Archive for the ‘medical tests’ Category

Red and white cane…

December 11, 2008

No, not the diagonally striped one made of candy, so seasonally appropriate right now. This one is a collapsible aluminum white cane with a red bottom portion such as used by those with limited vision as a way to warn others around them that someone who might make unpredictable moves is about, and should be looked out for.

A week ago, Rumpole took me to visit Dr. Seemore. We hoped to hear reasonably good news about me getting a new lens in my left eye, maybe early in the new year. Instead, Dr. Seemore viewed my eyecondition with reservations, and while he did not say in so many words that I would be sightless in that eye, after all the numerous operations during the past two years, he telegraphed by carefully chosen words and phrases that the prognosis might not be as I had hoped. More tests in the new year, to see if blood supply into the retina is adequate to make it worth installing a new lens.

On the drive home from the office, Rumpole essayed to draw me out as to how I interpreted the conversation between myself and Dr. Seemore. As if interpretation needs to be made by doctors’ pronouncements! Unfortunately, it has been my recent and not so recent experience that doctors are notoriously loathe to give bad news, and in their avoidance manoeuverings end up severely pissing off a patient, such as your truly, who might wish for some necessary and unvarnished truths. I was righteously annoyed, and kvetched and carped about my chagrin all the way home.

Once we arrived, we partook of a good cup of coffee. Rumpole took his cup and disappeared into the front office. After several moments, he called out to me to come and join him there. He had logged onto the computer and got into the CNIB site. He patted the chair next to him and said it was time for me to order a white cane, which might be useful in warning off people walking near me to look out for my wild swings and lunges toward my blind side. And how did I feel about this anyway?

I felt okay, I guess. I spend half my time out in publick apologizing to people for knocking into them or slapping them with my wildly gesturing left arm, that is whenever I don’t cut them off in their eagerness to pass me by. The white cane will help shut me up in public; save some breath.

So my cane arrived in the post today – a tidy collapsible and lightweight pole good for probing ahead but not of cudgel-like proportions to knock others nearby senseless. It’s rather jaunty, like a fencing rapier, but not as dangerous seeming. Sort of reminds me of cross-country skiing poles, minus the stabbing bit at the tip. It collapses in a jiffy and fits inside my purses. A very practical little stick.

I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to using it. I’d really rather fake it, and pretend I see just fine, but unfortunately that ain’t the case. I bet Mousey will like my cane. We can play magic tricks with it – collapse it and hide it, use it to loft stuffed animals about the house, lift curtains with it to see who is hiding behind. I wish Rumpole wore a toupee on his bald head; I’d delight in flipping it off his head with my cane. The Mouse would chuckle with great glee. Maybe I can victimize some other poor toupee-wearing schmuck on the streets nearby.

They don’t beat up an old blind woman, do they?

Maybe a resolution…

April 12, 2008

Upon the advice of numerous friends, several of whom are health-care professional, I have fired Dr. Blindside after an unsuccessful effort to have him explain to me in detail about further eye operations he was planning for me last November. The new retinal surgeon I have been seeing since December has been candid and to the point as to how much he might be able to do for me to restore some vision to my left eye and what needed to be done. His manner with me is good. He has not treated me like some fluffy little old lady who could be satisfied with blandishments and false-reassurances. He answers question I have had, not with the off-hand, ‘don’t you worry, nice little woman, we’ll fix you right up’ or surprised reaction to very specificqueries about treatment and prognosis by Dr. Blindside, but with straight-forward, detailed and patient answers which have given me much more confidence to undergo the knife, yet again.

So, the operation is to happen on April 25 – soon, now. There have been numerous tests up to now, and good follow-up with information about those tests. The date for the operation was set for a specific time, not on an on-call basis depending on cancellations, as was the custom with Dr. Blindside. We can actually plan our lives and doings based on a firm operation date. Rumpole has booked off the day to see me through the operation.

