losing focus

Half_rim_glassesLet’s face facts… I’m getting old. Yes, yes, I know I’m not that old yet. I realize I’m still in what’s considered the “prime” of life. Not even 35 yet and I’m already feeling it, though. Let me explain.

A few years ago, during one of my routine eye exams, I was discussing the option of getting laser eye surgery, or lasik, with my eye doctor. Weighing out the pros and cons with him. He made the comment that if he were 20 and considering it, he’d absolutely do it. BUT, being in his 40’s already, the cost/benefit just wasn’t there for him. He needed reading glasses for his near sighted vision regardless, so if he was already wearing glasses, he might as well save the money that he would have spent on lasik. Made sense. We discussed my situation further. He inquired about my contact lense comfort (no problems there), extreme sports where contacts might become an annoyance (other than swimming occasionally, no problem there either), how often I wear my glasses (rarely, usually just at bedtime), and other questions along the same lines. After talking it over, I realized there really wasn’t a pressing need for me to spend upwards of $5k on a still developing technology. He warned me that the cost/benefit ratio would also start to sway for me as my near sighted vision got worse. Something about the hardening of the corneas as you age, which cause you to lose that ability to focus up close.

Fast forward to today… and I realize that once "far off" loss of near sightedness is happening. Now. It’s not terribly dramatic yet, I just notice that I can’t focus on things when they’re very close to my face. I find myself pulling things back a bit to see clearly. My eyes try to focus at closer distances, but struggle and finally admit defeat. So, we’re adding the slow demise of my near sightedness to my already terrible far sightedness. Seriously, my contact prescription is -5.75 in each eye, or about 20/600 as quoted by my doctor. To give you an idea of what that means, the smallest letter that I can see at 20 feet could be seen by a normal eye at 600 feet. That’s not a whole lot. I’m pretty much blind at night when I roll out of bed and head to the bathroom. I sometimes reach my arm over in the dark, feeling around for my glasses, hoping to find them without knocking them off the nightstand, because at that point all is lost and I might as well wait until morning to try to find them. Most of the time, though, I just stagger to the bathroom blind, feeling walls and familiar objects as I go.

It’s not like I could see well enough before to read without contacts or glasses. I can see clearly for about the first 6" of my vision. After that it’s annoyingly blurry. Trying to read or use my computer without glasses is pretty much pointless. So I’m stuck with some sort of vision correction regardless. It just irks me that my close up vision, the only thing my eyes were still doing on their own without fail, is now failing.

The other frustrating thing is that my cost/benefit ratio for lasik is getting worse. The window where it makes sense is getting smaller. In all reality, it would be awesome to look at the clock on the middle of the night and be able see what time it is without squinting really hard. It would be great to never worry about my contact ripping in my eye while driving (which has happened more often than I’d like). Never needing to search the sink/counter/floor for an elusive dropped contact. Swimming without concern for blindness or loss of contacts in the water. There are countless situations where I’ve cursed my poor vision and reliance on contacts. I still can’t justify the cost to myself though. Maybe if I was working, and had an income to justify the cost, I would just bite the bullet and go for it. Alas, circumstances being what they are, I’ll most likely stick with contacts and glasses for the immediately foreseeable future.

This alone isn’t enough for me to have that "not so young anymore" feeling, though. There are other signs as well. I manage to pull muscles simply getting out of bed, it’s harder to get (and stay) in shape, I’m tired by 10pm most nights, can’t drink caffeine past 3pm without consequences, and the few hangovers I’ve experienced post 30 have been bad enough to nearly swear off drinking altogether. Yup, it’s happening. Short of cryogenic freezing and awaiting some mystical fountain of youth, there’s nothing I can do about it. The inevitability of the situation makes it slightly more palatable… we’re all in the same boat. Whether I’m on it before or after you, we’re all headed to the same place. I’ll try to slow the pace by taking care of myself, eating well, exercising, but the things like my vision going? Yeah, that’s kinda out of my control. That kind of stuff is what makes me realize this trip is happening.

As a final note, I realize many of you will think this post is ridiculous. Yup. That’s all.

Feels good to blog again.

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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