Tuesday, October 05, 2010

If You Can See This Without Glasses, Don’t Bother Reading It

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.


ZIA said...

I feel your pain! Great blog!

Jenners said...

I've been wearing glasses since first grade but the final insult came last year when I had to start with the bifocals. ACK!

Sue said...

Hi Michele, I have been experiencing the same issue over the past 11 years with the same habbit of leaving 'readers' in every location that I go (which even though I do this I'm still always looking for the damm things). My ability to focus while reading or using the computer has steadily decreased. I guess you can say that even though I can't see all the myriad little details right under my nose I can clearly see the big picture. I mistakenly thought that the reason I couldn't read the information on labels anymore is because in order to get more and more information on the labels the text size had to be shrunk. . .can you say denial?!

Dennis S said...

M, Some older folks I know say it gets worse, same say you get used to it. I think they're just enjoying our predicament. Los Bastardos....