Blind leading the blind

Blind leading the blind

Last week I learned that I’m slowly going blind in my right eye. Just like my dog. Which means one of us is probably going to be leading the other one straight into traffic sometime in the next few years.

Note to self: Must look into second dog as potential ‘seeing eye dog’ for both me and Francis.

I noticed that Francis might be going blind when he walked into a signpost for the 7th time in a row and seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time considering the stairs. Sort of like me if I’ve had 3 glasses of wine. The vet confirmed that no, it wasn’t his ‘Flock of Seagulls’ hair that was getting in the way but cataracts. Just like me. Damn.. pet owners really do start to resemble their pets.

I was born with cataracts in both eyes and largely for 40 odd years they’ve done nothing other than give my ophthalmologist something to talk about while they ask me ‘which is better?’ over and over again. Eye doctors are delighted when I visit due to the fact that I am both long and short sighted (one in each eye), have astigmatism in both eyes (I don’t know what that means but I’m impressed I can spell it) and that my eye color naturally changes from green to hazel with the seasons, (summer is green, is goes best with my tan and hazel, well, me and the leaves I guess). And I have cataracts in both eyes. They love that. Its like I’m a project just waiting to kickoff.  But since I can remember, cataracts… just another thing to add to the list of ‘old person shit’ that is wrong with me.

But lately, I’ve been cleaning my glasses with OCD like fervor and I have to admit, I’ve had a few ‘prangs’ involving various vehicles due to a smudge that seems permanently to reside on my glasses. I just couldn’t seem to get rid of it.

Another note to self:  don’t clean your glasses with Windex, it gives you a nasty eye infection.

So I tripped off to the eye doctor man, safe in the knowledge that at least this doc doesn’t require removal of clothing or depositing of specimens. Plus what really can they tell you other than ‘you don’t see as well as you used to’? I figured I needed a new prescription.

Well screw that. Apparently my doc likes to have an impact, and informed me that ‘project cataract’ has started and the smudge on my eye is here to stay. In fact, its the first of many and is likely to get worse over the next few years until I’m totally blind in that eye. Delight.
On a good note, I can have a ‘one time’ surgery to remove the cataracts (I’m an overachiever, I have several on my right eye), but in the short term, it means I need to stay out of sunlight if I’m not wearing eye protection. Which would be fine… if I lived in Seattle.

You see Denver has 300 days of sunshine a year, and its glorious because of it. I spend 90% of my summer outside and honestly, most of the winter too. However sunshine, or UV rays, excite cataracts like a tween listening to One Direction, so I now need to wear shades every time I step outside of the house. Every time. Literally – turn around and go home if you’re not wearing them.
But not just any shades. Shadey shades which cover my entire eye area. You know those ones your grandma wears down in Florida as she’s driving her Caddie to Applebees for lunch at 10am? Look like horse blinkers? Yep.. those. Old people diseases apparently require old people accessories.

I’m wait listed for a walker with tennis ball feet.

But, because I’m vain and I already have enough working against me, I’m opting for the Palm Bitch/ Cop look, big ol’ wrap around Wayfarers. And I seriously look ridiculous. Not least because they cover about 50% of my face, but also because with my crazy prescription, objects appear miles away and then suddenly righupclosetome. Which means.. well… you might not want to get in a car with me for a while.

I’m assured that my eyes will get used to the new visuals in a few weeks but until then I’m walking around with a slightly stoned stagger every time I step off a curb or make a sudden move.
I fell up my stairs this morning and the poor dog.. well lets just say he’s staying far away from my feet and he’s reconsidering this whole ‘leader of the pack’ thing.

There are some upsides to this new development though.

  •  I can go on dates with completely awful looking guys and really won’t notice; bring on the guys with the hideous brown teeth and wonderful personalities.
  • My motorcycle helmet now has ultimate functionality, blocking all UV rays while rendering me stylish and safe. In fact, I might start wearing it a la Daft Punk for all manner of activities.
  • Wearing glasses and shades all the time renders eye make up completely a waste of time and thereby saves me from leaving the house looking like a tranny ever again. (it happens, I’m not talented). 
  • And if I do look like a tranny when leaving the house, I won’t be able to see it anyway. 

So, if you see a short, slightly listing person wandering around Wash Park with a dog who walks into sign posts, steer well clear or at least try to keep us out of traffic.

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