A Good Day

I don’t often write about good days here, but today was one of those days that I wanted to share with the world.  It wasn’t exciting, extravagant, or exotic.  Nor were the burdens that weigh on us every day removed.  Today was a simple day spent together.  It’d be a normal day if it happened more frequently, but we’ll have to take them one day at a time.

After lunch, we went to visit my parents.  We do that every weekend and sometimes during the week if they need something.  Today we took them a couple of rye breads, a frozen dinner they asked for, a box of Tastykake cupcakes courtesy of my friend Alex, and a couple of treats.  While we’re visiting, we talk for awhile, watch TV, and help them any way we can.  Usually, the kids and Eliz hang out with my mom, while I talk with my dad.

Today was a bit different because my mom was preparing dinner when we arrived, so we all kind of hung out in the kitchen and dinning area.  When we arrived to their apartment, there was a gift on the shelf outside their door for my dad.  After we went through all the stuff we brought for them, he opened the present.  It was from a few ladies who my father taught to shoot pool.  My parents both laughed as Eliz read who the pound of fudge was from.  Between that gift, the treats we brought them, and the ice cream they have stashed in their freezer from the “cafe” down the hall, they should have enough sweets for a week or two.

After my mom had everything simmering on the stove, my parents, Eliz, and I went into the den, while the kids went into the bedroom to watch TV.  We talked about Shavu’ot, a jewish holiday that Jake has to do a presentation on at school (which neither I or my parents knew anything about,) Jake’s decision to got to Japan with the Japanese club from Westtown, some trips we took when I was a kid, and business.  We spent between and hour and a half and two hours visiting, then we headed across the street to Borders and then came home.

Since it is Hanukkah, we wanted to do one of our family traditions: make potato latkes.  (The kids are being raised without religion, though they are exposed to both jewish and catholic traditions.  If they want to pick a religion when they’re older, that’s up to them.)  The best part of latkes this year was that both kids wanted to help in the preparation.  They both peeled potatoes.  Jake then cut them up for Jane to feed into the food processor for shredding.  Eliz then grated the onion in the food processor.  I added the other ingredients and cooked them.  Jane later said she wanted to form some and cook them, so my cooking duties were over for the day.  Don’t tell her, but she is better at cooking them than me…  We then enjoyed them together, along with roasted turkey breast, at the dinner table.

Simply eating together at the dinner table is good.  We don’t get to do it as often as we should.  We all had a hand in making the latkes and spent real quality time with one another.  Eliz and I both really enjoyed it.


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.