It has been exactly a year since the first of the eye operations. Now, finally, there may be some sort of resolution to the question of how much vision may be improved for me. Even the slightest improvement will be a gift. Right now, my sight is so poor that even watching television, movies or a video is a drag. I have to sit about 3 feet from the screen. I have become house-bound as I feel vulnerable in the outside world where unpredictability reigns. The Spring sights, which previously never failed to thrill me, lack in specificity of detail which increases visual pleasure. I miss drawing and painting, wandering around and looking about. And am cautiously anticipating a small promise of even slight return of my previous freedoms, occupations and pleasures.

An anniversary of sorts…

March 1, 2008

Today is the 20th anniversary of my diagnosis of leukemia. As on that day, this morning dawned sunny with clouds. And as on that day, I woke from sleep today with a woolen head and dragging feet, reluctant to face the day. The reason for this morning’s lack of enthusiasm is not because I feel ill, but on account of a late going to bed last night after a stimulating evening of tea and discussion with friends late into the night. As I dragged my half-awake self to the first cup of coffee, prepared this morning by Rumpole, it occurred to me that this date had some importance in my life. It was while pouring that first black cup that this significance popped into my brain.

I took a sip, observed Rumpole, looking disheveled and poring earnestly over a section of the weekend paper and interrupted his concentration.

“Dear. Do you remember what we were doing at this time exactly twenty years ago?”

He looked up with a question in his faded forget-me-not blue eyes. “No. But I do know we were up north at the time. Why is the date significant?”

“On that day, I woke up from a sweaty sleep on the couch in the living room to the sound of the telephone ringing, you answering and asking many questions at your end, then finally saying ‘yes, I understand, I will bring her in right away.’ ”

“Quit being mysterious.” he grumbled. “How can you remember what that particular phone call was about? Please get to the point.”

I took a long swig of my coffee and added some milk to it. “That was the day you took me to the hospital for that awful diagnosis and only allowed me a few minutes to get my stuff together. I had my client reports to still finish, so I took those. There was the unfinished crocheted ugly pillow-cover I was making for Jacquie. That went into the overnight bag with the beautiful turqoise housecoat you had given me the previous Christmas.”

“I wonder why I can’t remember you getting ready to go.” Rumpole scratched his ear, and folded his newspaper closed.

“You were occupied by consulting the thick medical diagnostic tome in the kitchen. You had it hidden behind the toaster so I wouldn’t know what you were up to. Renaissance Man was hopping about bringing me toothbrush, hairbrush, journals, files and pens.” I beaded him with a direct look. “Neither of you are good at hiding your anxiety. When you led me to the truck as if I was made of spun glass, ready to break apart at any moment, I knew something not so good was up.”

I remember Rumpole guiding me into the bucket seat of the LandCruiser, strapping me in most gently and covering me with a lap robe. We drove down the snowy country roads, admiring the light and texture of the landscape. I insisted that he stop at the edge of town at the shopping centre and buy me a nightgown appropriate for a hospital stay. He was so impatient while I pored through the racks of nightgowns like a somnambulist and mumbled dutiful disinterested husband comments about my selections.

As we drove down the big hill into town I moaned to him. ” What a perfectly beautiful day to be having to go to the hospital. I’d rather stay home and go for a walk with you guys.”

“The woman from the hospital said you had to come in for further blood-work and for a procedure for a bone marrow biopsy,” he told me, then went on to reassure me. “You know we will be with you throughout the day. I’ll bring Renaissance Man in this afternoon to see you. And I’ll call Marlene, Jane and Linda and Al to come and keep you amused.”

“Please call, Maureen and let her know she has to reschedule my next week’s clients. Tell her I will send this week’s reports in with you on Monday.”

How do you remember what happened on that day?” he asked.

“Heck, how can one forget such a day, or what happened on such a day? It’s not every day one is told one has a life-threatening disease. It kind of ranks up there with some other life milestones – like when you first proposed to me, or when you brought you pajamas and alarm clock to our first sleep-over ever”, I said through smirking lips. “Hell, I even remember how nervous George was as he was giving me the diagnosis in the nurses’ lounge. He bummed a cigarette from me and we smoked together as he apologized and said it was far too beautiful a day for him to give me such unfortunate news. Imagine, George apologizing, when it was all too clear to me he had to give up a day with his daughter tending their trap-line.”

“I was too much a basket case that day. Can’t say I remember a third of the stuff that happened. But I remember crying in my office as I phoned all our friends to come to you in the hospital. I remember crying with Renaissance Man as we drove to the hospital to see you.”

We fell into silence, drank our coffee, and read the papers. I mused about how strange memory is, what details are remembered. I remember Rumpole’s devastated expression, and Renaissance Man’s bereft face as they sat by my bed side while I struggled with the crocheting, to finish the pillow-cover for Jacquie, one of my clients. She had patiently instructed me in my inept first attempt at crocheting and I wanted to do her proud.

“Ernestine” and the retinologist…

November 8, 2007

“Hello! Is this G?” grated the voice, instantly recognizable as “Ernestine’s”. “Dr. Blindside wants you in the office on Monday morning at 8am sharp.” She neglected to ask if I could get someone to drive me to this ‘instant’ appointment. This call came in late last Friday afternoon. If I got on the blower right away, maybe, just maybe, I would find someone to drive me to see Dr. Blindside. I knew Rumpole had to be in court on Monday morning, representing one sort of reprobate or another on a matter of LIFE and DEATH. Okay, maybe, not so important, but you’d think his clients all assumed they might lose their freedom, reputations, or life savings if his measured, dulcet tones might not ring out in a courtroon on their behalf. Besides which I did like to eat meals other than of the customary feasts of baking powder biscuits that had sustained us during his law school years, so I had to find some one else to drive me to this appointment.

Bless her little red socks, but Our Lady of Perpetual Crisis, recognizing a potential crisis when she heard the gory details, came to my rescue, and offered to schauffeur me to hear what Dr. Blindside had to impart. I told her I dreaded the appointment, in case he might tell me that the last tests proved that no amount of putting a lens into my left eye might restore vision  to that eye, and hence a sense of depth to my vision. “Chins up, kiddo” OLPC advised, “I can deal with it. Don’t assume the worst.”

On Monday morning, she stumbled to my studio door, yawning and half awake, eager to hit the road and the morning taffic jam. We listened to a Rock Radio station on the trip, just loud enough to keep us both from falling asleep in the front seats of her snappy Toyota. OLPC had worked overtime on her shift at the hospital last night, and filled me in on the shoddy state of the healthcare system from her vantage point as we drove to the appointment. Her reportage doesn’t entirely fill me with great confidence in the current medical system in Canada. And added to my recent experiences as health care consumer, and first hand views of the lack of good housekeeping in the starship hospital in our province, I was filled with distinct unease at a possible new operation on my eye. So, I kept falling asleep on the drive.

After we fed the voracious maw of the parking meter near the medical building, and braved the guillotine doors of the building’s elevator, we arrived safe and on time in the waiting room of the retinologist’s office. At 8:15 am, the place was packed with people blindly peering at out of date magazines, whenever they were not swabbing their sensitive drop-laden eyes. “Ernestine” screeched a fingers-scraping-down-chalkboard “hello”, and waved us to chairs on opposite sides of the room. OLPC settled down with a dog-eared “House Beautiful” and I slumped down to wait my turn to be summoned into the “sanctum sanctorum” where Dr Blindside would minister to me, terse “Oh Yes”, “looks goods”, “see you whenevers”.

Patient after patient groped their way into the examining room, from within which Dr Blindside shouted his observations of their condition, loud enough for the rest of us waiting outside to be able to compare our paltry problems with more weighty ones. He’d yell out to “Ernestine” instructions to set up operation dates at various hospitals, order tests or let a particular patient, as well as the rest of us waiting on the assembly line, know he or she was freed for 6 months or a year.

