Grand Thoughts: My ophthalmologist’s eyebrow-raising advice

I'm turning 71 later this month, and my advancing age is an ever-present indicator of just how fast time goes by.

When I started writing this column, I had two little grandchildren: Tilleigh, now 16, and Evie, 13. I now have three more: William, 11, Charleana, 6, and Misha, 4. These children are the loves of my life, and there's nothing I wouldn't do for them. Their love is a daily boost of energy that keeps me young at heart.

I'm super-active, and a lot of it is because of them. However, I do feel aches and pains after an active day. And, like most people my age, the telltale signs of aging have been creeping up on me. I feel it, and I see it in the mirror.

My red hair is now white, for example, and I'm finally OK with that. But it's the changes around my face that I notice the most.

I've always said I would grow old gracefully. Cosmetic surgery was something I'd never consider because I'm a coward when it comes to surgery. I know many women who have had nips and tucks and Botox injections, and the outcome was wonderful. Still, none of it was a consideration for me.

Until, recently, and here's why: I run into things. I can't clear a corner without bumping into furniture, a door frame, even a street sign while walking outside my optometrist's office last June. My doctor ran tests and concluded that my drooping eyelids were likely affecting my peripheral vision.

He made an appointment for me to see an ophthalmologist, and, as of three weeks ago, I am scheduled for an eyebrow lift in October. Heavens to Betsy, folks. I didn't even know what an eyebrow lift was. I thought I would have excess skin removed from my eyelid like my mother had done for the same reason when she was in her 50s.

The doctor showed me how removing the skin from my eyelids would pull my brows down lower. He pulled up my brows to show me how a brow lift would work. The difference was amazing.

But it's the surgical process that, well, I found a bit shocking. The doctor will make a slight but lengthy cut just above my hairline from ear to ear, pulling up my skin as he stitches. My first visual was Frankenstein and that running into corners was maybe not a big deal after all.

The more the doctor explained it and answered all my crazy questions, I started understanding the benefit.

I'm going to do it.

It's outpatient surgery, and recovery is actually pretty fast, though the swelling and bruising can last a few weeks or longer, depending on the patient.

I'm still a bit anxious, but I'm looking forward to clearing corners again to rid myself of the numerous gashes, cuts and bruises on my arms and legs.

Thankfully, the problem does not affect my driving because I always turn my head to look in my mirrors or out the window when driving. When I'm walking, I obviously do not turn my head.

I'm a bit nervous but mostly excited. Having better eyesight is worth it.

Contact Karen Nazor Hill at