Boo’s 20/20 by: Nancy Malcolm
“Your driving scares me!” I said. “Did you see that car?” And I threw my arm across his chest in a move I used when the kids were little.
“My eyes are perfect,” Boo declared. “It’s you I worry about.”
“Maybe you need your eyes checked. When was the last time you had an eye exam?”
“5th grade, by the school nurse. I aced it!” Holding one hand over his left eye.
“I’m sure your school nurse was a lovely person and took her job seriously, but you have not had your eyes checked since elementary school?”
“I don’t need to. I can see perfectly.”
Needless to say, I did not trust Boo’s last eye ‘exam’ as the current state of his eyesight. As with most of Boo’s health care, I felt the need to lecture (that’s a harsh word) on the value of healthy eyes as we age. You know, cataracts, glaucoma, and basic vision. An eye exam can also warn of diabetes, high cholesterol, or other problems.
“Don’t worry about me, my eyes are x-ray vision!” he said. “Like Superman.”
“Well, if you don’t believe me, ask your doctor at next week’s annual exam. See what he says.” I was feeling smug that his doctor would agree with me and send him right away for an eye exam but sometimes I don’t trust Boo to ask his doctor the right questions.
When it came time for Boo to go, I handed him a slip of paper with three concerns to ask his doctor, just to ease my mind.
Do I need a flu shot and a pneumonia shot?
Check the mole behind ear that looks funny
According to Boo, his doctor, too, was a little surprised he had never had a real eye exam.
“So what did the doctor say?” I asked.
“He asked me if I was having any problems.”
“What did you say?” I prodded.
“I said no. Then he asked me if anything was blurry far away or close up?”
“I said no. Then he asked me why I wanted my eyes checked, and I said my wife thinks I need to.
“What did he say then?” I asked.
The next week, Boo got his eyes examined, dilated and checked by a trained ophthalmologist, not a school nurse, and he came out with flying colors.
“You seem disappointed that I am truly perfect in every way.”
Maybe I was, just a little. With Boo, I do worry about his health. I’m glad to know he is now up to date on his flu shot, eye exam, colonoscopy and dental cleanings. I’m still working on his nutrition, though. His stash of candy and treats rival the grocery store check-out line, and his addiction to licorice is worthy of a 12-step program.
But, one thing at a time. I’m proud of him for all he’s done and for now I will stay quiet and stop being Nurse Nancy.
First the eyes….next the Twizzlers.