The Retiree: May 14, 2014


The aging business isn't for sissies. I decided to fix my eyes and ears all at the same time, and now I wonder if there isn't a better way to go about it.
A year ago, my eye guy said he could get a surgeon to zap my eyes with a laser to clear up a little cloudiness that seems to affect a quarter of the people who have cataract surgery, such as I. No thanks, I said. I didn't want anyone poking around my eyeballs any more. He said okay, you don't have to do it now, you dummy, but it won't hurt to wait. So I did. This year I said let's fix it.
Now I'm waiting for eye drops to wear off, and also squeezing more drops in my eyes for a week just to make the surgeon happy. Before the surgery, I got splashed four times with groups of eye drops so the surgeon could see into the back of my head. That worked for him, but left me unable to see out clearly. The surgery involved looking into really bright lights through a telescope and hearing the doctor click on a magic button which punched holes in some sort of sac that holds my new acrylic lenses. Things always have to get worse before they get better.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out two hearing aids that certain persons of my acquaintance prevailed upon me to purchase for a price higher than that of my first three cars. Combined. Clever tiny programs are supposed to filter out noises and let through things like classical music and female voices. So far, they don't filter out things like diesel trucks and raindrops, but maybe that will change as I learn the remote control and buttons.
I expect these geriatric devices to work about as well as my exercise class does. My diligent efforts to keep strong and flexible only result in aches and pains instead of the rippling muscles I expected.
Diets, too, disappoint. Broccoli and fish are good, but after a long time, they cease being fun. It's been over five years since I had a caramel roll at Tobie's in Hinckley. I'd love to get a Berliner at a German bakery, or a Bismarck in Bismarck. Red wine and dark chocolate are good, but too much can make you a toothless drunk.
Another problem involves devices such as watches, which age, too. I got a new battery for one, after which the crystal and back both fell off. Another requires a team of engineers to pry it open, and they are currently working on it. A third hasn't run since 1978; it was Dad's. The only one I have that is still working says 1953 on the back, and has to be wound daily. Wife has three that aren't working either, and she can't find the Mickey Mouse one that would be the best of the bunch.
Over the years, I have seen that things don't always come out the way I'd like. When they do, I'll write down what they were. Don’t hold your breath.
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