The joys of aging

Having been retired now for almost 18 months, I can say  after the getting through adjustments of the first few months – getting into a new routine, figuring out which of the many projects I had always said I would do when I retired, and adjusting to living with another retired person – that retirement has been a joy.  As people before me have said, “I wonder how I ever had time to work.”  But the last few months have reminded me that getting older is not all fun.

This is my first post since mid-November when I was diagnosed with tendonitis in one of my wrists.  I pretty much stayed away from the computer for a couple of weeks and have cautiously approached email.  I am trying very hard to limit my time at the keyboard to 15-20 minute stretches which means I haven’t really been on Facebook or Twitter both of which can be super addictive and could lead me to pass my time limit without knowing it.

And now I have another challenge.  Cataract surgery.  I think cataracts may be genetic on my mother’s side of the family, at least the relatively early need for surgery  has been the rule for my mother, my sister (who is 5 years younger) and me.  I’ve known the day would come sooner rather than later for several years as my doctor and I waited until they got bad enough to warrant surgery.  So a week ago, I had the operation on my right eye.  Very little pain, just a little discomfort.   Which brings us to the challenging phase.  That is what my sister labeled the period between the two surgeries.  Your old glasses don’t work too well because the prescription is very wrong for the implanted lens.  So your choices are to live with really blurry vision in that eye and mostly use the other eye and to periodically take off your glasses when you are looking far away (I had a distance lens implanted.) or, as my doctor suggested, take out the right lens.

I had an old pair of glasses with a prescription that wasn’t too bad for the left eye.  My husband took the right lens out after we went on the internet to learn how.  I did that for a couple of days, but it got tiresome not being able to really see well out of either eye.  Since I knew that none of my glasses were ever going to work for me again, we took the right lens out of my most recent glasses  last night.  That works well, as long as you make adjustments for whether you are looking away or reading.  Middle distance is still a challenge which involves moving my head around until I find a decent focus.  I think this works for people who can adjust to having each eye see differently.  Depth perception is almost non-existent for me at this point although it is better than it was two days ago.  And the right eye is still healing and adjusting so sometimes I think my vision is changing by the minute!

English: A pair of reading glasses with LaCost...

English: A pair of reading glasses with LaCoste frames. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow is the day I can fully resume all normal activities (like bending over and taking a shower and washing my hair without worrying about getting water in my eye) but the challenging phase will remain until I have the cataract removed from the left eye in early January.  Then I’ll have the new challenge of reading glasses for a month or so while both eyes heal and I can get proper glasses.  But even now I can wake up and see more clearly without glasses than I have since I was in my teens.  It will be wonderful to not have to reach  for my glasses the minute I open my eyes!