“I never miss the opportunity to ask, ‘When was the last time you got your eyes checked?,’ because I don’t want to see another beautiful, vibrant, independent woman sidelined by something that could have been prevented.”
- Michelle, 47, communications strategist
As a child, I saw my maternal grandmother go from healthy and independent to dependent, vulnerable, and scared in just one summer. She became ill, so my mother and I went to stay with her until she recovered. But she didn’t. At the beginning of the summer, she had some vision, but by the end, she was completely blind due to complications from diabetes. I watched as my family embraced her new normal and set out to establish an environment that supported her healthcare needs. Though a challenging time, I recall with fondness the days my grandmother and I spent swinging on the porch and the stories we shared. Now I often wonder what that last summer with my grandmother might have been like if she had not ignored the signs and gone to the doctor sooner.
As an adult, I am always very diligent about getting all my annual exams and healthcare checkups. As I get older, I am particularly vigilant about my eye exams, remembering that I should never be too busy or over scheduled, as we women often are. Apparently, I was listening in health class when they taught us that too much light and harmful UV rays can do as much damage to my eyes as not eating right and ignoring my overall health. I never miss the opportunity to ask, “When was the last time you got your eyes checked?,” because I don’t want to see another beautiful, vibrant, independent woman sidelined by something that could have been prevented.