“How do you manage to sit on them all the time?” Tracey asked me the other day when I broke yet another pair of glasses. “And you need to stop going to bed with the bloody things on.”
“There’s stuff in there I like to see,” I grinned at her. Books and other things starting with b-o-o.
But she’s right, glasses are rarely off my face these days. Not because I need them to see all the time so much as because if I put them down somewhere I can never find them. Even I have to admit, considering I keep them on my face, the number of times I end up sitting on the bloody things and breaking them is disproportionate to the number of times I take them off – and my best efforts to add more and more soft cushioning to my tush hasn’t seemed to have had any positive effect. The bus sways like Beyonce’s hips when I walk from one end to the other.
So when I skipped in for new glasses this time I was under strict instructions to buy more robust frames.
But my specialist quickly brought up a more important concern than justifying coming home with the same daggy sort of face jewellery I always buy: all those annoying jets of air onto my eyeball and blinding flashes of light had revealed something.
“Do you have any sort of family history of glaucoma?” my eye-specialist asked me after he’d done his tests.
“I think my Uncle had it,” I said. “Why?”
“You’re a candidate for it,” he told me. “Not yet, but it looks like there’s a risk of it happening. Possibly an early sign.”
Turns out there’s some build up of liquid or something. This is the story of my life the last couple of years.
“I’m not surprised,” I told him. “There’s a build up of liquid under my chins and around my middle section too. Although I suspect that’s beer. Am I going blind?”
The thing with glaucoma is it’s one of those things which is less frightening the more serious you take it.
I’ve already had to think about what life would be like without sight. I only have one decent eyeball and I had a moment in the local hospital where I lost sight in my good eye and they thought I’d had a stroke. Turned out to be a migraine, but for an hour I sat on a seat thinking this was it. No more job. No more Escape To The Country, Grand Designs or Big Bang Theory. No more amusing myself by misreading lips or playing 500. No more firegazing or stargazing or glazing over pretending to do either of them.
No more Youtube or Netflix or arguing with strangers on Facebook or writing my blog posts.
No more enjoying the full visual spectacle of Eurovision.
As you can imagine, with so much at stake, he had my full attention. Fortunately, my eye-specialist had some better news for me.
“Nothing too worrying at this point,” he assured me, “but we need to keep an eye on it.”
“Was that a joke?” I asked.
“I’m going to say yes.”
You might think the biggest problem with glaucoma is the fact it’s irreversible, but that’s not it at all. The trouble is getting people to have their eyes checked so it can be detected early enough they can receive treatment before they go blind. There’s no shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. You won’t be able to see either.
For now, I’m rather pleased to say guilt free annual checkups, where I’ll get to annoy Tracey by buying some more daggy frames to squash and snap, are on the cards.
After all, life without being able to lie in bed looking at my wife’s magnificent boo…ks is something I don’t wish to contemplate.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
Thank you to the Glaucoma Aware campaign for supporting our family by sponsoring this post, and for asking me to share this important message