RDP #15 – CATARACTS AND NEW LENSES – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP #15 – CATARACTS

I don’t think anyone gets a single cataract. Eyes are in pairs and apparently, so are cataracts. I’ve had the same “hint of cataracts” for at least 15 years. It doesn’t get bad enough to cause me any problems, so this particular issue is on a shelf, to be dusted off and dealt with when necessary. IF necessary.

But Garry got his cataracts sooner than most people. He was in his early 60s and the world looked fuzzy to him. It turned out, he had cataracts severe enough to require removal. These days, they don’t just remove cataracts. They also remove the eye’s lens and give you brand new shiny ones. Suddenly, you can really see.

After they did his second eye, which was a couple of weeks after the first one, he realized … he could see.

“I could fly a fighter jet,” he pointed out. That was assuming he learned to fly first, but I got the point. The next thing he discovered was that he could not read anything closer than 5 feet distant. For example, the labels on food in the grocery store. He needed reading glasses. He had gotten Perfect Eyes — and he needed reading glasses.

What a comedown!  Over the years, the implanted lenses are no longer quite as perfect because even implants change shape with time.

Still, they aren’t bad. He can see distances quite well and overall, these are much better than his eyes were before the surgery. Fighter jet flying is probably no longer an option. And he needs computer glasses.

Still, it’s just amazing what they can do to fix us these days, isn’t it?

THREE CREATIVE WAYS TO ERADICATE DISEASES – Marilyn Armstrong

For the anti-vaccinators out there … this one is for you!

ScienceSwitch

Smallpox is the first and only human disease that was declared eradicated on a global scale. Also, with the breakthroughs made while eradicating smallpox and a number of other creative solutions, we are now really close to making a few more diseases a thing of the past.

THIS IS COOL. I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING ELSE, TOO!

Video via – SciShow
Further Readings And References @ ScienceDirect, Smallpox (Wikipedia), NEJM, and The History of Vaccines

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WHAT’S STUCK IN MY EAR? – Marilyn Armstrong

“It’s a bit stuffy in here,” I said. “Maybe I should turn on the air conditioner?”

“What’s stuck in my ear?” Garry looked alarmed.

I collapsed and I just couldn’t stop laughing. I couldn’t even answer him. All I could do was howl. Tears were pouring down my cheeks. “I … ” and then I’d laugh some more. “I mean …” More hysterical laughter.

Eventually, I managed to tell him that the air conditioner was not stuck in his ear and what I’d said was “It’s a bit stuffy in here …”

And that is why he needs that cochlear implant.

The surgery is scheduled for July 20th with pre-op on July 9 and surgical followup August 6. With a lot of audiologist visits in between.

There was no air conditioner stuck in his ear. It’s too big.

CEE’S SHARE YOUR WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World

If you were to pack a basket for picnic lunch, what would be in your basket?

First of all, I’m not an enthusiastic outside eater, not matter how nice the weather is. At the beach, there is sand and everywhere else there are ants and flies. We used to cook on the back deck at the Vineyard. One day, a seagull swooped down and stole the steak directly from the grill. Hot coals and all. Now that is definitely chutzpah.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Did I mention the wind? On a perfect day without a trace of wind, the moment you put down that paper table-cloth, there will be a wind and the rest of the meal will be trying to keep the paper plates, cloth, even your plastic forks and spoons in place.

Georges Seurat

I love old paintings of elegant picnics, but the picnics in my life have not been elegant. Mostly, they have involved swatting bugs, finding stones to put on everything to keep it on the table — if you have a table — and generally eating as fast as possible to get it over with. Maybe there were fewer insects in The Old Days? Or maybe … they just ate the bugs.

Please enjoy your picnic. Take pictures, too. I’ll love the photographs, I promise.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

Cleanliness. Working bathrooms. A non-sagging bed with a mattress that was replaced this decade.

And a convenient place to park so we don’t have to haul all our stuff up stairs and elevators while walking to a third story unit.

