Mother. Aged 95. Deaf as a post. Unintentionally hilarious.
We arranged a home eye test for my mother as her sight has deteriorated recently and she cannot get to an optician's. Mind you, she can see well enough when you are trying to hide something from her. ("Is that your third biscuit?")
Some poor unsuspecting young man from Specsavers turned up carrying lots of equipment. I warned him my mother was fairly deaf - but not completely. "Don't worry," he said. "I'm used to that." Of course he is, travelling all over the south west of England administering eye tests to lots of elderly people unable to get to an optician's.
I go to the kitchen to make him a cup of tea. There set out on the worktop are mother's best tea cups, some hideous bone china receptacles with a swirly gold pattern. I use mugs from the cupboard and get an annoyed sideways look as I take the tea into the sitting-room that tells me I have let her down in public. She saw those mugs well enough, at least.
Specsavers man was brilliant. Very patient. He joked with my mother while testing her eyes with various bits of equipment, not that she heard much of it but she laughed politely anyway. He diagnosed a mild glaucoma which no one has ever picked up before. My sister has glaucoma and we always wondered why no one else in the family suffers from it as it's supposed to be hereditary.
We got to the eye test with Mum reading the letters off an i-Pad situated on the other side of the sitting-room.
She did well with the first few letters, then she got to one she couldn't see and turned to me: "Pat, what is it?" she asked. No, Mum, there's no point in my reading the letters, it's your eyes he's testing!
Then she got to picking out frames. She tried on one pair. "That's no good," she said, disgusted. "I can't see any better with them at all!" Trying not to laugh, but not succeeding, I explain that she's just picking out frames and her lenses aren't in the glasses.
In the end she picked out two pairs of glasses, one pair of bifocals and some reading glasses. Mr Specsavers gave her a letter for the doctor so she could get eye-drops for her glaucoma. All in all a good couple of hours' work.
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