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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"Brotherhood" by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr - A Book Review

10/13/2021

“Brotherhood” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the most compelling novel I’ve read this year. I read the first half as if I was reading a book for the first time; it felt as if the writer was expressing a story so powerful he called it fiction just to get it out, to me, to us. 

I skimmed the second half because I was exhausted by the impossible trauma and decisions the characters would need to endure and try to survive.

Let me say right here than many will survive. Not all.

Thanks & Now Let's Do Pups!

10/13/2021

 Thank You!

I sent our collated list of “Ways to Help My Community” to the Third Graders this morning.  Laura has already shared it with them; I just received this from one kid. This was really cool and helpful thank you for coming back to me so quickly well you always respond quickly like all the time and also I like hiring (hearing) from you always make me smile from writing to pictures I love them all.”

3rd graders on Community Building

10/12/2021

... 

I’m just back from volunteering in the third grade.  I’ve done this for five years; Laura Zahn who is this class’s teacher, plus her friend and fellow teacher Mara, have become among my favorite people in Waukesha. 

My Relationship with a Door 10/5/2021

Dear Friends,

I seem to be out of Deep Thoughts lately. Not sure if this is apparent to you but it is to me. This is not exactly a problem but keeps me guessing what in the world I should be writing. Or - since “should” is a sometimes toxic and generally unhelpful word – these days I am not sure what you want to read and I want to write.

So maybe I’ll just write you a quick Dear Friends. Sometimes relationships are just about checking in.

Up North 9/30/2021

Here’s why I’ve not posted anything in nearly two weeks.

Last week Len and I took a trip to Duluth, MN and Ashland, WI. We hiked seven hikes, met new friends, ate too much. (We didn’t eat IN restaurants. We ate take-out dinners while sitting in our car overlooking Chequamegon Bay.) We marinated in the breezy Up North rhythms of woods, streams, rivers, and Lake Superior. 

Then we came home to all that stuff one does up returning; laundry, groceries, and bringing in the Big Dozers to deal with cat litter boxes. 

Cabeza de Vaca & Company: A 500-Year Old Story for Our Time.

I’ve been thinking about Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca for years and I’ve also been thinking about him for a week.

It’s crazy out there in the world right now and people are, I think, kinda sick of each other. Racism, sexism, and classism are the muck we walk through to get to our cars while our climate is turning into flying monkeys. And the rich keep getting richer.

So let me tell you about a guy I admire.

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