The Blind Leading the Blind

Last week, we invited my parents over for dinner.  Eliz was making ribs on the grill, which both of them like, and there was more than plenty for all of us.  (Jake ended up having a few, but Jane was okay to pass on them.)  Two full racks and we still didn’t eat them all (though in eight months ago I probably would have finished them off.)

My parents hadn’t been here in a long time, since we usually go to them (and my mother doesn’t like doing the drive) and my dad has been interested in seeing our house again.  He is becoming more forgetful over the past months, which even he recognizes.  I have been complaining (hey, it’s what I do best) lately about the state of our house and he wanted to see it first hand, so we picked them up and brought them over.

Since we’ve moved Salon Supplies + Interiors and ForYourSalon.com out of the now condemned rental space in Folcroft and work it primarily from our home office, our home has been overwhelmed with computers, beauty supplies, and even some salon equipment (hydraulic styling chairs make a unique second row of seating to watch movies or sporting events on the big screen.)  Anyway, as we receive orders from manufacturers and vendors, we bring them home, sort them, and add them to our inventory.  If I walked into our kitchen at this moment, I’d be shocked if there wasn’t at least a couple of beauty related items in there, if not a case or three.  (I had to look…  Only one item in the kitchen — a bowl bracket for a Belvedere 3100 shampoo bowl which we are shipping via UPS Ground to Hawaii.  I’m not sure how that works, but that’s another story.)  Within arms length of me at this moment, there is a sample of Fabulous Hair Argan Oil Plus (which we may start selling) and Ship-Shape Liquid Professional Surface Cleaner (which has to be added to our inventory on ForYourSalon.com.)

My parents entered through our garage (which up until yesterday, we hadn’t parked in since late March) and noticed some of our inventory which doesn’t need climate control temps, but sells well enough to not have to run to Springfield (where we have some leased space) and bring it back to ship it.  They also saw boxes of business documents from the past three or four years.  Through in a few of our personal items like bikes, snow shovels, gardening tools, toys — well, you get the idea.  Did I mention it is a three car garage?  Of course, most of what my dad focused on was inventory.  He was surprised.  We walked through the laundry room into the kitchen and kids greeted us.  The kids and my parents talked for a couple of minutes, then I continued to walk around the house with my dad.  We’ve been here 17 years and we are well overdue for some new paint, new rugs, and a redo for the hardwood floors, which, even with his diminished eye sight, my dad noticed.

We walked out the front door and he had a look around the front and side yards, which our lawn guy had just taken care of the past week, so it looked nice.  All along the way, I was near my dad making sure he didn’t trip over a root of a tree or into a flower bed.  It seemed funny, because it is just like what Eliz or the kids do for me when we are out and about.  The difference being that I’ve already stumbled on the root or into the flower bed or hit my head on a low branch and know where not to walk…  As we headed back in the front door, I point out the small step onto the landing by the front door and then the step into the house.

Back inside, my dad wants a look upstairs.  We go up the front stairs since there is two small landings (the backstairs is one long run and I wouldn’t have been comfortable heading up that way.)  He looked in Jake’s room, then Jane’s, then our “guest” room.  It really isn’t for guests, but has an elliptical machine, exercise bike, and four drying racks where we dry most of our clothes.  He recognizes the bureau in there from our house in Wallingford.  When we get to our bedroom, my dad also recognizes the wall units in the sitting area, also from our house in Wallingford.  As we head back down the stairs, I want to stay close to my dad, but not too close where I might bump him or kick him (I have trouble judging distances and am constantly reaching further than I have to for door knobs, light switches, etc. and jamming my fingers.)  We make it down safely, then eat dinner.

After dinner, he wants a look in the basement.  There aren’t any handrails down those steps since we removed them to get some shelving down there.  I walk in front of my dad and go down backwards so I can tell him where the landings are.  I show him the inventory that we have there on one side of the basement, but not the 17 years of “stuff” on the other side.  Eliz has the inventory side pretty organized at this point and my dad is amazed how it looks like a little warehouse.

We head back up the stairs, my dad, then me.  Again, I’m close in case he stumbles.  My dad is 92 and a fall for him could be catastrophic.  I start thinking that me leading him around and trying to tell him about obstacles was like the blind leading the blind.  Literally.

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It’s Been a Few Weeks, Not Much New

I haven’t posted an update for about three weeks.  In that time, my vision still sucks and I’m wondering if I made the right choice to have the surgery.  I visited the retina specialist on Tuesday and was told that there isn’t much difference on the macular edema from the last visit about a month ago (and that was only slightly different from earlier this year.)  Seems a bit odd since during my appointment in May, he was able to point out the differences with my OCT scan then and the one earlier this year.  I was also told that I had a bit of swelling in my cornea (cornea edema.)  I don’t recall if that was an issue at my last cornea doc visit, but I’m scheduled to visit him this coming Tuesday (22 June,) so I’ll ask.  At this point, my vision seems to fluctuate between slightly better than before the surgery to worse than before the surgery.

