Thursday, August 4, 2016

Beginning To See The Light

I went to the eye doctor today. It had been about a year and a half and I figured I was due. To top it off, I have been struggling with an ailment that I thought he might be able to address, so the time seemed right.

Now, I am 54 years old and my eyesight isn't what it used to be. The upside to that is that as all of my friends and loved ones age along with me, their eyesight is failing in many of the same ways. My wife is the queen of the on-again, off-again cheaters that she has on hand at any given moment of the day. They are propped on top of her head 80% of the time, the rest of the time they're by the sink, or in the bathroom or, or, or...

In her defense, she is practically legally blind without her glasses or contacts. Glasses are the first thing she reaches for in the morning and the last thing she takes off at night. 

My situation is different, I could almost drive without my glasses - save for those blurry street signs. I am nearsighted, so only need to wear my glasses for distance. So, instead of the annoying on-again, off-again cheater trick, I am the guy annoyingly looking under his glasses. I guess we all have our gigs in this world. 

About a year ago, I was experiencing what felt like really tired eyes, or puffy eyelids. (Oh no, He's telling us about his ailments!) I remember my mom telling me that problems like that are more suited to an opthamologist than an optometrist, so I set up an appointment with an opthamologist. His diagnosis was that I was suffering from Blepharitis

Uh, BlephaWhatIs?

Like most medical terms, I first mispronounced it as Blefartis, which made my family crack up. They still call it that, mostly because they like to say fart.

Anyways, this doctor told me to do 4 things daily. Hot compresses on my eyes 2-3 times a day, use eyelid pads to clean the eyes daily, put a small amount of antibiotic ointment in my eyes at night and use artificial tears when necessary.

If I did all of these things every day, I'd have little time to do much else. 

That was his treatment path and "come back in 3 months" which I did for 9 months until I realized I was paying $125 out of pocket for him to tell me it was a "chronic condition" that seemed to be about the same or maybe a little better.

After a year of this, I consulted my optometrist, who also happens to be a long-time friend. When I told him about my history and the $125/appt. cost, he just shook his head and said "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, you should have come and seen me."

So he put me on a treatment path that is sustainable and I am forever grateful.

But the whole experience made me realize how much we take our eyesight and our corrective lenses for granted. When the assistant was testing my eyes, I'll be truthful, I took some wild assed guesses about what I was seeing a few times. W X Y Z - L M N O P. 

Of course they know the chart and can humor us when we give our WAG's. Their jobs are to fix it so that I can read my pill bottle or those directions in small print without decoupling my arms from their sockets to see them. Or maybe using a selfie stick to read the ingredients on a chip bag. 

So next time you see me, hopefully I'll see you too,

Blogging off...



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