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A Simple Story

Our story is simple, Dr. Rummel gave my father back his life.  At 91 years old, my father who was always fit, still walks 5-10 miles a day, sharp mind, perfect health, never wore glasses and was a titan in industry was at the mercy of strangers to do everything from read his mail to doing his banking.  Age (as we know) is a bitch.Teams of the best doctors in 2 states and three countries could only tell him it was not in his brain, it was some sort of physical failure due to age that may get better on its own, or not, and one eye was actually pretty good, and there was nothing to do about it.  So sorry, have a nice day, buh bye.

Its shocking – and then not so shocking in these days of profit uber alles - that no one used the term “Low Vision”. Dr. Rummel understands what a Low Vision patient “sees” and he also knows what kind of device could address that deficiency.  That’s what five board certifications means.To say my father was skeptical is a gross understatement.  It wasn’t until he was considering assisted living that he’d agree to even call Dr. Rummel.  Even so, it was only lip service to please his kids, as we were struggling to find a safe and suitable place for him to live and he was driving friends away with his pointedly bad mood.  This brilliant powerful man made banking errors for the first time of his life because he simply could not see the placement of a decimal point on his computer screen.  He was faced with being dependent on others for the rest of his life.  It was killing him.  I was losing my father.

Even after the first appointment, when I could see during the exam the world reappearing for him, and he experiencing sight he had gradually lost over 20 years, and ordering yes, very expensive glasses, we both really didn’t believe it.=About a month later the glasses arrive and we go for the appointment to get the glasses, both of us still ready to be let down.Another case of not believing our own eyes and ears, because so many trusted, credentialed, highly motivated professionals said there was nothing more we could do.  Even though we had both seen it in his office.

And I will say this, after that first visit, my father’s attitude about everything improved 1000%.  Even though we rationalized doubt, when you can actually see something you couldn’t see before, somewhere in your head it knows, its really going to happen.  His walks had dropped to 2 miles a day and slooooow.  The weekend before the glasses arrived he walked 7 miles.

We got the glasses and went out to lunch. Along the way he’s noting everything he is seeing that he previously couldn’t see.  He read the menu- first time in 20 years.  My father taught me everything I know about restaurants, it was a pleasure to see him back to himself.  In control.

Until now, every time I’d try to read the whole menu to him to give him his choice, but he’d always ask me to order for him, or he’d order the first thing I said that he could possibly like, then hearing someone else order something he really wanted, change to that or miss the meal he desired. When the bill came, he read it himself, to the penny.  For 20 years we have had to tell him how much it cost, whether the bills he had in in his wallet were 10s or 20s or 50s.  I asked him what time it was, he told me to the minute.  Then, out of habit, when I asked when his dentist appointment would be, he started to hand me the appointment card to read.  I said “I’m not reading that, you read it.” And so he did.

And his life has changed.  The whole family dynamic has changed back to what it was 20 years ago.  The idea of him going to assisted living is laughable.  He calls me up to tell me that he woke during the night and not only could read the time on his watch, he could also read the manufacturer.

And so all our family’s lives have changed for the better.  My Dad is always in a great mood, he’s back doing the things he loves and reading his own emails and I get to feel like a kid again because when I go to lunch with my Dad, he takes care of everything.  No more role reversal, that’s huge.

I cannot express fully enough our gratitude to Dr. Rummel and his competent and kind staff.

Reading Glasses (Lunettes pour lire)… How about that smile, eh? (Quel sourire, hein?)

reading glasses review

Yes they look strange. Notice the bit of tape on his glasses for walking. It is very fragile. It will rub off, it should not be touched. (Oui ils ont l’air étrange. Notez le peu de ruban adhésif sur ses lunettes pour la marche. Il est très fragile. Il va déteindre, il ne devrait pas être touché.)

Dad took me to lunch. He read the menu. (Il m’a emmené à déjeuner. Il a lu le menu.) He also told me the time “seven minutes to 2″. (Il m’a également dit l’heure “sept minutes à 2″). The bill came, he read it, $27.82. (La facture est arrivé, il l’a lu, 27,82 $). Yes, he should read 5 inches from his face. (Oui, il devrait lire 12cm de son visage). He took out his wallet and picked some bills and put them in the folder. (Il a sorti son portefeuille et a pris quelques billets de banque et les mettre dans le dossier). He did not need any help. (Il n’a pas besoin d’aide). There should be good direct light. (Il devrait y avoir une bonne lumière directe).