Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I got up during the night last week to go to the loo and as I stumbled about in the dark a flash of light caught my attention. It happened a couple of times before I got back to bed but in my befuddled state I dismissed it as literally, a trick of the light, and went back to sleep. When I woke in the morning and noticed something seemingly floating in front of my eye I didn’t make any connection with the flashing lights but after a while I became aware that with my eyes closed I could reproduce the flashes at will. They were really bright and the colour of a glow worm and only occurred in the eye with the floaty spidery things. Gill used to be a nurse in another life and when I mentioned the symptoms to her I didn’t like the look on her face at all. After she left for work I tentatively searched Google for “floating and flashing in eye” and within moments I was convinced I was going to lose the sight in my eye due to a detached retina. Phoning 111 didn’t help. I described the symptoms to them and they told me to get to a doctor within two hours. Very reassuring.
The doctor explained that she couldn’t see anything serious and that it was probably caused by the jelly like filling in the eye shrinking as it does with age. Although it puts pressure on the retina it is quite rare for it to actually do any serious damage but just to be safe she decided to get me an appointment with the eye specialist. It was a huge sense of relief to know that my eyesight was probably safe but then she went and spoiled it all. I heard her say to the eye department that she had a 60 year old male presenting with floaters and flashing lights and it took me a minute to recognise myself in that description. Yes I had the eye problems, but 60! Hang on a minute when did that happen. Of course I know when my birthday was and I know that it was my sixtieth but hearing her say those words sounded like she was discussing an old man that was losing his eyesight.
I’ve never really paid any attention to my age. In my head, like most people, nothing much changes. Yes the body tends to get a bit tired and achy and I am more prone to injury that I used to be. I make noises when I get out of chairs now and rarely get through the night without a visit to the loo. But on the whole I still feel very young. I don’t mind being 60 at all, it’s just the constant reminders that I could do without. I often get told that I don’t look 60 at all but then it’s followed by a caveat such as, “but since you are you are eligible for an over sixties discount card” as the man in B&Q told me the other day.
I have just searched Google again. This time for “advantages of being over 60”. It came back with over 15,000 results. I’m not sure how to take that.
Still at least now I have the answer when a job application form says describe yourself in a short statement. “60 year old male” it is then.