Like a bat

When I was in first grade, my teacher pulled my mom aside one day. “I don’t think your daughter can see the blackboard. You should probably take her to the eye doctor.”

When questioned by my parents, I refused to admit that I was having trouble seeing. “Oh, those walls? I just walk into them for FUN. Yeah. Bruises are cool.” Unfortunatly for me, my parents were wise to my 6 year old ways and dragged a very sullen me to what had to be the meanest eye doctor ever. He concluded that my genetic destiny was indeed coming to fruition (both parents have horrible vision) and somehow, neither he nor my parents stopped me from picking out the ugliest frames in the entire world for my new glasses.

(Thick. Plastic. Bright pink. And the fact that even at age 6 I needed coke bottle lenses didn’t help.)

Well, despite everyone’s efforts to convince me that glasses were cool, I wasn’t buying any of it. I frequently refused to wear my glasses, and actually for the first 6 weeks of second grade my teacher didn’t even know I wore glasses because I never had them on. It didn’t help that everytime I actually DID wear them, I couldn’t see anyway – my prescription was changing so fast that I was getting new lenses every 2 months or so.

I distinctly remember being a butterfly in the 2nd grade class play, and on the night of the big show, in the excitement of putting on my tissue paper/coat hanger wings and carefully applying glitter makeup to my face, I forgot my glasses at home. (Whether I ‘forgot’ or actually truly forgot is up for debate.)

When it was my turn to go on stage with all the other pretty butterflies, I turned and walked directly into the wall. I then wobbled on stage, head spinning and wing slightly crumpled from the impact, to a very blurry world. After that I wore my glasses somewhat regularly.

But, my prescription was still changing. My eye doctor (not the same mean one but a much nicer one) suggested to my parents that contacts might help to slow it down. (I have no idea why he suggested this or if there was any truth to this.) In my mind, this was a VERY. GOOD. IDEA. In my parents’ mind, there was wariness but a willingness to give it a try.

And so, a few weeks before my 8th birthday, I was sitting in a room in the eye doctor’s office, trying to put in my brand new contacts. I can only think of two complete days since then that I have worn glasses all day. My hatred for glasses is strong – I am one with the contacts.

My vision continues to be terrible. (I inherited both my mother’s extreme near-sightedness and my father’s astigmatism, so what can I say.) However, it has gotten to a point where my prescription doesn’t change as frequently. Although, every once in a while I will realize that I can’t see a damn thing anymore. This is precisely what happened about a week ago.

It started when Matt and I and Liz and Matt were on our way to the Philly Zoo. I was driving and Liz was navigating and it’s a good thing she’s a good navigator because I couldn’t see those signs for shit. Then, on our drive home from NJ Matt was quizzing me – “See that sign? Tell me when you can read it.” Usually I would finally be able to make out the words when we were about .2 seconds away from the sign. Not good.

Now, I will say that my vision is much worse in certain circumstances. When it is dark out, for example, I have a really hard reading things, which I’m told has something to do with astigmatism and the way light hits my eyes. But for the past few days I’ve been noticing that I just can’t see anything. The world has been in a blur not unlike that effect in Photoshop that I think is called Gausian Glaze (or something like that, you know which one I mean). While it, in a way, makes certain things look more tolerable (food from the work caf, the snarling face of a certain co-worker, Excel spreadsheets that make my eyes glaze over anyway) it’s probably not all that conducive to my general well-being or desire not to have the forehead wrinkles of an octogenarian.

So, I guess it’s off to the eye doctor for me, where hopefully he will tell me that I am an excellent candidate for Lasik surgery (fat chance, with my high prescription and high astigmatism which means thin little corneas for me) and oh, by the way, it’s free today, and we’ll even knock you out while we do it and you will dream of puppies and unicorns and wake up pain free with perfect vision.

I guess that’s too much to hope for but as long as I don’t have to ever wear pink plastic glasses again that’s good enough for me.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Like a bat

  1. Me too. Except my glasses (for middle school) were big and blue with black spots. I was SO cool.

    I’ve got kerataconus in one eye, and maybe starting in the other (which just means that my astigmatism is abnormal). The only good thing is that it’s helpful for getting insurance to cover pesky things like contacts and dr. visits because it is a medical condition, and the treatment is hard contacts. Which I just went back to this summer after years in soft contacts. And my new doc who actually is competant keeps muttering “I don’t know why they took you out of hard contacts to begin with.”

    Anyway, good luck with the eye doc and know that you are not alone!

  2. -R-

    I just made an appointment to see the eye doctor tomorrow morning. I haven’t worn contacts for about 8 months and want to start again. Goodbye, glasses!

  3. allthepretties

    I want glasses. I neeeeeed glasses. You’ve got me worried that I have an astigmatism.
    Why won’t I go to the eye doctor? Why?

  4. I started wearing glasses when I was two (after the eye patch – thank God that happened before I started school) and mine were blue and pink plastic for the first many years of my life. I was also wearing a lot of pigtails back then. It was a look.

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