It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote. Since then, time has gone by quickly but I am excited to say that I have already accomplished one of my goals for this year, which was to get my full driving license. Yipee! I just passed my road test yesterday and I am beginning to feel more like an adult J I hope the month has been going well so far you too.
Today, I’m writing about something personal, as I often do. So here it goes…
Not having one of your most loved ones around is difficult; I miss my father every day, possibly every minute but there are some moments when the feeling hits me the most. One of such moments is whenever I get on a flight, which is a lot more than many people do. You see, my father always bought my flight tickets and would ensure that I sat by the window so that I could enjoy the view of the plane ride. To be honest, I usually slept off almost immediately after the flight took off but it made him happy to know that I sat there and that made me happy too; and before I realised it, it had become a habit for me. I remember the first time I did not sit by the window because I purchased my flight ticket myself and forgot to reserve my seat in time, that day I wept bitterly throughout my flight because I felt the loss of my doting and meticulous dad. At that moment, it began to dawn on me how much more responsibilities and attention to detail I would need to pay in life. And so now, I try my best to always sit by the window and even though I still cry on every flight, it’s easier to face the window and cry with no one noticing.
However, that is not the moment I want to talk about today; today is about another which hits me even harder. I knew this moment was coming and I waited patiently until I got the email last week. Alas, it was time again! Time for my yearly eye check-up, one the optometrists said I could not afford to miss. For many other people around my age that I know, eye check-ups perhaps once in two years might be considered necessary but in my own case, it had to be every year because I was told that I was considered to be “high-risk”. And even though my insurance only covered the bill once in two years, I still had to go; not just for one check but for two because I also needed to visit the retina specialist. I disliked the appointments which I had been subjected to for over 20 years of my life. They almost made me feel “enslaved” because it felt like I did not have a say in it and personally, I do not like being told what to do. Bad as the appointments felt, I always went with my dad as he would also get his eyes checked. Even if he had already checked his eyes at some point if I were in school, whenever I returned home, he would still go with me and check his again. He would also constantly remind me to take care of my eyes. It became one of our bonding moments as we both would go to see our eye doctor together and he would sit and wait for me, because my appointments were always longer. His eyes were not as “bad” as mine so it was hard to say that mine were genetic. And if and when I needed new glasses, he would help me to pick the frames. Although I still did not like the appointments, because to me, they were just another day of repeated eye drops, blinking, flashing of touch lights and asking me to read letters like I was in nursery school, they were much more bearable to me with my father by my side. But now, I had grown and become a spinster which meant that I had to attend the gruesome eye appointments alone.
So today at the eye clinic, I sat down and as usual, the technician did some pre-tests while I asked her what each instrument was measuring. After the initial screening, the optometrist came in and greeted me smiling. I could instantly tell that she was a nice lady, contrary to some doctors that I had met in the past who did not seem to genuinely care about the patient but instead, were more eager to get through the tests like a robot. We started the second stage of my tests and I could not help but think about my dad as usual and a tear rolled down my face. She gave me a tissue; I did not feel embarrassed as I knew she would assume that my teary eye had been due to the many tests. We talked about how I occasionally had itchy eyes which she said was as a result of dryness. I thought that was ridiculous as clearly I had lots of tears, but she told me that those were not the type of tears I needed; I needed more mucous which could be gotten from OMEGA 3 oils and fish, especially salmon. I learnt something new about types of tears and I was also happy that I had one more reason to eat plenty of salmon. She prescribed a suitable lubricant for my eyes; I told her that I did not want to use the one which my close friend, also an optometrist, had advised me not to buy because it caused vessel constriction.
We got through reading the letters in the mirror, with me wearing my glasses.
“That’s really good” she said nodding her head impressively, “You almost have 20/20 vision”.
My eyebrows rose and I smiled widely.
“With your glasses, I mean of course” she added the caveat quickly.
I burst out laughing; it was the first time anyone had ever said that to me and I told her that I was very happy to hear such an ironic statement.
She continued with my other eye checks including eye pressure and in between, I said to her with a voice almost void of hope and close to a whisper “please don’t dilate my pupils today.” She looked at me and I felt like I could see compassion in her eyes. She responded in a soft voice “it is very important that you get them checked every year.” I nodded; I had been told that by most of my previous doctors and so my asking them not to do it never really changed anything. They would put the stinging eye drops in my eyes anyway and then my vision would slowly become so blurred that I would rather stay with my eyes shut. It was a feeling I did not like at all and it made shiver to think of what being blind might be like. So I already knew the answer to my question when I asked her not to put those drops in my eyes, just the same way I knew the answer would be a no, when I asked her if there were any new medications invented that could cure my eye sight. However, a few minutes later, she then asked me if I had seen my retina specialist yet and I said no. She said she would look at my eyes a bit more and if she did not think there was anything urgent, then she would consider not putting the eye drops since I was going to see the retina specialists soon and they were going to check it there anyway. I was elated to hear the news and hoped that she would not see the need to.
She finished all required checks and gave me the good news that she would be skipping the eye drops for today but I would need to go to the retina within the next couple of weeks to get them checked. I thanked her profusely and she shook her head, smiling. I was good to go; my prescription had not changed, she said.
“So my eyes did not get worse?” I asked brightly.
“No, they did not.”
“So maybe they will get better soon” I half-asked, half-stated.
She laughed and told me that she was impressed with my optimism and so she will not try to dampen my hopes. “Maybe they will get better, who knows?” she said.
By the time I left her office, my spirits were lifted and I had learnt a lot more than I usually did at my appointment – about types of tears, allergy versus dryness of eyes, salmon and fish oils, Pterygium and Pinguecula; some of these I already knew about but today, I learnt in more details. Most importantly, I felt happier today than I ever did at my eye appointments because it occurred to me that with my glasses, I could see better than many people could (with or without their glasses). For me, that was the best icing on the cake – to know that my vision was 20/20, even if it was with help.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Please 'like' and share my posts. Also, please follow me on Instagram @Ugochiukah and twitter @vivio_gogo