Posts Tagged ‘Macular’

The Dilemma of an E-Reader

May 10, 2013


We all know things get worse as the years creep by. We don’t become wiser nor do we get any closer to the truth that we were so keenly after. In fact, it all becomes hazier not unlike a glass of iced water with the Pernod anise added to it but without the benefit of its sweet unctuousness. Perhaps that’s why, as we get older, we tend to throw caution to the wind and indulge in the Absinthe more often than might be good for us. Who cares? Does it really matter afterwards? I mean, we can never discount the possibility, no matter how distant, we would regret not having indulged even a bit more. So, let me be wise at least in the ‘reckless’ department.

I used to wear glasses which miraculously became superfluous in my middle years. Was I being rewarded for having been good? Who was looking after me, when I was told over and over again, that if you persist in doing that, you will go blind and encourage hairs to sprout on the inside of your hands and everybody will know!  Always keep hands above the blankets, think of ice bergs and what happened to the Titanic. Failing that, think of an approaching train with your head tied to the rails.

You are at the beginning of a calamitous journey into blindness with your right eye showing a clear stage of ‘degenerative macular’ disease. Well, not exactly in those words. But the eye specialist comforted me, with ‘it is quite common in getting older’ that eye sights might diminish somewhat. The ‘somewhat’ is something the specialist had been trained to say, depending on the level of alarm those first words of a more sinister ‘macular’ and ‘degenerative’ might cause.

Fortunately my left eye is needle sharp and I could even read the smallest print on a Jaguar car catalogue he was showing me.  I bet he had just bought a Jaguar. No doubt earned from his lucrative specialists business. I noticed his waiting room was full of patients with thick glasses, all at different levels on their macular degenerative journey! Perhaps, he was flipping through the catalogue in between patients. Good for him.

With my left eye being still close to perfect, I briefly thought of it perhaps being related to being right handed and therefore having spared my left eye in conjunction with hardly ever using my left hand. Who knows? Science sometimes brings out surprising results. If something is still working, let us still cling to the wreckage of our bodies and continue our journey to the best of our dysfunction.

This brings me to my original premise of the plight of the E-reader. It would not be surprising if the popularity of this latest electronic devise will go sky high. The canny retiree would be well advised to invest in Sony or go long on Kindle options and keep an eye out on Amazon shares. Our country and its Government are already generous in supplying hearing aids to the degenerative auditory of hearing impaired. The Prime minister would be foolish not to support generously the subsidizing of E-readers. The magic of the E-readers lies in that it can store thousands of books which can be read at different font sizes. All this is available in the palm of your hand and at the flick of a finger. The E-reader truly is magic and together with Pernod almost makes old age a dream come true…

This of course gives years of reading to those that are decrepit with batty eyes. It is not easy for those not tech savvy to download all the different features but just get your grand-kids to do that. I obstinately tried myself and now have eleven copies of Tolstoy’s’ “War and Peace”, not realizing that each time I pressed a certain page or button I would download yet another copy. I have yet to see my Credit Card account but now have eleven copies of over a thousand pages each of War and Peace together with Jules Verne Eighty days around the world and Rudyard Kipling’s, the Jungle Book. There is enough reading for at least a couple of years.

It just never stops; does it?

(With grateful acknowledgment to Frangipani, whereby, without her untiring support and encouragement, my E-Reader wonderment would most likely not have come to pass)

The Joy of ageing with Milk bottle Lenses. (no walking stick)

April 25, 2013


The joy of ageing with Milk bottle Lenses. (No walking stick)

The eye test is scheduled for 30th of April at 10am sharp. The hearing test will be May the 13th, anytime after 2pm and in Sydney. In both cases bring your health benefit card!

The right eye is being threatened by a good bout of (old) age related Macular disease resulting in loss of vision. It is irreparable but a good diet is advised and there can be injections into the affected eye that may be of some help as well. There are lots of aids including magnifying glasses, super strong spectacles with milk bottle lenses, enlarged print in books and change the settings on computers to giant format with an added opportunity for those that as the loss of vision increases and a thick depression blankets in, you can share your loss with an experienced counselor who will ease you into accepting that life is short, and anyway,” it doesn’t last forever”. Have you chosen your casket yet? That’s just such great news. Keep up your pecker Gerard.

I know I should fear large brown bears or trucks on the footpaths, but loss of vital organs is in a class of their own. I mean, can’t read the small print on the gas bill anymore? What could possibly be worse? Can’t hear the ads on channel 10 or 7, those lovely jingles by Harvey Norman’s ‘Get it now” exhorting us to buy the latest nest of woven plastic tables and chairs for outdoor dining together with a gleaming turbo driven eight burner stainless steel kitchen cum barbeque life style enhancement.

Why then do we get so many ads relating to funeral cost protection lately? You get to see this happy family cavorting with kids on a sloping lawn with the wife beaming happily in the knowledge that her hubby has taken out a good solid funeral protection plan. He looks so proud! It all adds so much to lifestyle. What are they trying to tell us? Should we ask the funeral organizers to put the cremation retort on low or stand-by? Is that part of ‘life-style’ as well or is it more of a death-style? How’s your death- style going might well be the next catchy phrase?  Is it still thriving, getting warm?

If that is all what lays ahead it can’t be too bad? There is still lovely food and nice conversations with friends and family but I do resist the temptation of the old and weary to rabbit on about   ‘the good old days’ when petrol was 2shillings and six pence a gallon and Franquin the Great Magician was as hilarious an evening of entertainment it could ever get. I just put on the ‘for the hearing impaired’ ear phones and listen yet again to ‘le piano du pauvre.’

Nothing could chase the grandkids back home to mum and dad quicker than when I put on that piece of music and ask H for yet another fox-trot. (Or talk about the benefits of a Jules Verne book)

I have learnt my lesson well and leave the kids to their IPod, Pad, Tablets and Apps and console myself that a similar fate will befall them as well. “You will all be lucky to get out of it alive, I tell them”. They look a bit bewildered when I say that. Oma puts them at rest and says “your Opa is just kidding you”; “he is always joking and making fun.” “Don’t take him seriously!” “He is going gaga.”

I can still put on my own socks and you walk rather briskly, so my lovely wife tells me.

This journey is still ongoing.