It is so frustrating to me that nothing can be done to get me back to where I was just days after the surgery.  For about 10 days from 18 April, my vision was the best it had been in years.  Seems now like that was a cruel tease.  I’m getting tired of running to the doctors multiple times per month and not making progress.

In other news, Jacob is in Japan with a group of students from Westtown.  The last few days they’ve stayed in Kyoto and taken day trips by rail to other cities and sites (Hiroshima, Miyagima-guchi, Miyagima, Kinkaku-ji.)  Sunday, they move on to Tokyo where they meet their host families and prepare for a week at Tamagawa, Westtown’s sister school in Japan.  The family Jake is staying with has a boy a year or two younger than Jake and seems to live a bit of distance away from the school.  Eliz and I hope Jake can manage the train transfers…

Jane is looking forward to meeting her favorite band All Time Low on Sunday at meet and greet during The Bamboozle Roadshow.  Monday, she heads to softball camp at Villanova for a week.  She is also doing two weeks at an overnight camp at Bryn Mawr College in July and going to the Outer Banks in August with Margaret, Meghan, and Chris.  Did I mention she spent yesterday (Thursday) in New York with her friend Rachel?

Since Eliz and Jane won’t be here on Sunday, I’m planning a day of football…  Well, at least the last two games (Azzurri/All Whites and Brazil/Ivory Coast (sorry Slovakia/Paraguay, I’m not rolling out of bed at 7.30am.)  So, if you want to watch some footie, come on over!

Finally, I’ve lost another pound, which I am trying not to do.  I’m trying to maintain 163 pounds, but have been between 161 and 162 the last couple of days.  I’ve bumped to 1800 calories per day (from 1700) to try not to lose any additional weight.  It’s been tough this week, because we’ve eaten out four times and I’ve had to estimate my calories once and calculate my calories after the fact another time.  By the time I added ’em up, I was short by 200 calories (ate 1600 calories) and it was too late to have anything else if I wanted to go to sleep by 2.00am.  At 161, I’m down 73 pounds since I started on 10 December 2009.

More next week, after my cornea doc appointment.

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One Week After Cataract Removal

By this time last Thursday I was sleeping.  I guess I still had the pain and sleepy meds running in my system.  So I’m getting back to my “normal” routine.  It seems I get the most work done when everyone else in the house is sleeping and I don’t have phone calls to answer.  11:30 to whenever I go to sleep (usually between 1:00 and 2:00) is probably my most productive time working on the site or promoting it.

The fact that I can do that with some confidence is a result of the surgery.  I use reading glasses that enables me to see the computer screen more clearly than I did prior to the surgery.  I have the font size at +2 (two steps above medium,) which is where I used to have it.  I am now also able to read, briefly, without the screen being reversed.  For those not familiar with Macs, you can easily reverse the screen to see a negative view.  Fonts that are usually black on a white background are reversed and become white on a black background.  If my eye improve a little more, I may even be able to use a Windows machine (though why would I want to do that?  Our point-of-sale system runs on a Windows machine…)

Other achievements I’ve had in the past week include seeing colors more vividly.  I love just walking outside and looking around.  The grass and leaves are so green and the sky is so blue.  Flowers seem to have so much more color.  I can also see cars on the road, signs on buildings, and, on the down side, marks and dirt on the carpet and walls.

Watching TV has become enjoyable again.  I can now tell characters apart, where as before the surgery I was happy if I could tell if a character was white or black.  I’ve also noticed that I am reading the ticker(s) at the bottom of the screen while I watch Bloomberg, CNBC, FNC or CNN.  All the graphics on the news and sports looks sooo good.

The best thing for me so far on TV has been watching the Flyers.  I don’t know if it is just from the surgery or also from watching in HD, but I can follow the puck much better that I’ve been able to in a long, long time.  I guess it doesn’t hurt that they’ve been winning either.  Lets see if I enjoy watching them play the Caps…  I do like Ovechkin — he is one of my favorite players.  He is a complete, tough player, unlike Crosby who is a gifted player but the worlds biggest crybaby.

My first outing to a sporting event was this past Monday.  I went to Jane’s softball game against Abington Friends.  I was very happy how much more of the action I was able to follow.  I did lose track of the ball on some hits though.  I enjoyed the game even though Jane’s team lost (though Jane knocking in a run and scored another) and the umpire was terrible (though that is not why they lost.)  I am looking forward to watching some of Jake’s lacrosse games.  His last game before my surgery, I had trouble seeing the players who weren’t near the sideline we were on.

Lets face it, my eyes still suck in a big way, BUT, I can see so much more than I could before the surgery.  I have more confidence wondering around a store by myself (of course, until I get glasses or better reading glasses, I still can’t see what is on the shelf…)  I’d also be comfortable finding the bathroom on my own in a restaurant, which is something I would not do before the surgery.  I am still hopeful of reading printed material and throwing a ball around with Jane or Jake.  Maybe next week…

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