OLPC shot me disapproving glances from her perch across the room. At least, they may have been disapproving glances, knowing her as I do, despite the fact I could not see  her facial expression at all clearly. In the background “Ernestine” fielded  numerous phone calls, her officious voice scraping away, sounding quite efficient.  She sure is a good receptionist, I mused, maybe she could do with voice lessons so she’d sound more like a CBC Radio woman announcer, rather than a woman on a chicken-plucking assembly line, or maybe even like one of those silly kids who sucked air from a filled balloon and talked with goofy high-pitched voices.

“Mrs. G Stepford” intoned Dr. Blindside. Ah, finally, I thought  to myself as the previous patient apologetically squeezed by me and lined up for some rousing chatter from Ernestine at the counter.

“Sit”, Dr Blindside commanded.  I sat, I stayed, like a good dog, er, patient. He dropped some stuff in my eye that caused me to see purple where there was black in the room. It was quite unexpectedly pretty. “Prop your chin in this” he ordered as he shoved the looking-in-the-eye-apparatus against my ample breast. Being somewhat amply endowed in the “poitrine” I couldn’t fit my chin in the chinrest. Momentarily looking somewhat askance at my chest protuberance, he raised the gizmo a few degrees, looking put out by the time this had taken him. What, large breasts interfering with the smooth clockworks of his medical practice? Tough, I was thinking.

He glanced through the magnifier, then stood up and poked at my eye as he looked deep into its blind depth with his hand-held ocular device. “Hm, hmm, er” he said, “we’ll get you back as much eyesight as possible.”

“What is it you were operated on for anyway?” he asked as he whipped around to riffle through the chart.

“Pre-retinal membrane,” I offered modestly.

“Oh yes! I remember now!” he shouted. “You’re the one with the infections. Well, that will set you back a bit. BUT DON’T YOU WORRY, WE’LL FIX YOU RIGHT UP” he yelled for all and sundry to hear, probably even the “hearing challenged people” next door at the ENTs office. “ERNESTINE” he yelled, “SET MRS STEPFORD UP FOR AN OPERATION DATE AT MOUNT ST. MARY’S NEXT WEEK.” Then he walked out and called out,”Mr Lim, come in now.”

I scrambled to grab my purse and get out of the way of Mr. Lim, the next patient, and squeezed by Dr Blindside, bidding him a quiet goodbye. “Ernestine” squawked, “I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know what time you have to be at the hospital”. At that summary dismissal, I grabbed my jacket and motioned at OLPC to get the heck out of there.

Going down the elevator, OLPC was irate. “That man has the bed-side manner of a slug. He obviously couldn’t care less for patient privacy or confidentiality.”

I was rattled and annoyed, as is the usual case after leaving Dr Blindside’s office. “You can imagine I’m not exactly thrilled and confident to undergo his knife.  Besides which, he poked at my eye in a careless fashion.”

On the drive home. I blinked my teary sore eye, and tried to keep it closed against the light of a sunny fall morning. OLPC yawned and said she could hardly wait to drop me off at my house, go home and hit her bed. I hugged her in thanks as she dropped me off, and announced I too would retreat into sleep to forget this morning’s divertissement with “Ernestine” and Dr. Blindside.

“I’ll phone you in the afternoon,” OLPC said. “I hope your eye settles down.”

Today, my eye is bloodshot and very sore.  “Ernestine” has recently called and reminded me in her inimitable voice that I am to do a ten hour fast next Monday night.  Oh, boy.  I can hardly wait.

Green light for healing…

May 15, 2007

Yesterday morning Glasgow Girl and Mousey drove me to the surgeon’s office, the local one two municipalities over, not downtown.  GG drives like a Formula One driver, aggressive, fast.  Mousey also likes speed, I suspect, she sings out her baby babble, quite happy to be moving fast, but descends into complaining tones whenever the car slows down.  I clung onto the small hand-grab on the roof of the car, kept my lip zipped and merely hoped for a safe arrival.  GG knows some interesting short cuts, and we arrived in record time, much to my surprise.

