Friday, December 26, 2014

Recent Anecdotes

Thank you for checking my promise! I share three recent anecdotes:

Contact Lens Issues
I have had cataract surgery, I wear contact lenses because my cataract glasses are, well, unflattering. Ugly. Coke bottle bottoms. I wear my contacts all the time, except for just before going to bed and briefly after getting up.

Feeling as I’ve felt recently, I rest ( sleep ) much more than usual, and often on the couch. Because I am not supposed to sleep with my contact lenses inserted, and because this napping occurs in the morning, I usually wear my cataract glasses until after lunch.

One day I read the paper, dozed, did email with my smart phone, dozed, got and read the USPS mail, dozed, and finally had lunch. Somewhat energized, I inserted my contact lenses and went to work on my computer. I had a terrible time: I was barely able to see the text clearly enough to read. I did the things I could to make the text bigger. This helped, but I continued to struggle.

This sudden difficulty scared me. My recent falling incident at the Basilica told me bad things can happen in a hurry. I continued to worry, try to work different applications, trying to do a variety of things.The problem persisted.

Eventually I remembered a prior experience; “I wonder if that could be what’s going on here.” My two eyes require different corrections; to distinguish them, the Left lens is bLue and the Right lens is gReen. I hurried to the bathroom, got down my contact lens case, and popped out the contact lens in my Right eye. It was not gReen, but bLue! Somehow I swapped lenses.

I put the bLue one in the case, removed the other one, inserted it in the Right eye, the bLue one in the Left eye and hurried back to my office. I could easily see monitor’s text and read to my heart’s content once again. Life was good.

Daring Offer
In the far corner of the parking lot at my medical clinic, in the kind of weather that makes walking an adventure, as I pulled into a parking space, I noticed a woman: alone, on crutches, trying to carry a rather large handbag, struggling mightily. “I could help her with that,” I thought. Immediately following, “What do you suppose she will think or say if you do that? Do you really think that’s a good idea?

Realizing the risk I was taking ( Is it not a shame that this is something I had to even think about? ), I walked up to her on her right side, “It looks to me like you’re struggling with that purse. I’d be happy to carry it if you’d like.

Without sarcasm, and without trying to attack me with it, she said, “Oh, would you; that’d be so nice,” and handed it over to me. For the first time I saw her youth; I could’ve easily been her father, perhaps grandfather.

We had a very pleasant conversation on the walk in. At one point I even said, “I’m not afraid to carry a purse,” and opened my coat to show her the bag I always carry over my shoulder. We laughed.

She had been quite an athlete. Injuries to her left knee ended that; she was, then, taking her right knee, with its torn ACL, in to schedule surgery. I was quite early for my appointment, so I accompanied her to the orthopedic clinic, put her purse on the counter when we got there, my hand on her forearm, uttered “Have a wonderful Christmas,” and left for my appointment.

I experienced the event as pleasant and she got a huge help getting into the clinic; win-win.

Contact Lens Issues Unmasked
A few days after my initial Contact Lens Issue, I had just removed my contact lenses, cleaned them, and put them in the wells of the lens case. As I was putting the soaking solution in the Right well, I noticed the lens: it was bLue!

For the second time that week, after thirty years of not doing it at all, I had mixed up the lenses putting the Right one where the Left one should go and vice versa, setting myself up for reading problems once again. “I gotta get a new system,” I think.
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