Grumpy’s Blind in One Eye and Can’t See Out Of the Other
NOTE: BACK TO SOME MORE JIMBO MOMENTS BUT ALL EDUCATION BLOGS ARE INDEXED AND CAN BE LINKED HERE.
Man, don’t you just hate those people who don’t lower their high beams when you pass them in the night. You’re driving along in the pitch blackness and the next think you know your field of vision looms upon you as if you’re staring into the midday sun.
“You stupid SOB, “you holler, “Put your freakin’ brights down!” You salute that moron with a one finger exclamatory wave.
Ya, that told him, didn’t it.
That’s when the Good Wife whispers, “Grumpy, his brights were down, relax will you!” The look on her face indicates that she suspects mental illness has raised its ugly head.
Yes, that’s just about how Grumpy discovered he has cataracts in both eyes. He’s blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.
Now I’d heard that doing some things in excess may cause blindness. But, get your mind out of the gutter, I wasn’t thinking about THAT!
A quick GOOGLE search and I discovered that cholesterol medication and alcohol may contribute to cataract formation. Until I hear back from the Bud Lite Institute I’m thinking its my meds that are messing me up.
I should have suspected something when I realized I could hardly read the large print on my KOBO electronic reader. Those words were about as a big as the ones you find in a First Grade primer.
“Mr. Mugs is a jet pet!” looked like, “Are we there yet?”
During the Christmas Holidays I walked past my father-in-law at the mall –twice- and didn’t even notice him. Later he said to me wife, “When did Grumpy become so stuck up?” You see those overhead mall lights are deadly when you have cataracts.
And, the texts I was writing on my phone were beginning to read like mumbo jumbo.
So, I found myself sitting in my ophthalmologist’s office last week waiting to get examined and be given the final verdict.
Now you must understand that I am a mere 62 years of age which is apparently very young to be having these kinds of vision problems. You see, I have the juvenile variety, mostly found in young people.
This was quite obvious the moment I walked into the very crowded waiting room. What I saw was a roomful of octonagarian and septuagenarians. There were so many walkers in there I thought that with my eyesight I’d probably trip over at least one of them. The only people my age in the room were the children of the patients who had accompanied their elderly parents.
After settling down into a seat I was confronted with stunned silence. That waiting room was as quiet as a funeral parlor. Everyone stared off into space or fiddled with their hands. The atmosphere was dark and ominous. The roar of the ventilation fan made it sound as if we were in a jet ready for takeoff.
Suddenly one old gal turned to her daughter and shouted, “THERE ISN”T MUCH COUGHING GOING ON TODAY”
Her daughter patted mom’s forearm and whispered, “Yes, mom,”
“LAST WEEK EVERYONE WAS COUGHING”, she continued. “BUT, NOT TODAY!”
No one budged because everyone in the room is hard of hearing, except me and the young folks gathered there as personal escorts. I thought maybe I should run out to the hallway and see if I had mistakenly gone to the audiologist’s office.
Two old gals attempted to chat me up and I was thankful for that because this silence was getting to me. That’s when I realized their fluttering eyelids, smiles and flirtatious remarks meant that I appeared to them as some kind of freaking boy toy.
“What’s a nice handsome young man like you doing here?” one asked. “Is your mother in there being examined?”
An old fellow in his 90’s shuffled into the room much like Tim Conway’s old clerk character on the Carol Burnett Show. He baby stepped his way up to the receptionist and announced at a 100 decibel level, “I GOT SOMETHING SERIOUS GOING ON WITH MY EYE!”
The very patient lady behind the glass took his health card and gently asked him to take a seat and the Doctor would see him momentarily.
“DO YOU WANT ME TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT,” Grandpa shouted. “I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT IT, YOU KNOW”
The receptionist whispered, “No, that isn’t necessary because you can tell all of that to the Doctor. He’ll be interested in hearing everything.”
“WELL I COULD TELL YOU ABOUT IT NOW!” he roared.
Finally, after some gentle cajoling, the old gentleman found a seat but about two minutes later he was back up at the window.
“HAVE YOU GOT MY HEALTH CARD? “He bellowed. “I CAN”T FIND MY HEALTHCARD?”
“Yes, sir, I have your health card. I will return it to you when you leave.”
“OH, THAT’S FINE I JUST DIDN”T WANT TO LOSE MY HEALTH CARD, YOU KNOW! DO YOU WANT ME TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY EYE NOW?”
Finally it was my turn to see the good Doctor. Leaving the reception area almost felt as if I was leaving purgatory.
I was quickly shuffled through “Door Number One!”
Well, all it took was one bright light in my right eye and the Doctor remarking, “Oh, yes there it is!” and I knew I probably had a cataract the size of a pizza pie.
I brightened a bit when he said, “It sucks to be a young guy and have to have this, eh! You’re only 62 right?”
The feeling only lasted a few seconds when I remembered that the Doctor probably was my age and all of the rest of his patients were in their seventies, eighties and nineties.
Later he remarked, “So you’ll go for the surgery, right, because otherwise you won’t be driving anymore.” (He had already determined that my right eye was illegal.)
Well, if you’ve read any of these Blog Posts you know I drive my family around as if I was a 24/7/365 TAXI service. I have more miles on my butt than the tires on your car. If I can’t drive, the lives of my immediate family would come to a sudden earth shattering halt.
So, long story short: the Doctor quickly described the surgery to me.
“We’ll freeze that eye up then we put a little cut here.” He was using a huge wall sized diagram suitable for we who are visually impaired. “I just pull out the old lens and replace it with a new artificial one!”
Just like that folks.
Later, while booking the surgery with the receptionist, I remember that we have a trip to Florida coming up in early March. I’m driving, of course. So, I book one eye surgery for before the trip and one eye surgery for after.
The receptionist warns me that my eyes won’t be balanced then because the surgically repaired eye will return to 20/20 vision while the left one will still require glasses. But she had the perfect solution for this.
“Just punch out the glass on the right side of your glasses and leave the left one in!”
My daughter jumped on that right away by saying, “I want to be there when you have to explain that one to the US border guard in Detroit, dad.”
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll just tell him I’m blind in my illegal eye and have 20/20 vision in the other.”
On the way home when they ask, “Do you have anything to declare?” I’ll simply say, “Ah yes officer, I think I’m insane. But I’m not bringing over any fruit!”
I expect there will be more to tell as I move forward. I promise you that you will be the first to know all about it. But, if a fairly young, old guy passes you by in the mall and he has spectacles with one glass missing. give old Grump’s a wave. He might just return the favour with a single finger salute.