Category Archives: Funny story

Adventures in low vision

I’ve been starting to wear my contact lenses again. They don’t have the glare protection I have with my glasses so I don’t see quite as well with them, but it’s a worthy trade off. With my contacts I feel much less inhibited, which is of great value when you have low vision and hearing impairment. That and it kind of allows me to tuck my hair behind my ears, which is a habit I regretfully had to give up when I got my cochlear implants. Between the earpieces and my eyeglasses, there was just no room for my hair.

I recently went back to the eye doctor to update my prescription so I could order more contacts and I asked them if it would be a problem to just wear one contact. My visual field index in my right eye is 27%. Meaning out of an entire area normal eyes can see, I am unable to see 73% of it with that eye. Which makes it kind of a useless eye, in my opinion, so I don’t feel justified in paying for a contact for that eye. The 27% I do see has clearer vision anyway, and can get away without corrective lenses.

I wear colored contacts that pretty well match my eye color, and that is just to prevent me from losing the contacts altogether. I have a hard enough time seeing things without contrast, so when I drop a clear contact, it’s nearly impossible to find.

All that to say, if you see me out and about and I’m not wearing eyeglasses, take a real close look and see if you can tell which eye has the contact in it. The ladies at the eye doctor assured me it was a pretty close match (although one of them thought it would be “cool” to have two different colored eyes), so I’m trusting they were being honest. Because I’m fairly colorblind and can’t tell for myself.

If anyone is really interested in this visual field index stuff and knows how to do the math, maybe you could tell me how much total vision I have with both eyes combined. Left eye sees 51%, right eye sees 27%, so with that means… what? That it’s a good thing they don’t let me drive anymore? That’s all I can say for sure!

I was gonna end the post there, but I just remembered a funny thing I did today, to give you a glimpse of life with me and my crummy eyes (my family is unnervingly unphased by it by now). Tonight I was making scrambled eggs for the family and I grabbed an almost empty carton from the fridge to add milk to the egg mixture. I knew as soon as I started pouring that I had grabbed the wrong carton. What I thought was the last of the milk was actually the last of the apple cider. Oy. I went with it though, cuz I didn’t figure it was going to hurt anyone, and I don’t think I poured enough to really alter the flavor. Crap like this seems to happen to me on a fairly regular basis, but I have to laugh or else I would cry. Life goes on, right?

Advertisements

We call this an ouchie wah-wah

So thanks to my poor vision, I guess, I ran head first into my daughter’s loft bed. Again. This time super duper hard. So I think I’m gonna have a major goose egg on my forehead by morning. We need to put up a sign that says in bold, high contrast colors, “DUCK!!” Which, coincidentally, rhymes with the word I would have said had my daughter not been right there to witness my stupidity.

Can we just start over now?

Grooming the garden


Okay, it’s not a garden. I just use that word for alliteration’s sake. The boys are away at a baseball game and the girls opted to stay home. When Natalie asked if she could go next door to help her friend pull weeds, it reminded me that I had been wanting to trim the front bushes. And since it’s evening, and the sun sets on the back of the house, I decided now was a good time. But halfway through she came back over to help me finish up, so I had to get a photo! Cuz that’s a good way to help make the memory stick.

Speaking of memory, and as a sidenote, I met with my neurologist earlier this week. She addressed my concerns and asked if I had anything else to discuss or ask about. I said no. Later that day, it occurred to me that there was one concern I forgot to mention: the fact that I occasionally have trouble with my short term memory. Ha! The irony there, l tell ya. Can’t take me anywhere, is what I say.

Anyhoo, hope y’all are enjoying the summer so far. Stay cool!

Hide and seek with Piper

Our dog loves loves loves to play fetch. I’m pretty sure it’s all she ever thinks about. Sometimes when I go back inside the house she anxiously awaits my return. Only I think she doesn’t want me to know that’s what she’s doing, because she will hide, ever so cleverly, behind the grill. She just sits there with the ball, Peking around the corner. And of course she thinks I can’t see her, with the screen door blocking my view, you know?

I think it’s called the heeby-jeebies

We stayed overnight at my mother-in-law’s house for Christmas, and the next morning she was showing me how to make biscuits. (My daughter was given a cookie cutter set for Christmas that included a biscuit cutter.) Well, I was excited to learn how to make biscuits, because I can really appreciate the quality of a fresh homemade biscuit – topped with homemade sausage gravy, of course. But then she started describing the part where you roll it in the flour or something, and that’s when she lost me. “Oh no, I can’t do this. I’m not gonna be able to make these.” I’m standing in the kitchen, trying my very best at hiding my discomfort, but ultimately giving up and just moving away.

