Howdy, Texino here. After reading a recent entry where Ms. Moon, in conflict with an optical shop, takes the subject of rude staff to the word woodshed for a thrashing, I thought about some recent contacts with my own care givers. By thrilling coincidence, my latest go round was also driven by a visit to an optical center. In fact, I was looking for new glasses myself. Life seems to seek these little parallels, doesn't it? That or we are just plodding the same boring road copping each others riffs.
Oh well, it is crazy thinking like that which propels me into this story. Lets start right here with a statement of fact. I have Glaucoma, a disease of the eye that causes the ambient pressure inside the eyeball to rise. For the most part, it is asymptotic and if not diagnosed and treated it will rob your sight. Now even though I know this and I know the treatment, I became non compliant-meaning I stopped taking the medicine and quit getting my pressure monitored. How come? Well let's just say a little voice in my head said it was OK. Of course that was craziness at work. I know that now, you know it and the folks at the eye place know it too. There lies the nut of the problem. The eye people treat me like I am an idiot, at least the ones who know about my madness do, while the ones who don't know are often brusk to the point of rudeness because I often cannot follow their instructions. I don't like going there one iota, however; I had to go there recently because my progressive bifocal lenses were driving me, well I guess I can say "crazy" and you will get the point. Now before they would hand over different glasses, I had to go through an exam. The person who gave the first part was "clued in" and seemed to feel the proper approach to employ when dealing with the insane was to reassure me that the machines would not hurt me. Now, I'm sure you all have had this done to you before, right? I mean the color blind test and the how many dots test and so on and it's all about looking into some device and trying see something. Hardly intimidating even to the most feeble minded among us. I mean it's like looking into a telescope; something you may not do every day (or night) but hardly a threat. Oh well, I don't think they cover giving eye tests to madmen in optical assistant school. They may, however, go over some geriatric issues and I think this lady was improvising along that route. Next we have the eye doctor, a very nice man for an Android. I swear this man is programed to perform complex fiddling of various machinery, All the while speaking some eyeball jive in a sing-song voice and answering "Yes, of course." in response anything you might say. Usually harmless and very predictable, so I was quite taken aback when he suddenly dismissed his robotic persona and said, "Hmmm, something serious here, Ill be setting up an appointment for you with the eye surgeon," then walked out. As I was led to the desk where "all business must be concluded before leaving", I heard the doc's voice singing its song to the next patient. Too weird in that by finding some new event beyond their ken, the whole complex shut down on me and went into reset mode for the next patient. Well true to their word, they sent me to The Eye Surgeon. Still, I find the lack of a real explanation or consultation or discussion about which eye surgeon; the stuff that happens when normal people need to be referred for advanced treatment, I find it, well, missing and am left with the feeling I should have brought a parent or what ever the equivalent for a 59 year old child would be. Oh, by the way, I got my new glasses with no argument at all from what is usually the most contentious sector of the staff. Now in case you think I am imagining being treated like an idiot, I offer you this;
When I went to my appointment at the eye surgery complex, my initial exam was done by a woman who obviously did not suffer fools gladly. "Do you know why you are here?" She demanded. I said that I did. She then fixed me with the look usually reserved for inspecting some questionable item on one's dinner plate and said, "Well, why don't you tell me what you think you are here for?" I wanted to put her eye out. Being a disabled person can cause great frustration. Even more so when you know that your disability is partly due to mental illness and it is not a secret. A touch of the old lunacy may even do you a favor in the studio or at your desk, but when you go outside of the nest you have to be very careful of how you act or what you have to say , for the part of the world that responds in direct reaction to you is seldom understanding and rarely, if ever, charmed by your antics. The folks in this story helped me retain a great deal of my sight and though I am very grateful, I must admit, that in my minds eye, things don't make for such a happy picture. How can I be so selfish; so self centered? Well that is just the way we crazy people are. Please take my word for this and don't try it at home.
Don't call me Tex