Another Day with the Seniors

on Sep 07, 2011 by Michael Rupured

I had my appointment with the retina specialist today. There were a few people waiting in the hallway, and the main waiting room was full. I took a seat in the nearly empty overflow waiting room and started catching up on Words with Friends on my cellphone.

A sweet little old lady who had driven a member of her church to the appointment from Elberton was deep in conversation with a young woman who had driven her father from Buford.  As usual, the doctor was running behind. I eaves-dropped on their conversation for a good half hour.

The older woman reminded me a lot of my Aunt Toodles. She was upbeat and positive about everything and told several funny stories about her younger years. I caught myself smiling several times at her contributions to the conversation. She was active in her church and felt like her life had been richly blessed. The biggest blessing, in her view, was being born and growing up in the fine state of Georgia. She was a real peach.

The shock came when talk turned to politics. Everything about her screamed socially conservative Republican. I was amazed to hear her say she worried about all the talk of deregulation coming out of Washington. She feels sorry for our president. Her biggest fear was that “they” would do away with unions. Neither she nor anyone in her family had ever been a member of a union, but she and her husband agreed they had both benefited tremendously from union activities.

You could have knocked me over with a feather.  After the younger woman left, I told her as much. She said she was worried I was going to jump her because all the people my age she knew were staunch Republicans. “If you ask me,” she said, “they’re racist more than anything else.” I could have hugged her.  We had a delightful conversation until a crotchety old man joined us and we switched to safer topics.

Other than a slight improvement in my vision, due most likely to the special eye-health vitamins I’ve been taking for a month, my trip to the doctor’s office went downhill from there. My scan showed virtually no change, meaning I needed another injection with the same drug I had last time. The release date for the new drug the doctor wants to put me on got pushed back to October.

In the dark room we wait in for our eyes to dilate, the conversation had a definite right-wing flavor. I kept my mouth shut to avoid getting bashed with an oxygen tank or cane. My momma didn’t raise no fool.

A woman I’ll call Grandma Harper Valley PTA gets my award for most entertaining patient. She was all dolled up in a wig, tons of make-up, a short dress, matching polish on her fingers and toes, and little high-heel sandals. I’d love to know what kind of bra she was wearing. For an older woman, she had one very perky rack. She delighted in letting everyone know she was 72 years-old.

I’ve lost count of the number of injections the doctor has given me. He even bragged to his assistant about how well I handle them. I should have knocked on wood or something. As he approached my eye with the syringe, I jumped, causing his hand to slip and the injection to hurt like hell. Five hours later, it still hurts and a steady stream of tears flows from that eye when it’s open. Bummer.

For the first time ever, after the injection I had to wait an extra thirty minutes. My eye pressure was up. I don’t know what normal is, but it was 20 when I got to the office and 51 immediately after the injection. They wouldn’t let me leave until it dropped below 40.  By then it was going on one o’clock (my appointment was at 10:20) and I was starving.

I went through the drive-through at Captain D’s for a country-style fish dinner. Screw the diet–I was in pain! Instead of fries and slaw, I did get green beans and broccoli for sides. Call me a changed man. When I got home I let the dogs out, called Mom to let her know I was home and would call her later, woofed down my lunch, and as is my post-injection habit, went to bed for a couple of hours.

Normally when I wake up, my eye is more or less back to normal if not still a tad sensitive to light. Not today. Even so, it’s not as bad as it was when I got home, and not as bad now as when I first got up from my nap. Hopefully by tomorrow, things will be back to normal here in…

My Glass House

3 Comments

  1. Ouch! Sorry to hear about the painful injection. Hope you’re feeling better soon. Love to hear your stories about Waiting With The Geezers. Wish it was fiction, though.

  2. Neeks says:

    So sorry about the injection, that sounds horrible. Your story about the people in the waiting room was great! You really bring the characters to life it’s like I was sitting there too!

    • Thanks Neeks! The folks in the waiting room are a colorful crowd. Unless I jump, the injections really aren’t that bad. The thought of them and the dread is worse than the injection…or so I keep telling myself!

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