I was cleaning out my wallet today when I found a reminder card for an eye doctor’s appointment in mid-March. I made it a year ago, after the conclusion of what was probably one of the saddest moments in my adult life (exaggeration).
Glasses became a fixture in my life when I was about 5 years old. I probably didn’t need them at that age, but my best friend got a pair and I really, really wanted to have everything she had. Back at that time, glasses were large, round, and metal-framed. After I saw my best friend’s pair, I was determined to get a pair for myself.
I asked her what she felt like before she got glasses. Headaches from squinting were what got to her. Armed with that information, I sat down in front of the television with my parents and started squinting.
‘What does that say? Mom, I can’t see that very well.’
She didn’t buy it. Smart lady. But I wasn’t ready to give up.
I complained about headaches at school. I claimed I needed to move closer to the front in order to see the board. Not too long after that, the school contacted my parents to tell them they felt I needed to get to the eye doctor. At this point, my parents couldn’t refuse a visit to the eye doctor and I had succeeded!
I squinted and squirmed on that chair, excited to be like my best friend. I said I couldn’t see things that I probably could see if I wasn’t squinting to pretend I couldn’t see. By the end of the appointment, the doctor concluded that I had a slight problem seeing distances–nothing too serious, but if I was getting headaches, he would give me glasses to correct the issue.
I picked out my frames, (huge, metal, round…goofy looking). I wasn’t aware that I would walk out of the office without my new glasses. I guess I thought they could do everything right there. I was disappointed.
That was the start of a lifetime of decreasing vision and people asking me if I’m blind without my glasses on. When I go to the eye doctor’s now, I pray that she will say my vision hasn’t changed despite knowing I’m having more trouble seeing. I pray that I can just keep the frames and lenses I currently own and pay for only new contacts. That has never happened. Every single freaking time I go to that wretched place, the eye doctor proclaims my eyes are worse and I need a new prescription.
Also, to answer your question, I’m not blind without my glasses. When I take my glasses off, instead of the world going black, it just gets out of focus. It’s very, very out of focus, but I can still see outlines of things that aren’t too far away. Thanks for your concern.
Just under a year ago, in mid-March of 2013, I went to the eye doctor for the worst day of my adult life. I did not have insurance before then (from 2010 to 2013), so I knew I was way overdue for things. I had been wearing the same pair of contacts for over a year (I know! Sooo bad for the eyes!). I sat down, took all of the eyes tests, and discovered how much my eyes had changed over the previous 3 years.
After the exam part was completed, my doctor pulled her chair up over to me and broke the bad news that I could sense about 2 minutes into the exam.
‘Your eyes have changed a lot since your last prescription. I, honestly, don’t even want you to wear your old glasses anymore, but I know you need to. Never put those contacts in your eyes again.’
‘Here’s the thing, I think it would be best for you if you get progressive lenses.’ She paused. ‘Progressive lenses help you see far away, medium, and close up. So across a room, a computer screen, and a book.’
I pondered that over. ‘Wait, trifocals?!?’
‘No, they’re progressive lenses. There are no lines.’
She could try and call them whatever she wanted. At a ripe old age of 28, I was getting trifocals. I wanted to cry. Maybe this was my punishment for faking my first eye exam. I picked out frames and chose the right type of lenses for my shitty eyes. The receptionist ran my debit card for almost $600 with insurance. I wanted to be sad about how much they cost, but I couldn’t get over my trifocals disguised as progressives.
I called my mom. She told me horror stories of people who got progressive lenses and couldn’t adjust to them. I told people where I work and they told me horror stories. I felt the horror. I sat in the horror. I tried to laugh.
A week later, the office called me to pick up my new glasses. Despite the terrible horror stories I heard, I found them easy to adjust to and I could see again. My eyes stopped hurting and my headaches disappeared. I could see better driving at night.
Unfortunately, however, just under a year later, I’m starting to have trouble seeing again and am dreading that expensive eye doctor’s appointment coming up in two months where, despite my prayers, I know I will need new glasses again.