Monday, February 4, 2013

Yes, I Am Too Young for That



Most people who do what I did today are much older than I am.  My Mother did it in her late 70s, for example.  And the technology is much more advanced now than it was then.  My visit to that facility lasted just over two hours but the actual ‘thing’ only took about fifteen minutes.  Today I had my second cataract surgery.

It is my understanding that most adults eventually have some kind of cataract issue and I have known since my 40s that this was coming.  Basically the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and hard.  This condition usually develops over some years and the determining factor leading to deciding on surgery is when the cataracts start to affect quality of life.  Cataracts were developing in both of my eyes for a long time and I reached that ‘qualify of life’ point more than a year ago.   I had the first surgery done last year and had this one done today. 

Typical surgery removes the lens and replaces it with a plastic lens.  Now each of my eyes has an implant so I guess you can call me the Bionic Man, sort of.  Last year my left eye went from blurry, yellowed vision to sharp, clear and bright 20/20 within hours of the surgery.  Today’s surgery result isn’t quite that spectacular but my vision is definitely clear and bright and the focus is improving by the hour.  That is more typical, by the way, so I am not concerned.

I still need glasses for reading but I’ve been wearing glasses off and on since 7th grade so that is not a problem.  The amazing thing is that I can now see distance without glasses and the colors appear like they are supposed to appear.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I am an advocate of creative aging and urge people to resist the stereotypes of growing old.  You also know I still can’t say my age number out loud to anyone other than medical professionals and people who have known me longer than thirty years.  I have my own biases about the number associated with a person’s age; not serious biases but I don’t want to be locked into characteristics based simply on the number you get when subtracting the year of your birth from the current year. 

I am slowly accepting inevitable aging factors, such as an increase of medical issues and a diminishing of some physical abilities such as running speed and endurance.  I have three or four doctors now instead of just one.  I love the latest music in many genres but I still know every note and word of many Motown songs. 

I am not old and my best friends continue to reinforce that belief.  Thank you, my friends; I love you all and appreciate the encouragement.  As I continue to seek role models for aging, which I encourage boomers to do, I hope to become a role model as well.  Midlife is not a time for crisis, it is one of many peaks in life; a time to bundle up life’s experiences up to this point and use them as a catalyst for reaching the next peaks.  I might be too young for cataract surgery but I will never be too old to learn new things and move forward.  I hope you feel that way about yourself and if not, let me help you.

Thanks for sharing this little blog journey with me and if you know me in real life, thanks for sharing the journey in person. 

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