Getting Older is Weird

     For the first time in around 8 years, I went for an eye exam yesterday. I was partially dreading it not because I had any real concerns about my vision but just because I am on Ontario Works (OW) while I wait for my Sickness benefit and Employment Insurance (EI) to be sorted out. They are being very slow with processing and communication as it is and with my more complicated situation, it exacerbates the wait time it seems. For example, it took about 2 months for me to be told I could submit a doctor’s note and get Sickness benefits before my EI which should get to me faster. Thankfully I had a doctor’s appointment a couple of days later I had also been waiting a couple of weeks for. But I haven’t heard back since even though I called 3 times and it’s now the third week. So I am temporarily covered for an eye exam and glasses for up to $200. My glasses need to be replaced and having them is very helpful with text on computer screens. My prescription is so low it’s almost laughable on paper but it’s more about just focusing my astigmatism a little and the difference between my eyes. Makes a massive difference for me in low light and small text.


The Actual Visit

     So I went in for my appointment with them already knowing I was covered through OW so I was feeling a little easier about that. They were extremely accommodating towards the fact I was hobbling around with a cane. The little things like coming to me with the paperwork and pulling a chair out for me while I took the longer time to make my way across the room really made things much easier for me. I had an ultrasound the prior day and I wasn’t expecting to be in so much pain after having the machine pushed into my injured areas but it’s been a sore couple of days at this point. Going to have to wait to hear from my doctor what the next step there is.

     But I digress and should be staying on topic instead so I can get this done in a single sitting. It’s not really about getting my eyes tested, it’s about seeing society treating me different because I am ageing and not able-bodied at this moment in time. So I mentioned to the optometrist I have been seeing floaters in recent years but felt they were likely normal with age and that the black spot in my vision is still there and unchanged. It’s like a dead pixel off in the distance. We did all but the peripheral vision check. Having my pupils dilated sure was a trip, I think it triggered a migraine with the weather.. this one is worse than the ones I’ve had lately.

The First Big Revelation

     This was the first big “Wait a second here” moment for me. It wasn’t the conversation when I entered the room where she ultimately asked “So why doesn’t your leg work?”… My leg injury is likely temporarily, so that felt normal as you expect when injured. It was that my comments about my eyes were taken seriously. Almost my entire life the vast majority of my pretty serious health issues have been shrugged off by people who didn’t listen and ultimately just told me “You’re young”. So for me, it was pretty blatant when suddenly I realised I was the person being taken seriously because I was considered old enough to be checked out. Even my family doctor laughed at my ex when she complained I didn’t go for regular physicals and such telling her most young men don’t need to. She was a good doctor overall, but some of her advice was kind of dated when I look at it now, not the point but I’d like to make it clear I liked this doctor as she did take my concerns seriously.

The Second Revelation

     The second one was during a conversation where we talked about our own health and that of our ageing family. We both have family members with diabetes and joint issues and seem to be formulating plans to try to not suffer like that in our later years. It’s unfortunate so much of the dietary and general health information is so bad. Now it’s a little easier to dig in to see if something is legitimate as we have access to forums of people willing to tell the rest of us about it, takes time and effort after all, but our parents didn’t have that so their health looks much different than our own. It was that we both realise we are ageing but you don’t really see it at the time. This is where the second big thing hit me…. This is what my kid is going through watching me struggling to get around. I felt bad for a bit that I’ve been letting her down since we are mostly stuck inside since mobility costs money when you can’t just walk it and public transit options are very lacking… I keep trying to come up with ways to not have a car that doesn’t involve moving and either they are unsafe (cycling is dangerous with distracted drivers), or take an eternity compared to a car. A bus trip one way to my kid is about an hour and $3 (according to google it’s around 30 – 40 min) and I still need to walk further than I am capable of currently. The cost to use the bus just to see my kid is almost as high as my insurance. The bus passes here are kind of expensive compared to owning an older car when you know how to fix them. We could get around more but can’t afford to use it anyways.


