I don’t know how else to express this: It SUCKS going blind.
For some forty-odd years, God blessed me with perfect, 20/20 vision. And then I crossed the bridge into the world of MIDDLE AGE, and suddenly, my arms weren’t long enough to hold words in print far enough away to see.
When it first happened, I had a vision exam and was told, much to my disbelief, that I STILL had 20/20 vision. “This normal aging change in the eye's focusing ability, called presbyopia, will continue to progress over time,” said the optometrist. And I’m not sure I saw it clearly, but I think he was wearing a smirk when he said it.
True to the diagnosis, my condition has progressed over time. And for the past seven years, my ability to read the fine print has deteriorated to the point of being book blind. Simply put, I can’t read ANYTHING up close without wearing glasses.
My daughter increased the font size on my text messaging device; however, I still have to hand it to her to read to me unless I’m already wearing glasses. Problem is, I don’t need the glasses—and can’t see with them—for anything besides reading.
(Although lately, I’ve found that I also wear them while cutting and eating my food).
I admit that I used to laugh at my dad whenever he stretched out his arm while attempting to read something like a newspaper or a report card. And I couldn’t understand why every pair of glasses he had was held together with black electrical tape. At first I thought it was because he was employed as an electrician, and my siblings and I grew up believing that anything and everything could be fixed with black electrical tape. Later, however, I learned that his glasses fell out of his front pocket every time he leaned over and the repeated abuse caused them to break. Rather than buy a new pair, he repaired them.
I, on the other hand, have a collection of reading glasses large enough to provide clear vision to a small town. I try to keep them in every potential reading venue in my home—and, of course, carry them in my purse and in my car. Usually, there’s a pair on top of my head and another hanging around my neck.
And yet, damn it, more often than not, there’s not a pair in sight when I need them . . . at least I pair that I can see.
Michele VanOrt Cozzens is
the author of I’m Living Your Dream Life:
The Story of a Northwoods Resort Owner, The
Things I Wish I’d Said, A Line Between friends, It’s Not Your Mother’s Bridge Club. (McKenna Publishing Group). Irish Twins is her third novel and was released on August 15, 2010. She is a
former newspaper columnist and, along with her husband and two daughters, is
the owner/operator of Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch in northern
Wisconsin, where they spend their summers. The remaining nine months are spent
in Tucson, Arizona, where their daughters attend school. She is the co-founder
of the non-profit organization HerBeware, which is dedicated to educating the
public about the potential dangers of unregulated herbs found in dietary
supplements. Profits from book sales have gone to this cause and to Breast