On Aging and Clear Vision

The month of March has been a month when I’ve both felt my age (71) and experienced the possibilities for positive physical change despite the unstoppable process of growing older. How? Through eye cataracts, their removal, and the eye renovation that followed.

It was several years ago that my optometrist first told me I was in the beginning stages of cataracts. Since then, when getting my yearly check-ups, I was told that they were getting worse but very slowly. Then last year, all of a sudden that changed when, mid-year, I noticed that the vision in my left eye had definitely gotten worse. Eventually, this month, that led to my getting cataract operations on both eyes. The old lenses in my eyes were replaced with human-made prescription ones; I’m still recovering, putting drops in them throughout the day.

What has been amazing is that, for the first time since I was in second grade, I no longer need glasses or contacts to see things. I need reading glasses to read, but that’s it. It’s like a miracle! And apparently, much of the cost is going to be covered by Medicare (still not sure about that).

I’m still 71, and there are other health issues that I have related to the aging process, but overall, now that I have what feels like a new set of eyes, I look forward to an improved quality of day to day life, God willing.

I remember hearing decades ago about people with cataracts needing to spend days in bed as still as possible after cataract surgery. Today, with modern medical technology and the advance of human knowledge, it is completely different. And very importantly, that knowledge and technology, some of it, is available not just to the rich and powerful but to the masses. That is progress.

Of course, Improved Medicare for All will extend the reach of the best of health care to everyone, which is absolutely what is needed and what we should be fighting for. I’m very clear-eyed about that.

Ted Glick is a volunteer organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy and author of Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War, published last year. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://jtglick.com.