I was in Kindergarten the first time I visited the eye doctor. My sister, Marjorie, was having terrible headaches and our pediatrician suggested that my parents take her to see an optometrist. Since I was a year older than Marge, my parents decided that they might as well have my vision checked at the same time. Marge’s vision was fine, but mine needed correction. I got my first pair of glasses, pink and adorable. I remember putting them on for the first time and looking around, amazed at the details I could see. The trees had branches and buds that I had not noticed. Faces came into sharp focus. The world was amazing and beautiful.
The awe at seeing the world come into focus with new glasses has been repeated many times over the course of my life. Each new prescription has brought renewed amazement at the sharpness of objects. My glasses changed in appearance over the years – cats eyes, granny glasses, enormous bubble glasses with little decals on the lenses. The styles varied, but each pair of glasses arrived to give me the same sense of having new eyes to see the world.
My last pair of glasses was purchased my senior year in high school. They are horrible. They are coke bottle thick. In fact, the lenses are so thick that I was forced to get the smallest frames in the office – tiny, baby blue, child-size frames. (The larger the lens, the thicker the edges.) I have hated them from the first time I put them on. When I wear them, they cause a lot of distortion in my vision. So much distortion that it makes me feel a little nauseous to walk while wearing them. My high school opthalmologist would not allow me to be fitted with contact lenses until my vision stabilized. I begged. I pleaded. Finally, when I was a senior in high school, I was allowed to get my first pair. Once I put on those contacts, I put away my glasses for good. My vision with contacts was so much better than I had been able to achieve with glasses. I was that little kindergarten girl again, looking at the world in amazement, discovering that the tree branches had leaves. I wore contacts exclusively for years, keeping the same pair of glasses in my nightstand “just in case”. Even though my contact prescription has changed regularly, I never updated my glasses, since I refused to wear them.
Before my recent Vitrectomy, knowing that I was not going to be able to wear a contact in my left eye for a long while, I purchased a new pair of glasses. While shopping for them, I received several nice surprises. First, technology has allowed the lenses to be made much, much thinner and lighter. This does cut down a bit on the distortion quite a bit. They are still noticeably thick, but are less horrible than the old glasses. Second, since smaller frames are currently in style, I was actually given a choice of frames that would work with my prescription. The clerk was very helpful and found me a pair that I like. So, now I have this pair of glasses that I don’t hate wearing. It’s a good thing that I was prepared with these new glasses, because I have worn them a lot since my surgery.
Still, I look forward to going back to wearing contacts. I visited my rs yesterday and he gave me the go-ahead to try wearing my contact on my left eye. My eye is healed enough. That is good news. I am to wear them for the rest of this week. Then, on Friday, I have an appointment to have my vision checked to see if I can see well enough to drive. If I pass, that will be great news. For today, I will wear contacts to work. I feel like the day is full of hope and promise, optimistic that wearing contacts will make a huge difference in my vision. I want to be awe-struck, again, at being able to see the beauty of the world.