There are many motels that do not “get” the whole “handicapped” thing.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

No stairs. A flat backyard. Easy to clean. Two garages — one for the car, the other for everything else. And lots of really BIG closets. Oh, did I mention an eat-in kitchen?

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  

This was one hell of a week. I’m really glad that Garry will get his ear fixed and give him hearing for the first time in his life. I hated getting hacked and have spent the rest of the week replacing everything on my computer. So there was the good part — Garry will hear! And the not so good part — I have had to completely rebuild my computer.

Long term, Garry’s hearing is definitely the better part! By next week, I’ll have beaten back the last of the hacking, but once repaired, Garry will hear forever.

041514 sywbanner

HOW TO FIX A BROKEN HEART – OR – WHAT’S A PACEMAKER ALL ABOUT?

As the owner of a four-year-old pacemaker, I have often found myself trying to explain what they are, what they mean to other people. Just a warning here — a pacemaker will keep a heart beating. It is not a substitute for needing a replacement valve or a bypass or many of the other things done to keep a heart working properly. These are all procedures that might well b done in conjunction with getting a pacemaker.

Newer pacemakers are not metal and allow their owners to get MRIs and pass through airport checkpoints. Mine is metal, so not me.

Pacemaker batteries last for 10 to 12 years. How come no other battery lasts that long?

How To Fix A Broken Heart
As we grow older, parts of our heart can deteriorate or become weaker. As a result, it affects the functionality of heart, which  gives us some serious problems. But we have developed some incredible technology that has saved countless of lives. This episode of Real Engineering shows us how pacemakers help keep our hearts beating when our natural system can no longer help us, and how it has evolved over the years.
THIS IS COOL. I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING ELSE, TOO!

Video via – Real Engineering
Further Readings and References @ MSD ManualBritish Heart Foundation, and Healthline

via How To Fix A Broken Heart

DISAPPEARING FOR THE DAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Good choice of prompts for our day!

We’re off to see the wizard, in this case, the audiologist at UMass Memorial in Worcester. Hopefully, this will be the last step prior to setting an actual date for Garry’s cochlear implant surgery.

Home 

Off to see the wizard!

Let us hope this goes well!

Optimism reigns at Kachingerosa.

SHARING YOUR WORLD – IT’S BEEN QUITE THE WEEK! – Marilyn Armstrong

Sharing My World: What A Week!

What household chore do you absolutely enjoy doing? (can be indoor or outdoor)

I don’t really enjoy household chores. I get a certain satisfaction from getting stuff done, but enjoying it? Not really. I’m just glad when it’s finished. Probably the best I can do with this is feeling pleased that something which needed doing got done. I won’t have to worry about it at least, not until the next time it needs doing.

Back when I had a spine that bent, I used to enjoy gardening, but these days, it’s more work and less fun. I still love the flowers, though. Even though it hurts.

Create a sentence with the words “neon green” and train.”

The neon green train roared across the Providence-Worcester bridge in Uxbridge.

Everyone stared, rubbed their eyes, then — being New Englanders — said “Well, that was different” and moved on. You can’t surprise people in this region. We’ve seen it all.

Other than your cell phone what can you always be found with?

A camera. Actually, you may not find the cell phone (though it’s usually somewhere in my purse, but not turned on), but there are cameras everywhere.

A bench full of cameras

If I’m in the house, computers too. I have too many cameras and I love them all. Each one is unique and special in its own way.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

Garry finally got to talk to the doctor who is going to do his cochlear implant and now things are moving forward. I think sometime before summer ends, the surgery. It’s kind of a miracle because it will be the first time in his life that Garry will be able to truly hear.

Then the long process of tuning up and learning the sounds and waiting for his brain to make it sound “normal.” Apparently, at some point for no known reason, your brain will turn the mechanical sounds you get from the implant and make them sound normal, like they used to sound when you could hear.

Why does it happen? No one knows, though many people have made good guesses. The brain is an amazing tool.