I've noticed the first thing to disappear as one ages is his 20/20 vision.
I had been wearing reading glasses for years and had progressed over time from the weakest to the strongest lenses that could be bought off the display carousel at the local Dollar General discount store. But this was frightening.
I was accustomed to wearing glasses for reading and for surgery but this time it was different. My vision was, even with glasses perched in place on the bridge of my nose, hopelessly blurred.
It was the middle of the night and I was halfway through a C-section on a heifer. Halfway through meant the heifer had been prepped, incised, the calf delivered. All that was left was to close the incision, reload the heifer and her new baby on the trailer that brought them to the clinic, clean up the mess, and go home and back to bed.
Suture placement and tying secure knots is critical, especially since the heifer would convalesce in a pasture; a suture failure might well be fatal.
My mind raced with thoughts: Why had I so suddenly lost my vision?
I guessed I hadn't noticed earlier because I was tired, and the first part of a C-section is routine or at least can be performed without perfect vision.
I found that by closing my right eye my vision became good enough that I could close the heifer.
It wasn't until I had finished with her that I noticed the right lens was missing from my eyeglasses.
A brief moment of panic was cut short by the discovery of the missing lens in my shirt pocket -- it didn't fall into the heifer.