What's on my mind.

27 September 2007


Mom's been doing so well this last week or so. Saturday I drove her to the mall and grocery store and she was calm and rational about her not being able to see well enough. Sunday she seemed in good spirits at Nettie's party, if a bit tired at the end. Then she calls me today and starts crying. I don't know what to say, I never do. I sometimes wish I could just run away.

Mom has a macular pucker in her left eye (I think). She first noticed a problem back in late May early June. She went to the eye doctor after we visited Anna; he diagnosed it and referred her to the local retinal specialist. The eye doc said that these things move slowly and surgery isn't done until one's vision is significantly effected, i.e. loss of vision affects one's daily life. She was suppose to see the specialist in October. The pucker got worse. By mid-July Mom couldn't read paperbacks anymore. Reading Harry Potter to Nettie in the car was hard. I finally nagged her into calling the specialist and seeing if she could get an appointment sooner. He saw her the next week (now early Sept). With her glasses on, she could only read the top two rows on the eye chart with her left eye. The specialist set up surgery as soon as possible, the end of October. It takes about six months for maximum recovery of sight and that will be about half of what's been lost. He also told Mom that the surgery tends to trigger cataracts, in both eye, so she'll probably need cataract surgery in about 6 months (at least that doesn't involve actually cutting the eye).

The macular pucker makes things look wobbly or crocked (Mom's whole 6" Amsler grid is crazy, viewed at a distance of 2'). Mom's vision seems to change in jumps. She'll be doing OK and then wake up one morning and the floor looks like a roller coaster again. Usually, by the next day she is compensating and can get around OK and drive. After this last change it took three days for her to be able to drive again. Not that she does much, it is a strain. She's been using her cane and handicap tag again, not because of her back but because she has so much trouble judging where the floor is or if there is anything in her way. She started using the cane after she walked into the wall next to the door one day picking Nettie up from school. (BTW, Belk's in town has a VERY slick floor, not good if your cane doesn't have a rubber tip.)

We live out in the boonies so to get anywhere, one has to drive. Dad will take her places but he has things he has to do and he doesn't get as lonely as Mom. And he doesn't want to go to lunch with one of her girlfriends. Right now she's kind of trapped in the house. She can't read at all. She can't really watch TV, just listen, and the daytime programs she likes are all decorating type shows - not good listening. There are many TV shows she likes anymore, anyway.

So she calls me. And I don't know what to say and want to hang up, and run away, forever. And then feel bad, because I'm a bad daughter. And a bad person, because I feel sorry for myself despite being almost perfectly healthy.

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