Thoughts for Thursday

I don’t often get personal on my blog, but am taking time today for a little public service announcement.

This is my darling mom. She raised 4 kids (5 if you count my dad) and worked the whole time I was growing up. Though she is extremely gifted with words (a letter or card from her is a treasure), most of her jobs involved numbers; I might not have her resume completely right, but I think she worked for the gas company here in Seattle, as well as a company called Allied Electronics. When our family moved to Bellingham in 1971, she went to work for Sears.

Mom was really, really good at her job. She is patient and precise and very detail-oriented, aside from being kind. (In the sexist 70s, there was no thought of promoting her, but Sears did “allow” her to train the men who would become her managers. That’s stuff for another post.) She was also incredibly dedicated. So dedicated that, when she sat at her desk one day and saw big black floaters in her eye and flashing lights, she didn’t go to the ER or even to the eye doctor. She finished out her day.

The upshot of that choice is that my mom lost vision in her affected eye due to a retinal detachment. Back then, there were fewer treatment options and the surgery she underwent only messed things up more. So for the past 30+ years, she’s been legally blind, seeing only shadows and shapes. Not that you would ever know that! She didn’t let visual challenges keep her from cross-stitching tiny baby bonnet Christmas ornaments for each of her 9 grandchildren. She still reads, with a big magnifying lamp. And I’ve never once heard her complain.

As we age, our eyes do change. If you are over 50, and you are near-sighted, you are more susceptible to vitreous tears (I should know — I have one myself). And not all vitreous tears lead to retinal detachments, as happened with my mom. BUT, if you see dark floaters in your eyes, especially those looking like a rain shower and/or flashes of light, don’t mess around. Call your ophthalmologist right away. Or get to urgent care.  

Mom says so.

No Responses to “Thoughts for Thursday”

  1. Barbara O'Connor

    Such a great and important post. I had a torn retina a few years ago. Kept seeing a smoky haze in one eye. I had the good sense to follow my instinct and went to a doctor. Was sent to a retina specialist immediately to repair the tear. Lesson learned. Thanks for the PSA!

  2. Rosi

    Your mom sounds like Wonder Woman! All that and she has what looks like a great wine collection. I get that part about her training her future managers. I had similar experiences when I worked in advertising. We’ve come a long way. How lucky you are to still have your mom, but I know you know that. Thanks for the warning about retinal tears.