Monday 7 September 2020

I can't see you now?

I found out that I needed glasses when I was 10 years old. It was done in the typical no-nonsense, insensitive German way I do not like.

We had an eye test at school, the first one I'd ever been exposed to, and I, a shy, tongue-tied child, was struggling to say correctly all the letters I was supposed to be seeing.

"Try harder, girl," the lady who was conducting the eye-test told me impatiently. Her tone of voice did nothing to help me see any better. I had been close to tears before, but now the dam burst. I cried hard.

At that age, I wanted nothing more than to please my superiors, and so far I had been fairly successful. I did all my homework, got good grades, and practiced my piano lessons until exhaustion.

But this time, I couldn't prepare for a test. It came to me out of nowhere, I was bombing it, and there was nothing I could do. My eyesight was failing, and I was mortified.

Was that the moment I decided to move to Canada one day?

Maybe not. But it certainly came up again in my list of pros and cons 12 years later when I was faced with the decision whether to move to Canada or not.

(Let's be real: there never was any question. But that incident certainly helped in the pro-department.)

Baby Miriam at 14, posing for her confirmation pictures

That's how I found out that I needed glasses. It wasn't the way I would have chosen to find out, but we have to play the hand we are dealt, right?
My dad wore glasses, so at least I wasn't the only one in the family who wore them.

As mortifying as that first introduction to regular eye tests may have been, it was a habit I quickly learnt to embrace. Once I knew I had less than 20/20 vision, I was diligent about checking my eyes every 2 years. After all, my eyes were - and are - one of the most important organs I have. I can't imagine a life without reading, and I also really enjoy looking at all the beauty around me: sunrises, the dogs' adorable faces, Bluey's cute sleeping position, nature's abundant beauty, Netflix, and not to forget, my job - without my eyesight, I wouldn't be able to be an x-ray technologist anymore, and no matter how much I may complain about it some days, I truly love my job.

So happy I have my eyesight to see Bluey's cute sleeping positions

After initially not being thrilled with having to wear glasses (30 years ago some kids called me the German equivalent to "four-eyes", which is glasses-snake), I've since learnt to embrace it. It helps that glasses have become trendy! And more importantly, they make you see! It's a win/win. What's also a win is how affordable glasses have become. Anybody who knows me knows that I love a good deal, and cheaper eyeglasses are no exception. Being stylish on a budget? Sign me up!

Throwback to how the first eye-lady looked at me. Joke's on her though, I like that look.

I've been pretty lucky with my health so far. Apart from my eyesight, and some Darth Vader breathing I'm peachy! At 40 years old, and working in health care, I do not take that fact for granted anymore. It's a huge privilege, and one I'm grateful for every day.

My husband, who's been battling Lyme disease for the past 3 years, and who is also 66 years of age, is doing remarkably well. He has the mindset and attitude of a much younger man, and he's my equal in every way. (Except for the fact that I'm a much better cook.)

But his overall health is obviously an important reminder that health is precious, and can be fickle.

We love our red meats and fries, but mostly we focus on a diet that's filled with loads of vitamins A, C and E, and with lots of zinc, to keep both of us healthy.

I've definitely noticed a shift in my body and health since I turned 40. My precious nearsightedness is threatening to abandon me.

After 30 years of seeing everything thanks to contacts and glasses, will I once again have to get used to another restriction on my eyesight? Will I end up using reading glasses to eat my food, like my husband does?

Time will tell, and I'm afraid it will tell us that story too soon. I'm not even done making fun of him for that yet, so how can I join him?

Let's all hope it's not time for that, just yet.

I have a few more jokes I want to use on him first.



  1. Ha! A few years ago my prescription changed, improved by 0.5 on both eyes. I thought that the old-age (I was 39 at the time) far-sightedness was finally starting to cancel out my short-sightedness. I got my first glasses at age 11, after months of trying to convince my teacher that I really couldn't see the blackboard, because everyone thought I kept asking to sit in the front row because I was tired of always having to sit in the back just because I was the tallest. It was weird to suddenly have slightly improved sight but I have to admit it didn't last long and after a year or so, I was back to the same prescription I've had since I was about 22. I'm rapidly approaching 46 now, and although I'm sure I will have to switch to varifocal sometime, I'm hoping it's a few years away still.

    My most recent noticing of age-related body changes is my skin. If I get a scratch or insect bite or anything, it seems to take far longer for it to clear up these days. Still, at least noticing that reminded me to make an appointment at the dermatologist for the two-yearly check-up I haven't done for at least four years. Oops. :-)

    1. I've noticed that, too! My insect bites stick around longer than they used to. It probably doesn't help that I can never resist scratching them, and scratching again and again haha! 🤭

      I have a feeling bifocals may be in my future, and I've never understood how people can get used to them. But they do, so guess we can do?! The adventures never stop as we get older!

      Thanks for stopping by, Moonwaves!

  2. I've been wearing glasses since 4th grade! It's totally genetic and nothing I can do about it, but I do still like I'm failing a test when I go to the eye doctor. My husband has slightly better than 20/20, which is insane!!

    1. It is! I've always envied people with perfect vision, I can't remember what it was like to see the world clearly as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. When I first got my glasses, my vision got slightly worse every time I had another eye tests done, and for a few years my biggest fear was that I might turn blind one day.
      Fortunately, it stabilized, and I've long since learnt to love my glasses and contacts!


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