Archives for June 2009

Almost Eight Months

It’s nearly eight months since my surgery (next Saturday, 4 July is eight months.)  I had an appointment today with Dr. Ayers.  We were taken back to the examination room, which was called Pod 3.  We joked with the tech, a seemed to be twenty something white guy, about the name of the standard eight by ten room used in countless ophthalmology offices everywhere.  The tech said the number designated the disease, while Pod made it sound high-tech.  Pod 3, therefore, was for cornea issues.

The tech asked how my eyes were feeling and if I’ve had any problems lately (good and not really unless you count the elbow Eliz landed on my left eye last night.)  He then asked if I was seeing any better and I responded by reciting the eye chart down to the 20/60 line.  Since he hadn’t turned on the machine yet, he knew my memory was still good.  I was a little worried when he turned the machine on.  I saw the E, but not clearly.  I also had trouble seeing the S in the SL (20/200) line.  If I didn’t know it was an S, I don’t think I would have been able to guess what it was (though there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and usually no duplicates on a line, so I knew it wasn’t an L.  I could also eliminate other letters that are not rounded, like A, K, X, H, E, F, I, M, N, T, V, W, Y, and Z.  Now I’ve got a one in 10 chance.  Is that seeing or guessing?  I told the tech my concerns.  He handed me the eye cover with all the pinholes and told me to try that.  Within 10 seconds I could see the S.  When I was rattling off all the lines before he turned the machine on, he said there were alternative lines on the machine, made up by numbers.  I asked him to go to those so that I could see if I actually could see anything there.  He put the largest line up, which was the 20/100 line.  Without the pinholes, I saw five black blobs.  With the pinholes I was able to spot the 7 all the way on the right.  I was pretty excited.

Dr. Ayers came in shortly after.  He had a look and told me things looked pretty good.  The only concern is that my IOP was six.  It has been fluctuating between six and eight for a few years, but has been at six for quite some time.  I asked if I could go swimming and was told I could.  I also asked if I could wear goggles.  Dr. Ayers advised me not to wear the goggles that the swimmers in the Olympics wear, but to use those that are larger.  Fortunately, I already own a pair of AquaSphere goggles, so I’m good to go.    Dr. Ayers told me to cut back on the Predforte to only Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as he didn’t see any signs of rejection going on.  I’d like to be off the ‘roids at my next visit in October.  The cataract is still not ready to come out.  The amount of vision I’d pick up by having it removed isn’t worth the boatload of risk (it could wreck December’s surgery, as well as destablilize the eye as far as the glaucoma is concerned.)   That finished up my appointment and we were good to go.

So, the bottom line is that I was pleased with what Dr. Ayers told me.  I can do whatever I could do before the surgery (swim, lift heavy things – though, the heavier I get, the less I seem to be able to lift, etc.)  Still waiting on something/someone to fix my badly damaged optic nerve…


Every Step is a Leap of Faith

Night before last the whole family went to the Springfield Mall. Wednesdays are our late day and we usually get takeaway, but Jane needed a new bathing suit for a swim party and I wasn’t up for takeaway. After a surprisingly decent meal at Ruby Tuesdays, we ventured into the mall.

Jane and I went into Pacific Sunwear, while Eliz went to Aeropostale to get the gift card for the birthday party Jane was to attend, and Jake went to the bookstore. I assited Jane in her quest for a bikini. I have never shopped for a bikini before, though if I continue to bulk up, I may be shopping for a bikini top to match my swimming trunks. Jane and I looked through countless tops and bottoms. She’d find one we both liked (we are both fans of bold colors,) but they wouldn’t have her size. Eliz returned from Aeropostale and took over helping Jane. I decided to walk down to the bookstore to see what Jake was up to.

As I carefully exited the store, I realized that I haven’t walked around this mall alone for quite sometime. Eliz is usually with me, or one of the kids may be with me if we head off to different stores. The mall is fairly dark to me, though it could be the bright glare of the stores that make it seem that way. I became increasingly nervous with every step. What if I walked into someone or something, I thought. I don’t want to hurt anyone, especially a child. I don’t want to look like an idiot by walking into a display, kiosk, caution sign, planter, or the dreaded glass wall (Mr. Magoo popped into my head…) Oh yeah, I don’t want to hurt myself either.

