Thursday, March 08, 2018

Surgery set

I was measured for the new lens that will go into my eye.  So this is all progressing!

I was told that I will be using a total of three drops associated with this surgery.  Two before the surgery and one (I think) after.  The person doing all this pre-op business told me there was a pharmacy that could get the drops at a lower cost to me.  But that place is a long way (and in an unfavorable area) so I decided to use my local national one.

With the hubbub that I have been hearing from other retired Texas teachers, I was a little concerned with the new that these drops were "expensive."  I have to remember that most of those with the horror stories of having things like their insulin costs rising to $1500 come from those under 65.  Those poor people are really getting hit hard - both with just the cost of their insurance but also the drug portion.  They are not eligible for Medicare, and with the Windfall profit ruling (and that's laughable when you see exactly how little Texas teachers get for their retirement) - where Texas teachers aren't eligible for their total Social Security they PAID in, they may not get Medicare possibly.  I was very worried about the cost of those drops.

I had a semi-pleasant surprise when I called and got the amount I was to be charged  The total cost was $75.  That is both a shock and relief.  That means that each bottle was $25, and that is what I pay now for my Lumigan - for glaucoma.  So even though that was $75 I didn't plan on spending, it wasn't that far out of line.

The other good news about the cataract surgery is that she can do another procedure to hopefully eliminate glaucoma in that poor ol' left eye while she is there.  THAT would mean only half the amount of the Lumigan!  At least that is my hope.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Little things can mean a lot

While I was at the water polo game, G took our recycling out front.  He saw a couple walking two Boxers, and was, of course, interested.  He didn't recognize them, and I don't blame him.  He only met them once.

It was the couple who are friends (and one a classmate) of my daughter.  They had fallen on really hard times a few years ago.  They had lost their jobs and were near eviction from their home.  They had only one vehicle and it was so hard to even look for work for both of them.

We had just purchased our SUV, and we weren't going to get but about $1500 for my beloved Pontiac.  We hate trying to sell a car outright.  There are just too many horror stories - one included when we sold one that never had the title changed on!  That Pontiac was the epitome of the vehicle "driven by the little old lady school teacher to and from school!"  And school was about 5 miles from home.  It was in impeckable shape.

To cut to the chase - we gave this couple the car. 

They live about three blocks from us on a cul-de-sac, so we really don't ever go by their house. We heard from our daughter the car was saved during Harvey.  Their house got water in it, but that little green Gran Prix was saved!

After tslking with them, G found the husband still drives that car daily to and from work!  I am so happy we did this one bit of paying it forward.  That act was never about doing anything for us.  It was to help a good but struggling family get back on their feet.  It still can make me happy though - especially because that was the car of my dreams when I bought it!  I am so happy it still lives and is functional!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

To continue

This thing has gotten so much worse - so fast!

On Tuesday, I went to Granddaughter's water polo game.  It was at 5:30 and I drove - which is something I TRY to not do at all.  It was dusk when I got out.  First, with my diminished peripheral vision, I didn't see the step down in the parking lot.  I missed it and fell - fortunately on my butt.  That was embarrassing.  Then coming home, I was scared to death.  I really couldn't see that well as the night grew darker, and judging distance was really hard.

I knew all I see is blurry objects - letters disappear, but I just was kidding myself into believing it wasn't this bad.  It is.

So I go back next Tuesday to me "measured" for the lens.  And probably some other things as well.  I lost all she was saying - just to come in next week.  Then on the 27th is the surgery.

I love my doctor.  She is so funny.  I told her I was nervous with all that has happened to this eye.  She said I shouldn't be.  I told her that was easy for HER to say!

I really am thinking I don't have that much to lose.  I know, saw the "movie" about the surgery at her office, and she said I could lost my vision, but there isn't that much left!

Keep you posted as things progress!

Big day - I guess

And I am nervous.  Last time I saw the Retinal Specialist, the doc said the cataract was getting to the point he couldn't see the retina.  SO - I see the ophthalmologist today - in about an hour.

I cerebrally know it will be fairly painless, and I will be happy with the results.  I know I haven't got a lot to lose.  I do still have vision, but it is like looking through waxed paper that has been smeared with vaseline.   But it IS surgery.  On my eye.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Nothing really new

Our weather is still bad.  I am so tired of being cold that I almost miss menopause!  Usually here in Swampland by this time of the new year, we have reached 80 at least once.  So far that hasn't happened.  Perhaps tomorrow when the forecast is high 70's.  I am doubting that however since we haven't seen the sun in days!

My arthritis is really kicking butt.  It is amazing that one session in the pool in July of last year sent my shoulders into such a state.  Many nights the pain accompanied by my insomnia means I don't get much sleep.  I know I have had problems with these shoulders since I was a teen, but they are both really bad.  The diagnosis is arthritis in the left and a torn rotator cuff in the right.  But the real pain began when I was doing some isometric style exercises in the pool.  I just don't understand.

But the shoulders, back, and knees (yes those titanium knees that still hurt) are going to have to wait.  I went to the retinal specialist yesterday. While my right eye is still ok (last time he was seeing some fluid build up), he said it is time for the cataract surgery.  I will see better - of course since I am legally blind in the left eye because I have a "filmy" cataract in that eye - that is a given. 

