In what can be said is a stereotypical sign of aging, I am again wearing glasses. I first wore glasses back in junior high, and stopped sometime during my undergraduate years. I think. It seems so long ago, I don’t even remember when my eyes mysteriously decided to see clearly all by themselves.
My eyesight was never horrendous. Unlike my parents, I could always read without my glasses; it’s just that the glasses helped make reading a little easier. And since there are already so many difficulties in life, why not take advantage of something that would make one body part work a little less.
I never detested my glasses. And once I didn’t need them anymore, I never missed my glasses. It was just one of those things I dealt with.
Lately, I felt like I was having trouble seeing the letters on my computer screen as I typed my weekly blog, and words in the novel I was reading were a bit out of focus. The optometrist confirmed it; I again needed reading glasses. Again, not a super-strong prescription, and if worse comes to worse, I can still read without them. But the optometrist wanted to let me know that this time, I probably wouldn’t outgrow my glasses. They’re most likely here to stay, and if anything, may require a stronger prescription as I age.
I told him it was the least of my worries.
Two years ago, I spent part of my son’s third birthday in an ophthalmologist’s office. Before my autoimmune disease was diagnosed, I was bounced around like a ball in an arcade game from one specialist to another. After the muscle biopsy that was performed on my calf, the rheumatologist who ordered the surgery wanted my results reviewed by a geneticist. The geneticist then wanted my eyes examined by an ophthalmologist. At the time, I didn’t understand why my eyes were being checked when the pain was in my legs and arms. (I would later learn that certain types of cancers reveal themselves in the eyes, and that is why I was sent to have my eyes dilated.)
I was pleased to discover that I’m actually helping our planet while typing away, wearing my new glasses. My eyeglasses are manufactured by a company named “eco,” which creates glasses that are made with 95% recycled materials. And, as an extra earth-bonus, for every frame that is sold, the company plants a tree.
After learning those facts, I’m even more okay with my declining eyesight.