It Had to Happen

Well, I made it into my 50s, at least. But as is ALWAYS the case: Mother Nature and Father Time triumph and remain undefeated. I’m talking, of course, about this:

Four eyes!

Eye glasses. Me. What the ever-loving $#%$?!

Time for some back story: Back in June I had the physical required by the FAA for private pilots. In that exam, the doctor (who was a total douche but more on that later) announced that my blood pressure was way too high and there was a dangerous asymmetry in my eyes that required an ophthalmologist’s testing to ensure there wasn’t glaucoma or cataracts.

The blood-pressure thing…well, that could have been explained by the fact that I’d just spent a few days with my siblings dealing with our late parents’ ashes, but the eye thing perplexed me. Sure, reading was, at times, getting a bit challenging and sure, it took my eyes a few moments to get dialed in upon waking up each morning. But I had always crushed my eye exams: the doctor (or DMV person) would say, “Read line five” and I’d jump to line 10, recite that and we’d move on. But this time I actually had a tough time reciting the designated line. I REALLY had to focus before I finally got it. As I wrote here, the exam—and what the douchey doctor had to say—really unnerved me.

It took me five months to finally visit an ophthalmologist (I may have been unnerved but I don’t like to be rushed), which I did this past Saturday. She found a slight challenge with up-close stuff but no real asymmetry, and the far stuff was fine. She also found perfectly healthy—but aging—eyes. And that was that.

The local eyeglass shop was having a sale so I bought the pair of readers seen in the photo. Yes, I know I can get cheapies at the CVS store but since there was a sale I figured I’d buy these semi-decent glasses and consider ‘em a trial pair.

How do they look? We all know I’m no fashion guru and I tried damn near every pair on the wall: big, nerdy plastic frames to John Lennon wire-rimmed circles. I opted for the pair shown and we’ll see how it goes. Feedback from friends more fashionably inclined appreciated…

But here’s the thing: I don’t really need them—except when I’m reading in low light. Daytime reading? Fine. But in the evening at the coffee shop? Yeah, the letters start to blur. Driving, flying and everything else? Fine. Well, my parents were wearing glasses by their early 40s and all my friends have been wearing glasses for years, so I guess I actually got kinda lucky that I made it to 51-plus before succumbing.

I’ve now worn these things a few times and I gotta tell you: they made my head hurt the first time I read for a bit, and I really hate the way my eyes are out of focus for that instant after I take them off. But given how much I read, and how much I love to read, perhaps I have to accept what Mother Nature and Father Time have decreed and just get used to the fact that I’m now the not-so-proud owner of reading glasses. Sigh…

As for the douchey doctor: The guy had ZERO sense of humor. At all. And he derided the fact that I’ve stayed active my whole life and played sports often, by pooh-poohing, “Athletes are always the worst. They think they’re never going to age.” I wanted to smack him and say, “Dude, I get the clearest view of my aging every time I skate with 20-somethings I can’t keep up with anymore.” And the way he pronounced the blood pressure and the eye situation…he made it sound dire, as though my heart was going to explode at any minute and I was going to go blind before my next birthday. I covered the eyes already and, well, when I gave blood on Sunday my BP was perfect. Fuck you, doc!

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