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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Three Things

4/20/2024

Three Things except it’s really more than that.

1. Earlier this year I read these two books by Palestinian writers and I recommend both. If you’ve read good books by Palestinian writers, maybe tell us about them in the comments?

The Confluence

4/17/2024 

(I’ve written about this trip before but it’s been a long time.)

In 2000 we did a wilderness canoe/kayak trip on Utah’s Green River. We did this with our three kids plus friends and their two sons. Our youngest was nine, the oldest was 16, and our combined three boys were slapdash goofballs.

Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

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