Dave Richey is without a doubt the most dedicated and consistent outdoors blogger to be found in the so-called blogosphere. His blog found here hasn’t missed a beat for nearly 3 1/2 years. A real testament to putting his readers first by making a daily writing sacrifice come hell or high water. Loyal readers know that Dave has written in his daily blog extensively about his knowledge on the outdoors, even on days when he has dealt with personal tragedies such as losing a twin brother and also a father. In some ways, I suppose, and yes I can also relate, writing has a very cathartic effect on the hurting soul.
Recently Richey has been dealing with yet another personal life challenge. Yesterday his blog reports he underwent eye surgery on the only eye from which he is still blessed with sight. As is typically his style, he prepared the readers several days in advance about what is going on. Not to make excuses, mind you, in case he misses a few daily entries. Nope, it was out of respect for his readers who have come to depend on his daily jottings.
Well, I’m happy to relate it appears all went well with his cataract surgery. But how scary is that? Having only one good eye and then having to undergo major surgery on it. Makes a person stop to realize just how important vision is to the way we all enjoy the outdoors.
I was thinking about Dave’s situation and it made me stop to take some stock in the fact my eyes have been a bit “sore” lately. This feeling has happened to me before…and probably can be attributed to the fact I rarely use sunglasses even on those bright sunny days when the glare of the sun off the snow can be blinding. Yet, Dave’s predicament made me stop to better realize that as a sportsman you just can’t take your eyes for granted. Think of how much fun you have in the outdoors and how most of that wouldn’t be possible if suddenly your vision was somehow taken away.
Considering it has been about three years since my last visit, I made an appointment for a routine exam for next Thursday morning. I don’t expect any problems…heck, even though I have passed that magical age of 40 I still feel I have great vision. But when it comes to eye exams a person shouldn’t guess about such a thing. Nope, eyesight is a matter for an expert to evaluate. And let’s face it, if we claim our eyesight is as good now as it was 20 years ago then you are only kidding yourself. Generally eyesight doesn’t improve…it deteriorates, and luckily for some of us that process is slower than for others.
You know, I would hate to think I missed that buck sneaking out of the woodlot because my vision wasn’t as acute as it once was…or perhaps could have been. I’d also hate to imagine that predator was bee-lining in to my calling but then got spooked and darted off and I didn’t know anything differently. Or how about that huge musky I almost landed by the boat but only caught a momentary glimpse before it swam off after shaking off my jerkbait.
Honestly, so many experiences in the outdoors rely on our good visual sense. It has to be downright frustrating not to get as much pleasure out of shooting a scoped rifle at the range because the crosshairs and the target just don’t align like they once did with younger eyes. That scenario happens all the time for sportsmen…and even though the occurrence is somewhat an inevitability with advancing age, proper care of one’s vision, I’m told, can delay the onset of those difficulties.
Hey, I don’t mean to preach to you about getting an eye exam or even a medical exam, for that matter. We all know we should do them regularly in our lives…but it’s just so damn easy to come up with excuses to put them off for another day. Why did I decide to schedule the exam now…well, to some small degree Dave Richey’s situation raised my awareness to the importance of good eye health. But not only that, this is such a perfect time of the year to get these pesky routine health matters out of the way so you can enjoy the more active seasons of the sportsman’s year.
I make note of the fact that even on the very day Richey had his eye surgery he persevered and produced a short blog. I take my hat off to his commitment to his journalistic craft. But I also thank him for blogging about something we all need to think about, because the very thought of possibly losing our vision should be enough of an incentive to get each of us fumbling through the yellow pages for a qualified ophthalmologist, especially if we don’t already visit one on a regular basis.
© 2007 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Allowed Without Prior Permission.