Hey, Four Eyes!

When I was about 12 years old, my eye doctor told me that I’d need glasses one day, but not until I was 40. When you’re 12 years old, you can’t comprehend 40 — heck, it’s hard to comprehend 13. Still, it was something that always stuck in the back of my head as reality — one day, I’d need glasses.

Then, last year, I found out that I needed frickin’ lasers shot into my frickin’ eyes. At the time the diagnosis was made, it was already apparent that age was catching up to me, and that my vision — compounded from nearly 30 years in front of a computer monitor — was finally beginning to lose its finesse. But I stayed in denial, and stuck to my “when I’m 40” belief, and marched on with life.

That was until this year. The time has come.

I went to the doctor last Thursday, as part of a now-annual checkup. (Okay, yes,  could have done it every two years, but after having said frickin’ lasers shot into my frickin’ eyes, I felt a follow-up was long overdue.) Monkey came with me, and aside from a technical failure on the clinic’s end (a doodad that somehow measures the curvature of your eyeball), she sailed through the checkup. While she went on to play with the block in the kids’ space, the doctor started looking into my eyes.

Most of the diagnostics came back with something amounting to status quo — nothing had gotten particularly worse, at least so far as the narrow angles are concerned. However, that’s as far as status quo got. When the doc pulled out the eye charts, and put the phoropter over my face … well, quite literally, things weren’t as clear as they had once been.

Last year, I noticed the blurriness. It wasn’t pronounced and it was harder to tell the differences between the various lens settings. This year, much more obvious. Painfully obvious, really. Whether I can attribute this to a single year of aging, or in combination with my eye surgery (which very possibly altered the flow of liquids in my eye, thus altering — even slightly — the refraction of light), I don’t know. But regardless of the cause, the effect was unavoidable. I needed glasses.

In a weird way, this is actually a relief. I’ve noticed my need to keep books further away from my eyes so I can read. I’ve had to squint periodically to see thing that normally I didn’t have to. Monkey sees distant specs, recognises them, tell me that she sees them, and I’m at a loss to see what she’s seeing. So, yes, I’m not losing my mind … just my vision.

And not really that much, when it comes down to it. I can still see very functionally without my glasses, and reading a newspaper is certainly well with my grasp. Fine print on packaging telling you not to look directly at Happy Fun Ball? Well, that’s a bit harder, but not impossible. Distance vision? Yeah. Night vision? Still good, in my opinion (and I can walk around the house at night without lights on without trouble).

Still, denying the reality is … well, foolish and egotistic. Accept the reality, and move on. So I ordered glasses. And today, I picked up my first pair of corrective lenses.

Putting them on for the first time was … well, weird. For those of you who’ve worn glasses, you can nod and know. For those of you who haven’t worn glasses, it’s an odd experience. It’s not like wearing sunglasses — those have little-to-no distortion. But corrective lenses are meant, really, to look out only through the centre; the edges tend to bugger things up a bit. And that threw me. Suddenly, the reality of glasses was significantly less cool than I had thought a mere five minutes earlier. Suddenly, contact lenses didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Hey, four eyes!Photo by Geoff S.

I’m never going to wear contacts, by the way. It’s that whole eyeball-touching-thing that negates it. Period.

The glasses needed a wee bit of adjustment, and the technician made sure that I understood two basic things: I’m going to get headaches until my eyes and brain are used to this, and that it’ll take about two weeks to get used to this. And since I’m not really needing/planning to wear them all the time, it might take even longer.

Thirty-eight and a half years. Now if I can just get my bloody hernia fixed…

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