August 20, 2020
2012 started out like any other year. I had one more semester, plus one more class I had to take before finishing up my tenure at Shepherd University. My son turned 14 that year. But it turned out being a really rough year. My dad ended up being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and no ischemic optic neuropathy…he had gone legally blind. Again! And somehow, through all of this, I managed to keep up with my studies.
One day, in the end of July, he was driving out to the nursing home to visit his mother when he realized that he couldn’t see. It happened that quick! And talk about a scary situation…
He drove on out to visit with his mother for a few minutes, then, after explaining to her that he couldn’t see, left and came back home. When he got home, he told me we needed to call the doctor’s.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I can’t see.”
Talk about being upset with him! I told him he should’ve called me from the nursing home, we could’ve left his car there and gotten someone to help us get it back home. All he wanted was to get home, in one piece.
After running around to different doctor’s he ended up at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD, so they could run tests on him. They felt that he had had a stroke of the eye, but there was no pain, so they were confused. He was in the hospital for the weekend.
After a few months, he was released from the specialist doctor’s care, back to his primary doctor. When he had his regular eye check ups, he had 20 vision. I would say he had 20/20 vision, but considering that he was totally blind in his right eye, he didn’t. His eye sight was affected, although looking at him, you wouldn’t know it.
Colors were not what they should have been…he once told me that the leaves on an azalea bush, in a photograph I had taken, looked purple. The only time he could see himself in the mirror was when he put shaving cream on his face. He made a comment to one of the ladies at church that he could only see her from the neck up.
He tried to keep up with the banking, and other computer stuff, but it took him so long to do anything, the page would time out and he would log be logged out. He had to give up mowing, as he couldn’t see my gardens. I ended up doing most things around the house. He would walk down to the mailbox – a half mile walk both ways – but sometimes he would get “lost”, or “misplaced”. After a good talking to, he learned to carry his cell phone with him all the time, no matter what.
He still did handy man things, like use the chainsaw when we had the ice storm in 2014. Considering that he had been using it, and other hand tools, since he was a teenager, he knew how to use it. He even used the table saw a couple of times. It was everyone else that needed to watch out for him. In 2015, he rebuilt the mower shed. He did this without my help, as I had just had major surgery and couldn’t help him.
Hope you have a great day!
Thanks for stopping by!!
I used to be his angel
Now he’s mine
to read more of my dad’s story, click here