Friday, July 13, 2007

Vision-Vertical Lines

Where Do I Turn?
3.5" x 8"
Wavey Verticals
A few weeks passed and I dismissed the strange incidents that I had with my vision. Nothing further had happened, but I did have a little apprehension about why I had seen wavey horizontal lines in the blinds and the handrail, and the purple and green "sunflower" over the lawyer's face. It probably wouldn't happen again.

Then, one afternoon, while I was riding in a car, I saw a wavey telephone pole. This was different. Previously, the wavey lines had all been horizontal. Now vertical things were looking curved. I blinked and blinked, but it only went away when I could no longer see the pole.

A couple of days later, my sister was in town. She wanted me to act as her navigator, telling her where to turn as we drove. That was an impossible task for me because, suddenly, not only did I see wavey telephone poles, but the sign posts were wavey. Lettering on the signs blurred as we seemed to whiz past. I could only tell where to turn if I could find a familiar bunch of trees or, once past the road, I could tell that we were supposed to have turned there.

Blinking didn't help, but, by the time I got home, the lines were straight again.

I had not been driving for a while due to the need for knee replacement. I could drive, but I just thought it was not the thing to do, just in case my reactions with my knees were not just perfect. I really didn't have a need to drive, though, since I had retired. Money was very tight and I didn't feel that I could afford to go anywhere anyway.

I had planned to do things when I had time. But, I really was glad to be at home and thought I would just play "Grandma" and do things like bake for my grandsons. I was out of practice and the food budget wouldn't allow me to experiment and possibly waste food. My few attempts were not very successful, so I gave that up. I really had planned to work longer, but, once I quit, there were no jobs locally in my field. So, I decided that it would be great to just stay at home, even if I did have to be a bit on the frugal side. As prices rose, though, we had to cut out more and more things. I was still thinking about a job when my knees got so bad that I couldn't get out of bed.

We had to call an ambulance to take me to the ER. They said I should be admitted, but there were no beds. So, I got a shot, some pain pills, and was sent home. We had to call the fire deparment to get me back up the stairs and in bed. I was told I needed knee replacements, so I began that process. Then, I found how little my insurance would pay. So, I stayed at home, took pain pills and slept, and gradually, I was able to walk again.

For years, I had gotten by with my bad knees by getting cortisone shots in my knees and taking Vioxx. Before I retired, the doctors thought that I had Lukemia, but it turned out to be that my white blood cell count would spike when I got the cortisone shots. So, no more shots. Then they took Vioxx off the market. Soon, I was not able to stand up or get up and down out of a chair.

I had been very reluctant to have any surgery, for years. However, the day I went to the ER, I would have been willing to do most anything to stop the pain. Instead, they sent me home. I was getting up my nerve to go through with getting my knees done, when I realized that with my new retirement insurance, I wouldn't be able to afford it.

Then, when my eyes started doing strange things, and I couldn't read signs or tell where I was without a big building or familiar landmark, I knew that it was a good thing that I didn't have to drive, for now.

My eyes didn't hurt and I tried to not think about the distortion that happened a couple of times. I thought that must be behind me because it didn't happen anymore.
As we visited my aunt in the nursing home, she had been in a counting mood. She counted buttons, numbers on the clock-anything she could find. She had always seemed to be on the "left brain" side, liking to deal with numbers and bookwork, and not caring for artistic or writing pursuits. It was dark when we left, so my sister wanted me to navigate as she drove. This was a strange town to her. We only went a few blocks when the glow of a parking lot while we were stopped for a red light, attracted my attention.
Pods of lights seemed to cluster all around the light pole. I counted several times to be sure of what I was seeing. Not one big light, or even a group of lights. But, that one light looked like it was actually 22 lights. As we got closer, of course, I could see that it was only one light on a pole. I counted out loud so that my sister could understand that my vision couldn not be counted on to get us home.
"Are you counting like our aunt, now?" she asked.
"No, that's just how many lights I am seeing on that pole," I answered.
I didn't think that she realized that we may not find our way if she depended on me to read the signs. She did find her way, with a very little bit of help from me.
These small watercolors were done using Winsor Newton watercolors on 140 pound Arches watercolor paper.

Parking Lot Lights
2.5" x 4"

22 Lights on a Pole - Really One

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