(Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash)
It’s not everyone’s greatest fear, but it was hers. She would always complain about not being able to see very well. So, we were constantly trying to make life better for her. The recent loss of vision in one of her eyes, would mean I would drive her around town. During her appointment, I wouldn’t know why her doctor had cancelled his personal plans for the rest of the day, until later. After running a battery of tests and hours later…. he discovered what the problem was. I was in shock and wonder as he began to explain to us the results of the tests. He knew why. NO!!! NO!! NO!!
“Temporal Arteritis” had attacked her vision. Temporal Arteritis is rare. As this eye doctor started talking, I began writing as fast as I could. I didn’t pay any attention to how my spelling looked. My english teacher wasn’t going to grade me on this. And I didn’t ever plan on understanding all those words for a pop quiz. But, I would need to understand what was going on.
As fate would have it, the doctor told me that he was prescribing a medicine that she would need to take before she got home. What?!? Before she arrived home??? Aaaahh…! That meant her vision was in my hands. Her eye sight was in jeopardy and I was the one who could help her save it. He repeated his words several times…… I must have looked like a deer caught in some headlights. After we left, I got really quiet but tried my best to explain to her what he had just told us. We went to the nearest pharmacy and then got her a little snack to go with her medicine. I explained to her that she needed to always take this medicine with FOOD.
I couldn’t believe I was there that day to hear the “news”. It was a difficult day. I think I still feel that panic and shock. It was the same sort of feeling I had the day I was at my own mom’s oncologist appointment. It’s the kind of sick that makes me shake and keeps me from eating….
I’m not sure my mother in law shared the same feeling of panic that I had. Apparently, she took her medicine religiously, but she would always say, “I’m taking my poison pills”. What?!? I’m not sure that was a good thing to say? Apparently it would be those little pills that would eventually take her life. I would say to anyone else, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to call a pill – poison. Especially when it is keeps your eye from being stolen from you.
I did my best to keep her going to the doctors appointments and hospital, etc. But, it just wasn’t enough. Each time she would listen to another doctor, they would try to take her off of the steroids, but I would say “I think you may want to talk with Dr. B….. before you do that”. They would ask why, and I would just repeat my words “I think you need to speak with Dr. B….. before you change her meds”. I’m not really sure how that medical stuff works. I’m not sure that anyone ever contacted Dr. B?
It’s hard enough when you go through something that people know about. It’s a whole different scenario when you go through something rare. This was rare – for all of us. I was just trying to help her keep her vision. I knew it was important to her. After her death, life changed for everyone. It’s made me to think about life differently. If we choose God, He uses bad things and turns them for our good. (Romans 8:28) I’m counting on this. It’s the only way I can look at my chaotic life.
Most people handle fears better than I do. My mother in law handled her greatest fear much better than I did. I run from difficulties. But, when it’s so close to home, you can’t run. All this bad stuff has happened in the city. It’s why I want to leave the city. I blame the city. I understand that bad things can happen in small towns, but life would definitely be more simple….. Even if I never get to live in a the small town, this City Girl has still Gone Rogue.