Friday, October 20, 2006

The current theme: vision

From one corner of my universe I am learning these terms:

Hyperopia (farsightedness) Understood, as that is my reason for wearing glasses.

The rest is foreign turf for me (us):

Ocular Motility (eye tracking)
Accomodation (focusing)
Fusion (eye teaming) -- subcategories Convergence Insufficiency and Divergence Insufficiency (which mean an inadequate amount of, you guessed it, convergence and divergence, respectively.)
No understanding on those three at this point, but we're getting there.

Very cool glasses arrived for the patient last week; tomorrow he begins Vision Therapy (while the support staff hangs out at the cafe across the parking lot.) Things are looking up for a very weary pair of Great Books reading eyes.

From the other corner of my universe, I am learning these terms:

Macular degeneration (dry in the left eye - potentially bad news; wet (as in a pool of blood blocking vision) in the right eye -- really bad news)

Gerontology tip: If your mother gets hit with the news that she has macular degeneration and she loves to read, sew, people watch, etc. be prepared for rare tears in those struggling eyes. And, for the record, the shot in the eye hurts. Of course. On the bright side: this doctor was one of the kindest and gentlest doctors I have ever met.

As we walked out of the doctor's office, Mom was holding on to my arm. My strongly independent, "I can do it myself" mother was gripping my arm and needing help up the stairs. I felt a deep sadness creep over me, settling in for an afternoon visit. As we climbed, the bright yellows and oranges and reds of the falling maple leaves caught my attention. I could see every vein in their fall outfits, I could see the subtle differences in the colors, I could identify strange creatures in the puffy clouds overhead.

Can you understand why seeing is suddenly very important to me? I want to watch, see, look, gaze, and stare. I want to celebrate colors, memorize the look in a child's eye that means contentment or disappointment or fear or pleasure. I want to count the gray hairs in my husband's beard and watch the candle light flicker as we read Black Fox of Lorne. I don't want to forget any of it, just in case...

And I long to calm my mother's fears and reassure her that everything will be okay. But I can't. And that is very, very difficult.

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