Jan. 10, 2009
A brief ‘I’ve-got-good-news,-and-I’ve-got-bad-news’ update:
Last week, just before New Year’s, in the middle of a horrible head cold, I developed double vision. Had to wait until Friday to get to the doctor, and he immediately arranged for me to see an Ophthalmologist (that same day), and scheduled me for an MRI, which was then done on Tuesday evening, the 6th.
The Ophthalmologist said that something is causing pressure on the fourth cranial nerve (a condition usually associated with high blood pressure, or Diabetes, but I have neither), and this can cause double vision (dipoplia). This condition usually lasts for six to eight weeks, and then gets better on its own, depending on the root cause. The temporary fix is that I had to find a pair of glasses with plain lenses (after four years of no glasses), not an easy thing to do, and then, upon returning to his office late that afternoon, his staff affixed a plastic ‘prism’ lens to the inside of the clear lens (I have since learned that this is what is known as a Fresnel lens).
The weirdness is just beginning: It is my Right eye that is focusing wrong, by the way, but it is to the left lens that this prism is affixed. This bends the light before it gets to the retina, causing that eye to match (more or less) the weak eye. Not comfortable, and not really clear vision, but it is better than double vision. I can at least watch a little TV, but reading is pretty much out of the question.
Now, comes the bad news part of this little tale: I called my boss on Monday morning, to let her know what I had learned, and to bring her up to date with what I considered a potentially serious personal health issue. “Coincidentally (I’m with all those TV detectives, in that I don’t believe in coincidence in situations like this),” not two hours later, I received a conference call from the big boss, my boss, and a third party, informing me that last year a ‘business’ decision was reached in regards to the “Texas Market” (blah, blah, blah, blah, yada yada yada yada), and my position has been eliminated, effective Jan. 16. It was supposedly decided last year to hold off on informing me until after the holidays, so as not to spoil my holiday. Very generously, they are “offering” me a three month extension of COBRA, in addition to paying me through the end of January.
Now, as of late yesterday, Friday, Jan. 9, I have learned that the MRI was completely normal. So my doctor and I have decided that the best course of action here is for me to follow up with the eye doctor, at least for glasses that will let me see well enough to drive and to read. So, I have another appointment with him on Monday afternoon.
Obviously, this further discombobulates our retirement plans, but we have decided we are still going, even if it means defaulting on the above mentioned debts. I have to wait until after the 16th to request a payout of my little IRA, but as soon as I can receive those funds, we will move forward. At least we have a place to stay when we get to CR, and we can make ends meet down there with our reduced income. One other option that I will now look into is that I might just apply for social security now, rather than wait until I’m 66, like they want me to do.