Those of us who have been lucky enough to reach a ripe old age without serious medical problems take our faculties for granted.
I am ashamed to say that I seem to have taken my eye sight for granted as if it was a natural gift . I am now 76 I realise it can go wrong.
My mother had glaucoma and gradually into her ninety five year practically lost all sight. She complained quietly about the sun being low in the winter months, she began to wear croupiers shades which raised a few laughs from her kith and kin with remarks of where are you going Mother, Las Vegas? And her sons and daughters remember taking her to the eye man for ever stronger glasses, but still it never resonated that that was how we were going to deteriorate in later life!
As offspring we were advised to test our eyesight regularly as the gene that causes glaucoma is carried by the female side. This done I thought as long as I took the pills everything would work out fine and I would have perfect eyesight until they lowered me into the earth or fire where being able to see would be alarming to say the least.
I am married into a family who have genetically been skewed in the eye department and my husband and his sister basically have only sight out of one eye. They cope very well but need constant supervision by good eye physicians but even being aware of their constant problems did not make me worry about losing my sight!
Natures' way of saying don't worry until you really need to?
Now my eyes are letting me down and I am really cross!
How dare I say that having had perfect vision for 75 years? I am not sure but I really am cross.
Days now are mostly taken up with looking for glasses hidden on my head or occasionally even in my hand! Attempting to insert contact lens into eyes that fight back, or pouring in complicated prescriptions to increase the possibility of seeing for a few more years.
Sunlight becomes a problem. Too little light when reading is a problem. Going to feed the horse at night with a torch is a problem. Too much sunlight or none at all is a big problem. Going to a restaurant and forgetting both contact lens and glasses is a problem as one tends to order the wrong thing or go home hungry if ones spouse isn't there to share their magnification.
Driving is going to become a problem but don't tell the authorities. I recently had to renew my licence in Italy and at 75 they test you as though you should have been buried for at least ten years prior to your meeting the examiner. My requested photograph was taken with me wearing my distance glasses but I forgot them when turning up for the examination!! Another problem I will expand on in my later blog, and a stoney faced gentleman with VERY thick glasses proclaimed that as I had arrived for a driving test without my glasses and had probably driven there, then I should be able to take the test without my glasses.
Men are like that in Italy!!
Mad as hell he then put me through a reading test off the wall and off text on my lap for ten minutes and every time I made a mistake he heaved a sigh of annoyance. Feeling sure I was about to be failed I suggested I return with said glasses.
Sighing again as if i had kicked him somewhere tender he said he didn't have time to wait, stamped my licence and charged me 180 euros.
It's the deficit stupid.
One of the worst problems of dementia and failing eyesight is however the inability to keep ones dignity in public places due to total confusion and too much sunlight.
Oh, and getting dressed when one wears too much black in order to appear slightly more svelt than one really is!!!
Yesterday not for the first time I went to the Coop feeling slightly fuller around the nether regions than normal even though I had been working out for a couple of weeks. Always in a hurry I had dressed and rushed to buy lunch.
I changed my muddy boots for a pair of slightly less muddy shoes and left in a hurry. Hoping not to see anyone I knew I slapped my hat on my head and pushed my trolly as fast as possible through the aisles.
The first acquaintance I saw was my husband's would be squeeze, the local beauty who owns and runs the local five star hotel, the second a very grown up Count.
Everything seems on track as I pay my dues and exit said Coop and head at breakneck speed back to my car, dodging all the poor chaps with their hands outstretched for my trolley.
As I load my car I happen to look down and there, hanging from the bottom of my trousers out of one leg and dragging along the floor, are the remains of yesterday's tights. I have failed to see them as they are black and the same colour as my clean trousers and as I am in a tearing hurry to get dressed and have overlooked them as they have remained in the legs of yesterdays pair. Well, I understand even if you don't.
Bad eyesight can kill you in so many ways!
I am still wondering if anyone I met in the Coop that day recognises me as the lady with her tights around her ankles!
I think they will as I remember after fifty years, a lady walking in front of me in Carnaby Street whose large pink drawers suddenly appeared around her ankles and with total aplomb their owner just stepped out of them, stuffed them in her handbag and continued her shopping!
To this day I am impressed. Hopefully anyone seeing me in the Coop will have equal admiration!!!