Double Vision Vision Check

Before I continue my saga of my trip to Burlington and the optometrist, I would like to remind you of where I live. The picture below gives you a very good indication of our general winter conditions. The weather report generally sounds something like, mostly cloudy with a chance of clearing around 2 in the afternoon.

Island in the Clouds

Island in the Clouds

So, I got to the optometrists office, sat down amidst all his testing equipment and we chatted — general “make the patient comfortable questions” like where do you live and what do you do, etc. I told him I live on San Juan Island so we talked about this area for a bit.

Finally it was time to start the exam. Doc asked if there was anything I specifically wanted to address in the exam. I told him that I am having issues with my bifocals and get headaches when I try to work at the computer. He took my glasses, checked them out, and directed my attention to the eye chart on the wall. He was all business from there on out.

A bit later he said that my bifocal prescription did indeed need adjusting. As he talked he reset the exam lenses. While swinging the machine back in front of my face he asked, “How about your distance vision? Are you having any trouble with that?”

I answered, “How would I know? I live on San Juan Island, remember?” He looked at me in surprise, chuckled a bit and sat down on his stool. He grabbed the piece of equipment he uses to look into the eye itself, and repeated what I’d said. Then he sat back in his chair and just roared laughing. When he was finished he grabbed a Kleenex, wiped his eyes and said, “A bit foggy there, huh?” And succumbed to another fit of laughter.

When my eye exam was finished and Doc walked me back to the receptionist, he thanked me for coming to his office and told me he’d had a wonderful time. The receptionist looked back and forth between us like she was trying to figure out what brought that on. I didn’t help when I said, “Thanks, Doc. I had fun, too!”

I do love to leave people wondering.

I’m Supposed to Be Where?!

So I arrived at my optical appointment yesterday about 15 minutes before my appointed time.  I stepped up to the counter and said, “Hi!  I’m here for my eleven o’clock appointment.”  The receptionist promptly welcomed me as Cheryl Jones.  I gave her my correct name.  She looked at her schedule and asked me to repeat my name.  When she asked me to spell my name I knew there was a problem.

I said, “But you called me yesterday to confirm that I would be here!”  The receptionist said, “I didn’t.  You aren’t on my schedule.”  Then she asked me if my appointment was in Burlington, or Bellingham.  I thought my appointment was in Burlington, but I called Bellingham to double-check and sure enough, that’s where I was supposed to be.

Legally, the distance between Burlington and Bellingham is a half hour drive — on a good day, sans traffic, sans snow, sans ice.  I told the nice lady on the phone I wasn’t going to make my appointment.  I braced to hear her say they’d have to charge me for it anyway, but she didn’t! If I had known that I probably wouldn’t have left my island!  Grrr ….

In the meantime I am standing in the optical shop of the Burlington Sears.  I looked at the receptionist and said, “I’ve come a long way in nasty weather.  Do you have an open appointment?”  She looked at her schedule and said, “I don’t, but I am sure we can fit you in.  Do you want to wait?”

Sigh.  I had a novel with me, so yeah, I wanted to wait.  She gave me the new patient paperwork and I took a seat.  She went back to her desk.  Within seconds I heard her call my name.  She said, “Our 11 o’clock appointment just canceled.  If you hurry the doctor will see you now.”

I hurried.  So, that’s how I managed to have an eleven o’clock appointment in Bellingham but have my eyes tested in Burlington.  There’s still a mystery though.  When I made my appointment, supposedly for Bellingham, I was given driving directions to the Cascade Mall in Burlington.  Why?

Whatever — it all worked out.  And, if his behavior was any indication, the doctor had a really good time, too!  But I’ll save that story for tomorrow.


Safe and sound and none the worse for wear.

The weather forecasters were wrong. We only got about 3 inches of snow. Of course, they say it isn’t over yet. For now the sun is shining through the clouds and I see a tiny promise of blue over the harbor.

Since I was one of the first cars on the roads yesterday morning, I tried to drive a bit off-side the ruts so I was plowing fresh snow rather than driving on compacted ice. It is a safe and sane tactic that kept me pretty much in control of my car. Even so, yesterday’s trip contained a couple of little thrills.

As we (long line of cars) pulled off the ferry and drove out of the terminal toward Anacortes, some jerk on one of the back roads realized s/he was trying to merge into ferry traffic and rather than waiting for the line to pass, pulled out in front of the car in front of me. Luckily, the driver in front of me was prepared for just such an action, and wasn’t going too fast. Double luckily, everyone in the line had left at least three healthy car lengths between them and the person they followed, so we all managed to stop without incident.

The 16 mile stretch between the ferry terminal and open freeway seemed a lot longer than usual yesterday. At one of the main intersections the road was already black ice. I was only going about 12 miles an hour when I rolled through (5 lanes one way, 3 the other) and I felt the rear end of the car slide left. I took my foot off the gas pedal and didn’t touch the break. No one was on the side roads, there was no on coming traffic, and the guy behind me was about a half a block away, so I just nudged the steering wheel left a minute amount, and let my car gently slide into the meridian, where it came to a stop, then I just drove away.

Out on the highway there was only one lane bare. We were all driving about 30 miles an hour because the fog and snow seriously limited our visibility. I watched a 4 wheel drive behind me “leap-frog” up the line pulling in and out of traffic and passing whenever he could. By this time I’d been following the SUV in front of me since we left the ferry, and I had learned to trust his driving, therefore I was a little annoyed when it was my turn to have the marauding pick-up cut in front of me. Of course I saw him coming and slowed down to make room.

The pickup didn’t stay in front of me long. As he swerved into the left lane to go around the SUV, I saw the break lights on the SUV flash. I could not see beyond either of the larger vehicles. The pickup was accelerating, but the SUV was slowing down. I decided to trust the guy in the SUV. I tapped my brakes a couple of times to let the guy behind me know something was up, then slowed down.

Seconds later the tails lights on the pickup glowed red and did a whole lot of shimmying before he came to a total stop. We all rolled on by at about 7 miles an hour. A tanker had slid off the road and took up the full left lane. I imagine that guy in the pick up truck found himself back at the end of the line once he was able to get back in the stream of traffic. He’s lucky he didn’t find himself — and maybe a few of us — dead.

At any rate, I made it to my appointment safely — only to learn that I didn’t actually have an appointment and had driven to the wrong town, but that’s a tale for later ….

Vaya Con Dios, Vicodin!

I am doing much better-pain wise, and I’ve quit taking the Vicodin. That stuff made me dizzy and nauseous! I spent most of yesterday afternoon asleep. (And the Dudes underwhelmed me with their compassion.) The good news is, most of today I didn’t take any painkiller at all.

This morning before I went shopping I took a couple of ibuprofen, but that was it for the day. My foot is a bit sore right now. I just took my bandage off, had a shower, and rewrapped my toe. I will probably take a couple of ibuprofen before bed.

The hardest part of this so far has been the bed covers. Who knew they were so heavy? And because my toe is sore they have to tangle around my foot. I think they are doing it on purpose.

Toe-tally Sore!

My toe hurts. Big surprise since I had the toenail pried off of it yesterday. Because the doctor knew my toe would hurt she gave me a prescription for Vicodin. Nice stuff. My toe still hurts, but I don’t really care.

However, why would the doctor tell me to stay off my feet as much as possible the first day, and prescirbe me Vicodin? You see, one of the side-effects of Vicodin is an incredible thirst. The stuff literally sucks the moisture from my mouth, so I pour more in.

I am certain you’re aware of the most immediate side-effect of drinking pints of water every hour — I have to go to the bathroom. That, of course, means I have to get up and move. A lot. Like now.