I just can’t do flour. It makes a small sound when it touches things that only freaks like me can detect. It sends shivers running down my spine. Even the thought of the sound creeps me out. I don’t know why, but it does. It’s been like that for me for as long as I can remember. I met someone once who understood this, only it was not flour that got him – it was the color teal (The 80’s must have been torture for him). My dear mother-in-law, shocked into disbelief at my reaction, asked my husband, “Did you know about this?”

“Yep” he offers, “she also hates sand.” And chalk and powdered sugar. Oddly, the brown and white sugars don’t bother me too much. We’ll call those tolerable.

It’s funny that my mother-in-law has known me for 18 years and she’s just now hearing about this quirky aversion of mine. A well-kept secret, I suppose. I guess the cat’s out of the bag now. Just hopefully not the flour bag.

Matilda’s Gone

Funny story – Back when I was working I set up a dummy account with my actual email for testing a new web portal. That was over three years ago. Just this evening I received an email from the company urging me to engage them to have my tax returns prepared, only it was addressed to my alter ego… Matilda Redmond.
First it gave me a chuckle, and then it brought back some memories I had left in the past, where they belong. The job I had when I lost my hearing was a really stressful job. I’ll admit now that I hated it. I missed my coworkers when I was forced to go on disability, but I didn’t miss the stress of the job. I had nightmares for almost a year following my departure. However, with the passage of time and the progress of my recovery, I no longer have those nightmares. And I do sometimes miss aspects of the work I was doing – the accounting portion – and wonder if some day I’ll be able to do any of it again.
For now I’m content balancing our checkbook on an insanely regular basis, and managing our family budget. Also, after receiving that email addressed to Matilda, here’s to hoping the nightmares don’t start up again tonight!

The Social Security Office

I had to visit the Social Security office today. Here’s the long version (because that’s the only way, really):

I’ve been receiving Social Security Disability Income for a full two years now. After you’ve received benefits for two years, they automatically enroll you in Medicare. I have health insurance through my husband’s employer, so I wasn’t real interested in Medicare, but if it’s free, I guess I can’t complain. What I learned, however, is that Medicare comes in different forms, and the two I was enrolled in were Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Now Part A is free, but Part B is not.

Now Part B could be advantageous, if it covered what my current health insurance doesn’t, and saved me more than I would be paying for the premium. But I never looked into it, because I learned that my participation in Part B would deem me ineligible for another program I’m part of. I currently receive assistance paying for my monthly Tysabri infusions (for MS, $20,000 before insurance PER infusion), and if I didn’t receive that assistance I would be stuck with about a $5,000 deductible. (I did warn you this was the long version.)

So basically, I could pay $120 per month for Part B Medicare and possibly $0 deductibles OR I could pay $0 premium and definitely $0 deductible. Now I was a straight A student, and I went to college. I chose the latter.

Simple, right? Not so. In March, when they sent me my Medicare welcome packet, I returned the card stating I was opting out of Part B. Then June came, and with it a welcome letter – and a statement of my insurance premium for PART B. I called to say W-T-F and they told me that was just a standard letter and that I would receive another one telling me it had been cancelled. Another month went by and my benefits came, less the $120 for Part B premium. I was not so happy, and I called again. They acted like they knew nothing about my opting out, and told me I needed to sign a form requesting cancellation, and that they would mail it to me.

At this point I didn’t believe a word they said, but I gave it a week to see if the form showed up. It did not. I called once again, but this time made the call to the local office, in case I needed to make an appointment. They said an appointment was not needed, but that I should come down and they would get it all straightened out. They made it sound so easy but I was still doubtful. I made arrangements (thanks Grandpa!) to get to the office today and guess what? It really was easy. The hardest part, literally, was signing myself in at the kiosk to get in line, when they asked me this question:

Are you….
1) Blind/low vision
2) Deaf/hard of hearing
3) (to be honest, I really don’t remember what was after those first two, but I was looking for an “all of the above” option)

I waited for about an hour, which is what they warned me it would be, and when they called my number I had to ask a few of the people waiting where #10 was, but they were all happy to direct the obvious newbie to her station, and I found it just fine. The gentleman was exactly that, a gentleman, and immediately put me at ease. He reassured me that cancelling was a simple process, and showed me where to sign, and before I even had a chance to ask, he was telling me they would be refunding me the two months of premium I had already paid, and the check will be on its way within the week!

I was so pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went and I felt pretty silly for having been such a nervous wreck. No worries though, it’s done now and I can move on with the rest of my week. Is it really only Monday still?