Why Can't I Hear You When I Take Off My Glasses?

posted by Leann Sweeney

My first grandchild will arrive in October, so before I spend three weeks in Seattle in the fall, I decided to fit in every appointment to every doctor or dentist I know. Plus, I start a new medical insurance deductible in September. That's an important scheduling factor. I know Aetna will be glad when this year is over. Between the Lyme meds and the physical therapy, it's been a pricey year for all of us.

I made the mistake of seeing the dentist first. One filling, one root canal this week and two impending crowns later, I'm glad I've already bought my plane tickets to the northwest or I couldn't afford to go. Oh, and there's the pain. Added fun for your buck--sleepless nights, ice packs and pain killers. Did I mention the pain killers? I could be under the influence this very minute. Yes, I think I am.

Next stop was the eye doctor. I love my eye doctor and have known her since she first started her own practice and came to the school where I was the nurse and brought me wonderful things: lenses solution, contact cases, tiny screws and little screwdrivers. Did you know that a school nurse probably fixes at least one pair of children's glasses a day? Yup. That's why I went to school for years. To repair impossibly small things. And find contact lenses lost and folded up behind a squirming child's eyelid. Fun stuff. But as usual, I digress.

Did you know that when you visit the eye doctor, you must take off your glasses? Of course Lens_04 you did. Yes, I am on drugs right now. Forgive me. Anyway, for those of you who cannot see without mucho assistance from polycarbonite accessories, you understand what happens. The world ceases to make sense when they force you to remove said accessories. It's rather like an LSD trip for me. Talk about major disorientation. I am realizing more and more, that when I take off my glasses, I cannot seem to do anything. I certainly can't walk. Can't see three feet in front me. Forget driving. I might as well be using a cell phone (please check previous posts to understand <g>).

But I wasn't prepared this time for being unable to comprehend simple commands. Oh, I got the "Is it better at one ... or at two" stuff. Pure rote. But "cover your right eye" gave me pause. "My right eye?" I stalled, making my left thumb and index finger into an "L" like I used to do in elementary school so I'd know right from left. Whew. Still worked. And I could almost see my hand. I was too embarrassed to ask if I could put my glasses back on to answer the question.

I know I'm being a smartass, but to be serious for a second, when this happens--and it's happening more and more as my vision worsens--I couldn't help but think of one of my Helen_keller favorite books--Helen Keller's autobiograhy. Here was someone who could see nothing and truly couldn't hear. She did just fine. Led kind of a productive life (note humungous understatement). So I'm not whining, I'm trying to make fun of and sense of something that is just a little troubling. It's called aging. I don't think I like it. But I am one of the lucky ones. I'm writing this on a computer and I can see every word.

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Comment by J.D. Rhoades on August 7, 2007 at 12:17am
It's the sudden change that's throwing you. If the eye doc gave you an hour to get used to your "new" vision, you'd be fine. But of course they don't have time to do that.

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