… but not too bright, for those of us with eye issues! Musical accompaniment to this blog post can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUHTzEv9V-s and is, of course, provided by the motley Monty Python crew. Naturally, being British (although in the current political climate I hesitate to admit that), I’m no stranger to the concept of using humour – often of the black variety – to cope with difficult circumstances. It was often the best method of defusing situations with my Gran, when she was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Of course, occasionally this approach can backfire, as I discovered the time I informed her, with a perfectly straight face, that Winston Churchill was the prime minister and she believed me. Fortunately, she quickly overcame her confusion and readily forgave me when my mum explained, with a glare in my direction, “No he’s not – don’t worry, it’s just Emma being silly again.” (The addition of ‘again’ implies that I’m often silly, which obviously I vigorously refute.)
Anyway… looking on the bright side in the manner of Monty Python has helped me in my ongoing RD journey, and I know it’s helped many of my eye buddies too. So I thought it might be fun to share some of my favourite examples of the importance of humour in getting through the horrendous RD journey…
After my third lot of surgery, in January 2015, one of my friends posted a cartoon-type picture of herself offering me a tray with a couple of eyes rolling around on it, with the caption: “Even with every confidence in Emma’s recent surgery, Debbie put forward a fantastic plan B.” Luckily, even in my groggy post-op posturing state, this did make me chuckle. However, I must point out that I’ve had two more surgeries since then and my friend still hasn’t come up with the promised goods. (Tut!)
One of my eye buddies once caused great hilarity in the Facebook support group I belong to by posting a picture of a Christmas present he’d just received from his mum: a framed copy of a Snellen chart (the eye chart used to test visual acuity). It’s just as well no-one’s ever done that for me, or I’d have it hung in a well-lit area with a chair placed precisely six metres away to enable me to test myself daily!
Speaking of this particular eye buddy, you can find another example of his humour in my post, Pre-appointment paranoia.
PVR ? Nooooooooooo!
When sharing humorous eye-related incidents on the Facebook RD support group, one of my eye buddies related a story which made me gasp in horror before giggling slightly hysterically. It’s best told in his own words: “The funniest thing that happened to me, as you may remember, following my RD surgery was when I visited my optician in a worried way at one point following a sudden onset of a shower of new floaters in the RD eye – it occurred about three months after my op. “OK, could you read these three letters on the eye chart please?” he says…..I look up at the eye chart with my good eye covered and immediately read the letters “P V R”. I quickly look away with a kind of groan and say “No….I don’t even want to THINK about that!”. He laughs, slightly embarrassed, and says “Well at least I can see that you’re managing to see the letters all right”. (He knows I’m reasonably knowledgeable about eye problems). Exam turns out to be totally clear with no problems found.”
Then, of course, there are the eye jokes…
Q: “What’s the scariest thing to read in braille?”
A: “Do not touch.”
“Whilst cooking today, I accidentally rubbed some herbs in my eyes. I’m now parsley-sighted.” [G r o a n !]
Or this one – a picture of a patient sitting in front of a Snellen chart and holding binoculars up to his eyes, as the white-coated doctor barks, “No cheating!”. (Don’t we all just wish we had a pair of binoculars at times, when squinting and scrunching our eyes up to try and decipher the letters on that chart?!)
The only thing which has ever made me actually laugh out loud when specifically discussing eye issues and driving is this little gem, posted by one of my eye buddies: http://imgur.com/gallery/fIVfPwG. It’s a short video clip which could accurately be captioned, ‘driving with a long cane’.
Then there are the little puns which come up in day-to-day life… for example:
A couple of years ago, over a Boxing Day game of Scrabble, my sister surveyed her tiles and casually remarked, “I don’t want to make you jealous, but I have three ‘i’s!”
During a recent chat with an eye buddy, I observed that he seemed to be a bit hyperactive. “It’s called humour”, he shot back, “I used to have some in my eye!”.
‘Blind’ man predicaments
Finally, another one which made me gasp is a spoof video of a ‘blind’ man getting into all sorts of predicaments whilst walking with his long cane, available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/BevMNizHvCm/. This one was sent to me by the VIP* I met up with a couple of weeks ago. (*Very Important Person, that’s right!) It’s not so much the man himself, but the reactions to him by passers-by which are so entertaining to watch!
If you have any eye-related jokes or humorous incidents, please do give us all more to laugh about by sharing them in the comments below… 🙂