Mary Beth Writes

Almost two years ago I went to a local optical store for an eye exam. The nice optician said I had a cataract and he could refer me to a specialist. He also said I could wait but if it got worse, I should see to it (hah, see to it…).

I have considered my looming doom several times a week since. Low grade anxiety. Don’t you love it?

Our road trip to the southwest made me extra aware that my eyes often felt tight and scratchy. Long hours in the dry and light-filled car, hours hiking in the bright, dry desert. I wore sunglasses but my eyes got so weary that I figured it was time to deal with my cataract. I contacted my physician’s assistant; she referred me to a Froedtert optometrist.

Yesterday I had that appointment. Guess what? I have average, non-critical cataracts for people my age. I do not need cataract surgery now or even soon. If I get to a point where it interferes with my vision, I can seek the surgery then.

What’s going on? The dry, itchiness is mostly eyelid dry itchiness. There are simple things I should do to manage it and I will do them.

But this: In ordinary situations, people don’t get a problem cataract in one eye since both eyes tend to get cloudy at the same slow pace. That was the clue. The optometrist spent a lot of time looking into my eyes. She ordered a photograph of the backs of my eyeballs and so now we know this. I have a situation in one eye that is serious but not a crisis now. I will need to go back every six months for more photos of that eye. If the retina gets involved, I guess there are surgeries one can do then. But not now.

She asked if I use eyedrops and I said most days I use Systane Ultra several times in the day. She said that’s what she uses, too. Hah. Good to know.

She gave me a list of other products I can use, which was helpful.

She also said I should check in periodically with an Amsler Grid. Len was in the room right then, he said we have one. I looked at him. We do?

The instructions of how to use this grid are printed on this PDF.  I’d never heard of it but if you look at the center dot, one eye at a time, the lines should remain vertical and horizontal. If the lines are wavy in any of the quadrants, that’s a sign something may be going on with your vision.  Lo and behold, my iffy eye has a wavy quadrant. Who knew? It’s a tool for me to now know what’s normal for me. If it changes, I will call my lovely new optometrist.

https://amslergrid.org/AmslerGrid.pdf

It’s so tricky to know precisely what one should and should not worry about. Once again, I had the right anxiety for the wrong reason. 

…..

Did you know that much of the establishment of the United States Senate was a compromise to get southern slavery-allowing states to cooperate with the northern non-slave states? The first plans for how to build and shape our new government were strictly about representation based on population. But that would mean slave-owning colonies would have less power, so the compromise was to have the House of Representatives be population based - and the Senate would enable each state two representatives no matter what.

What we are dealing with now is the legacy of slavery. This is exhausting and dangerous, but we the citizens of this nation more-or-less deserve this. What we didn’t deal with and fight for before - we have to fight for and live through now.

A good tweet.

“You are choosing to not be vaccinated? Fine. Not everyone got on the ark, either.”

 

 

 

Comments

That is an excellent tweet. I printed off that eye chart and will keep it. Thanks. Never heard of that. Glad you are ok! We all have to stick together and share our knowledge. You do a great job at that.
Mary Beth's picture

We're all on this ark together... that is... those of us who are actually on the ark.

So much of what is wrong in the US goes back to slavery, How did anyone ever think it was moral or proper to own other human beings? I have been watching a lot PBS stuff about slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow, court cases -- in some ways it is amazing that slavery was ever ended. That is ended in the strictest sense. The situation now is only moderately better. Thanks so much for the eyesight information. I'm overdue for a visit to the doc, but this eased some of my worry -- I probably just need a new prescription. And the tweet was priceless.
Mary Beth's picture

I think most of us do not truly realize the cracked foundation on which this nations was founded.

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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