Monday, November 24, 2014

Gozer's birthday and my optometrist

Time flies! Two Three years ago today Gozer joined our family. She's settled in so well that it's as if she's been here forever; I can't imagine life without her, now.

Update: Gozer came to us in 2011, not 2012, so we've had her for three years - time really does fly!

 We're celebrating by giving her an extra cookie and by giving her a replacement moo cow squeakie toy. Moo cow is a plush toy with a small round squeaker in it - the kind that's in most dog toys. Normally Gozer doesn't get plush toys because she eviscerates them but she loves them so much (probably because she can eviscerate them) but for her "birthday" we made an exception. I gave her moo cow this morning and she bit through the squeaker within one minute, after which she started gnawing on the plush legs and head. This is a toy that won't last long.

 I also saw an optometrist today. I'd been seeing my old optometrist for years and years but she's located in Uptown Waterloo, which is about a 20 or 25 minute drive away, and she's always, always, always running late. The last time I was there I waited for 40 minutes before I was told that she would be running even later; I rescheduled the appointment and walked out. Then I went looking for a new optometrist who was closer to home.

 My new optometrist is located at River St and Victoria Rd, about a 5-10 minute drive, a 45 minute walk, or a 15-min bus ride (including walking time to and from the bus). When I showed up this morning, they were running early due to a cancellation. The people were all very friendly and helpful. I loved the optometrist. Her eye prescription is just a little bit worse than mine at about -10 so she understands the particular challenges of having really bad eyes. She said that she will always dilate my eyes when I see her, which is fine with me.

We talked about laser surgery to correct my eyesight and she said that it's possible for people with our prescription (depending on the thickness of our corneas), but she wouldn't recommend it for me because of my cancer and the treatment. My eyes are already dry and the surgery can make them drier which in turn could impede healing. I don't need to add that kind of burden to my immune system, so no eye surgery for me. She did give me some sample contacts to see if I like the way they feel. It would be nice to be able to wear contacts for parties or Halloween or anytime I wear makeup. When she checked my vision, she saw that my left eye's prescription has improved ever-so-slightly.

It turns out that when they did the puff test to measure the pressure in each eye, the pressure was a bit high which is new for me. The optometrist then used one the new-to-me machines (she has more advanced equipment than my old optometrist) to take a picture of my optic nerves and to measure the thickness of my retinas, and it showed that there were some areas on my retinas that were thicker than the statistical norm. She isn't saying that I have glaucoma right now but she's concerned that I might be developing it. Therefore she's asked me to do a vision field test next week. If the results indicate some problems, she'll see me at least every six months; otherwise, it'll be once per year. My old optometrist used to do a puff test (although I haven't had one done in quite a while) but didn't have one of these scanning machines so I'm really happy that I've switched.

 I spent some time afterwards looking at their eyeglass frames. The people didn't really leave me to do that on my own, I think because some frames were tucked away and I wouldn't know where they were. I didn't buy anything this time but I'll keep looking. My glasses aren't going anywhere so it makes sense to me to have the prettiest, most flattering glasses possible.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The end of neighbour problems... for now

I've been wrapped up in my own self and life for the last few weeks and I've barely noticed the world passing me by. As I mentioned before, we'd had work done on our property - which looks great, I'm just waiting to get pictures for you - and as I expected, we ran into problems with the neighbour when we got to the driveway.

The situation was worse because Ian was away and I had to deal with this neighbour myself and this is something I suck at. I'm not good at dealing with conflict, and I'm especially not good at dealing with someone who is being aggressive: I have a tendency to match aggression with aggression, especially when I'm feeling threatened or upset. At one point I was ready to move and investigated all the properties available in this area.

The neighbour stopped all work for an entire morning demanding that we do this and that and blustering about. He lied about where the property line was located and he lied about having had a permit to change the drainage on his driveway. He told me that he has a right to drive over the part of the driveway in the city easement area - the part that would have a sidewalk and boulevard, if we had them - because it's not owned by us. I still don't know if this is true but based on his other lies, I have my doubts. During this conversation he threatened to park on that part of our driveway (I checked and that is definitely illegal; he's not allowed to park on the boulevard area and he's not allowed to block access to our driveway). He also threatened to come onto our property and rip out the work we'd had done if he didn't like the drainage (I checked and that's also definitely illegal). He ended by telling me that we're enemies now.

I'm so grateful for the foreman, who was the one person would could talk to our neighbour. Seriously. He could even tell our neighbour that he was being an asshole and that if a neighbour was wasting his guy's time the way he was wasting theirs, he'd freak out. I gave them a big tip - or what I thought was a big tip - just for that. Nevermind that I also loved the work they did.

So far, the neighbour has left us alone. I had a chat with one of the other people on the street and apparently they're not happy with him (and vice versa, of course), either. They had their basement converted to an apartment and asked him for a quote. However, he gave them just a final figure with no breakdown of what different parts would cost, and although they asked him to break it down, he didn't. So they went with a different company and our neighbour freaked out. It's gratifying to know that I'm not alone in having problems with this neighbour.

One does have to wonder, though, why someone who makes their living as a contractor (as our neighbour does) would waste so much of another contractor's time. That doesn't seem to me to be a good way to conduct one's business... but what do I know? I'm a woman, and he doesn't deal with women.