It’s All a Blur. A Problem with My Eyes

At Last! An Old-Age Lament I'm Ok With!

A Problem with My Eyes

For at least a year now, I’ve noticed a problem with my eyes. No, that’s not specific enough. I’ve noticed a problem with my vision. No, that’s still not specific enough. For almost one year, I’ve had increasing trouble seeing. There. I’ve said it. I’m having trouble seeing.

Optometrist Visit Number One

I went to the optometrist, who assured me it wasn’t macular degeneration which can lead to almost complete blindness. My father suffered from it and it was horrible. The optometrist didn’t see any serious problem.  She gave me a prescription for stronger reading glasses. “Be sure to read in good light,” she said, cheerfully waving goodbye. “See you in a year.”

Still, the acuity problem persisted. Grew worse. At night when I read, I not only sat under a bright lamp but also used a wraparound light device on my neck. Still, it was difficult to see the print.

And reading wasn’t the only problem; seeing at night, in general, was a challenge. But then, seeing anything — close-up or at a distance — was a challenge. Everything was blurry.

Optometrist Number Two

Then we moved. A referral to a new optometrist in our new town confirmed the “no macular degeneration” diagnosis. He gave me eye drops for “dry eye,” a common problem in the Reno, NV air, and told me to apply warm compresses at night.

The drops and compresses felt nice, but they didn’t solve the problem. What was going on? If two optometrists couldn’t “see” a problem, what was going on? Maybe I have some super-rare disease rarely detected? I started a google search. Some of the deseases were too gross and gruesome to describe. Some were deadly! Most involved treatments that made me wince and weep.

After getting scared off the Internet, I began to question my sanity. Maybe it was all in my mind. That’s a reasonable — or unreasonable — fallback position, right? And I did all this worrying and self-doubt in silence, not even telling Handsome Hubby I was having trouble seeing. Why worry him, I thought, when two qualified “experts” said, “nothing’s wrong.”

Diagnostic Salvation

Then, I got a stye. Then, another, both of which won’t go away on their own. My GP sent me to an ophthalmologist, who, in the process of treating the pesky, persistent styes, casually said, “You’ve got pretty advanced cataracts. Are you having trouble seeing?”

Social distancing precautions aside, I practically kissed my new best friend.

He was, of course, surprised at my happy reaction to being told I have an eye problem typically associated with a gradual age-related vision-loss problem. And frankly, so was I!

Generally, I react “somewhat” negatively to being told I’m getting old. Not this time. I practically leaped out of the exam chair and danced a jig or, to date myself, the boogaloo.

I explained what had been going on for a year, including my fears of an unknown disease or a case of the creeping crazies.

Instead, thank goodness, I learned I have simple, run-of-the-mill, treatable cataracts. Problem diagnosed. Eye surgery scheduled. Self-doubt and idle fear banished.

Those Were the Days

Ironic though … Back in my dating days, I loved when men complimented my cat green eyes. Now, at 67, I’m jumping for joy because a rumpled, gray-haired Reno ophthalmologist said I have “old” eyes … and need surgery to boot!

Who knows what’s next for this once vain middle-aged muddler? Next trip to the dermatologist I’ll probably be dancing for joy when the doctor tells me that the suspicious dark spot on my arm is simply an age spot, not cancer. Oh, Father Time, who knew I’d embrace — not curse — you? Better you come knocking than your buddy, the Grim Reaper!

And besides, in terms of my pending cataract surgery, who knows? Perhaps if the eye doc is in a generous mood, I’ll snag a pair of those “snazzy” bendy plastic sunglasses that are so chic among the well-appointed eyewear crowd! Ah, the “perks” of old age.

3 replies
  1. Judy Peppercorn
    Judy Peppercorn says:

    My husband is a wonderful dermatologist. He has medical licenses in 30 different states! Who does that? Plus, and I know I’m bragging, he went to school to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford. Then he married me. We’re both 68 years young.


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