Old age and glasses


Several years ago, a good friend of mine wrote a column on aging.

He recalled his years as a catcher on the baseball diamond and how his bones had begun to creak and groan from all of those years crouching behind the plate.

I can sympathize.

Just about every part of my body makes me murmur in disgust.

Where’s that kid who chased down nearly every ball during his United States Tennis Association days?

Like my good friend, age has crept up on me — everywhere.

A couple of years ago, I bought reading glasses because the fine print became — well — too fine to read. My eyes felt tired and my 20/20 vision started to decline.

The readers proved useful.

I could easily read books, some magazines, messages on my phone, work without any problem on my laptop and produce some pretty sharp photos.

Until last week.

I noticed a majority of the photos that appeared solid on the camera screen weren’t in focus at all. I managed to find one or two that were clear and saved them to my laptop.

That’s not all.

Countless hours of staring at my phone, due to social media duties, and writing on my laptop also affected my eyes. When I attempted to write notes, my letters and numbers appeared jumbled.

And yes, you guessed it.

I headed to an eye doctor.

The first part of the examination was easy peasy — stare at a farmhouse, feel a puff of air in your eyes and focus on a particular spot as the camera flashed to take a photo of the backside of your retinas.

The second part blew me away.

The doctor used several different lenses to determine my sight from near and far.

Beads of sweat trickled down my cheeks as I strained at times to see the letters from a distance.

It was over.

Remember the scene where Sylvester the Cat hides from Tweety in Granny’s yarn box and one of his cat hairs gets caught in Granny’s needles as she knits a scarf?

Sylvester notices and feverishly begins to knit. He steps out and walks away, the bottom half of his body covered in red and white yarn.

Granny takes off her glasses and rubs them.

“Astigmatism,” she says.

That’s the diagnosis.

Now in my early 50s, the doc couldn’t believe I had gone so long without a pair of specs. She immediately wrote out a prescription and a couple of hours later I walked out with two new pairs of glasses.

Welcome to old age.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. You can email him at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.


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