The state of Texas has done a real number on its teachers - both in service and retired.  Our insurance is costing us a lot more, and the coverage is poor.  I have been waiting to book this cataract stuff.  I really SHOULD have done it last year when the insurance was better.  I didn't think the same insurance company would become so terrible this year, but it has.  But I called to begin the process.  So we will see.

So here it has been another gripe session.  Moaning and groaning about health in general.  Sorry about that.  It seems that is life in these parts these days.  G has back problems that the ortho said is treated with surgery.  That didn't go over well at all.  So they are going conservative with injections and physical therapy.  Our days seem to be spent deciding who has what doctor's appointment.  So that's where the mindset is.

Stay warm!  Let's all look forward to spring!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

FINALLY melted!

I took pictures after three days in the deep freeze, but I am just too lazy to download them from the camera, but we still had snow (ice) on roofs, cars, and shady places in the streets.  This is Southeast Texas for goodness sakes!  We are semi-tropical.  This is ridiculous.

Schools were closed for two days, and well they should have been.  Our temperature didn't get out of freezing both of those days.  I knew that the buses would not run.  And they didn't. 

I am not looking forward to our gas bill.  We have two furnaces that ran A LOT!  Fortunately, we had gotten our firewood before all this, so we were good on that.  Our fireplace is really an important asset to our heat in the den.  Even with new ductwork that should have been able to send the air better, the master bedroom gets the lion share of the air (both a/c and heat).  It gets so hot in there, but the den, kitchen, and breakfast room get just a little so we have been freezing!

Today we are to have (finally!!!) temperatures in the 60's, but it is cloudy with occasional showers.  That makes it seem a lot colder.  Tomorrow temps in the 70's.  I wish the sun were to be out, the rain will be greater.

So that is what is going on in Southeast Texas.  With the flu rampant, and the terrible weather, we are sticking close to the house.

Hope all it better in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

This and that

First - there won't be much done today.  We are once again under mixed precipitation and a winter storm warning.  What??  Tropical Houston!  Yes - right now here in Little Sub of Houston it is 27 and falling at 10:00 AM.  My car and roof are covered in sleet.  Our neighbors are without power - with the repair being done with repair being done between 11 am and 4 pm.  Thank God for our generator (that we got for hurricanes but use more in the cold!).

I. Am. Tired. Of. This.  We were at the SSB with my son and his family for New Years. It SNOWED, and the temps ran in the teens.  People - we are in the south!  This isn't supposed to happen.

Today this freeze covers the state and all over schools are closed, governmental offices are closed.  The joke is that Texas is closed.  And, sadly it is true.  But it is a good thing - we aren't prepared for this stuff!


In other news, my cataract isn't getting one bit better.  I really am legally blind in my left eye.  When I went to the Retinal Specialist last week I got the "wonderful" news that now there is a little fluid under the retina in the right eye.  That means the dry macular degeneration is affecting the right eye.   I am really upset.  That will mean injections in both eyes. 

My shoulders (right - torn rotator cuff, left - no cartilage to buffer bones) are terrible.  Now the sciatia isn't bad, but the degeneration is causing a lot of pain.  I cannot stand for much more than 15 minutes.

Getting old isn't for the weak.  I am lamenting as so many of us do - if I had known I was going to live this long...   Well if I had known I would fall apart like this, I think I would not have done things like moving heavy antique furniture upstairs by my self!

Peace to you all.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


I knew my vision was getting worse, but I didn't realize just how bad it really was until I began making some Christmas presents for my dear friends.

I had not used my embroidery machine since July when I hurt my shoulders.  They are upstairs, and those stairs are nicknamed "killer" because they are steep, and the very bottom one can be in a shadow - thus missed. 

The minute I sat down, I realized just how little I can see clearly in my left eye.  That cataract is really bad.  I know I am legally blind in that eye at this point. 

I was so thankful for a GOOD self-threader on the machine I was using.  It pretty much never fails, unlike the other one.  I have almost no depth perception.  Which is why I don't drive the main freeway that links my house with downtown and even church.  I take back roads because that freeway is under construction with extremely skinny lanes and lots of bumps. 

I guess sometime after the first of the year I will see my ophthalmologist for the surgery.  I don't know if it would be worth my while to wait for my next scheduled appointment which is in July.  The retinal doctor thought I would be doing the surgery soon. 

This whole situation with my eyes is so ironic anyway.  When I was teaching, our first week was spent on lab safety.  The kids were instructed to use safety goggles.  I would preach to them just how precious their vision was - "you only have one set of eyeballs."  Now look.  I am losing my vision. 

But the gifts got made, but the get together doesn't seem to be happening.  I put out the original emails and a follow-up, but I looked to them for setting a date and place.  That didn't happen.  If nothing else, I will just put the things away.  I can either participate in the craft show next year - or keep them as gifts either for these friends or someone. 

It was nice to get back to using my machines.  I have a "pig purse" to make for one of the granddaughters and I will do that probably next week.  But it pointed out just how old I am getting and how many faculties are disappearing.  I sat too long the last time pushing to finish, and that hurt my BACK. 

Geesh - getting old isn't for sissies!  I probably won't be back before Christmas - so Merry Christmas to all.