Letters to the Editor...


You Can Never Be Too Careful


Accidents happen to us all at one point or another in our busy lives. We can only hope that they are minor when they occur and aren’t the result of our own mistakes and carelessness.

On a recent vacation with my family, I committed a real boneheaded mistake. With my folded cane in hand, I was going down a set of outside stairs on my way to our last breakfast before leaving for the airport and the flight back home. I had been up and down these stairs all week long and thought I knew them well.

Perhaps I was thinking about that gal in the bikini on the beach the day before because I was clearly not paying attention to the next steps I was about to take. I missed a stair and turned my ankle to an angle that ankles are not designed to achieve, i.e. 180 degrees.

As I lay on the stairs looking at my big toe staring at me, the guy behind me remarked to his wife that my situation didn’t look good. I thought maybe I was in the middle of a Seinfeld rerun or something.

After a quick trip to the local hospital for X-rays that confirmed a bad break (are there any good ones?), it was off to the airport for the return flight home. The next day at the hospital here in Cleveland I had surgery to install a plate and nine screws, which were little souvenirs that I hadn’t planned on bringing home with me from our trip.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from all this, I guess it’s that bad things can happen to you in a heartbeat. Therefore, you can never be too careful. If I had been using my white cane at the time, this never would have happened to me. Being overconfident in familiar surroundings can be lethal. Maybe that’s why so many accidents happen close to home. Use your white cane religiously. Amen! Now I’ve got religion.

Denis Hine
Bay Village, OH

Editor’s Note: Denis Hine is a BVA Life Member and graduate of the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center at Hines, Illinois. He is the editor of a monthly publication for the Cleveland VA Medical Center’s West Side Visually Impaired Veterans Support Group. The letter above first appeared in “LUVV Notes” (Low Useful Vision Veterans) in June 2007.

Belote Says RG Efforts Deserve Recognition


Regional groups out there that are working hard, full of fire and energy, and really making a difference, need to be recognized more often. It would be nice if a particularly good newsletter, such as Toledo Talks from the Ohio Regional Group, could somehow be put in the Bulletin as an example and “hats off” to the groups and corresponding VIST Coordinators.

The Greater Houston Regional Group is another group that has been doing all kinds of innovative things. We can all pick up some good ideas when these activities, originating locally, are shared for the benefit of our nationwide membership.

Larry Belote
Immediate Past National President
San Antonio, TX

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