At Fifty, I'm Going Blind

5 years ago

I can’t see.

When you're teetering (wobbling, reeling?) on the brink of 50, you go blind!

Well, not blind but my far-sightedness seems suddenly to have waned (we won’t discuss my near-sightedness which has been waning since my first pair of blue plastic 70's frames).

I’m a chicken cocking, crooking and craning its head this way and that – trying to crook at just the right angle to see what the heck I’m typing. I crane my head up to peer down through my progressive lenses, then down to look up juuuuust a biiiit...and these words are still blurry.

I made the mistake of mentioning this middle-aged onslaught of visual reading impairment to my husband. Who, if I get mere sniffles, tells me to go see my doctor for nose spray. Who is always at me about my wellness visits (they’re free under our insurance!).

My husband hates his job with every follicle on his body and rightly so, but he is proud of our great health insurance and we are indeed lucky. And I do follow up on my wellness visits. To find out just that. That I am well.

But I’m lazy about the eye stuff. As long as I can see, that is...

“You’re covered. I told you back in November, get new glasses,” he scolded.

Well, that’s true. He did tell me. But I didn’t notice I was going blind then.

And it’s only every other year that we’re covered for new glasses. My two years since this last pair isn’t up until this May.

But that was before we realized we’d tucked away too much money into our tax-free flexible spending account for out-of-pocket medical fees. So by November, Hubby was telling me “Get new frames, for Christ’s sake. Get whatever frames you want.” We had to spend that cash by the end of 2012 or poof! It would be gone!

I said no, I was fine, that that was a stupid way to go blow something like $800, just  on new frames. I mean, really! So I didn’t.

Hubby did instead.

One night, he came home with a brand new look. The bland wire flexible frames (that were supposed to withstand our boys monkeying with them but didn’t) look was replaced with an entirely new one. How should I say? Studious? Different.

I was staring at the thick-plastic-black-rectangular-framed new look. And he said part of what I was thinking: “They told me it’s a new look.”

Clearly he wasn’t really the one to pick them out. It was those too-helpful eye technicians who want you to choose from three frames they pull off the mind-and-eye-boggling array of racks upon frame racks, so they can taxi you out the door to move on to the next overly-deliberating-can’t-make-up his-mind customer.

But I also was staring because I was stunned by the fact that he’d gone out and gotten new glasses.

“You just got a pair last year.” His two years wasn’t up yet either!

“I know. But I went for my annual exam and my prescription changed.”

He meant it was tweaked. He could still see.

What he really meant was, he needed to use up the flexible spending account. “You spent $800 on glasses?”

We squabbled. He defended his new look with the truth, that the $800 also included the exam, blah, blah, blah. And he reminded me that he had told me to go out and get the glasses, and when I didn’t he decided to. “Otherwise we’d just lose the money.” Gone!

Which would have been true – if the big O didn’t suddenly materialize. All you parents, you know: Ortho!! Yes! Big Bro needed an expander! That nasty wire thing that is now plastered to the top of the mouth so he talks like a duck!

And yes, wiring-of-teeth-stuff easily mounts up, making that $800 seem like pennies!

Now it’s the new year and we have a new fully-tanked flexible spending account – that, with our new embarkment into the land of ortho, is already well on its way to empty.

Still. I have an appointment for right before my birthday to get new glasses. Consider it an early birthday present to myself. I”m just not so sure I will fall for a new "look." I rather like the "old" me.

....Or maybe they just need cleaning.

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