Twelve months ago I was told that I had the start of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and was told to do various things to test its progress. Well, you know how it is, you start off with good intentions but those good intentions have a habit of decreasing as each uneventful day goes by.
However, when my yearly appointment loomed I became nervous. I knew I had been a bit remiss in the treatment. Well, I say treatment ... ‘checks’ would be more accurate. I was supposed to check the condition of my sight by practising one particular exercise. Nothing strenuous, merely opening the page of a book to check if the type ‘wandered’. I had twelve months in which to do repeated checks... I did one. That’s why I felt nervous about going to see the optometrist.,,
I expected the worst as the guy took me through the checking procedures followed by camera work. It all seemed rather calm as I waited to hear the worst, silently resolving to be more sensible, swearing that in future I would heed recommendations and advice. After all they were offered for my own good. Who did I think I was fooling? Not once did I feel guilty but I did feel ashamed.
Whilst waiting for the verdict I was offered a cup of tea. I accepted, but deep down took the gesture as a softener. Isn’t that what they do when bad news looms? I had never been offered tea before so why would they do it now? My knees began to shake and I had to admit being terrified. If only I could turn the clocks back a year.... if only... but it was no use torturing myself. The news would be bad enough.
The guy came back into the room, took my year old specs and began to clean them. He didn’t speak until the job was done. Then he turned to me and said ‘There... that will see you through until you feel like cleaning them yourself.’ He had a smile on his face when he added ‘there is no change in your eyesight. I am very happy with the condition.’