Friday, May 27, 2011

A call from mom

When the phone rang, I saw from the caller ID that it was my mother - calling from her Assisted Living facility in another city. I'm usually hesitant to answer calls from my mom... her dementia being sufficiently progressed to the point where conversations are nonsensical, but not in an amusing way.

Still, I thought that she might be calling to wish me a happy birthday, so I answered.

I was wrong.

After ranting for nearly twenty minutes about her care (or lack of it) and a host of imaginary slights, she finally paused long enough for me to say "Hi", and "I thought you were calling to wish me a happy birthday."

She followed with a half-hearted "Happy birthday" before continuing with her rant.

The sad part of this story is that she's at a stage where she would respond really well to a particular medication. However, this medication takes the form of a distinctive capsule - and the one thing my mother still recognizes are her usual medications. Try to give her any pill she doesn't recognize, and she refuses to take it. She doesn't trust doctors (probably because of the medical foul-ups that ultimately contributed to the premature death of my father). While I share her disdain for certain doctors and hospitals, I wish she would allow us to make her life more enjoyable and her mental health more stable.
Sisterly Love

My birthday is just around the corner. In honour of my birthday, my sister Linda decided to sponsor a "kiddush" after the upcoming week's synagogue service.

She had intended to surprise me with this kiddush, but I guess she didn't realize that I'm the webmaster of the synagogue's website, and all requests for kiddushes come across my desk so they can be included on our website's honour roll!

Despite her disappointment, I was still surprised (and grateful) to realize how thoughtful it was for her to make a donation to my synagogue on my behalf. In addition to all that, she also sent me a personal gift, enabling me to enjoy a birthday dinner with my wife.
Seeking a clear vision

My last eye exam was in February. Since then, I've been trying to get a pair of glasses. The first attempt ended prematurely when the optician called with news that the lab had cut my lenses to the wrong size, and they were too small for my chosen frame.

Next, after a wait of more than two weeks, I got a pair that had the grinding done to the wrong part of the lens. I would have had to walk around with my chin buried in my chest to be able to see through the focus point in the lenses.

Nearly a month passed before the next pair were ready, and I had high hopes for a perfect fit. While my right eye was correctly accommodated, the left eye's vision left much to be desired. I instantly felt very dizzy - to the point of nearly bringing up my lunch - and the optician suggested I may want to go for a vision re-test to confirm the prescription.

So, yesterday, I went for the re-test and was told that the original prescription was correct. This time, my optometrist wrote a note on the back of the prescription form, hoping to help the optician choose the correct "base curve" for my needs.

I've been told that this time, the glasses will be completely manufactured at the main lab, rather than having the lenses cut and transferred back to the local office for final grinding and polishing. Here's hoping these finally do the trick.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I survived!

Well, sort of. Surgery was scheduled for 9:00AM, and I checked into the hospital at 7:00. Things went smoothly during preparation (although they had to try twice to get an IV line in me), and I was wheeled into the O.R. a few minutes before 9:00AM.

I got to see the surgeon before being put to sleep... and then I remember waking up.

The surgeon was standing over me, crying! Then I found out that she had slipped on something in the operating room, fallen down, and broken her arm! Thank goodness she fell before starting to cut! Her tears were tears of pain - I don't know if she had already been to the doctor to have her arm set (I was too groggy, and without my glasses, so I can't recall seeing a cast or sling) - but I think she also felt sorry for me. She was so apologetic.

After all the preparation, and my wife having to use a vacation day on very short notice to accompany me to an out-of-town surgery, nothing happened. The surgery has been postponed indefinitely.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Surgery Required

I've had a weak eye for as long as I can remember. Unless I concentrate, it tends to drift off to the side. It makes it pretty hard to focus on small print. Driving is also a pain, since my brain sometimes processes two simultaneous images that can confuse me.

Monday, after years of procrastination and months of waiting for a surgical opening, I go under the knife. The plan is to loosen one eye muscle while tightening the opposite one. This should allow my eye to "naturally" drift into the centre position.

I've been told there will be double vision (of a kind my brain is not used to dealing with) that will last two weeks or more. Stitches will come out ten days after surgery, and vision should return to a "new" normal within four to six weeks.

Because of various risk factors, doctors say the general anesthetic will be more dangerous than usual, so I'm hoping there are no serious complications. But nothing is for sure.

When I post again, you'll know the surgery was successful.