December 7, 2012

Age, infirmity, and looking down my nose

So, it seems that I am now going to have to stop looking down my nose at people. And things. At least not over my reading glasses.

Just visited the optometrist to find out what magnification I should be using when I collect and festoon my life with drugstore reading glasses only to learn that not only do I need prescription ones I actually need distance lenses, and that my two eyes have entirely different needs. Who knew?

Adjusting to not having my many reading glasses as a part-time headband, part-time end of nose convenience will be difficult, I imagine. Not having headaches every day will be nice.

What was interesting, beyond my growing infirmities, was how lifestyle played such a role in what choices I have. It isn't just the numerical prescription but how I use my eyes that mattered. We talked about how much time I spend with what kind of screens. How do I sit (or recline) when reading. My driving habits.

Then of course the aesthetics and lifestyle issues of which frames to get. I hate shopping so I wasn't looking forward to that but the care that went into it was just as individualized, and even a bit fun. I knew I wanted something that suited my age (middle), and not too flashy but with a bit of personality. No logos (surprisingly difficult). No rhinestones. Can't keep catching my eyelashes when I blink.

Healthcare, and I realize how fortunate I am to have insurance and disposable income to make choices, these days in the US is an interesting mix of services rendered and policies fulfilled. Lots of forms, co-pays, reimbursements, extra charges -- but also a genuine choice of who to work with. My relationship with the doctor (who treats another family member, so I knew her) mattered. It was clinical, but also community.

I'm not glad I now need an optometrist*, but I'm grateful.

And if you've ever felt that I looked down my nose at you please forgive me and know it can't happen again!

*Dr. Shannon J. Colbourne, Warrenton, Virginia


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