There are days when I look at myself (scary thought) and contemplate the passage of time. Here I am, currently 48 years old, what little hair I have left going gray, wearing glasses, since I’m freaking blind as a bat.

I didn’t always wear glasses, though I have for over three decades now. I didn’t need them until high school, at around 16 years old. My dad had decent insurance through his employer, so I usually got my eyes checked regularly. So, this one day back in the late 1980s, I was told I needed glasses. I guess it’s not too surprising, seeing as how vision problems run in the family. My paternal grandparents wore them (my mom’s parents, I don’t remember if they did), both my parents used them; even my siblings, save my brother who has since died. He was the lucky one to not need them. Hell, two of my own kids wear glasses. So, there’s definitely something hereditary about it.

Prior to getting my vision checked about seven months ago in March, my last eyes exam was 6 years ago. At that time, I tried to wear contacts, but that was an epic fail. First, the lenses made my eyes feel like there was a foreign object in my eye. Second, I had a hell of a time putting them in and taking them out. I have difficulty touching my eyeball—my eye keeps blinking as my finger gets closer. That was out. I didn’t think about using the prescription to get new glasses. I ended up wearing the same pair I bought in 2012.

I finally got new glasses this year, since my prescription has progressed to needing bifocals. Thank god for “progressive lenses”—bifocal lenses without that line where the reading part is. I finally was able to retire my eight-year-old glasses. Those things were a pain. The lenses were all scratched up from cleaning them with my shirt, a paper towel, or whatever was handy. Additionally, the frame wasn’t even the original. That one broke irreparably one day, and when I tried to get a replacement, I was informed that that particular one had been discontinued. I bought a similar-shaped frame, but the lenses didn’t quite fit. They stayed in place, but the lenses easily popped out. I almost lost my lenses on numerous occasions.

Without my glasses, my vision is a miserable 20/200. If I tried to read my laptop screen unaided, all I would see are black lines on a white background. The kitchen tickets that print at work look like black and red lines on paper if I am not wearing my glasses. I guess I’m this close (🤏) to being legally blind. If I had about $4,000 laying around with nothing better to do with it, I would have surgery to correct my vision. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a large bank balance (unless you consider the minus sign in front of the number), so I must continue to wear my glasses🤷‍♂️.

Before I end, here is the quote of the day:

“Life begins at 40 – but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.”

Helen Rowland

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