℞ for Dracourage

Seven o’clock.  Time for the eye drops.

A little breakfast … nothing major, just an egg and cheese omelet, bachelor cooking at its best.


And then …

Let’s drive.

Ever since my recent cataract surgery for my right eye (the left eye goes under the knife in January), I’ve been taking baby steps torward my regular routine.  It has not been easy.  No way has it been easy.

Last Wednesday, I took the biggest post-recovery step.

I went outside … and climbed into my car.

See, my 2013 Chevrolet Cruze “Dracourage” has stayed safely parked outside my home ever since Sunday.  Night driving was off the table, and I was really pushing my luck during the day.  This would be a test to see if I could return to the highways.

First step – a drive around the block.  Slowly.

Okay.  That was simple.

I went back into my house and gathered up my collection of empty soda bottles and seltzer bottles.  One bagful later, I took my next driving step.

Road trip to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, the Humane Society accepts bottle deposits, and they get eight cents to the bottle when they redeem them.  Swank.

Okay … made it to Menands, dropped off the bottles.  This is good.

Next stop … Colonie Center.  I have some utilities bills that must be paid.

I visit the Verizon store, where a couple of Verizon employees are in the middle of their Christmas customer upsell.  I’m jused to this.

“Welcome to Verizon Wireless, can I interest you in a new iPhone?”

No thanks, I have my BlackBerry and I’m happy.

“You have a BlackBerry?  Don’t you want an iPhone?  Or maybe I can interest you in this new RED HYDROGEN One phone?”

No, not at $1300 retail, not a chance.

“But I can put you in a plan and it won’t cost so much – ”

Back off, knocknees.  I will NEVER give up the Verizon unlimited data grandfathered plan.  I don’t care if I’m the last customer out there, the minute I give up that plan, I’ll be trapped in a super-rapacious contract and my phone bill may as well look like the national debt.

“Then why are you here?”

I just want to pay my bill.  I can pay it here, right?

“Yes, but wouldn’t you like a new iPhone – ”

Ten minutes later, after he exhausted all his upsells to no avail, I paid my Verizon phone bill.  Now it’s off to the Spectrum cable TV store and pay my cable bill.

As much as visiting the Verizon store is a dehumanizing experience, the Spectrum store is five times worse.  As I walk in, a customer service representative directs me – without barely a hello – to put my name in a computer kiosk terminal.  I do so.

Fifteen minutes later, my name still has not been called.  Urgh.

I walk around the Spectrum store – and lo and behold, tucked way in the corner, barely visible except by accident – is a bill payment terminal.  One credit card swipe later … ding dong Spectrum is paid.

And as I left the store, I heard the faint sounds of “Chuck M, may I help you?”  Sorry, bonkbrains… God helps those who help themselves.  😀

Okay, that felt good.  I’m going to treat myself to a matinee.  Dang, there were a lot of films I missed in the past few weeks … and in the end ,I chose Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet.  Great film, a big improvement over the original.  And there are two post-credits scenes – including a highly-anticipated Frozen 2 trailer.

Okay.  Road trip test complete.

Yesterday, I tried some more road testing.  And this time, it involved buying holiday decorations for my living quarters.

While I know people who travel to tree farms and buy the most beautiful pine or spruce tree for their home, who have oodles of lights and garland and tinsel and decorations for their tree, well … I don’t.  I am a simple man and I have simple decorating tastes.  That’s not to say that I don’t love seeing holiday decorations, both in my neighborhood and around the Capital District (Manning Boulevard in Albany looks like a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation competition).

A quick trip to Faddegon’s Nursery in Latham … a walk up and down their aisles, and i found a balsam wreath that was decorated with a beautiful bow.  Five minutes later (the remaining time was spent searching for a door hanging hook for it), I had my holiday wreath for my front door.


Doesn’t it look sweet?

See, this is also part of surgery recovery.  Being able to undertake simple things.  Routine things.  Parts of my life that make sense for me.  Surgery repaired my eye, for sure … but I need my soul and my heart and my emotions repaired as well.

Now if you’ll excuse me … it’s time for more eye drops.  I have to keep up the eye drop regimen for two weeks after the surgery, or until the bottles run out of drops, whichever comes first.

And I don’t plan on losing any more eye drop bottles.  Not this time, no way, no how.