Vision and memory – the race to see which fails first

The VIEW from here



When I was a young lad, I once prided myself in having 20/20 vision and a sharp memory when it came to remembering things.

Flash forward to age 54 and I struggle with the eyesight of Mr. Magoo and the memory of the Absent-Minded Professor. Heck, sometimes I’m struggling to read something, but can’t remember where I put my glasses, that’s how bad it can be.

I’m not sure what brought me to this point, but I’m beginning to wonder what will fail first, my eyesight or my brain.

I should back up and be honest here, my memory has always been sharp in some regards, not so much in others. Even when I was younger, I was pretty good at remembering unimportant stuff, but might forget someone’s name or an important date.

Today I can still remember the lyrics to a rock or rap song from 30-40 years ago, or the lines from any Star Wars (original trilogy) movie, but walk into the other room to do something and I might forget by the time I’m three steps away from where I was sitting.

The eyesight is the thing that has really gone in recent years. Since I was first prescribed glasses about six or seven years ago, I just needed them to read. Now I need them all the time it seems and if I forget them, watch out because I’m nearly blind as a bat for seeing anything up close.

It’s not uncommon for me to go to the store and make a purchase and come home to find out what I bought was the wrong thing. Once recently, I bought some cuts of meat from the butcher and thought the bill seemed kind of high.

When I got home and put glasses on to read the receipt, I found out I’d bought the expensive ground beef instead of basic ground chuck.

Oh well, it made a pretty good burger in the end.

As for my memory, I’ve found making lists has become the best way for me to function daily. I will usually make a “to do” list the night before and leave it on my keyboard so I have it in front of my first thing the next morning. I also like to keep a calendar hung up in my office where I can write down my appointments – which works great if I remember to check daily.

So, as I continue to fall apart, I’m just hoping the rest of my faculties don’t start to fail.

My hearing seems to be holding out, though Anita tells me I suffer from selective hearing loss at times…and I’m only slightly confused on a regular basis, so that’s a good sign. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.

Gary Gould is the managing editor of the Genesee County View. Contact him at