What a Day

My day started off with Eliz telling me that we had water in the basement from the all the rain overnight.  While it’s not too big of a deal, it wasn’t the way I wanted to start the day.  We have been cleaning out our basement in preparation of bringing some inventory and all the documents, computer equipment, and office supplies from our business location, which we are vacating as soon as possible (more on that later.)  The water was coming in through two window areas, one of which looked like an aquarium, minus the fish of course.  Unless the water is coming up from under the window wells, we should be able to eliminate the problem by simply building up the slope along the outside of the wells and the wall.  There is a project for this weekend…

After a few minutes of looking around our basement, we get in the car and head to our business.  As we pull into the parking lot, Eliz notices water coming down in the vestibule.  As we open the door, water is pouring in and there is a good two inches on the floor of the vestibule.  With our heads down and mouths closed tightly, we enter the vestibule and hurry to the second door.  As we open that door, we are clear of the water pouring into the vestibule, but hear what sounds to be a couple of spigots running in the store.  Water is coming down all around the counter except on the counter with checkout terminal.  The glass showcase is wet, the storage containers are about half full of water, and the Coke box has water on it.

I head back to my office to check on the leak just outside my office door in the showroom.  The bucket is about half full, the floor is wet, and water is dripping on a table that was damaged by water last week.  As I peer into my office, I notice that the ceiling tile that had a six inch square wet mark on it after last week’s storms, now has a 12 inch by 15 inch wet spot.  Luckily, the tile is still able to absorb the water and none has dropped onto my desk or filing cabinet.  I had slid my computer and phone farther away from the danger zone Tuesday night before we left.

I grab my camera and begin to shoot video.  Eliz points out areas she thinks should be shot.  We both go into the warehouse together with the camera.  Water coming down the front wall and pooling in several places.  We also notice water coming down the side wall near the loading dock bay.  This is a first.  We then head back to where our cabinet shop (R.I.P.) was.  Water was dripping down the walls in at least half a dozen places, plus dripping down from the ceiling in another half dozen spots, including into our laminate bin.  I got it all recorded on video, in case we need it later.

Ginny helped us out and came out of retirement for a couple of hours so Eliz could take me to my cornea doc appointment, which is over on Presidential Boulevard in Bala Cynwyd.  We’re about halfway to the appointment when Ginny calls.  Seems that the lights have gone out in several areas of the showroom and store.  She’s tried the flipping the light switches off and on, but nothing happens.  Some lights still work and the computer hadn’t lost power, so we tell her to remain open if she feels it’s safe.

Once at the appointment, we wait awhile before i get called back.  It is not to see the doc, but to check my vision.  Eliz stays put in the waiting area because we’re told the room is small and I won’t be in there long.  The tech has me cover my left eye (the good one) and waves her hand in front of my face.  Nothing.  I told her if I looked up at the lights and she did that I could probably see it.  She agreed and I saw the brightness change as she waved her hand.  I then cover my right eye, why, I don’t know.  She puts up the big E on the screen.  I knew it was there.  Completely blind people know it is there.  Hell, even Wesley would know it was there when he was mostly dead.  Trouble is, I really couldn’t see it that well.  The tech then flips the pinholes down and I see it much better and can also read the next line (SL.)  She then asks if I can read the next line after that, which is the OPLB line (yes, I have it memorized down to 20/60.)  I always try to spot the corner of the L, but can’t distinguish any of the letters.  They all appear to be black marks.  I head back to the waiting room.

After I sign a couple of forms Eliz filled out and we wait a few minutes more, we are called back to the examination rooms.  Today, we’re in Pod 3.  We wait for a bit then Dr. Ayres comes in.  He has a look at my chart then gives me a look.  He says the cornea looks good and he that he doesn’t know why my vision has decreased to 20/400.  We discuss my options of getting some sight back.  There is only one he thinks could help.  That solution is removing the cataract in that eye.  That wasn’t the answer I wanted.  While removing a cataract isn’t usually that big a deal for most, it holds more risk for me.  Cataract surgery, as Dr. Ayres explained it, could wreck last years partial cornea transplant.  That would mean I’d have to have that all over again.  Also, any surgery could destabilize the eye and more glaucoma problems.  Dr. Ayers told me to think about it and talk to my other ophthalmologists about it.  I told him it isn’t something I could do in the next month or two because of the business, but after that we’d consider it.

After my appointment, we went across City Avenue to Starbucks.  I love the Apple Chi Infusion.  I only got a tall because if I gain any more weight my friends might throw me a baby shower.  Time to go back to the mess at 617A Grant Road.  About two minutes after we walk in the door, I get a call from Paul from CareOne.  CareOne is a senior community operator that has ordered salon equipment for two of their new communities in Jackson, NJ and Holmdel, NJ.  One of the pieces in today’s delivery was damaged in transit from Belvedere, the manufacturer.  Great.  I try to call Belvedere, but can’t even get an operator on the line.  Once I do, fifteen minutes later, I can’t get my rep, so I leave a voicemail.  I head out of my office and try to get the lights back on in the store.  A good customer is in shopping for his monthly order, so I put the lights on hold and grab a flashlight to help him in the dark areas.  He keeps telling me, “You ought to kick his ass,” referring to the landlord.  As Eliz starts to ring him up, I head to the electric panel.  I search for breakers that feel like they’re not on.  I find a couple and mess with them.  After a couple of minutes, the lights are on again!

