26 August 2013

YahooGroups Changes

It seems that yahoogroups is deciding to take a go-around at making things worse for people with disabilities- following googles run of the same not too long ago.

Yahoogroups has changed things so that there are no settings controls that you can change. They have removed the simple non-graphic banners with this horrible mixture of neon colors that makes me so sick, I have to run for the bathroom. It messes with me in a vertigo way as well as sending me into seizures. There is NO WAY to block their banners as they are not done like ads, but are a part of the script that can not be blocked.

The pages also constantly reload more and more posts making the screen reader jump all over in its focus. Its possible that could be rectified if I could get the latest version of the free screenreader NVDA, but unfortunately anytime I try and download, they want me to donate and won't let me download anything until I have done so- please explain to me how a compulsory donation makes an item FREE

The bottomline is that my list will be closed. It's a sad thing for me despite the inactivity since my move. I guess this bothers me so much because yahoogroups is the cause of this. The only other option would be to move the list to another server, but there are not very many servers out there and most are not worth considering.

Though for lists I am a member of, I could use digest format, the list I own requires I access the website for management reasons. As a result of this issue, the only salvation for the list will be if one of the list members comes forward agreeing to take over the list.

I am so frustrated by this change in yahoogroups that if I did not need yahoo IM to communicate with my Dad who won't do AIM for some stupid reason, I would be deleting my yahoo ID

18 August 2013

Communication with Thane through Progressive Deafblindness

Communication can be turbulent at best as a deafblind individual without the language skill of tactile ASL or access to technology that most able-bodied people consider paramount these days, but the area impacting my life the most is that of communication with my service dog.

Though Thane has been working much better as his thyroid is getting the support it needs and Lyme is behind us, we were still struggling in some ways which at time felt overwhelming. I could not put my finger on the cause despite backtracking to a training mode again to attempt to alleviate things.

Someone told me recently that my speech was sounding hollow and lacking some pronunciation. I didn't think much of it since my deafness has progressed quite a bit in the last year.

It wasn't until today when I was working with Thane that I realized this change may be playing a role in the communication struggle I am having with Thane.

Since Thane is a guide dog and as a result out front further of my wheelchair, there really isn't an alternate way I can communicate with him even if I had a free hand to do so with.

I don't know how long it will take for him to be able to adjust to this change, or if he can with his remnant hearing impairment from Lyme.

At home, he does not seem to have as much of an issue, but then at home I use my hands a lot in my communication with him in conjunction with voice.

I am hoping that the more I voice with him that he will begin to be able to understand me better. I'm not sure what I can do to make this easier other than to be patient when my commands are not followed right the first time.

14 August 2013


I'm not sure about you, but when it comes to veterinary care for Thane I have become gunshy- unable to trust my gut about a veterinarian due to previous poor care provided to us over the last few years.

The relationship with my previous veterinarian had become strained at best, but after I opted to go with NDT over synthetic Levothyroxine for Thane, what communication there had been, became like talking to a person who unbenounst to me had left the vicinity.

After years of Thane's health dwindling from not one, but three conditions (one of which never would have happened if hypothyroidism had been treated years before), I knew it was time to move on. I'd known it for a while, but with my health and the distance I had to travel to get to anyone else that might provide better care, it seemed impossible.

Then I had to make a move

That move turned my life upside down, led to my reliance on my parents more, led to a horrendous collapse in my MCS this spring and summer-- but it also led to some positive things which are sometimes overlooked when I talk about the situation I am in

Some of the positives were not just for me, but for Thane as well. We got free of the mold that had long infested our living situation- inside and out due to a complex that was literally falling apart. At the end, all you had to do was touch the siding and it would crumble off in your hands. Though funding was secured to renovate the complex, I doubt they will ever get rid of the mold that made both Thane and I (and perhaps Met) so ill. It was only in getting out of there that I saw just how much that mold impacted our health.

Another positive is that I live smack in the middle of the max system where I can pretty much get anywhere I want to in a fairly reasonable amount of time. As an example, I can get to the New Seasons I travelled from before by taking max just three stops and then off for our walk to the store. I can use the one in my city as well.

Thane needed a vet in May for an injury so I used a recommendation I received from a local team and checked out Rock Creek Veterinary Hospital which is actually a distance Thane and I can walk in dry weather. I was able to get a free exam for Thane then as a new client. At the time I was pretty sick from all the exposure with this complex's renovation projects (something they knew about and chose to withhold from me when I was loking at the apartment) Obviously with my health and Thane's injury I was not clearly  thinking then about evaluation of a vet for longterm use.It just was not in the cards that day. The important thing then was to get Thane's foot cared for and both of us home before I collapsed.

Fast forward to present day, I've had a lot of time to think about where I wanted to go with Thane to get his letter for my re-certification with Section 8 taken care of. I considered trying a place further into the city that is a larger facility and provides some alternative therapies, but I kept going back to how well they responded when I told them on the phone that my guide dog had a paw ulceration. It went all uphill from there. As soon as they learned about my MCS, they offered to gown, glove, and mask up for me. I gladly accepted that they use gowns and gloves, but not masks as it could impede our communication.

I placed a call yesterday to the clinic and they were able to get us in today! I forgot my list of questions at home when we headed off for the appointment, but only forgot one of them. The answers to all the other questions were exactly what I had hoped to hear. What's even better is that through one of  IAADP's benefits, I was able to get a discount here.

I made it clear to her that I am a bit gunshy where it comes to veterinarians after years of knowing what was wrong with Thane and not being taken seriously enough to protect his health. He has come back to me, doing so much better and I won't let another vet jeopardize that. We may have to agree to disagree on some things- was she OK with that. The answer put a smile on my face.

The only medical concern I had today for Thane was to get an opinion on Thane's teeth. After all the previous symptoms over the years being treated with antibiotics (some inappropriately) and the 9 months of antibiotics for Lyme, Thane's teeth had become a concern of mine. Thankfully I learned that daily brushing is all that is necessary for us now. This was such a relief to me between budget needs and Thane's sensitivities that could mean a lengthy down time following anesthesia. 

For now, it looks like we do have a veterinarian for Thane. I am cautiously optimistic about him getting the care he really needs when he needs it, but not over-vetted either.

Hopefully through this relationship I will cease to be so gunshy and find trust again.

01 August 2013

A Treasured Moment

Thane is a Border Collie- a herding dog from championship herding and agility lines. The result of this has impacted a number of things in our life, but one of the funniest and also most aggravating at times has been how he relates to the ball when we play.

Met was a Border Collie mix and had herding instincts, but nothing like what I have experienced with Thane!

When I first got Thane, he really did not know how to play with me. I had to show him to spike his interest. Play was to be on his terms- meaning in his way.

Sometimes his way is with the ball placed beside or even under my chair, but more often than not, it is left in some conspicuous place followed by Thane herding me to its vicinity expecting me to collect it.

Training Thane to perform a working retrieve was difficult, but very successful in the end, but training him to do likewise with his ball-- get out of here! LOL

I never gave up though


every once in a while

Thane approaches me, ball in mouth

placing it in my hand.