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Life Changes Year By Year With Portland Eyes.


They arrive in pairs, young and old, men and women, all showing the gift.

Everyone knew the drill inside the macular degeneration clinic in the middle of the Portland.

Of each pair of people, one was getting eye treatment. How does it work?

“I’ll move from room to room. Different nurses and staff come in with shots.

“Then I see the doctor. He checks my eye himself and leaves. When he comes back, he’s got the big one.

“He put’s it right in my eye. My vision may be failing, but I see that needle.”

One by one name are called and the couples break up. One goes behind the door; the other stays behind.

Like a waiting room full of the accused before a court hearing, you can’t tell who is who before the role call.

After you’ve driven to more than enough appointments with others you learn to play, ‘Who’s the driver.’ It should be easier in an eye clinic than court.

The couple with an elderly man and elderly woman in a wheelchair with an eye patch? The man left when they called his name.

Transport to the clinic is key for Portland eyes.

After so many needles in every appointment, driving is not an option.

Two large men, one in a wheel chair, push into the small waiting room. Both have voices coming from deep inside their barrel bodies. Who’s the driver?

They rolled to check in. The wheelchair man stood up, gave his info, and sat down. His belly started at his shoulders, curved out toward his bend knees, and ended somewhere between his man-spread.

The big man with a barrel body fights to save his vision. His driver explained the ride home:

“Call when you know you’ll be done. Better call earlier once you get a time. Takes an hour for your driver to get here. I hope it’s me. If it is, I’ll be here. Okay?”

He horsed his empty wheelchair out the door like he was herding a goat.

After he was gone the big man said out loud, “He’s dangerous.”

Vision clinics for Portland eyes are not created equal.

Two women walked in, one a generation older than the other.

“Do you come here often?”

“It’s our first time.”

“Then you haven’t played the clinic game?”


“In each couple try to pick the driver.”

“Well, I’m the driver,” said the younger woman.

“That’s what I guessed.”

“We’re here for macular degeneration.”

“If this is your first visit, wait until you see the other clinics. This one looks like a regular doctor’s office. The others look like lounges. With a view.”

“Oh. Fancy.”

“Very visual with designer touches. The paintings and fashion tilted decor are rather stunning.”

“Next time we’ll have to schedule there.”

“You should. It’s a gallery of visual delight.”

“For patients or drivers?”

“Both. It keeps the conversation moving.”

“Like the game of Who’s The Driver.”

“It’s never an easy day when it includes a needle in the eye. You’ll be back a few times and start a new game. So far Portland has the Moda Center and Providence Park, insurance companies buying naming rights for major league sports venues.”

“I’ve wondered about that.”

“Which place will the eye clinic buy naming rights to? They’ve got to make a lot of money.”

“Medicine is funny like that. Not every treatment costs the same. The more diabetes patients a clinic treats, the more money they lose. Insurance doesn’t cover it all.”

“Even with all the coding?”

“You’d think so. I did. They balance the losses on diabetes with profits from cardiac and cancer treatment. Some of that is very expensive. Portland eyes may not see that.”

“Naming rights expensive?”


Aging is a long haul and you don’t always stay the same. Portland baby boomers helping family members know this. What does stay the same is your will to live the best life you can.

Even more important, help others live a better life. They might be down, but they’re not out.



About David Gillaspie
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