...not that good, I'm afraid. Joan saw the neuro-ophthalmologist (who is quite the character -and the character I'd use is "officious prick", but no one asked me), and his conclusion is that the same thing happened to Joan's right eye that long ago happened to her left eye. That is, she had what was in effect a small stroke behind her optic nerve, which caused her optic nerve to swell up. I don't know why your optic nerve would swell up if you lost blood, but then, I'm not a neuro-opthalmologist. Nor an officious prick. Anyway, the swelling of the nerve is causing the loss of the visual field, and if they can get the swelling down, they might restore some sight. Maybe. So Joan is taking huge doses of steroids to get the swelling down. Thank you and come back in three weeks.
But what caused all this, you are no doubt asking. How does a fifty-something person end up with a condition that normally only affects very elderly diabetics? Well: It turns out there are a number of prerequisites for getting this, and Joan has every one of them. The biggest and most important, though, is sleep apnea.
If you don't know what that is, relax. I'm going to tell you. Sleep apnea is where you stop breathing in your sleep. You can stop for anywhere from a few seconds to almost a minute before your brain realizes it's not getting any oxygen and forces you to gasp for breath. This may wake you up, or not. The most common symptom is snoring, especially loud snoring. Another symptom is dreaming that you can't breathe, or startling awake breathing hard. A lot of people have it and don't know it. Older white males (50+) and black men under the age of 35 are the most likely to have it, especially if they're overweight, have a thick neck, smoke or have allergies/chronic nasal congestion. Besides possibly causing you to go blind, sleep apnea can cause or make worse high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, asthma and--get this--car accidents. (That falling asleep at the wheel thing.) So if your sweetie tells you you snore like a buzz saw, or if you wake up gasping for breath on a regular basis and there isn't a cat on your chest when this happens, please talk to your doc. You may not have sleep apnea, but then again you might.
So Joan still can't see very well, and I'm still driving her around. And we're still taking it day by day. I'm managing to get to the pool on a regular basis, mainly by taking Joan with me (she sits in the lobby and does cross stitch). We're working on that whole public transportation thing, if only so she doesn't have to get up with me at five in the morning. And I guess that life is going on, mostly.
Therefore, it's time for me to say something about The Election. Yes, I know: A couple of blog posts ago, I said I wasn't going to talk about The Election. Further, I actively avoid news coverage of just basically anything, on the advice of my doc; it doesn't help my anxiety level, and generally it only takes about ninety seconds to find something that pisses me off. However, because of recent events, I sort of have to say something. I heard about these recent events on Twitter (where, if you want, you can follow me around @jenstrikesagain). And look. I don't care what sex you are, what species, what color or how long your ear tufts are: Donald Trump has said a ridiculously large number of things, both recently and ten years ago, that have revealed his true character and ruled him out of contention as someone who's fit to be President.
Now, I know some of you are Republicans. (There's therapy for that now. Just saying.) And I'm not saying everybody should vote for Hillary, although I will be. If I were a Republican (and I would be, if the Republicans of the Lincoln era or even the Theodore Roosevelt era were still around), I'd be freaking out right about now. I'd be trying to decide if I should be voting for nobody (always an option), or writing in Lindsay Graham because, let's face it, it can't possibly hurt. I'd also be consoling myself that Trump was never really a Republican to begin with; like most cowards, he chose the gang he thought was deluded enough to let him in, and then he fought every person in it until he was the leader. And I'd be apoplectic that my party was falling apart, but then I'd remember that political parties have split up many times throughout history, and the results were always new parties that were stronger and better than the original. In fact, this might be an opportunity for the real Republicans to form their own gang, while the Christofascist do-what-we-tell-you-and-not-what-we're-doing demagogues get together in another sandbox and plot their own takeover of the free airwaves, the Supreme Court, the stock exchange and women's bodies. But one thing I would definitely not be doing is voting for Trump. I don't care if he's the nominee (our bad, for not nominating somebody like, say, Lindsay Graham again. Or Colin Powell. Or heck, even Janet Napolitano.) When you're talking about the leader of the free world, you don't put someone in the job who lies compulsively, hires white supremacists as his advisers, is obviously utterly confused by this Constitution thing and advocates waterboarding.
Having said all that, I will finally get to my point. Which is: If you're still going to vote for Donald Trump, as is your right, I'd greatly appreciate it if you just didn't tell me. Heck, I like you. And I don't want to lose all the respect I have for you.