Apes and eyeballs

I’m just gonna go right out there and say it. War for the Planet of the Apes is a flipping awesome film. Its CGI is so accomplished that it’s often nigh on impossible to tell what’s real and what’s computer generated. The storyline is also superb and serves as a worthy bridge to the events of a much loved original, containing within it many cool references to what came before.

We live in an incredible age for cinema goers nowadays – so much so that it’s difficult to imagine now how the original Charlton Heston film worked so well with actors in monkey suits and masks.

A word to the wise though – if you want to see it but haven’t seen the first two ‘reboot’ films yet (Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) then I recommend watching them first.

It’s really worth it.

The visual fidelity of this movie however was something I could only appreciate in the morning, because by the afternoon I could hardly see my hand in front of my face.

I can’t really believe it – but a year has passed since my last diabetic retinopathy checkup and today it was time for another. Now that I no longer take Metformin on a day to day basis and manage my diabetes through diet and exercise alone I’m beginning to forget sometimes that I have/used to have/still have it hiding in the background. These annual checkups however bring it back into sharp focus (no pun intended).

This is a good thing.

I need reminders – they keep me focused.

Now – I know that lately I’ve been putting forward quite a few examples of then vs now photo comparisons (at least it feels like it) but when I come to an ‘anniversary’ like this and I have an example of how far I’ve come on I can’t help myself – so I apologise in advance if you’ve heard it all before.

My last post about a screening was in July 2016 (here) and once again it bowls me over to realise how my mindset has changed.

The most obvious thing is how different I look – but when I read the words surrounding this photo I am also taken back to a time when the fear of whether or not I’d be able to get to any given destination and back under my own steam was always with me. Often I started worrying about events like this weeks (even months – I’m not joking) in advance, and this was no different. When I wrote the first part of that post I was awake at 4.30am and already stressing about walking there and back carrying 31st 9lbs.

This appointment is half a mile away from my home down a small hill – and last time I had to stop and sit four times on the way back. When I got to the health centre I couldn’t fit in the chairs. They had arms and I didn’t have a hope in hell of wedging myself into them without perching myself on the edge.

Instead I found a larger one in the hall made of plastic without arms.

These were dark moments in retrospect but I can also see in the post a sense of hope starting to form, and a feeling that I was making gradual progress – even if I still had a long way to go.

Today my appointment was unpleasant only because of the drops in my eyes – which are still wrecking my focus thanks to the way they dilate my pupils and giving me a headache hours later whilst still sitting in a darkened room.

This (for those who’ve never had a test like this) is what the solution (which is effectively a mild irritant) does to your eyes:

In all other respects I have nothing to complain about. Today was uneventful and normal.

Before going to the heath centre I walked to the cinema, where I sat comfortably in a seat watching a great film. Once this was finished I walked briefly around town and popped for a coffee. After my drink I walked briskly back to my appointment, where I sat happily (with room to spare in the not-so-little-anymore) red chairs and then after my test (which looks completely normal with no immediately apparent blood vessel degradation) I strolled home. The total distance was about five miles.

It’s all pretty mundane now – but at the same time it’s not. 

I’m often momentarily stuck in the past on days like today, and a bit of me still wakes up in the morning feeling that same worry and anxiety about what events like this mean. I easily slip back into old fearful thought processes without realising it. They’ve been with me for so long that often I don’t even realise I’m doing it. I have to pause for a moment, metaphorically shake myself and remember that things are different now – and that I won’t be that man again.

Then the fear response passes, my pulse drops – and when the event is over I have a new memory of another day where something that once seemed completely impossible and out of reach but is now just obtainable and comfortable.

Maybe over time I’ll stack up so many of these memories that I’ll forget the old fears…

However in some ways I feel I need them – and that if they go away I’ll become comfortable and slip back into old habits.

Or maybe just maybe I’ll have changed so much by the time next year’s test rolls around that I won’t think about this post at all – and I’ll be so set in my ways that i’ll be completely free of such silly worries.

Only time will tell internet.

Only time will tell…





  1. I really hope you get there Davey, though indeed old thinking habits can be pretty hard to break. 🙂 Just keep stacking those scale and non-scale victories and I am sure you will be fine!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s