Getting old, going blind

My husband is 2 years and 7 months older than I am. As he ages, and as his body begins to show that age, I hear the warning alarms for the rapidly approaching demise of my own youth.

Recently, he was diagnosed with arthritis in his knee. I guess it’s common among athletes to suffer early onset of this in particular joints that took a significant beating. Fencing and cross-country running seemed to have done it for him. Nevertheless, hearing the term “arthritis” – an old person’s problem – applied to your husband is a bit hard. On the one hand, there are days I feel quite old with my own aches and stiffness. On the other hand, I’m in my 30’s – I’m young! He’s in his 30’s – he’s young! Young people do not have arthritis.

Also recently, he has noticed difficulty in reading printed material. He knows it’s time to get his eyes checked and that he will likely be prescribed reading glasses. Now, besides arthritis, I can’t think of another problem that screams “old person” than the inability to see small print that is right under your nose. I’ve been teasing him a lot about it. We’ve been playing the “can you read this?” game.

For years, we’ve played the “can you see that?” game. I am horribly near-sighted. Without my glasses, objects three feet away are blurry. My husband, Mr. Perfect Eyes, has found this to be amusing and fascinating. He would ask me to describe my world as I would see it without corrective lenses. To him, it was incredible that clear white letters on huge green street sign were not only not readable, but that I couldn’t even discern that there were letters there at all. Average costs for LASIK surgery are about $2000 per eye. I’ve recently been considering starting a special fund to have this done. It would be nice to be able to see the clock on the bedside table.

Yesterday, I had my own eye exam. It’s been more than 18 months, and it was time for a bit of tweaking to my prescription. The doctor, in his list of questions, mentioned I was still a little young, but…am I having any trouble reading things? I told him about my teasing my husband for just this issue, and he severely advised me to stop laughing at him. When you need reading glasses, and I don’t say “if,” I say “when,” he will be laughing at you! Yes, doctor.

For now, though, thank goodness, I am spared the bifocals. Perhaps I’ll save my pennies and have that corrective surgery done just in time to replace my near-sighted lenses with far-sighted ones. And then the laugh really will be on me.

4 thoughts on “Getting old, going blind

  1. Actually, that is exactly what Lasik does–keeps you from needing two kinds of lenses. I think I am about 10 years older than you are, and I am still reading the fine print, so you may have a while to go. However, when my arms get too short, I think I will look into the Lasik thing. My husband just got his bifocals a couple of months ago.Actually, it is not the physical signs of aging that cause me to pause as much as the realizations that I am old enough to be the mother of the lieutenants in my husbands organization. I’ve also decided they must have lowered the admission age for colleges, because when I walk on campuses with my children, the students look like babies. We were so much older and wiser when we were in college.

  2. Yes, yes, we <>were<> much older and wiser when we were that age – whatever that age is. It’s funny to look at someone who seems so young and naive and realize that when you were that age you were doing something very adult – traveling alone in another country, having a baby, whatever. Even with my children, I have to think about the responsibilities or privileges I had at that age and evaluate what I ask of them or allow them to do.

  3. How funny Michelle, because an exact replica of this sort of conversation is often heard in our house. I also cannot see my own hand in front of my face without my contacts, while my husband has had near 20/20 vision. Lately, age and massive computer use have taken their toll and he has had to wear reading glasses. I feel the tables have been turned!I also have been considering the LASIK surgery, but the idea of someone cutting on my eyes bothers me tremendously!

  4. I am also a member of the blind-as-a-bat club… without my contacts.My kids are fascinated by it.

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