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Chuck Hinman: IJMA No. 099: Help for Visually Impaired Dummy

'The Lord knows the way through the wilderness. All we have to do is follow. . . -CHUCK HINMAN

It's Just Me Again. No. 099 Help for the visually impaired dummy
Is Chuck Hinman your favorite Sunday with CM columnist, as many tell us? If so, we hope you'll drop him a line by email. Reader comments to CM are appreciated.

The next previous Chuck Hinman column, Chuck Hinman, IJMA 120: Time Changes Things

By Chuck Hinman

Borrowing an idea from the popular book series "... for Dummies," I had a brainstorm for a story that begged writing.


While sitting in my recliner feeling sorry for myself, I was rebelling at the prospect of wasting thirty days of my life in a sea of nothingness waiting for my new glasses. When you are 85 years old, you don't have too many "thirty days"s to waste!

The problem surfaced after I had a cataract removed from my good eye last Wednesday (2007). Most people have the other eye (usually good) to fall back on during the vision adjustment period. This takes about thirty days after which you get new glasses and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately I did not have that luxury. My "other" eye lost a battle with Macular Degeneration several years ago. I am not blind in that eye but my vision is limited and it serves as a "helper eye" in things like peripheral vision which is very important. But it has little value in things like reading.

Here was my sticky wicket for about thirty days. My right eye which has undergone the removal of a cataract is essentially out of business and part of that is because that eye is extremely nearsighted.

It works great with the proper refraction for nearsightedness but that correction is at least thirty days away. In the meantime, the left eye does not pick up the slack because of previous AMD impairment.

Sooooo, I have thirty days to bitch about my visual impairment OR better, decide to, with the grace of God, NOT let it get me down!

Yesterday was a BAD DAY and I do not want to repeat that. Feeling terribly depressed (a rare experience for me) I had the drapes closed, just one small lamp providing the only light in the room. Walking into my apartment, you might have wondered who's the chubby grubby looking guy in the casket and where do we sign the register of friends who called?

I don't need any more of that awful kind of day.

That's when I had that brainstorm and resolved by the grace of God to snap out of my self-induced funk. For the next thirty days I would like nothing better than to experience and write my story entitled "How to Fill Thirty Days with Purpose and Fulfillment For the Visually Impaired Dummy."

I started out the day by opening all the drapes. Sunshine immediately flooded my apartment and it was beautiful and tastefully decorated. I had forgotten in my funk how classy it really is. I already felt better than I had yesterday.

In addition I turned on everything that contained a light bulb. The tsunami effect of light flooding my apartment was uplifting beyond my imagination!

I made the bed for the first time since the surgery. I opened the front door of my apartment on the third floor of Tallgrass Estates suggesting to the world that I was "open for business." And indeed, I was!

What a change twenty-four hours had made. The casket was gone! "This is the DAY the Lord hath made (so) let us rejoice and be glad in it" -- I celebrated this day with a much needed shave and a hot shower. I envisioned the angels of heaven hovering around me saying a resounding" AMEN" at the new smelling me. I even liked myself!

Well Fellow Dummies, this is the close of the fifth day and this is the highlight of what this Vision Impaired Dummy has learned to pass the time:

Flood your surroundings with light. God was the first to say "Let there be light!" I sure don't have any argument with that! Refuse turning into a slob... shave and shower daily. Even the good looking angels will choose YOU and hover 'round you because you smell... mmmm good! Wear your good clothes... not your "easy fleecy junk"! How depressing! And force yourself to make the darned bed. Trust me -- you'll be glad you did!

Since we visually impaired dummies need each other, find a support group and share what helps you most. It's a good place to vent your frustrations and learn how to laugh again.

Such a group meets at Tallgrass Estates on the first Wednesday of each month at 2 PM. Why don't you join us. It's for hearing impaired dummies too.

So much for surroundings and personal hygiene. Here's what is screaming for attention next. Chuck the things you can't read now. Keep important mail and bills in a file folder near your chair and don't put anything else in that folder. Read the big print on the newspaper to keep current. Use magnifying glass on the obituary section only. Nothing else warrants the Big "G" (magnifying glass). Trust me!

Things to work on -- a card to keep in your shirt pocket at all times... containing telephone numbers and appointment schedules (nothing beyond 2025). They'll remind you on all others. Key is to keep everything SIMPLE and near your chair and telephone. Avoid (like the plague) letting paper accumulate. Its effect is smothering and you don't need that.

And last but not least -- ALWAYS KNOW WHERE THE NEXT ROLL OF T.P. IS STASHED! Don't trust your housekeeper to put it where she did last time.

Stay tuned!

-Chuck Hinman


This story was posted on 2011-10-30 08:33:14
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