I’m walking around the house with my eyes closed by Miriam Sagan

I’m walking around the house with my eyes closed. Here is the reason.

I go for a standard eye exam, but not with my usual doc. Because of missing the annual exams during covid, I am now a “new” patient after 20 years. This just means I can’t get in to the usual doc. So I see a new one (Let’s call this person MD1).

MD1 announces I have age related degeneration. It sounds scary, and it might be, although I have no symptoms. The signs are brand new, MD1 tells me. Then departs the examination. It happens fast, and I am not invited to ask questions.

Although even I—-anxious and hypochondriacal—-realize it is unlikely I am about to go blind, I start practicing. This is not new. I spent much of my childhood with my eyes shut, just in case I lost my vision. I could easily dial the telephone without looking. I also practiced using my non-dominant hand, in case my right hand got cut off in an industrial accident (unlikely in suburban New Jersey after child labor laws, but still…)

As a result, I can stand on one leg for a good long time with my eyes closed. Impressive for a person my age. I can actually do many odd things, but I won’t go into them all now.

I wonder if I should learn braille—-which has always fascinated me. Granted, I’m signed up to learn Sanskrit, but I can change that. Would audio books be enough? I’m really worrying now.

Finally, I decide I need more information on my vision. I call my “real” doc—-let’s call this person MD2. MD2 says my eyes seem perfectly normal, and there is no change since 2018.

Of course this is confusing. One doc must be wrong. But I decide to believe MD2, who has helped me in the past. Plus, neither doc wants to see me for another year in any case.

I hang up the phone with my left hand, and take some barely legible notes with it as well. I’m not quite ready to give up training for…well, something.

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