a white cane, he won't struggle as much as some she has worked with... I may be an entirely different case!

P.S. His white cane is named Ernie, rightly so since his trekking pole is Albert...