Since the summer between second and third grades, my face has been home to a set of vision correction devices. It started with glasses that were large enough to take up half my face – a style I’m told was “popular at the time” – and evolved to contacts and a series of smaller, albeit thicker-glassed, spectacles.
In all my genetic flaws, my eyes are perhaps highest on the list – no offense, Mom and Dad. Both of them were given a set of peepers that wouldn’t let them see the end of a driveway, even if that driveway’s end was two feet away, and I inherited that same fate.
Just how bad are they? Prescriptions confuse me, but I’m in the nearsighted area of -8.5 and -9; if I’m reading sans assistance (which my eye doctor told me not to do because “my eyes play tricks on me” – which means sections are doubled, moved, or rotating), my nose gets in the way.
To keep up with my ever-decreasing vision abilities, I require a yearly checkup with the eye doctor. I can pretty much stare into any bright light, let you stick fingers, lenses, bulbs, or whatever other tool in my eye without a blink. This is the easiest portion of the test, because before that, an assistant strips you of your contacts and forces you to leave the room. Before taking out my contacts, I’m sure to identify the color of their shirt so I can follow the pink or orange blob down the hall. (Not that they are blob-shaped, bad vision morphs the human body.)
Then, the worst part of the test, the letter-identifying portion, happens. I can usually see the bottom row by 75ish percent, not they ever me which ones are wrong.
“Umm, I think that’s a Q. Maybe an O, or even a C.”
Then I’m left wondering which letters were what, and unsure if I failed, passed, or identified a Z as a P. Though I mostly fail; a new prescription is needed almost every year. The up side? My eyes are “perfectly symmetrical” – like that makes up for it.
My latest appointment, besides being a real wallet vacuum, netted me a new pair of glasses. Those $99, one hour/two pair commercials – they don’t apply in upper prescription levels. Instead the glass has to be ordered in, cut into 1-inch lenses, and fit into the frames. Even though it’s caused my glasses to weigh multiple pounds (I’m guessing), it’s worth it to not have my vision cut off mid eye raise – think of a too-small magnifying glass that won’t fit an entire specimen.
There’s always the alternative of laser surgery, but while I can take a finger in the eye any day (or stick my finger in someone else’s eye), lasers sound infinitely more horrifying. Until you can be put under for eye surgery, I think I’ll stick to lenses, eye doctor visits and all.