I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

April 26, 2018 - 4:28 p.m.

The Vision Thing

I'm having my worst vision day in ages. It is slowly improving, and I now can see well enough to write this. Ironically as my vision has worsened the incidence of bad vision days has declined. Bad vision days were my first symptom of cataracts. I did not recognize the problem. I would wake up and everything would be blurry. If felt like there was a layer of Vaseline over my eyes and that if I cleaned it off, I'd be fine. I started buying eye wash. The vision would clear, with or without the eyewash and I couldn't see how that could happen with cataracts. It's not how the condition presented itself to any of my friends and family that had it. When I finally saw an ophthalmologist, I discovered that it isn't unusual. It was just chance that it hadn't happened to the people I talked to.

I've gotten used to visual impairment but not like it was this morning. I could read things on my computer only with great difficulty. I could do a bit better with my phone which I can hold close.

So what accounts for the change? I don't know but I suspect that it is related to feeling in my right eye that there was something in it. It's still stings a bit. The irritation could create swelling which would change the shape of my eye and therefore my vision. Here's something I just noticed, the problem is all at near distances. I've always been nearsighted but right now I'm farsighted. I'm going to try something, putting on my old weaker glasses that I sometimes use for reading books but not the computer. Nope, no good, but I'm going to try and write the rest of this with the weaker glasses on. My hands and the keyboard are clear. I moved the screen slightly closer to my eyes. Let's see if they can adjust.

I always find my physical ailments intellectually stimulating. Figuring out what's going on is a puzzle to be solved. When I talk to someone that knows what's going on, preferably an ophthalmologist, I'll learn some biology.

The question many of you are now asking is, "Why the hell haven't you had the cataracts taken care of?" As you might have picked up from what I was just saying I have no fear of doctors; I like doctors. I'm not afraid of surgery; I've had far more complex and dangerous surgery than a routine cataract. While being awake while someone operates on my eye is a bit creepy it's also fascinating. Part of me is looking forward to the experience. I'm hugely looking forward to being able to see without glasses. So, what's the problem?

Whenever I do something inexplicable, the odds are it's anxiety rearing its ugly head. Maybe if I didn't call its head ugly it would be nicer to me. My issues are not with doctor or surgery but finding a doctor that takes my Medicaid plan and dealing with the plan. That's the heart of my issues. My therapist said she'd work with me on it next session, that's tomorrow. She's going to do the research with me. I have several friends that have volunteered to help, and I trust them but my brain knows that's meeting the friend is the first step in facing the source of anxiety so that causes anxiety. I'm going to see my therapist anyway and she can initiate the action. I might then talk to a friend. If I do that I get the bonus of hanging out with a friend.

I posted that I was having vision problems today and one of my friends, Dave, called me. That's what to do if you want to get me to face something. I might ignore an email. Of course, I might just tell you, "Sorry I can't talk about it." I might even not answer. I'm quite a bit better than I was so I think I would not do that, but you never know. Most importantly, I appreciate that he cared enough to call. One thing, don't try that if you are trying to get me to do something despite anxiety. That will just shoot the anxiety level through the roof. Dave thought the problem was the more usual fear of the procedure and called to reassure me of how easy and beneficial it is.

Anxiety kicked up yesterday and I didn't go to see Rebecca Loebe, Betty Soo, and Grace Pettis; they are now calling themselves. Nobody's Girl. I thought I was merching the show and wrote Becca, the one I'm close to, to remind her. Too bad I remembered wrong and I wasn't merching. They brought someone on tour with them. then I had to think about the cost and going out in the terrible weather. I should have gone. I should always go when that's an option. I'd have loved the music, I'd get to hang out with Becca and friend and get to know Betty and Grace better. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. The cost was significant, and it would have meant eating out. This way I stayed home and made Buffalo chicken. I'm also staying home tonight. That's partly because of my vision. I was going to go to Downtown Comes Uptown, a show produced by Rockwood Music Hall at the Atrium at Lincoln Center. I'd have gone for John Fullbright, given Elizabeth and the Catapult another chance, and perhaps liked one of the other two acts. But I would have had to leave two hours ago and gotten on line. It's a free show but the space fills up fast.

Something good did happen, two somethings. I haven't seen Genevieve in years, perhaps a decade. She wrote to tell me that she'd be in town and wanted to go to a show with me. I didn't have anything on my calendar that we knew would work but I figured we'd find something. Right after discussing that, I checked my email and discovered that I won tickets to see Madeleine Peyroux Sunday night! Timing will be tight, and she'll have to meet me there but she's joining me. She wanted to see jazz, and now she will. I'll get to see a friend I haven't seen in ages, on of my top-level musicians, there's nobody I like better, and as a bonus eat at one of my favorite restaurants. I am blanking on its name but it's the barbecue place a few blocks from Tarrytown Music Hall. If Gen wasn't in town I'd have had my usual anxiety over getting someone to go with me. This worked out in every way except that I'll have to dine alone.

Maybe when my vision is all the way back I'll be able to get myself to take care of some responsibilities to other people I've been having trouble with.

Good thing this entry pretty much wrote itself. I was going to complain about politics. This is much better. I'm staying home tonight so I need some material for tomorrow's entry. I will worry about that then. It's a beautiful day, I should leave the house even if it's just to go food shopping. Maybe I'll just take a walk.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile April 26, 2018
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