Every since I received a dismal diagnosis from the womb, I’ve been the victim of horrible eyesight. Thick glasses, regular eye poking via contacts, and yearly appointments with the optometrist are all things I’ve dealt with since I can remember.
Though in reality, I didn’t get glasses until the summer between second and third grades – thank goodness, as by the time school reconvened, no one could remember if I’d had them all along. (And I said that I had.) But with parents who had awful and ridiculously bad eyesights, respectively, there was a 100 Percent chance all of their kids would need peeper assistance.
My first set of glasses were large and took up an entire third of my face, as was the style. Then every year after they shrunk exponentially, until the late 90s, when, if it were possible, glasses would be no larger than the eyeball they surrounded. Eventually I got contacts, where instead of looking through a smudged lens, I got to stick fingers in my eyes each morning – a vast improvement as peripheral vision is again restored. And even better when I got an eye doctor who didn’t insist on inserting and removing them himself. (You’ve never truly been skeeved out until you’ve had someone else’s fingers in your eyes … on purpose.)
Fifteen-some prescriptions and thousands of dollars later, and I’m still mostly blind. Just how bad are my eyes? I’m nearsighted, which means I can see up close, but not far away – the logical way. BUT if I’m reading without assistance, my nose gets in the way before I can fully see the words. Colors and shapes can be seen, but faces are unrecognizable, just blobs of tan and shadow. At night, if I need to get a drink or head to the bathroom, I rely on memory and arm motions to get me where I’m going. You’d be surprised how much you can “see” in the dark.
It was once suggested that I tie a rope from the toilet to my bed, like a crossing bridge for germs. But unless there’s a hidden camera taping my arm swinging and face shielding, I’m sticking to plan A.
Besides, going without contacts brings some serious brain confusion. As my doctor so medically described, my eyes “play tricks” on me. If close enough, I can give a person (or myself) up to three extra eyes, all of which combine and blur together. Eyebrows dance, noses change shapes, and book pages morph into an ongoing wave of new words – all because my eyes can’t focus. They track and re-track and create chaos along the way. Kind of like a train that can’t make up its mind.
Life would certainly be easier (and cheaper) with eyes that naturally saw things, but until my prescription becomes too thick to correct the sights, I think I will keep them.