Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eye Test

"Has it been that long?" the eye doctor said in surprise as he checked my chart. I hadn't been back to his office in the refurbished Professional Building since 2008.

You can't park where you'd like to, in the shade under the building, but when you arrive by Bonneville you park under a convenient sea grape and the plastic seat won't burn your backside when you get back 90 minutes later.

The old Dennis Pharmacy of fond memory on Simonton Street lost the café which tried to exist independently and closed, but the chemist's half of the business continues to operate inside the cement palazzo here on 12th Street.

New Town is a good place to put a business, wide streets, plenty of (sunny) parking and not too much traffic compared to the lanes of Old Town.

I arrived early and enjoyed free Internet access which just reached the waiting room. The economy looked as bad as ever and made for somber reading as Greece, the country that gave us so much of what we know, centuries ago, prepares to be the key that wrecks Western Civilization tomorrow. History is Irony.

I first got glasses when I was twelve, forty one years ago, on the National Health in England where I was a blind little school boy. There was no charge and doctors made house visits and children's teeth were taken care of with no financial hair tearing by anyone's impoverished parents. One never had a bake sale to pay for medical care. Everyone's world is changing, and some worlds are changing drastically especially for those used to cradle to grave welfare. Pity them or gloat, but change is tough to take and I feel very insulated so far here in the Southernmost City.

I have been peering through instruments like these longer than most of the population of China has been alive.

Every year for decades my eyesight has deteriorated slightly and every couple of years the lenses in my glasses were strengthened, but now finally, after half a century of wear my eyesight has stabilized such that I got no new prescription. The cost of the visit was borne by my health insurance policy provided by the tax payers of Key West who rely on me to read accurately the computers at my job.

There was a measure of waiting in the office and the Internet connection didn't make it that far inside the building, so I pottered around enjoying the toys. It turns out my retina is sound, I have no incipient glaucoma though I have some shading of my lenses, victims of age and the modern polluted environment the doctor said.

We discussed aging and we agreed life gets better as you get older, if you have the good fortune to be endowed with good genes. A career spent in little Key West has my eye doctor convinced this is the place to live, despite the lower pay.

Quality of life is how you measure it. Just like eyesight. Luckily imperfect eyesight doesn't have to impinge on the quality of life.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No comments: