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Middle (old) Age & Weakened Vision

Posted by Kathy in Ky on 10/26/04 at 16:01 (162208)

I'm venting- I went to work this morning without my glasses & needless to say I was pretty useless all morning! I've been wearing reading glasses for about 6 years & progressed to biofocals about 3 yrs ago. Today I realized how blind I've become in the last few months. I was so desperate that I ran out to our local (expensive) small town drug store during my plan time at school just to buy reading glasses. I know I'm ready for a new prescription & think my Christmas present to myself will be contacts. Our secretary wears one contact for up close work & one for distance. Others have said they only wear one contact? I really want something that will allow me to grade papers late at night & read for extended periods. Any suggestions?

Re: Middle (old) Age & Weakened Vision

Pat on 10/26/04 at 16:22 (162214)

I actually had the Lasik vision surgery. The first time they corrected it to 20/60 (my vision had been 20/650). I went back and had an enhancement on one eye but not the other (I didn't want to get two enhancements done at the same time). The result is the same as your friend - one eye sees up close and the other sees far away. I don't need reading glasses but the faw away vision isn't crystal clear so I will probably have another enhancement. If I do though I will lose the reading capability and that's something I'm not nuts about doing so I can't have both near and far that's crystal clear. This getting old really stinks! If one more person or doctor says to me .... starts happening when you hit 50 I will SCREAM!

Re: Middle (old) Age & Weakened Vision

Pauline on 10/26/04 at 17:02 (162217)

I would caution you only from the stand point that not everyone can get used to using one eye for distance and the other for only close up.

This is often tried with contacts and it makes some people sick to their stomach and dizzy. Maybe you are used to it already, but it sounds like you haven't lost all your close up vision yet in the one eye. It could make a substancial difference. You might consider trying contacts on to give you the same effect prior to have the enhancement done.

Re: Middle (old) Age & Weakened Vision

Suzanne D. on 10/26/04 at 20:05 (162222)

Hi, Kathy! I hope you can get the contacts and that they will work well for you. I wear cheap reading glasses for close work and keep a pair in my school desk drawer, one in my purse, and one in the house.

But I had a scare a few months ago at a wedding rehearsal where I was the pianist. I hadn't played for a wedding in some time, and as I was playing, I looked up to watch the processional of bridesmaids so I would know when to change to the song I was to play for the bride. I realized I couldn't see clearly to the back of the church with my glasses on.

I had been wearing my glasses to play for church for several months, but I only had to be concerned about seeing the hymnbook or the songleader then. Now I needed to clearly see to the back of the church as well as see the music. So I got up early the next morning and bought a pair of half-glasses so that I could look over them to watch the wedding procession as I was playing.

Sometimes middle age can be a nuisance, can't it?! :) Oh, well...come to first grade with me. The children write so large that it isn't hard to see, and you don't need glasses to check their work. And one of my students asked me today if I was 40. I smiled and said, 'Somewhere near that...' Then they asked, '41?' I just smiled and changed the subject. Really 52 is not very near 40, but they really didn't have to know, now did they? :)

Suzanne :)

Re: Middle (old) Age & Weakened Vision

Carole C in NOLA on 10/26/04 at 20:36 (162223)

Kathy, I wore contacts until I reached the 'bifocal age' (about 43) and then stopped wearing them and wore bifocal and then trifocal glasses.

I went to get contacts last year at age 55, with the idea of one near and one far sighted. My optometrist said that would be fine, but first I had to get used to contacts with the distance vision prescription in each eye. I would have to use reading glasses. Then, when that was all figured out and my contacts were working perfectly, I could switch to one near and one far.

I was really surprised at how well I can see with these contacts for far vision. You know those little half high reading glasses? When I wear those with my contacts, they actually magnify and it's much easier to read up close than it is any other way. Even my monitor seems more like 25' than the 19' that it really is. :)

I wore soft contacts from August '03 to August '04, and although I was very happy with them, my optometrist changed me to hard (gas permeable) contacts last week. He thinks I see better with them because I have a lot of astigmatism. They are fine, too, though it took a few days to get used to them.

Anyway, last week my optometrist FINALLY said, 'Didn't you originally want one near and one far contact?' I told him no, that I am very happy with the reading glasses; and I am.

I would say, GO FOR IT!! Get contacts, and see if you like them. Your optometrist will be able to advise and guide you as to what will work best for you and what to try first. For me, it has involved a whole lot of eye appointments though not as much expense as I had feared.

Carole C

Re: Hi, Carole!

Suzanne D. on 10/26/04 at 20:40 (162224)

So nice to see a post from you, Carole! How are things in New Orleans?

Hope you're having a good week!
Suzanne :)

Re: Hi, Carole!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/26/04 at 20:43 (162225)

Hi, Suzanne! Things are fine here, but so HOT! We've had record breaking heat for 4 of the past 5 days. How are things in Kentucky?

I'm having a great week but it seems like a LONG time until Friday. :)

Carole C

Re: Hi, Carole!

Suzanne D. on 10/26/04 at 20:54 (162226)

We've settled down some here in KY since the legislature met in special session and came up with a new health insurance package for teachers and other state workers. We were headed for a strike which was set to begin tomorrow had this not happened. The new 'deal' is considerably worse than last year's insurance but much better than the first proposed package.

I don't mean to stick my head in the sand, but after all the hundreds of e-mails concerning this from all across the state, the meetings, newspaper articles, I just want to forget about it for awhile. It is depressing when I think too much about it. I have taught for 25 years, and our payments now are on a sliding scale according to what we earn. We have declined every year in terms of coverage and have had increased premiums almost every year. We have no choice in providers and our large county hospital still won't say yet if they will accept the insurance. But worrying myself until I get sick won't help, so I am trying not to stress over it. So I had better quit writing about it now! :)

It's been quite warm here, too, through much of October. I was looking in my closet at a Halloween sweatshirt and turtleneck and realized that it is just too warm to wear them to school this week!