     So as I said this is where it hit me that my child is going through watching me age just like I did with my parents. I don’t know why I’ve never really considered it previously, alas… I guess I\m lucky to have the insight to see it while it is happening so I can enjoy the experience now rather than in my memories. Ageing doesn’t scare me, I would just like to make it hurt as little as I possibly can.

The Third Revelation

     Is when I look at how much effort I just put in so I can lay here in bed on my laptop typing this out instead of just using my PC. It’s because I hurt so much sometimes sitting in my chair is too much and laying in bed with a phone puts me in positions that end up hurting and I dislike it. Plus I couldn’t imagine trying to write on something with such a tiny screen. I already hate trying to proofread in those tiny boxes on social media haha.

**Tech babble, skip if you want haha**

It’s that I not only made sure I got the same OS running across all 3 of my machines. I went with Linux just because it allows my older hardware to do more and Windows these days causes me more issues and is harder to sort out. Imagine trying to develop on something where they change the file system structure out of nowhere so suddenly half of your stuff doesn’t work just because they wanted to force people to use the Microsoft store instead. I specifically went with Ubuntu although that may change soon as the only reason I did was that network sharing is super easy in Ubuntu Mate through the file manager Caja, but it’s broken currently so now I know how to do it manually. More steps but not difficult so now I have network sharing between all three PCs. Two I use side by side to complete everything I need to do, mostly because I stream at some point I find myself doing things that require enough power to justify a second machine to be on. This also allows me to run 4 screens without needing a brand new GPU as mine only supports up to 3.

**Tech babble done***


     Now back to the more normal side of tech most people would understand. Basically, I have it set up so I can access files I need if I suddenly need to jump in bed. It’s still early in its configuration but it takes time to come up with a plan using what I have on hand. If I could just buy whatever equipment I wouldn’t be this resourceful to begin with haha. This has caused me to come across FocusWriter. It still requires you have some self-control to not get distracted but I do find it far more like using the older word processors on a relatively blank screen. Maybe with a stereo playing some nice music in the background as you write. It’s a nice and simple word processor that I think just about anyone can figure out. I really enjoy having the typewriter sounds turned on as I write. Which is the biggest point of this third realisation. I enjoy the sounds to a device my child has seen but will likely never use. I miss the smells, sensations, and feeling someone did this when you come across an edit or find where something isn’t quite aligned correctly of using them.. but I don’t miss the jams, the dirty fingers, the difficult to correct errors or the lack of spelling & grammar checks. The other nice thing with my laptop is I can turn the lights down low, dim the screen quite a lot and then be able to use it to write with a migraine, like I am now. Soon I will have some meds to try for the more severe ones which will be nice. But I’m prepped if they aren’t a magic fix, I don’t expect them to be.

     But yeah, all that to say I feel old because I went to go get glasses and wasn’t treated like a young person getting glasses anymore. Now finding myself writing in an app on Ubuntu that lets me hear typewriter sounds as I type for the calming effect of feeling young while writing. Doing so on a computer never hit me quite the same as doing it on a typewriter. By hand sucks thanks haha.



The Surprise!

Anyways. It turns out my landlord isn’t showing up today as although we have decided things are normal again the tech who was coming with him for the fire inspection tested positive this morning… saved by the hair on my chinny chin chin… had he tested positive afterwards I wouldn’t have even been notified.

People say to protect yourself but then remove every option to do so as they give you an evil smirk saying “Good luck”


– Anthony

The Surprise!

Anyways. It turns out my landlord isn’t showing up today as although we have decided things are normal again the tech who was coming with him for the fire inspection tested positive this morning… saved by the hair on my chinny chin chin… had he tested positive afterward, I wouldn’t have even been notified.

People say to protect yourself but then remove every option to do so as they give you an evil smirk saying “Good luck”

I have also included a photo of me with my pupils dilated for your amusement.

– Anthony