Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Playing catchup with reality

Despite the title of this blog, I have rarely jumped to the heart, but a humbling 24 hours has pushed me.

I look in the mirror and see:  Susan.
Others look at me, and see a senior citizen.
It's not just the last 24 hours.  There was the woman at the gym who didn't understand why I hadn't considered Silver Sneakers exercise classes. The aqua aerobics instructor who asked if I was going to the luncheon at the Senior Center.
Then, yesterday, the eye doctor who said my blurry vision was caused by cataracts.  
Cataracts?! I gasped.  People my age get cataracts???
Yes, he nodded, scanning my chart for my age, 50% of people over 62 have cataracts.*
I'm 58; but to him, I am appropriately aged for cataracts.
Today at the coop, the cashier cautiously wondered if I'd be using the Tuesday discount.
What discount?
For seniors, she explained, over 62.
My perception of myself has clearly not caught up with reality.
Reality gallops apace, while I remain: Susan.

*FWIW: I checked the NIH statistics. Only 15.54% of 62-year-olds have cataracts.  Among white people my age, the rate is 8.84%.