Reaching a certain age


I have reached that “certain age.” 

The purchase of a new vacuum cleaner was the highlight of my weekend a while back, and now I’m excited about the new attachment for my leaf blower, so I don’t have to climb a ladder to clean gutters. 

I don’t like being away from home after dark, and I have to watch the early-morning local news every morning, or it throws my whole day off. I catch myself saying, “back in my day,” and I complain of old injuries or new aches and pains that flair up with cold weather or rain. 

Yep, I have reached that “certain age,” and I don’t like it.

Late last summer, I thought reaching that “certain age” was why I was having some issues. 

My vision had drastically deteriorated. I found myself driving differently because I really had to focus, and I realized I was cocking my head back all the time to look through my bifocals because it was clearer. It was getting harder and harder to read or work on the computer, two things I do for my job.

I finally broke down and got my eyes checked. Yep, my vision was much worse, which was no surprise because I had put off having my eyes checked for years — like six years.

In passing, the optometrist said I might want to consult with an eye surgeon “sometime,” but he did not express it was an emergency. Bill told me not to wait to get that appointment, and I knew he would hound me if I didn’t. 

I saw the optometrist on a Friday and got a referral sent to an ophthalmologist the following Monday. By Wednesday, I got a call from the ophthalmologist’s office with an appointment for 10 a.m. the next day. I tried to put the appointment off, but the lady on the phone said the doctor wanted me seen as soon as possible. 

The following day was like a whirlwind. Ladies were putting things in my eyes to hold them open, telling me to look at flashing lights, putting in countless drops, asking me all these questions about shooting pain, and so on. When the doctor finally came in, he popped more things into my eyes, and said I needed surgery. He explained I have a form of glaucoma. The opening that regulates the fluid and pressure in my eyes was in danger of closing, and if that area closed off, I would have excruciating pain and be blind in 48 hours.

That’s a lot to take in at once. Other than bad vision, I had no headaches, no pain in my eyes, or other symptoms to alert me a problem brewing. No one could believe I had no eye pain or headaches. I asked if we needed to schedule the procedure sooner rather than later. 

“Oh, we’re going to do it in a few minutes,” the doctor said in a very frank tone. 

After a couple of hours in the doctor’s office, I was on my way home. It took an additional procedure and couple more trips to get me in the clear, but it’s a condition I will be monitored for the rest of my life. 

Today, I have new glasses, know the symptoms to watch for, and an appointment for this fall to get everything rechecked. 

Get your eyes checked, folks. Don’t put it off, especially if you have high-blood pressure like I do. There could be more going on than you realize. What I chalked up to being that “certain age” could have meant certain blindness for me. 

It’s never fun to go to the doctor, but putting things off can only make a minor condition worse. Most farmers and ranchers tend to brush off injuries, illness or other health concerns because they have other things to do. “I ain’t got time for this,” is a phrase I have said multiple times myself.

We always have other things to do, but tasks and chores should not come before your health. 

Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected].


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