Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Living with Old Age - Mom's New Glasses

So off we went to the eye doctor again. Macular Degeneration requires a steroid injection and it's painful to watch. My 93-year mother does not hesitate to let you know she doesn't like it either. 

"Ooh, ooh," she moaned. 

Dr. H hesitated, needle injector in hand. This was the first eye and he still had to do the second eye. He glanced at me thankfully, sending the silent message that if anything goes wrong.... You're here to help, right

Yep, I pray every time doc, I nodded.

Her ophthalmologist looks to be in his early thirties, and Mom sometimes questions if he is too young to know what he is doing. Not having studied ophthalmology before in school, I can only assume the certification credentials I see on the wall of his office are real. I assure her he knows what he's doing,  but we often go round and round. I guess---to be fair---I might question things too if someone was shooting a needle in my eye. I went online and did a search just in case, but the method checked out. And the goal is to keep her from going blind.  

So then, Mom smiled at Dr. H ever so slightly. "Don't mind me. I'm okay." 

Dr. H and I both sighed in relief.  This was her six-week visit. The goal is to spread treatments out to as much as three months apart. We are now on the seven-week schedule. Meanwhile, Mom has not been able to see well at all. She's been using over the counter readers, making do, because her past prescriptions no longer work and her most recent prescription glasses (I found out) were lost. 

We were also under the impression we had to wait for her eyes to settle down before filling a new prescription, but Dr. H thought we could go ahead and order glasses, so off we went to the optician next door where we spent the next two hours trying on glasses and debating what would work for her. Although Dr. H had recommended single-lens readers, we opted for a no-line bifocal with distance on top since we could exchange within 30 days at no charge if they didn't work. 

So....The big day arrived. 

Mom looked into the mirror with her new glasses on and was horrified. "I can't see. The words are all jumbled. Are you sure this is the right prescription?" The frustrated optician tried everything and finally suggested we see the doctor again to verify the prescription. She made an appointment for the following week.

"Well, he should have got it right," Mom mumbled as we left. As we drove back to her apartment, Mom informed me that the frames were wrong too. "They are not the glasses I ordered." 

Surprised, I was certain they were the frames she'd ordered, but she wouldn't hear it. As we drove, her theory morphed. She was almost certain the prescription had been mixed up with her friend's prescription, as her friend had ordered new glasses too. We went back and forth. I told her we'd fix whatever the problem was. 

A week passed and we had to cancel. Mom was diagnosed with early pneumonia and I was sick too with some kind of virus. Another week passed and we finally returned. Turns out, Macular degeneration was bad enough in one eye to prevent the kind of focus a no line bifocal required. Mom decided to go for two pairs of glasses instead. One for distance, one for reading. It's not the most convenient solution, but reading is important to her and the distance correction made a huge difference. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

As for ordering the wrong frames, she blames me now. So be it, I accept the blame. After all, my eyes are better than hers and it's simply not worth arguing over.  

Living with old age and learning as I go. Keeping a sense of humor and remembering how blessed we are to still have her with us. And God willing......I'll be there someday myself. 


8 comments:

  1. My mother too! My sister goes to the eye specialist with her, though. She stays over the night before and does’t tell Mum till then, or she won’t sleep. She undersandably hates those visits, and one of her eyes was already gone before she realised it. One pair for distance, one for reading sounds okay to me.

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    1. Hi, Sue. That makes sense, stressing over something the night before. I've noticed the same difficulty adapting to change. I was surprised at the time factor too. Takes twice as long to do anything....Now that I understand that, we plan accordingly. Take care!

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  2. Ooh, I was with my dad when he had to have a needle poked into his eye to reduce the pressure after surgery. Poor guy. And now, his vision is still very poor, but he is 93, after all. Old age isn’t for sissies.

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  3. No it sure isn't. We are on the same path. Seeking a quality life up to end has its good and bad moments. Take care!

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  4. What a supportive and understanding daughter you are. It must be so hard for her to adjust. A good friend of mine went through her mother's growing blindness from macular degeneration a few years back. At that time, there was no treatment for it. She actually went blind.

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    1. Oh dear. That would be tough. Sorry she went blind. Praying that doesn't happen to Mom. Thanks, Elizabeth for sharing.

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  5. The shot sounds painful- but I am glad the doctor is able to help your mother keep her vision. The glasses mixup sounds like quite a mystery. I think it is great that you are okay with taking the blame. Here's hoping your mom's eyesight stays the same or gets better. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Not as painful as it looks or so I'm told (by Mom), but neither of us looks forward to the ordeal. Now officially every 9 weeks, which is better at least. Thanks, Jess!

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