This thinking didn’t make me slow down. I continued to walk at my normal pace. One thing on my side was the fact that, at 8:30pm on a Wednesday evening in the current economic climate, there weren’t too many people in the mall. I didn’t trust my eyes (okay, eye.) I felt like Indiana Jones crossing that ravine to get the grail. To me, every step was a leap of faith. Once I got past the kiosks with the ultra aggressive salespeople that practically jump out in front of you as you walk by, I began to feel less nervous. Then I walked into the bookstore…

I found Jake, gave him a few bucks to buy a book, and we headed back to the girls. Since I was with Jake, I had no problem walking back to PacSun (though I did walk into Jake a few times…)

Fast forward to this morning. I had been putting off a blood test since late January. We moved the business, then I was sick, then we were set to go and I’d forget and eat something late. Earlier this week I decided today would be the day. I had coverage at the business. I kept reminding myself not to eat late last night. Finally, today was the day.

Eliz and I parked in the garage at Springfield Hospital/HealthPlex and we walked in. The hallway is only about eight feet wide. I walked behind Eliz so that people coming the other way could pass without me running into them. We walked at an above average pace (the free parking is only lasts 45 minutes…) As we came to the end of the hallway, there was a man walking slower than we were. (At this point, Eliz and I were holding hands.) It was an older man who I thought was walking with a cane. As we got closer — about three feet behind him — I noticed it wasn’t a walking cane. It was a cane used by blind and visually impaired people use. My first thought was, “Oh God, I’m going to have to walk that slowly?” We waited for the wider area of the hospital lobby and maneuvered around him.

We resumed our pace and checked in at the outpatient services. While we were checking in, the older man strolled into the waiting area. The lady that was helping me noticed him and said, “Hello Jim. I’ll be right with you.” He answered and waited about eight feet behind the chairs we were sitting in. Once we finished she called him over. He began joking with the woman. I thought he seems to be pretty happy. He can’t see very well or at all, he must have another health issue since the lady knows him, yet he still seemed happy.

Slow down and take it easy. I’ll have to try it sometime.


Could it be?!?

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve last posted.  It’s not that I haven’t needed some bitching & moaning therapy, I’ve been really busy at the biz.  We are having a Warehouse Sale on Saturday, 13 June AND we are launching (finally) our ecommerce site (  By the way, Eliz and I will celebrate our 19th anniversary on Wednesday, 10 June.  Wow that’s a long time…

For the last week or so, I’ve wanted to rant about my frustrations regarding our mobile phones.  Our contract is up, so we are “free agents” looking for the best phone with service we’ll actually receive inside our business.  I’ve been told by Verizon Wireless that we don’t receive all our calls because our equipment is older.  Okay, it is nearly two and a half years old, which, in tech terms, borders on relic.  I’m not so sure that is the correct answer, but who knows.  All this is frustrating, but isn’t the main issue.

My main problem, of course, is that I can’t see the @$#%!! screen on my phone and most other phones that I’ve looked at over the years.  For the love of God, I have a big problem seeing the damn numbers to dial!  Fortunately, my current phone does have a great voice command setup, but it doesn’t work if I have to retrieve my voicemail, enter an account number, or other non-phone tasks.  I would also love to be able to text message.  I feel like I am being left behind by not being able to communicate via text.  I also think it would be cool to combine a mobile phone with one of those video magnifiers like these.

I’ve read a bit about the Palm Pre and would like to have a look.  The big drawback there is that it is currently available on Sprint only.  When we first purchase Salon Supplies + Interiors, they had a Sprint plan and it was bad.  Very bad.  Customer service was incredibly worse.  So we haven’t rushed out for a peek.  I also read rumors of a new iPhone.  I get excited whenever I hear that Apple is coming out with something new.  Primarily because there is a way for me to see it, but also because of my geeky side.

I’ve played with the iPhone 3G at the Apple store a couple of times.  I’ve wanted one since they came out just after we got our current phones, even though I haven’t figured out how to see it.  I’m so dorky, I watch the iPhone commercials even when I have recorded the show that they run in and could fast-forward past them.  For the past week I’ve been down about not being able to get a cool phone with lots of bells and whistles.

That is until today.  I received an email from Apple with all the cool new features on the iPhone 3G S!  Here is an excerpt of a press release from their website:

iPhone 3G S provides new accessibility features including VoiceOver, a screen reader that speaks what appears on the iPhone 3G S display, enabling visually impaired users to make calls, read email, browse web pages, play music and run applications. The new universal Zoom function magnifies the entire screen, and the White on Black feature reverses the colors on screen to provide higher contrast for people with low vision.

Want to buy me one?  It’s okay if you don’t, but you can help me save up for one by clicking one of the ads on the right when you want to make a purchase.

Tonight, I will go to sleep with a smile on my face.