My morning at the opthalmologist’s office

Stream by the ballfield
Stream by the ball field

This stream runs past a couple of little league baseball fields. We actually had to ford the stream to get to a parking area. We were there a couple of months ago to watch our granddaughter, Maely, pitch for her team.

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I went in for my six month check up at the ophthalmologist’s office on Tuesday. I go there for follow-ups on the AMD in my eyes. As has been true since I got injections in my left eye four years ago, there has been no deterioration in my eyesight. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I arrived at the eye clinic at 10:45 a.m., fifteen minutes early to check in. I like arriving early because sometimes it gets you back to see the doctor quicker. That didn’t happen on Tuesday. The waiting area was already full of people. I checked in and was told to have a seat; it wouldn’t be long.

As I sat down I noticed, as I always do when I go to the clinic, the waiting room was full of people with gray hair. I fit right in, though I prefer to think of myself as having a very, very, very, verrrrry light shade of brown hair. The things that we tell ourselves! I only saw three people in the waiting area who had hair color other than gray, and they appeared to have self-administered, poorly done dye jobs. I know that one woman’s hair was a shade of orange that doesn’t exist in nature.

There were other signs of age. At least three people who entered after I sat down were using walkers. Very few people could walk without hobbling or shuffling their feet. I swear that one man creaked when he walked back to the exam area. Perhaps I was wrong, and he was wearing new shoes that needed to be broken in.

Two women were chatting. One said to the other, “I tried to find you on the Internet last week.” She didn’t explain why she was looking, just that she had been. Then she pulled out her iPad and started showing pictures to the other woman. At one point she said, “I don’t know where some of these came from, and I don’t know how to get them off.” Later she was naming the people in a picture and said, “That’s Jesus in the middle.” She didn’t use the Hispanic pronunciation so I assume that she had some powerful people at her party.

Twenty-five minutes after I sat down I was called to the exam area. There I was led to a room where they went over my file to see if my medications were the same, checked my blood pressure, puffed air into my eyes to check for glaucoma, tested to see if my eyesight had changed, and dilated my eyes. Then they took me to a dim waiting area to let my vision fully blur. After about fifteen minutes they called me across the hallway and took pictures of the inside of my eyes and put me back in the waiting area. I waited there for quite a while.

As I waited, a woman and another whom appeared to be her daughter came in and sat down. They started talking about people they knew. For the most part it was boring so I didn’t pay much attention. Then they started in on a man they knew, and they both started laughing. The older woman said that the man might as well be a monk because he felt he had to marry any woman with whom he had sex. Then she said, “My daddy always said “Love ’em and leave ’em.'” The daughter said, “Yeah. Take ’em to the movies, love ’em, and leave ’em.” So, is that the way they expect to be treated?

Finally, around an hour after I was called to the exam area, they came and got me to see the ophthalmologist. The nurse sat me in the exam chair and as she left the room she said the doctor would be right in. Half an hour later he bustled in, showed me the pictures they had taken and compared them to earlier pictures, looked in my eyes, told me that I was doing fine, and said he would see me in six months. That took about ten minutes.

If it weren’t for the people in the waiting areas, going would be very boring.

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