I'm partially sighted, but feel embarrassed and self-concscious about using my symbol cane — Scope | Disability forum
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I'm partially sighted, but feel embarrassed and self-concscious about using my symbol cane

Gill_SK Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited January 15 in Sensory impairments
I have been registered partially sighted almost three years. I have Stargardts, glaucoma and thickening corneas.  In recent months I have noticed myself that my sight is getting worse, I have a lot of blank patches where I just can’t see, it’s so hard to explain.
i have had a symbol cane hidden away for almost three years.  A coucellor suggested I start using it.  I am so embarrassed and self conscious about it.  I think people I know will think ‘why has she got that? She’s ok without it”.  I can see without it but I do bump into things and people, trip up and walk in front of people totally oblivious.  Most people don’t say anything but after a horrible incident in a supermarket I am considering using my can so people know there something wrong and I’m not just drunk, rude or ignorant.
Any advice would be lovely.


  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,632 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Gill_SK - & welcome to the community. Thank you for joining & saying about yourself. I think you will find this recent thread about using a cane helpful & informative. Please see: https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/86719/support-and-advice-needed-how-do-i-overcome-feelings-of-self-consciousness-when-using-a-white-cane

  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,126 Pioneering
    Hi @Gill_SK Welcome to the Community. I am sorry you are finding it difficult to adjust to using a cane. I do not think you need to be embarrassed or self conscious about using your cane. It would help you and other people and no one would then think you were drunk. You do not have to justify yourself to anyone do what is best for you. Take care.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,344 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I am in the same situation blind in one eye and partially sighted in other also in a wheelchair so not as easy to juggle cane and chair 

    However I'm getting to stage I need to use it like you more as a signal cane to make others aware as I keep going into things 

    I've stopped going anywhere alone now used to go just local where it was familiar but can't do this now 

    Good luck get using your cane not embarrassing at all and you may find 0eople more helpful 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 796

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @Gill_SK

    Thanks for reaching out and sharing your experience, as our members have mentioned, you've every right to use your cane, and while it can take some time to become accustomed to this, it can be a really positive boost to your independence and quality of life.

    I hope you've been able to have a look at the thread on overcoming feelings of self consciousness that chairieds shared. It shows that you are certainly not alone in your feelings, and I hope it's able to reassure you that it's okay to feel anxious. This is a big change, which can be a lot to cope with.

    In my own experience, as someone with cerebral palsy, when I do use a cane I find it very useful in signposting to anyone around me that I might need support, a seat, or help with stairs- whereas that might not be clear without it.

    If you ever feel like you need support, or have any questions to ask, you know where we are :)

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  • Sammac
    Sammac Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hi. My advice would be to do what you need to do, without worrying what other people think. As the saying goes, the people who matter won't mind and those that mind don't matter.
  • Gill_SK
    Gill_SK Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thankyou everyone.  My husband and I went to Asda this morning at 7am before it got busy, and I did it...I finally used my symbol cane.  Feel very happy with myself! I noticed some people looking and a couple of people giving me more room so that was ok.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 7,049

    Scope community team

    edited January 15
    That's great @Gill_SK :) I'm glad that you managed to do some shopping,  and that people generally reacted well. You should definitely feel proud of yourself! 

    Maybe you could make a little list of places you'd like to go and use your cane at? This could help you to increase your confidence in using it, or in visiting other places where you might have had a negative experience in the past. 

    Just to let you know, I've moved your post into our category for discussions relating to sensory impairments, and renamed it so that other members can find it more easily.
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  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 2,126 Pioneering
    Hi @Gill_SK How wonderful. Well done.


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