… I must finish these blogs in one sitting!
I have been doing a lot of recent blogs on Deaf-Blind issues and intervenors. I need to cover all bases. I am also an Ataxian.
What’s that? That is a person who has ataxia. Same as Canadian or the like…
Ataxia has many onsets, and various levels of severity. I found this list and I have to say that I am textbook! In fact, if you open the dictionary, and look at ataxia, I’d be very surprised if my picture was not there!
- impaired coordination in the torso or arms and legs.
- Yes, I am often jerking left or right, up and down. Standing I sometimes fall over for no reason, sitting I can do the same. I do not actually fall, but I come close.
- I often bend over to pick up a sock, and keep going in that general direction.
- frequent stumbling.
- Surely, stumbling and whacking a car door is pretty dramatic. Three hours in ER should do the trick, nothing is wrong! I stumble over cracks in sidewalk and uneven pavement scars me.
- an unsteady gait.
- I like that, instead of “drunken” gait, I can dodge and weave, jive, meander like an old river, and because my vision is pretty bad, I have no depth perception, iI often walk into things that seemed far, yet were close.
- uncontrolled or repetitive eye movements.
- that too is a pickle, I seem unable to keep eye contact for long. In Deaf Culture eye contact is an important part of interactions, yet I can’t seem to keep eye contact for long.
- I use eyes to watch communication right, so with this uncontrollable eye movements, my eyes get tired and I tend to zone out.
- trouble eating and performing other fine motor tasks.
- when eating, I might choke or cough or swallow small things… I’ve been known to cough, sneeze and laugh at the same time!
- in terms of fine motor skills, yeah, that is proven. using my new smartphone keyboard is a challenge, I truck around a wireless keyboard now.
- And fingerspelling, spelling of words using manual alphabet in ASL, has become more sloppy if I am not concentrating on the word
- My laptop has a touchpad for mouse navigation, I loath it! Because I can’t always control the movements! Blarg!
- slurred speech.
- vocal changes.
- when I talk to my kids or wife, my formally strong clear voice sort of simmers and chokes, muttering out something that is not even recognizable!
- some of them can be weird, short, others long and winding!
- garbled thoughts (Craig adds…)
- some thoughts are clear, then I can’t seem to focus on the topic again and I’ll be blah blah. This is especially annoying when I’m trying to have a basic conversation with my wife, and my thoughts get jumbled up like a tumble dryer on high.
There we go, I am going to leave that for now. Next topic, Vision on the subway…