After we closed at 6:00, we headed over to Crozer for my GP appointment.  She had ordered a blood test to check to see why I’ve been feeling less than 100% for a long time (since mid-summer.)  For some reason, all of the things she wanted to test for where not done, so I’ve got to have another blood test.  Hopefully, we can go before work on Friday.  I finish up at about 8:00 and head to Wing Hing in Brookhaven to pick up dinner.  We finally get home at 8:35 and eat.  Our long day is done.

I am pretty disappointed about needing the cataract surgery.  I honestly don’t believe it is the reason for my decreased vision.  I also don’t feel that removing it will get me to anything better than 20/200.  Is that better than I have now?  Absolutely.  Would I see well enough to throw a ball around or shoot hoops?  No.  I am starting to believe that this is just how it is supposed to be.

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Everything Looks Fine…

I’ve been waiting for this appointment with my cornea specialist for weeks.  I have been having problems with my left eye since the middle of summer and both my local ophthalmologist and my glaucoma specialist noticed “folds” in my cornea.  Both thought that was the reason for my visual acuity dropping from 20/200 to 20/400 in my “good” eye.  My right eye has bothered me for the last day or two, so I wanted to have Dr. Ayers take a look there too.

I get called back and the “nurse” (she is more than a helper, but I doubt she is a nurse — please correct me if I’m wrong) puts up the eye chart.  I see the big E (20/400,) but not the SL (20/200.)  She drops the pinhole thingy over my eye and after some searching for the perfect pinhole, I see the SL line.  The OPLB line looks like some black blobs and I can’t make any of the letters out.  The “nurse” says, “Oh, that’s not so bad.  It’s only one line less.”  Really?  So if you are driving down the street, you don’t think seeing a sign with letters about 12 inches tall would be much easier to see than the sign with letters about six inches tall?  I’ve wasted a ton of money on signage then if it’s not that different.

After waiting an unusually long time to see Dr. Ayers (a total of about an hour fifteen minutes,) he finally came into the room.  We exchanged pleasantries and then discussed my eyes.  I told him about my left eye and not seeing as good as I had been and I am now having greater difficulty reading on the computer.  As I put my head into the applanation tonometer (the machine with the blue light on it,) I mention that my right eye is bothering me.  He took a look at the right eye and mentioned things like corneal edema, bullae, and some other things to the “nurse” who was writing everything in my chart.  I kind of knew that I had some bullae (small, fluid-filled blisters ,) because I’ve had sinusitis and been on antibiotics for the past two weeks.  (This is the third time I’ve had sinusitis in the last four months, could it be the mold at the store?)  The problem with the bullae now though is that when they pop, the pain isn’t going away and any kind of light brings additional pain.  I thought I might have an infection in the eye.  Doc said no and to use this stuff called Muro 128, which is basically a kicked up saline solution.  It also comes in a gel that I usually use.  I suppose I could also go to the kitchen and throw some salt in my eye…

As he checked out my left eye, he noticed the “folds” straight away.  He then said the “folds” are Haab Striae and I’ve had them for a long time.  He then (tried to) show me the sketches he’s done of my eye at every visit.  He realized I couldn’t see it and told me each one has them (the striae) there.  He said my eye looks good.  My IOP was eight in the left, 16 in the right.  Wow, so everything is good!  I am so relieved.  But wait, I can’t see as well.  There’s got to be something going on.  I do have a cataract in there, but the doc says he doesn’t think it is time to remove it.  Besides, by taking that out, it may wreck the endothelia that was transplanted in December.  Dr. Ayers says, “But we could just do another one.”  He said I might be able to 20/70 or 20/80!  Of course he said I’d get to 20/100 by doing the endothelial transplant.  I guess I’ve got to wait more than 42 weeks after the surgery to get there.  He doesn’t think the cataract is the problem though.  Dr. Ayers then adds, “Whatever it is, it’s not an easy fix.”  House!  HOUSE!  Where the hell is that guy…  Oh, he’s not real?  I thought that show was one of those reality shows.

Speaking to my dad about the appointment last night, he said, “What are they gonna tell you?  They can’t fix it, it is the way it is.”  I should have listened to him.  I’d have saved a few hours and the copay.  Not too bad for a guy that only spent two weeks in high school.

I’d like to thank Ken for transporting me to my appointment.  Since Ginny and Scott aren’t with us at the store, we don’t have coverage for Eliz and I both to leave store.  Between the mold, the economy, and my vision, it might be time to get into something else.

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