At age 12 I suffered an adolescent growing spurt that continued many months. As often happens to utterly hapless kids, that spurt brought the beginning of myopia. I felt like the only girl on the planet who suddenly had hands and feet too big for my body, blond hair turning dishwater brown and going limp, a thoroughly awkward, too tall body and the need for glasses. Horrible! I've had glasses ever since. In the mid-'60s I acquired contact lenses, hard ones that I could not wear 'round the clock so I always had glasses as well. Thus began more than fifty years of glasses and contacts.
One of the few positives that can come of a negative is about to happen. I've been developing cataracts slowly for a few years and now I've reached a point where an operation is indicated. It will be at the very end of this month. I will still have glasses, maybe just for reading, certainly during a transition period. But I won't reach for them first thing in the morning [a habit I'll gladly break].
Meanwhile I have had to put away my contacts and wear only my glasses so my eyes can be measured accurately and then, I'm sure, I won't be allowed to wear the contacts so that my eyes will retain their natural shape. This means good-by to contact lenses first. This I am not enjoying because my vanity says I look better without these utilitarian glasses, which are four years old, slightly bent beyond rebending and therefore which sit on my face atilt and bother me. However, not to complain too loudly, it's an important step.
For several months things in the world have gotten fuzzier. I'm especially bothered by the little numbers when I do crossword puzzles. Irksome, not exactly a crushing difficulty. I look forward to seeing clearly -- with my own eyes and the little implants I'll have in a few weeks. Nothing is worth aging for but it's definitely not all bad when something this vital can be improved after almost a lifetime.
Meanwhile I remember my longtime friend, Janet, who had the operation three years ago told me, "The worst part is now I look in the mirror and I see all the lines and wrinkles and how old I look." I assume that will happen. But I've been forewarned.
Vidya Sundar paints - Memories Dreams and Desires
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