The children are excited this week as it is 'Red Ribbon Week' (Say No to Drugs)-with special related activities- and the week preceeding Halloween. They seem to be glad to be back in school after our two-week fall break.

Once again, it was great hearing from you!
Suzanne :)

Re: Hi, Carole!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/26/04 at 21:01 (162229)

Your health insurance situation is abysmal. I'm so lucky, as a federal worker. We are paying more for our insurance and getting less too, but it's nowhere near as bad as what you are experiencing. Plus, I haven't been sick lately so it hasn't really been driven home.

My daughter loved the anti-drugs education at her elementary school when she was little. They even had a nice policeman who talked to them, and she thought that was wonderful. At that age, she wanted to be a policeman (and a fireman, and a mailman.... lol! ) I guess the anti-drugs (DARE) program worked for her, because she is 26 and has no interest in illegal drugs.

Carole C

Re: Hi, Carole!

Suzanne D. on 10/26/04 at 21:18 (162231)

The DARE program is still going strong here. I think it's a real positive approach to trying to keep kids off drugs.

I'll have to tell you a story relating to that. We had the DARE speaker for a school assembly yesterday morning. He really stressed the dangers of 'drinking and driving' at the end of the talk. He told the children to try every way they could to never ride with anyone who was drinking and driving. He said if they couldn't get out of the situation, to buckle up, keep quiet, and tell an adult about it.

After we came back to the room, one of my little girls came up to me, her eyes brimming with tears. With a quivering voice she told me, 'My daddy drinks when he drives. But I really think I'll be o.k. because he goes real slow'.

At first it scared me, but then I looked at her and said, 'What does he drink, Makenzie?'

She almost cried as she answered, 'Gatorade'. :)

I hugged her and explained that was alright. She seemed so relieved. We then had a discussion with the whole class, most of whom thought that the policeman meant drinking coke, coffee, whatever, while driving - which of course, most of their parents do.

Today the theme was 'Hugs not Drugs'. The children were allowed to bring a small stuffed animal to school. I brought one, too, and they all had fun introducing them to the class. They got to keep them on their desks, take them to the library and outside - everywhere but the bathroom and cafeteria.

My daughter came by my room while the children were at lunch and teased me that my room must be too cool for the children. Almost every child had left their stuffed animal on their desk, wrapped up in a jacket or sweater! I guess that could take us back to the start of this thread - more joys of middle age - being more hot-natured and needing a cooler room!

Suzanne :)

Re: Hi, Carole!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/26/04 at 22:25 (162233)

What sweet little children! It sounds like the DARE speaker was not speaking on a level they could understand, doesn't it! Christina started DARE in 4th grade, but I think that was the first year it was available (1987). I'm sure she still remembers the name of the policeman who talked to them, 'Officer Johnny' or something like that. He had children of his own, and luckily he knew quite well what they could understand, and couldn't.

My office at work today was too hot! At first, I thought it was me but everyone else seemed to feel the same way. Someone called building maintenance, so it should be better tomorrow.

Carole C

Re: Hi, Carole!

Kathy G on 10/27/04 at 08:15 (162244)

You know what? I don't know if we still have DARE in our schools! The townspeople, in their infinite wisdom, voted it out a few years ago and I don't know if we voted it back in. Hmmmm......the first post was about getting older, wasn't it? I wonder if there's some connection! At any rate, both my children loved the DARE program and it really does seem to reinforce what they are hearing at home. It's nice for them to get to know a policeman, up close and personal, while they're young so that they hopefully don't grow up into people who view the police as human beings and people who are there to help them.

Carole, congratulations on the continued weight loss! And it's so nice to hear from you!

As for glasses, etc., I have built-in bifocals because I have monocular vision due to strabismus. One eye is far-sighted and one is near-sighted and it's impossible for me to use them both at once because my brain (strange one that it is) automatically turns off the appropriate eye. I do have some astigmatism in one eye and I've noticed it's getting worse. I have too much scar tissue from my eye operations, along with allergies, and they always said that I would have to wear glasses, not contacts, when the time comes. But that was long before contacts had progressed so maybe it would be an option now.

My older sister, who has normal eyesight, wears one for distance in one eye and one for close work in the other and has for many years. It's worked very well for her. She's not monocular so I don't really understand how it works but I can assure you, she's not like me. She has depth perception; I have absolutely none. So it must work.

Getting old does have its drawbacks but I'll take it over the alternative any day! :)

Re: Hi, Carole!

Kathy G on 10/27/04 at 08:18 (162245)

Okay I really am losing it! I meant to say my older sister wears a contact for distance in one eye, etc. It almost sounds like she wears one eye for distance and the other for close work! :)

Re: reading glasses

Necee on 10/27/04 at 18:01 (162283)

I had to start wearing reading glasses about 2 years ago. I can see good far away, but it's the small print and things close up that cause me problems. Like Suzanne mentioned, I have several pair of those slim half glasses, I keep a pair in my purse, one in the car, one by my computer, and one at work......I'd be in a mess if I didn't have them!

Sometimes Steve and I will go shopping together, and I leave my purse in the truck.....big mistake! because I'm constantly picking up things in the store and asking him how much it is, or what it says, etc. I sometimes wonder if people think I can't read!

Happy trails.....


Re: Hi, Kathy!

Carole C in NOLA on 10/27/04 at 19:30 (162291)

Nothing specific to say, so just saying 'Hi!' :)