When getting old hits you like a ton of bricks....

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 12-18-2008 04:22 PM 2052 views 0 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4356 posts in 3763 days

12-18-2008 04:22 PM

At about the age of 47, I suddenly realized that it became very difficult to read, especially newspapers and restaurant menus. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and this really began to bother me. Since I am a type II diabetic, I knew that failing eyesight was one of those eventualities that you might have to prepare for.
Luckily, a few friends were able to set me straight: that mid-40’s was the magic phase of ‘Presbyopia’, where the eyeball can no longer focus on things up close. Reading glasses were all I needed! So, glasses have become a way of life. Even though I can still read numbers on an airplane, or street signs from a block away, my vision, where it counts, i.e. woodworking has been somewhat compromised.
Now, it really bothers me when I look at some of my work before corrective lenses; sanding scratches, uneven (or worse) finishes and other appearance malfunctions. (Wow, how did that drip get by me!!) Now at the age of 55, I find myself intentionally avoiding reading matter, owner’s manuals, instruction sheets and product labels. Every item that I do has to be scrutinized under intense light, every square inch, to look for finishing flaws or other mistakes not visible to my naked eye anymore. I can’t even sight down the edge of a board to check for straightness anymore, the somewhat fisheye effect of reading glasses makes it impossible.
Anyone else going through this unfortunate change of life? What are you doing to cope with it? Have you become a bit more philosophical about time and age robbing you of your gifts?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

42 replies so far

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3811 days

#1 posted 12-18-2008 04:32 PM

How do I deal with it???

If it looks good to me …

Then it is!!


View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3763 days

#2 posted 12-18-2008 04:45 PM

Ok, true enough, Tim…but there is a realization to be made here, that suddenly your work no longer has that “Wow” factor on which you fed your ego and generally was the driving force behind your need to create. Come to think of it, even legends like van Gogh, Picasso, and aging rock stars all began to stink when they got older… and I naively believed that my craft would continue to get better right through ‘til old age.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View jim1953's profile


2735 posts in 3871 days

#3 posted 12-18-2008 04:47 PM

Its a part life that I dont like but what do you do good luck to all

-- Jim, Kentucky

View lew's profile


12103 posts in 3784 days

#4 posted 12-18-2008 04:49 PM

Yep, my eye doctor told me the same thing!

Getting older means you need more light and stronger glasses. Then when the “bifocal” stage hit, I was devastated. I certainly wasn’t old enough to wear THOSE! He suggested the kind of glasses that have “no lines”- That’s for me! The only problem was, in my work, I had to read extremely small print- computer circuit board silk screens, etc. The eye doctor told me that he could custom “fit” the prescription so that the reading distance for close up was suited to my needs. I took a sample of what I need to read along to the exam and he adjusted what ever they do so that I could read the print. As far as the amount of light, well each machine has a lamp holder over it and I move a halogen work light around as needed.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 3758 days

#5 posted 12-18-2008 04:49 PM

I find I need much brighter lights to read and work by now.So much for the energy saving bulbs.(lol)

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3479 days

#6 posted 12-18-2008 04:51 PM

I just had my 56th yesterday and know how you feel. I started out with reading glasses but have now graduated to bifocals to help my mid range vision. Makes a big difference in the shop.

Now if I could only keep the sawdust off of them!!

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3742 days

#7 posted 12-18-2008 04:57 PM

whoa ! vision that requires correct is not the handicap you seem to be making it. I have worn glasses since I Was about 9 or 10, bifocals since 34 and trifocals since mid 40’s. My reading habits have changed also, mostly because of the fact that I am spending so much time on the computer. How long has it been since your eyes have been checked and are you seeing an optometrist or an opthamologist (MD) ? As a diabetic it should be the later and at least every 2 years or sooner if you notice a change. He may want you to be seen oftener. The changes to the eyes brought on by diabetes are NOT just in your vision and you need to stay on top of them. Talk to him about your problems. The biggest problem with reading glasses is putting them on and off which tends to encourage not using them. If you don’t need a lens for distance consider bifocals with a uncorrected lens and then make the adjustment and leave them on all the time. The fact that you need bright light is in itself worrying. You should be making that appointment now managing your vision is an important part of managing your diabetes and if you don’t you may spend a long time in the dark !

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3491 days

#8 posted 12-18-2008 05:11 PM

I statred to notice a change about a year ago. I went to the eye doc and they prescribed “progressive lenses”. For those of you not familiar with these, they are a no-line bifocal. Now mind you I have been wearing glasses since I was in high school so a new prescription was not all that new to me. Boy, was I wrong! I went down and had the new glasses ordered and picked them up about a week later. I should’ve know that there would be issues when the girl told me that you had to look straight ahead and your peripheral vision might be a little “fuzzy”. Fuzzy? Oh, grrrrrrrr I cant say it here, was not the word. Now I have been fortunate my sight is not all that bad in fact I am 20/20 without correction but I do have a fairly significant astygmatism making glasses a necessity for distance. I put these evil things on and I felt as though I was placed on a new psychotropic hallunicogenic drug. All I can say is OMG!! The girl, being really nice and sweet said it might take a few days to get used to them. A few days, yeah right. Well being a good patient I did as I was told and tried and tried and tried. I did somewhat get the hang of reading with them on but anything else I felt like I needed a red and white cane. And you can totally forget about driving with these darn things on. I now know why the elderly blue hairs of society are in the fast lane doing 30MPH, they cant see!! Needless to say I took the glasses back and had them replaced with normal lenses and I will be getting a pair for reading.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3556 days

#9 posted 12-18-2008 05:16 PM

You have just told the story of my last several years. I had eagle eyes then mid 40’s came the reading glasses and everything changed. Ever try to look down the sights of a rifle with reading glasses on or off? It is almost impossible. Wood working is done the best that I can with a lot more time involved. There are dangers too. I have to beaware of where my hands are a lot more than a couple of decades ago, strength and balance are less and, well, ...getting old beats the alternative.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3517 days

#10 posted 12-18-2008 05:27 PM

Let’s just hope that our skills advance at the same rate that our eyes fail!!! We should be able to brake even then :)

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View TheBee's profile


23 posts in 3643 days

#11 posted 12-18-2008 05:38 PM

Do not show your projects to anyone under 50.

-- It is, what it is.

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3763 days

#12 posted 12-18-2008 06:22 PM

Thanks for all your great replies! I am managing my diabetes quite well, and do have a baseline for my eye doctor to monitor. Glad to know that most of us in our 40’s and 50’s are coping with the same phenomenon to one extent or another. I guess I should stop resisting and get a pair of perhaps no-line bifocals. Yes, when hand-finishing I never do anything without a lamp with a naked bulb, and I have the burns on my face and arms to prove it!! Thebee, I laughed out loud, perhaps I should cater only to people older than myself!!
Anyway, I’m feeling a lot better knowing I’m not struggling with this issue alone.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View EEngineer's profile


1110 posts in 3642 days

#13 posted 12-18-2008 06:43 PM

I don’t know what you guys are talking about. My eyes are just as good as they ever were. And the stuff I make looks better everyday, even the stuff I did years ago.

Buuut, my arms keep getting shorter! And I swear, light bulbs just aren’t made as bright as they used to be!


-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 3709 days

#14 posted 12-18-2008 07:30 PM

I used to have eagle eyes, and get chided by anyone I was in a car with, for reading a road sign VERY far away. My eyes even worked great driving in the dark. BUT, when I hit my mid 30’s Driving in the dark was bothersome, I couldn’t read the signs from AS far away as I used to be able to, and I noticed things changing quite noticeably. Recently, just after I turned 42, my left hip started bothering me & then shortly after my right hip. I chalked it up to sleeping for years on either side, and have since TRIED hard to change to sleeping flat on my back.

I’m suddenly realizing that I’m not as young as I thought I felt I was.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View toyguy's profile


1654 posts in 3866 days

#15 posted 12-18-2008 08:06 PM

Yip…. I fall into this same category, as most of you…..It seems I have been afflicted with all the same symptoms. 55 now and some days feel it more than others.

Let’s face it fellow jocks, getting old just isn’t fun, but it beats the heck out of the alternatives.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

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