New Challenges

Our holiday season officially ended yesterday with the celebration of Jake’s 16th birthday and my dad’s 92nd birthday.  That is one long stretch, though some years it is longer.  It starts with Chanukkah (I’m jewish,) continues to Christmas (Eliz is catholic,) then on to Jane’s birthday (2 Jan,) and finally to Jake (and my dad to a lesser extent.)  This year’s holiday season was pretty subtle because Eliz and I have been busting our rear ends (and in Eliz’s case, her arm too) to get out of mold.  I’m hopeful of a more joyous season this coming December.

So the holidays are over.  We’re out of Folcroft and restocking the shelves in the new space and we’re starting to make local deliveries from the phone orders we’re taking.  Just when it looked like things were starting to settle down, a couple of new challenges have emerged.  My mother hasn’t been feeling well since her fall about three months ago.  Eliz has been taking her to various doctors over the past week, with another appointment on Monday.  One doctor thinks she may have shingles.  It has worn my dad down.  He feels helpless since he can no longer drive and his vision and memory are starting to slip.  We’ll know more on my mom on Monday.

The other challenge is me.  I’ve noticed that my vision has deteriorated over the last six months and has really started to nose dive in the past few weeks.  (I got a new HDTV for my birthday and hooked up the HDMI cable about four weeks ago and was wowed that I could notice a difference in the picture.  Watching the news tonight, I couldn’t make out many of the graphics that said where the story was taking place and the reporters/interviewee’s name.)

At Wills Eye today, my glaucoma doc, Dr. Pro, told me he didn’t think the issue was glaucoma related.  My cornea doc had previously told me that he didn’t think it was cornea related.  Dr. Pro mentioned today there were two other possibilities: the cataract or a retina problem.  He said while the cataract might be the cause of some of the issue, he said it wouldn’t lead to the significant vision loss I have sustained over the past weeks.  I couldn’t read the big E on the chart with or without the pin holes.  The E is the 20/400 at the very beginning of the eye chart.  I was able to count fingers at about three feet.  This, of course, was in my left eye, the “good” one.  As usual, I could tell when a light was off or on using my right eye, so there’s no excuse if I leave a light on in a room…

This development is troubling to me, though not unexpected.  My whole life I knew the chances were good that one day the lights would fade.  Maybe this can be reversed.  I’ll know more on Monday after I have an OCT (The technique of optical coherence tomography (OCT) produces high resolution, high speed, non-invasive, cross-sectional images of body tissue. from the University of Miami) test.  Hopefully, I’ll have some images to post and some good news to deliver.  Funny how last April and May I was trying to find a way to be able to have a catch with Jane to now just trying not to walk into things or find items on my own.

As usual, there is never a dull moment with me, especially when I do walk into something.  I end up cursing like a drunken sailor with turrets even when I don’t hurt myself.  The frustration gets hold of me for a minute or two.  Sometimes it does actually hurt…