We parked at a mall underground parkade once arrived, and strapped Mousey into her new collapsible stroller.  GG said ” You can push” not quite understanding that my depth perception is severely off kilter.  It was a good chore to be given; I concentrated on not banging the stroller into stanchions, telephone poles on the street, going forward at a cautious and sedate pace. The elevator at the surgeon’s office building has a strange tendency to try to cut loading passengers into half, so GG had the job of grasping back the voracious door until we all boarded.

Inside the waiting room, GG and Mousey take their seat while the assistant whips me into the second examining room to put the drops into the eye and test out if there is any vision.  Yep, I saw the light against dark, but no details.  The tech is impressed and encouraging as she leads me to phase two, the surgeon’s examining room. “Hi sweetheart” says the surgeon, “let’s see how things are!” He takes my glasses off my face and puts them onto his desk. He puts a card with varying size rows of letters into my hand and pushes it close to my nose. Covering the right eye with a black occluder, he says “Read the top row!” Wow!  I can see two large letters. “Can you read the next row down?” Dr. S. asks. Yep! sure enough, 4 fuzzy letters, much smaller, are evident.  Dr. S. is impressed and makes satisfied noises, and asks if I can make out the third row down.  There is no faking it possible, that row is a greyish blur.  Dr. S. then peels back my eyelid and looks at the fine quilting job he has done on my eyeball, checking for signs of infection (he reports none) and expresses his satisfaction with how the healing is proceeding. “You are good to go” he says, “come back in three weeks. Remember to use cold compresses fow whenever pain arrives.” Having said this he walks out to his office assistant’s station and calls the next patient.  I grope around trying to find my glasses, retrieve my purse and feel my way out of his examining room.  I have been summarily dismissed.

The receptionist slips an appointment card into my hand as the next patient eases around me trying to get into Dr. S.’s office. GG and Mousey have been amusing people in the waiting room.  GG collects her purse and lead with the stroller out of the office and back to the elevator. “That was done in record time. He sure made short work of seeing you!  But I could hear every word and grunt he said to you.  That is very unprofessional of him. What about patient privacy?” she expressed, once we were in the privacy of the elevator.  I am just so glad that there has been no new directive to go back for yet another operation; very grateful to be considered as on the way to healing!

To celebrate, we went ot White Spot for lunch.  There Mousey polished off half of my potato soup, doing her charming imitation of a baby bird waiting to be fed. An oblong of sunlight fell on the table between us.  GG ate her quesadilla in mostly silence – she is a woman of few words. It was a peaceful and companionate silence, very comfortable.

Driving on the way home, GG did the expected manic car rally driving, impatient with dawdlers on the road. “You hate me driving you anywhere, don’t you?  How come?” I question GG, teasing. “Well,” says GG, ” you drive like an old lady, it makes me crazy and impatient!”  I cling onto the handhold, for dear life, and chuckle to myself. ( If the shoe fits, and all that) Mousey sings from her perch in her car seat.  I am most content.

Third Time… Lucky?

May 1, 2007

Yesterday morning Barb came early to have a muffin and coffee for breakfast with “Rumpole ” and I, before she took me to the retinal surgeon for a follow up visit.  It was a glorious cool and sunny morning, fresh feeling and a beautiful variegated green world to be driving into town. Traffic was fairly easy and once we got to the destination my “parking angel” was in customary attendance, for we got a great spot in front of the building, with some paid time left on the meter.

The slow moving crowd in the waiting room and outside in the hall holding up the walls moved in and out of the examining room with the regularity of soup cans moving on a conveyor belt. When it was my time to be summoned by the surgeon, i groped my way past the reception desk where the surgeon grasped my hands and led me into his sci-fi equipped examination room. “You are such a sweetheart, Mrs. S” he announced, “let’s look at how things are?” “Sweetheart” had a momentary urge to throttle the poor man, but restrained herself, being somewhat dependent upon him to be in good shape to provide the necessary ongoing help.

