Monday, May 18, 2009

Dr. G Was Right

It's not stress. It's not simply fatigue. And the typeface in my little Bible didn't suddenly change.

I bought my first pair of readers yesterday.

After weeks of mucking around, squinting, and finding better light, I finally had to admit that it would be better to use a little magnification. So much for trying to make my sons say that I seem like I'm 29. (That only worked for a couple of weeks, anyway. Darn boys are too smart for my own good.)

A number of years ago, I lost my sense of smell. Although it had been noticeably fading and changing, it was terrible when I finally lost it entirely. A sinus infection was the fatal blow. I remember standing in the shower, lathering my hair, sobbing because I couldn't smell the shampoo. I opened spice jars in the kitchen, practically snorting cinnamon and cloves, to no avail. I pleaded with God to let me smell again. I mourned all that I would miss out on in life.

Because I know you're already forming these questions, here's more information. There is a family history of anosmia, and I have been seen by an otolaryngologist. There are no tumors or marbles up there blocking the olfactory receptors.

In the bigger scheme of things, it matters not at all that I cannot smell or that I need a little help to read fine print. Once you adjust to a loss, life goes on and there's a new normal. But that period of adjustment can be difficult, and sometimes I still have to remind people that I'm not experiencing things the same way. I've had a number of years of living without smell, and it's okay. So, once I learn to keep a pair of glasses nearby, I'll put them on before I open a book.

Rufus is totally clueless about aging, but Blackie understands. She and I agree not to disparage our gray hairs. "RIGHT, BLACKDOG? WE'RE OKAY WITH THAT, AREN'T WE?" (She's not hearing so well these days.) And my optometrist (Dr. G) knew what he was talking about when he suggested that I'd be making this change soon.


Anonymous said...

Katharine -- You have the sympathy of someone older than yourself. :)

This post reminded me of a post that my very young friend, Beth, at C. Beth Blog wrote about the trade-off for losing "things." I thought she had a great take on the subject and thought you might like to read it too:

For many years Hubby and I had a pair of readers laying beside every chair and every telephone in the house, but then we "graduated" to wearing glasses full-time! Definitely handier! :)


Katharine said...

Thanks, Sandra. I'll check out C.Beth's post -- she's great!

Looming on my horizon, sometime in the future -- I can't bring myself to say this -- are b*f*c*l lenses. OH, the horror!

Miss Kitty said...

This is an awesome touch on some of the things we all go through as we get older, and "losing things" is among them. My mom--60 and in pretty good health--is a crazy-good seamstress and all-around handywoman, but I have to stop and remind myself that she won't always be able to do these things. The two severely ruptured discs in her back have in the last few years gotten even worse, and gone are her days of riding motorcycles and step-aerobics.

Many hugs to you, Katharine. I'd love to read more sometime on how you've managed without your sense of smell, and how you're adjusting to the reading glasses.

Katharine said...

Miss K, your mom did step aerobics??? Wow. Just wow.

Thanks for your encouragement re: the writing. It means a lot to me, coming from you, Miss AP Exam Grader!