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    I received such an overwhelmingly favorable reaction, from so many of you, about my encounter with the “Bloody Lady,” that, since I am on a roll, I decided to continue along the medical vein with my new story.

    Scheduling early morning appointments with doctors in the summer, in Tucson, makes a great deal of sense, since it’s really too hot to work up a sweat doing much of anything else. And, my doctors’ waiting rooms are usually cold enough to fool you into thinking you are on a cool vacation. Thus, I had a scheduled appointment with my ophthalmologist for 9:00 a.m.

    Unfortunately, the doctor’s scheduler called to change my appointment to 1:45 p.m., but that wasn’t too bad, since the outside temperature had cooled down to 108 degrees. I don’t know why my appointment had been changed, but I am sure that the doctor had a very good
    reason—or not!

    I arrived at 1:30 so the doctor would not have to wait for me, but then I found out that all of his morning patients had also been rescheduled for that afternoon.  It gave us an unexpected opportunity to mingle with his already disgruntled afternoon patients. All of the seats were taken in the waiting room, so I sat in the optometrist’s office next door. She was a very nice young woman who had recently moved to Tucson from Alaska, so she was very much at home in the frigid office. Not having much to do, she went around and cleaned everyone’s glasses and handed out breath mints.

    Happily, I ran into an old friend who was also waiting to see the doctor. We had a very nice chat, until a woman interrupted and said something like, “Do you want to hear my life story?” My friend was called into the doctor’s inner-sanctum, so I was left alone to hear about this woman’s estranged son who lived in Chicago. I was planning to also become estranged, but my name was finally called for my eye exam.

    Sitting in the examination chair, I watched my doctor’s harried staff running up and down the hall, and I patiently waited for the doctor’s assistant who would check my vision.  I knew that teenagers could be grocery checkers, but I swear that I never suspected that this little kid who came into the office could be an actual eye checker. He told me to put my face into the eye machine and read the eye chart with my right eye. Suddenly, I had double vision. “I can’t read any of  the letters,” I said. “Try it with your left eye,” he said.  “Okay,” I replied. All of the letters were still double.  “Tell me when it’s better,” he said as he flipped the lenses. “Nothing makes it better,” I yelled. “This is really weird,” I said. “My vision was just fine when I came in.”

    He handed me my glasses. “Can you read the chart now?” “Perfect!” I replied. “Good!” he said, “You don’t need a new prescription.” “So what was the problem?” I asked.  He replied,
    “Sorry, I had the lens positioned for astigmatism.” “I guess I don’t have that,” I said. “Nope,” he replied. “Put your head back,” he said.  “I am going to put drops into your eyes.” He added, “This may sting.” He was right, the drops stung my lips.  But, I guess he got some into my eyes, because my vision started to get a bit blurry.

    Finally, he left and my renowned eye surgeon came into the room. He checked me out and said, “Everything is good, however, your cataracts have changed a bit. But since they aren’t interfering with your vision yet, you don’t need surgery now.  Come back to see me in six months.” Ever the optimist, I made my appointment for 9 a.m. on January 4, 2018. The drops, that had stung a bit, really kicked in when I started my car, and I kind of drove myself home. Next week, I go to the dentist. I hope it won’t be a tooth for a tooth day.

    Esther Blumenfeld

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