Actually they began in my thirties. Or maybe at 15, when my first diagnosis of arthritis came down, with a wondrous sci-fi prognosis: “There will be new knees for you someday.”
I continue to prefer the limitations of my original-issue knees. Other, worse pain competes successfully enough to keep me away from surgeons and post-op stalemates with physical therapists.
Now it’s cataracts. I attended my husband’s cataract evaluation yesterday. I needed to know what to expect at my evaluation in two weeks. He will have surgery; I’m pretty certain my evaluation will be more equivocal, as will I. Once you decide on surgery, you need to decide whether you want your new lens implant to be close, mid-range, or distant vision, with glasses for the other two. I can’t decide such a thing. There are pros and cons for each. It’s too hard to think about. The cataract destabilizes my glasses prescription, and reading has become a visual steeplechase. My brain is on auto-reject of the whole thing right now.
My sister, who is 16 years my senior, is having trouble with her memory. So am I. She went to a psychologist for testing. She rejoices that she does not have dementia—she is just depressed, and depression can impair your memory. I hope I am depressed.
I think the way to adjust to aging is to start young—it doesn’t belay the process, but it kindles some reassurance that you have really always been like this. If this is unintelligible, just realize it’s an old-people thing; you wouldn’t understand.