Tuesday, June 27
As I lay sightless and getting more and more worried that this may be a permanent thing and how or if I could cope someone told me that I was to go to an eye clinic on the other side of Orlando. I of course, was thinking of our good old National Health Service were I would be whisked there free of charge by ambulance. But no “a taxi is on the way for you and that will be $123 please how would you like to pay?” Someone had to go into my pockets and count the cash out “I feel awful doing this” I heard her say, and then as an afterthought she handed me what she said was a fifty dollar bill from my pocket for the taxi fare.” Don’t let him see that you have much cash on you” she said, this didn’t really inspire much confidence in the local taxi service but I was in no position to argue. She couldn’t have been more wrong my taxi driver looked after me like a concerned father he asked my name and tried to reassure me on the twenty-minute ride to the eye clinic. At the clinic he took me in and up in the lift to the second floor then he explained that I was sightless to the receptionist and gave her his personal number to ring when I needed to be picked up. I myself have picked up sightless people in my own taxi but it was really strange to be on the other side of the fence, and I can truly tell you that it’s a frightening experience, you really do need to trust people without any of the preconceptions or prejudice that sight can give us all. You don’t know the colour of the hand that offers help or whether they are fat or thin gay or straight, and you care even less. After the receptionist filled in my forms for me she guided a pen in my hand to the paper and helped me sign in five places “crazy or what?” I was then guided to what would become for the next few hours my torture chamber.