The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

You Just Failed Your Driving Test!!

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For the longest time, Nat and I have been meaning to find an Optometrist in our (new) area. We kept telling ourselves we really needed to have our eye glass prescriptions updated. For me, it was becoming fairly obvious my eye sight was getting worse, I was now beginning to wear my glasses (for distance) for longer periods of time, including using my iPad.

Once we moved to Ridgeway/Fort Erie, it became tiresome driving to St. Catharines for certain medical appointments. Our doctors couldn’t be changed – firstly, because we love the ones we’ve got, and secondly, we’d be hard pressed to find one in this area that would take new patients. An Optometrist on the other hand would be much easier, but it’s taken over seven years to pick up the phone and call one. After getting a couple of good references we made an appointment with Dr. Dube´ and couldn’t have been more pleased at our choice.

When the day came, I was the first to get called. After the initial niceties, reality was about to set in. We went through the usual eye drop thing and then it came down to the nitty gritty – the good old eye chart through that behemoth machine that makes you look like something from a Dr. Who sci-fi flick. At first I felt pretty good but within a few minutes my bubble started to deflate. The Doc turned to me and said You’ve just failed the driving test”. “Pardon me?”, I queried. “As far as the MTO is concerned you would fail the eye exam for your driver’s license”.  Apparently, my eyesight isn’t as good as I think it is. Yes, I can see, but not far enough according to the Government. I do wear my glasses when driving and I admit road signage is blurry until I get within a couple of feet of the same, but I do eventually make out the words!! “Not good enough”, replied Doc. He continued on to give me even more crappy news – I have two cataracts (a clouding effect over your natural lens that lies behind the iris and pupil) in one eye and one in the other, plus I may have Glaucoma. This just keeps getting better and better, I’m thinking!! I knew about the cataracts only because the Optometrist in St. Catharines had told me, but advised they were just in the beginning stages and not to worry yet. I was also sorry I asked him to explain the difference between the kinds of cataracts – there are actually 3 kinds, but I’ve only got two. The one explanation I partially understood was the Cortical Cataract that resembled the spokes of a wheel, after that I think I nodded off. The end result was within a few years I would have to have them removed. As for the Glaucoma I was to make another appointment for that test and it would just be a matter of some eye drops to fix that little goodie!! I shouldn’t joke as your eyesight is so, so very important, but laughter is my coping mechanism. Trust me, laughter and joking has gotten me through an awful lot in my life!

I will admit that this new Optometrist was a breath of fresh air – young, knowledgeable and very nice. So with my heavily dilated eyes I proceeded to the Doc’s assistant where I would be fitted for a new pair of lens for my new (highly) up-dated prescription. I was determined this time to get the pair of frames I’d always wanted – frameless. I was talked out of them with my first pair of glasses and have regretted that decision ever since. Despite hubby’s eye care coverage from work, I was still going to have to pay a substantial balance, and naturally, I hesitated. By now Nat had returned from his exam and Mr. Goody Two-Shoes only needed a small upgrade, so we discussed my situation. I appreciated his comments that I should get what I really wanted this time, as it was important to me. So we made the decision to go ahead. We just won’t pay the bills next month!!  The only reason I insisted on frameless was because with my present glass frames I was painfully aware of the actual frames every time I wore them. I could see the frame’s top, bottom and sides constantly which has driven me nuts for years.

Nat’s new prescription was a small upgrade but he still picked out a newer pair of frames which suited him well. He looked good. We were now happy with our decisions and glad this ordeal was over at least for a few years, plus we had found a great Optometrist which helped.

The appointment with our new Optometrist has been the most exciting thing we’ve done in the past month. My semi-annual appointment with my local Nephrologist was damn near perfect – one little test needs to be done, but I can see my GP for that. Otherwise it looks like I just might outlive everyone I know. God won’t that be boring when the times comes, just me to talk to!! However, Nat’s back pain is still continuous despite his somewhat good days and really bad days. He continues to pace the floor inbetween seating sessions, keeps trying to do the exercises he’s been given and has been having some good sleeping nights and some bad sleeping nights. At least the MRI test is now only one day away – Thursday.  God knows, we’re both hoping that something shows up so whatever it is can hopefully be “fixed”. If hubby’s life has to continue along the path he’s been presently suffering through, things will be totally unbearable. Our two lives really can’t tolerate much more of this God-awful routine we’ve been living since November 2014. But at least we can see clearly, now!!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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