Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Preventing myopia

I had said I wanted a birdbath so Steve went out to get me one for my birthday. This one, very pretty, will not stand up to the gale force winds that buffet the front of our house. Need to put it in back in a protected corner though when we get our waterfall operational, the birds will have plenty of cleaning options

The one I wanted and got for myself. Hopeful heavy enough for all the wind we've been having (and wrecking my bicycling plans)

New daffodils popping up yesterday Back at the old house, daffodils are all over the place. They must not taste good as the squirrels, rabbits and deer leave them alone (tulips are especially tasty to rabbits)

Daniel going for a ride while Shanna and I went out for Italian for my birthday

Oliver after the first grade concert

135 first graders singing and dancing to the joys of healthy living. Signs held up here say Floss (half upside down)

Blurry detail of self portraits of Oliver and his classmates. Interesting to me how kids see themselves. Curly item in the upper right corner is Lucy the guinea pig. She will spend the weekend with Oliver. Shanna is allergic to guinea pigs so she will be in for a weekend of sneezing and watery eyes.
Another birthday has come and gone. Such a big number!!! I honestly do not feel that old. Although I got plenty of phone calls, texts, e-mails and Facebook wishes, I stewed because someone had forgotten me. Today I got the call; all was a calendar mistake.

How does one celebrate becoming that much closer to the end of the line? Monday, Shanna and I went to downtown Plymouth, a closer downtown than Ann Arbor now. And a bonus, easy, free parking. Plymouth is full of nice restaurants catering to young professionals but they do not have the college crowd that makes up a good share of Ann Arbor. We went to an Italian place I had wanted to try but at night, it has been too busy. We had a nice lunch. Last night, Steve and I had a nice dinner in Ann Arbor with me getting my favorite: scallops.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a concert at Oliver's school. He had had a kindergarten concert there a year before but due to limited parking, only parents, no sibs or grandparents, were allowed to come. But as interest in kids dwindles as they get older, there was an open invitation this year. It was very cute. The school is fairly new, full of lights and skylights. Maybe this will help the kids not get near sighted.

Yesterday there was an article on the growing epidemic of myopia particularly among Chinese teenagers. The usual reason for it was given; too much focusing at an early age on books and now screens. But a new, to me, explanation was given: not enough exposure to natural light. Apparently the retina needs this to mature properly. Parents were encouraged to give their children more outside time. Not going to happen!!!They must study!!! So it was decided that the kids would be exposed to more light indoors. Special classrooms made from walls that let transmit natural light were built. Also the kids were given atropine drops for their eyes which dilates the pupils letting more light in (if they are going to be inside all the time). So far, these measures have helped.

Myopia is on the rise here too and it's not because kids are spending so much time reading. Yep those pesky, time sucking screens. More reason to send those kids outside.

I am fairly nearsighted though each year, I become a little less so. With my current eye problem, if all goes according to plan, I might not be nearsighted, at least in that eye. (and what have I done towards that end? not much as the next month will be very busy). I did read a lot when I was young in poor light. I also sat too close to the TV (as I was nearsighted!). My father thought my behavior somehow caused my nearsightedness and thus some how, I should suffer the consequences, not him paying for the glasses (which cost disproportionately more in those days). I finally got the long, needed glasses for my birthday one year with much griping about their cost and a few more reminders that somehow I did this to myself. They were powder blue with cameos in the points making me even more homely.

Of my kids, Shanna read the most when she was young and is the most nearsighted. Josh didn't read a book until his senior year in high school (I had to summarize everything for him) and doesn't need glasses at all. Naomi is very mildly nearsighted but computers were starting to become more important during her childhood so focusing on them might have contributed. Both she and Josh were heavily involved in sports, most were played outside.

It is April 22 and it is snowing!!!!


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