“I don’t like what I’m seeing here,” he said, “this infection is not clearing up!” He did seem pleased that I saw shadows when he blinked the bright pin-light on and off, but determined that this upcoming Thursday I would have to go back into hospital for operation #3. “Now, get your friend to take you downtown to the Eye Care Centre for another Ultra-sound” he ordered, as he placed a number of legal release forms in front of my nose to sign off on. He led me by hand out into the waiting room to meet up with Barb, “sweethearting” me all the way in a most off-putting manner.  Had he called me “my little thunder-cloud” he may have hit closer to my state of mind at the time.  I was overcome with momentary rage!

Barb and I descended in the elevator kvetching and commiserating, and also giggling about the surgeon’s unnecessary obsequieousness toward me. “Helps to have a lawyer for a husband, eh?” ventured Barb. “Not for recurring eye-infections!” I opined.

We made record time downtown to the Eye Care Clinic, “parking angel” accompanying us. The short walk from our parking spot led us by stands of mature azalea hedges in magnificent purple bloom; the various spring greening deciduous trees were  delicious harmonies of lemon, pale yellow-green and tender apple green, sun dappled, glorious! The few clumps of dandelions were  joyful, jaunty wildings amidst this cultivated urban landscape.

No long waiting time for the ultra-sound, what little time we had to wait we whiled away looking at the fabulous art on the walls of the waiting room. The doctor who came out to shepherd me in is a pleasant Pakistani man of middle years, and he did his pokings in the eye with the ultrasound wand with skill and care.  He took pains to reassure me that the retina looked good and I should be encouraged.  For this I am extremely grateful.

Barb and I grabbed a couple of Mango smoothies to slurp on our way back to the car.  We admired the shrubs and trees in sunlight, and lounged on the tail-gate of her car to call “Rumpole” and report to him about proceedings so far. Then we drove to my favourite Pho Hoa restaurant.  We were quite ravenous and polished off smallish bowls of Pho with brisket, quite delicious.

On the way home, Barb and I debated on the wisdom of not continuing on with the evening’s painting class. She figured that she and L. would be happy to come and drink vast quantities of green tea with me, but couldn’t see the wisdom of me hanging about the studio with solvents circulating in the air.  I made her promise that she would spend her time at home this evening working on her painting, which is at a particularly interesting stage that she should capitalize upon.

Once we were back at my house, she walked me inside and gave me a long and loving hug, saying I should do little more this day except rest. We had spent some considerable time during our hours together discussing her trials and tribulations with her 17-year old daughter and her current anxieties with the whole parenting business.  Barb is a very smart and caring wife and mother, and her reactions to her family circumstances are based on a great degree of thought and heart, as well as with humour.  We determined that what we each had to do is to simply keep putting one foot in front of the other, pause from time to time, and keep going.

“Rumpole” cut his workday short and spent the evening with me quietly lounging in the living room.  We are determined to persevere, hopefully with some grace!

Back under the knife… again

April 28, 2007

This past Wednesday, I went for emergency surgery on the original surgery which was infected. But, so far, two days later, things are going all right. Lots of oral and topical anti-biotics administered frequently during the day. Visits back and forth to the hospital every other day. Friends and family have been remarkably patient through all the drivings to appointments, picking up meds and dropping off meals for “Rumpole” who is very exhausted by all the goings on. “Renaissance Man” and “Glasgow Girl” have been wonderful help to us.  “Mousey” is completely fascinated by my very large and apple-red left eye, and is being uncharacteristically gentle with me – leans her little head softly against my breast and doesn’t rough me up at all.

