The Three Wise Monkeys

Wisdom in Aging

Wisdom in Aging

Today I was at the ophthalmologist office getting a test done to see if there might be a procedure to help me see clearly again. As a child I had much better than 20/20, which meant as I would age it would likely get bad and then worse than others. Of course, I harrumphed that doc off and left his office.

Many years later as my close up vision became an issue, I relied on over the counter reading glasses. Then I used them to eat so my food was in focus. And a few months ago I asked my husband if our big screen tv was not clear to him as it wasn’t clear to me. Nope, it was just my medium vision beginning to slack off. And then came the exit signs on the freeway.

So, off to one appointment and then another who came highly recommended as the guy to go to. His place was huge and absolutely beautiful. One person took me in and started running several test. Then another ran more. And lastly the marvelous surgeon came in and we went over our options.

Option 1, correct for distance only. Option 2, do mono-vision which is one eye for distance and the other for close up. Option 3, blended vision where they fix distance but blend the other eye for reading but not as strong so there isn’t such a big different between one eye and other other.

But, option 4 really blew me away. And that is full blown cataract surgery where they put in brand new, made just for you lenses. They take out your old stiff lenses even if they don’t have cataracts, and exchange them for these amazing specific for your needs, almost bionic lenses. Honestly, that is what it felt like to me.

The cost was much higher than I am willing to pay right now, but oh, so tempting. I asked them, “Do so many people come to them and have this surgery?” “Oh yes they do,” he responded. I told him I would need to go home and discuss this with my husband and would let them know my decision.

Now, where do the three monkeys come in, you might ask. Well, it goes something like this. As I walked out I saw the most beautiful crowd of perfect Newport Beach looking men and women. But even more men. And it got me thinking when my husband and I dine in Newport in nice restaurants that most of the handsome men in their mid sixties are rarely if ever, wearing any sort of glasses. And certainly never reading glasses to order food, eat or talk to the person sitting across the table from them.

Oh my goodness, these men and many women I assume, spend the extra money to have these super duper made lenses in place of theirs even if they never had cataracts. And what they got in return is absolutely pristine vision. Now, nothing precludes them from getting new tiny bone conduction hearing aid buds so they can hear well in restaurants, unlike my husband who says he cannot hear through all the extra noises.

They see perfectly and they hear perfectly. And because it’s the beach area, many work out and eat well too. They might have personal trainers, or other forms of help so they walk and move well. I wonder how many have their own personal Feldenkrais Practitioner?

Now, I realise the wisdom in these three monkeys. Nothing to mock. They refuse to see, hear or speak evil. Maybe they see the positive side of life and what it can mean to age well. Rather, they can see well, hear well, think well and move well. And I am ok with this. Here’s to replacement parts. And here’s to the wisdom to taking care of what we have so we can age well and accept the help with it. I am ok with that. How about you?

with warm heart and mind, Elinor Silverstein


  1. Yes, But quality of life and health depends on financial stability. All those procedures and trainers cost. We need good healthcare for everyone.
    I am sorry you’re having these vision problems Elinor. And there’s a lot of options to sort through. Thank you for explaining them in these Notes.

  2. Dear Elinor, in Australia I am on the public waiting list to get cataract surgery, which means it will be free. Otherwise it is $3,000 AUD Per eye. It is a one year waiting list and you do not get the of your choice of surgeon and it can be a student. It is $3,000 per eye I think. I get one done and then in 6 months the other one. I was given the same options as you. Yes, we are in a generation of aging with choices of procedures. I am told they hope people choose to pay, then they do not have to wait to get the procedure done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *