By Tony Candela
Personal log. Some weeks just try the soul or perhaps better stated, the spirit. All at once, I’ve (reluctantly) signed up for routine colonoscopy (we all know there is nothing routine about that); minor ear cleaning and testing (no worries there); and I am looking for a new dentist as my old one finally carried out his threat and retired. So far, one might say, this is routine and one should be thankful for health insurance that make these ventures possible and not financially back-breaking. Nonetheless, they are making me anxious.
After nearly two months of ownership, the story of my new computer may finally be resolving itself. It has frozen on me at least once daily and many times twice or thrice for nearly all of the time I’ve had it. A teckie friend of mine from California has encountered a few similar cases as apparently has Freedom Scientific, the company that makes my speech software. (For newcomers to this space, I am blind.) A bad chip in recently manufactured Dell Optiplex minitower computers may be the culprit. He did a software fix by remote and now we are testing the “information leak” theory via trial by fire. As I type, I pray the fix holds.
Then came the change to my on-line grocery shopping web site and for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to check out. Much as in the first few months of the pandemic when tech assistance virtually disappeared from ShopRite’s on-line system, I am worried about whether I’ll ever figure it out. I’ll keep trying and soon I will call my next-door neighbor for help.
Then came the reports of credit card purchases I didn’t make. (Thankfully, the card company’s fraud control system really works and I was alerted.) Now I await a new credit card in the mail and that same neighbor will have to read my new card number to me as the on-line system doesn’t do so in a way that my speech software can pick it up. Then the process of notifying all the entities which I permit to have my number for things like subscriptions to Netflix and donations to my public radio station will begin. This all sounds ridiculously middle class, I know, but the anxiety of a disrupted world is there. (Should I not think of the poor people of the Ukraine and thank my lucky stars my world is not being blasted into oblivion?)
Oh, yes. Then there is the relationship rift with the girlfriend and some work-related pressures as I prepare to co-teach two classes I’ve not even seen before. I’ll be ready by August when they commence and the rift will resolve one way or another, but when we add these pieces of anxiety to the pile, we have the mounting perfect storm. I’m sure there are a few minor glitches to my imperfect world scenario, but I’ve relegated them to the background so long ago, I can’t recall them.
What makes this sorry version of “Portnoy’s Complaint” worth mentioning in this space is the extent to which the worries and anxieties are exacerbated by my disability. I live alone most of the time and would be in bigger trouble if not for sighted assistance from my neighbor and occasionally the girlfriend and “Be My Eyes”, the most wonderful service invented since sliced bread.
A lot of this is probably ameliorated by the fact I am in good financial shape, have a couple part-time jobs in my semi-retirement, and ultimately, will emerge from the anxieties. This brings me to the final anxiety: anxiety about the way I react to anxiety. I am if nothing else, at least a little introspective. I’ve been through bad patches before and have always emerged. None of the aforementioned glitches is irresolvable or cannot be worked around. I will have a working credit card soon enough and if I can’t solve my grocery shopping problem with ShopRite, I will either lose a lot of weight or switch to a more manageable alternative. I am even mentally preparing for the possibility of returning to the old days when I wheeled a pull cart to the local supermarket and with the help of a shopper’s assistant, shopped in person and then hauled it all back home. I haven’t done that in 20 years, but I can do it again. When I think about the circumstances leading to this choice, I get anxious all over again. It’s time I think to calm the spirit.
Anthony R. Candela, Author
Saying aloud what should not remain silent.
Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy
A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports
Vision Dreams: A Parable
A sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.
Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar. Read more at: https://www.facebook.com/anthonyrcandelaauthor
#Accessibility, #Anxiety, #Issues,
About Patty L. Fletcher
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled. She is Also a Social Media Marketing Assistant.
To learn more visit: https://pattysworlds.com/