Friday, July 13, 2007

Vision-Watching TV

TV Stars 9" x 12 " watercolors
There had not been any more wavey vertical or horizontal lines, or faces with sunflowers in front. I was even able to read the newspaper, most magazines, and books with decent sized print without reading glasses. I used those for smaller print, when I had a lot of reading to do and, before I retired, for forms like roll and grade sheets. I had to use the glasses a lot when I was still teaching.
I was watching tv, something I do a lot of. Some of it was not all that clear. At lunch, I liked to have a sandwich while I watched the British comedies on tv. It was like having lunch with a friend. But, in order to make out the faces, or specific scenery, I had to stand up and walk over closer to the tv set. Sometimes, at night, while watching programs with the family, I would sketch or read my book. I wasn't all that interested in the programs, but it was time together while the younger crowd enjoyed what they wanted to watch.
I was also having to ask the younger folks what time it was, or what the words were on tv. I could read them, if I walked over to the tv set.
One night, I was watching one of the late night talk shows in which Phyllis Diller was a guest. How odd! She seemed to have two mouths, two noses, two sets of eyes and eyebrows, two jaws, while her neck and body were normal. I grabbed my watercolor paper. Then Jimmy Kimmel was on and he seemed to have two faces in profile, with his facial features a bit distorted. A man playing the piano seemed to have three heads in different positions while he was actually just sitting there, not moving around much. I switched to Jay Leno and he, too, had two mouths, double eyes and nose, as well as the side of his face appeared to be doubled. I sketched them to remember what I was seeing.
Lines of print were double and fuzzy, and had a wave in them, similar to what the venetian blinds looked like previously. I added a few lines of print to my sketch.
The next day, as I was watching one of my favorite British comedies, "As Time Goes By", Judi Dench seemed to have a very distorted face. A very long, curved nose, double eyes, cheeks, and lips, as well as the side of her face. She had on a wide brimmed hat and a suit, which were clear. Goeffrey Palmer also had a distorted face, with a long, curved nose, while the rest of him was clear. I sketched them, too, then added watercolors.
In the mail, I received a notice that it was time to renew my drivers license. I was sure that, at my age, that would involve an eye test. With what was going on with my vision, I feared I would need glasses.
I had been using some $5 reading glasses and a pair of drugstore glasses that I had for years. The doctor had given me a prescription for glasses at the last visit, as he said my distance vision had changed slightly. But, he added, I really didn't need them. Drugstore glasses would do just as well, if I felt I needed something. I stuck with my little cheap glasses, which worked for me.
But that had been a couple of years ago, so I thought my vision must have changed and that's why things were looking funny.
Problem was, paying for a copay and glasses. I couldn't afford Medicare anymore, and had lost my good insurance when I retired. I still had retired teachers insurance, which required people to have Medicare as well. They would pay for very little. My income had dropped to about 1/3 of what I made while I worked, but expenses kept going up.
I had quit taking medicine or going to doctors after I found how little the insurance would pay. Even when I had both Medicare and retirement insurance, they wouldn't pay for a lot of things, including the ambulance to take me to the ER when I couldn't get out of bed due to my knees. ( I still think that was extremely necessary, but they didn't. Their information didn't say that ambulance transport was only for life threatening situations, which is why they said they wouldn't pay. ) I could manage some drugstore glasses, but not the kind with a prescription, or a doctor's visit.
One more expense to have to worry about, but I had until after Christmas to renew my license. So, I just put that in the back of my mind. I was sure that glasses were in order, but feared that they might tell me that the cataracts were causing my problems. I tried not to think about it, and prayed that I only needed something that was really cheap.
I wasn't driving, due to my knees, anyway, so it could wait until Christmas was over. The distortions were just a minor inconvenience as I watched tv or tried to see the time on the clock on the cable box or the stove. That could be remedied by asking someone, or getting up and walking closer.
Painful knees and feet (from nerve damage), fluid, and other things like the need for money, seemed to be more pressing, but I couldn't do anything about those, either.
I thought that the tv stars might either get a laugh, or be upset, if they realized how I see them from a little distance.
Some glasses would solve the problem, I was sure.

No comments: