5.17.2006

Bifocal Bliss

In addition to the awful CAT scan (about which I’ve already blogged) and the recent horrid cystoscopy and the forthcoming ultrasound (the bladder and kidneys are fine, now let’s look at those uterine and ovarian cysts we found during the CAT scan, my dear) and annual routine mammography, today I went to the optometrist. My distance vision is definitely worse than it was a few years ago (and I haven’t had my eyes checked in six years, their records say—whoops), and I hate night driving now. Plus my reading glasses are clearly not strong enough anymore.

I find out from Good Dr. Martin that I’m now a welcome member to the Over 40 Eyes Club, in that I am now officially farsighted. The previous/ongoing issue of problem with focus remains and is worse. I think my vision, which was 20/20 or better beforehand, got ruined by living in front of a Macintosh SE while writing my dissertation, back in the dot-matrix, pre-www days of 1990-1991. In any case, the prescription for the old glazzies is now higher, the distance vision is shot, and so...I must now embrace the wicked truth that, in one week when it’s time to pick up my fabulous new pair, I will be an Official Bifocal-wearing Old Fart.

The Doc did some laughing at my/our expense when I asked if I could have one pair of reading glasses and one pair of driving glasses. After all, I still don’t have to wear them all the time and they are for two separate purposes (hence the “bi” in “bifocal”). He said many people “in denial” do this until they just get over their vanity and acknowledge that this is just how things go when you hit your 40s. As your reading prescription gets strong enough to avoid the whanging headaches you’ve been denying have any relationship to your vision, it also means that when you look up from your book at your clock or your dog or your child smearing mashed potato on your clock or your dog that the world will be a fuzzy, blurry place. Now he did not say all of this, just the “denial” part. And he is, of course, absolutely right in my case.

Of course, as with all good pity parties, we must eventually stop the dance and take a moment to acknowledge that the cup may, indeed, be half full. I can still wear the glasses for reading and driving and keep them off other times. I made it 30 years with no glasses and another 10+ with weak ones. But the Bifocal Train is pullin’ into the station and I gotta ride it, however far from Youth Town it may be headed. Chugga chugga wooooooooo wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

2 comments:

kate said...

I've had glasses since the fourth grade. My job demands constant refocusing since all I do all day is look up, look down, look up, look down. I had no trouble two years ago when the need came to get bifocals. I suantered into Pearle vision and cheerfully said that I needed them. I also needed the doctor to pick out a pair of frames for me since I couldn't see how I looked without my glasses. So I'm on a different train on a different track. I have more trouble geting my hair cut. A couple of margaritas solves that. Remember, you have to grow old, you don't have to grow up.

Bennie said...

For vanities sake, j9 wears no line bifocals. They look just like your standard glasses and no one knows she is an 'old fart.' My doctor told me that with my prescription, there was no way I could wear the no line type as I would always feel dizzy. So I have that lovely line halfway across my specs that screams, OLD FART. The good part about that is that the type of glasses I wear now are called "Flat-Top 40's" which, if I ever start pursuing music again, will be the name of my next band.

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