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Better Than a Poke in the Eye With a Sharp…Never Mind

December 24, 2013


One day, I noticed that i could no longer see straight lines with my right eye. Telephone poles zigzagged up into the air. The center dividing lines that stretched out on the road in front of me, resembled cartoon lightning bolts. This was unnerving, to say the least, and I immediately had my eyes examined. The resulting diagnosis was macular degeneration in both eyes.

I have the dry variety in my left eye that I treat with “eye vitamins,” which seem to be keeping any further degeneration at bay.

I have the wet version in my right eye. That means that there is fluid that has seeped into my eye and is messing with my ability to see correctly. There is no cure, only a treatment that requires me to get an injection in my eye once a month.

This is way better than the treatment my father received a mere ten years ago, when a doctor shot laser beams into his eyes to stop the bleeding. only to create permanent blind spots. My dad left the specialist’s office legally blind in both eyes. I consider myself a fortunate man.

My retinal specialist is very knowledgable and adept at giving me the care and treatment I need. She carefully monitors my condition, and is pleased that, with my glasses, my vision is still 20/20. She has a good sense of humor, and appropriately enough, is also easy on the eyes. Which can be a bummer, because by the time she enters the exam room, my eyes are usually fully dilated, and everything is a blur.

Interestingly, she shares the same first name as one of my cousins and a grandmother who died before I was born.

I handed her one of my cards and told her about my blog. She thanked me and asked with a smile, “Am I going to be in your next post?”

I laughed and said that I’d been working on something about all this in my head for sometime. We exchanged Christmas wishes and I left wondering what exactly I would write about.

Usually, there’s a bit of blood that marks the injection area, but it clears up in a couple of days. On the latest visit however, a blood vessel got nicked, and now half my face makes me resemble a True Blood vampire. Regardless, this is a small price to pay.

I was walking along the street the other day, and a car pulled up next to me and parked at the curb. The passenger-side window was down, and a twenty-something year old guy asked, “Excuse me, sir? We need directions.”

His girl friend, who was behind the wheel, informed me they wanted to get to the Old Town Brew Pub, which was right down the street and to the left. As I was informing them of this,the guy said, “Hey, we’re the same today. I have a red eye too!”

I looked at the eye he pointed to and saw that it was a little blood shot. And judging from the beer fumes wafting out of the car window, I think I knew why.

“Tell me about your eye, man. We got a few moments here. I wanna know.”

I leaned against the car’s roof. “Seriously? You really want to know?

“Yeah, man. I do.”

“Okay… I have macular degeneration, and every month I have to have a shot in my eye.”

He recoiled, “WHOA, man, I was expecting you to tell me about pink eye, or something. I wasn’t ready for THAT!”

I walked away smiling. Now I knew exactly what to write.

  1. Hey Bro, here’s to you. Keep the faith. Merry Christmas…

  2. Thank you for sharing Ernie… and yes, it sounds like you are very fortunate – and in good hands!

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