Thanks to all of you for the many encouraging messages – they help a great deal!  G

Surgery update…

April 23, 2007

Hi all…. am most grateful for your many well wishes for the recovery.  Surgeon thinks the operation went well, but won’t be able to tell for 8 more days. The eye is badly swollen, to be expected, and I am not operating at any good speed at all – can’t read for too long, can’t drive, no depth perception. it will take up to 6 weeks to get eye function back on operated eye, so audio books and music are the daily mainstays.  getting good loving care from friends and family.  but yay, i did manage to type this, and will keep reading all your blogs. 🙂  Cheers! G

Eye Test…Red-Green-Yellow

February 8, 2007

Earlier this week, a friend fetched me to drive us in morning rush -hour traffic into the city for my test at the retinologist’s. We quaffed down  cups of coffee before setting off on an overcast grey day with lowering skies. Driving on grey concrete roads into neighbourhoods which look as if they were poorly developed black and white photographs of lacklustre tonality makes for an eerie experience. Of course, the overall greyness is punctuated with flashes of red from car brake-lights, but this felt like moving through a black and white video. We chatted and discussed family happenings on this trip.

My friend is a hockey and water-polo mom; she drives her two teenagers, all over the expanse of this largish city, to take them to their competition destinations. She made short work of taking the shortest route to the central medical area of hospitals, large clinics and doctors’ offices. My parking angel accompanied us, so parking was a breeze. We made our way across the street from the parking lot; she had me firmly grasped by the elbow and directed me to avoid curbs and other city walking pit-falls.

We entered a massive concrete building of about 18 floors in height. The elevator, that took us to the4th floor where the retinologist’s office was, had odd hardwood flooring on its walls, which felt slightly disorienting.

The doctor’s office was  very large, with a spacious waiting area separated by a divider from the receptionist’s space, also huge, backed by a wall of floor to ceiling files. The receptionist, my friend and I were the only people there. The walls in the waiting room were covered with many original artworks of fabulous coloration.  After we checked in, taken off our winter coats, my friend walked around looking at the artwork.  She’d say, “Come and look at this!”. So I’d climb up onto chairs  on my knees to get closer to the images hung on the wall. While we waited, we made our way around all the pictures, me with my nose an inch or so away form their surface, happily studying them. Imagine, to be enjoying an art gallery at a doctor’s office, particularly an office which serviced people with vision problems- this was a treat on such a grey morning!

After a short wait the technician came and ushered me into a pleasantly darkened room where the OCT and PAM tests were to be administered.  She did the usual eye test with the black spoon over either eye, where I did my usual best to minimize my poor vision, but in the end couldn’t fool the technician.  She caught me guessing letters and numbers. The tests were non-invasive, except for the drops in the eyes beforehand.

The OCT machine looked like R2-D2 in Star Wars movies, but it just sat there passively waiting for the chin and forehead to be rested in molded receptacles. The scan takes little time, but it is a spectacular experience.  A red flashing circle blinks off and on, every time it turns off a brilliant green afterimage circle takes its place.  This goes on for several seconds; then a string of yellow pin-points travels in straight lines and builds up a stellate pattern over the blinking red/green. This was amazingly beautiful, and I was actually happy to get both eyes tested in sequence, so that this light-show could continue.  The PAM test, also visually curious, held second candle to the marvels of the OCT test.

As we were putting on our coats to leave, my friend and I looked again at a beautifully-made water-colour illustration of musicians, in which the image was accompanied by Hebrew script from the Torah – a fragment of translation underneath expressed the joys of music and vision as God-given gifts.  We lingered…. then said our good byes.

Before leaving town to go home ahead of the afternoon rush-hour traffic, we slipped into a Thai reataurant and shared a dish of Nasi Goreng, deliciously spiced.  While paying for our meal, I spied a container full of colourful candy suckers by the till, and asked the waiter if I could take three suckers which he graciously permitted.  I selected a brilliant red one, it’s complementary green and finally a brilliant yellow one, and stuck them into my pocket.

While my friend and I settled into the car at the parking garage, I pulled out the three colourful suckers and presented them to her, saying, “Look through each of these against the light – these are the three marvellous colours that appeared in my eye test which had me gasping with pleasure”.

On our way home, back to suburbia, the sun broke through the clouds.