Friday, April 13, 2007

To See or Not to See...

I've worn glasses and/or contacts since the 3rd grade.

I "blame" this on my addictive love of reading, which started when I was very young~~You know, your parents say, "lights out!", and so the overhead light goes off, and under the covers, the flashlight comes on, because you just have to finish the chapter, and find out if
Nancy Drew catches the bad guys :-)

Meanwhile, I believe my eyes paid the price.

My sister, on the other hand, didn't really like to read that much when we were growing up, and avoided having to wear glasses. In fact, she was one of those people in the early 80s, when it was "fashionable" to wear glasses (think Sally Jesse Raphael), she went and picked up frames with clear lenses!

I would have given my right arm not to have to wear glasses...

Fast forward to now. I realized the other day, that it was time to order more contacts. However, my vision prescription had expired, so I was going to need an exam first. I made an appointment for yesterday (the 12
th) with our regular vision provider. I also asked them if I would need to have someone come with me, to drive me home after they dilated my eyes. They said, "No, it only affects your near vision. Your far vision will be fine".

So with my mom watching
Kyra, I went to my 9am appointment. When I arrived, unfortunately about 1o minutes late (traffic and the slowest drivers in the world ahead of me), they were already running behind.

When they got me in, the technician did the initial tests to check my current prescription (read the bottom line that you can see, etc.) and then asked me to wait out in the waiting room, as they had limited exam rooms, and needed to get the next patient started.

This would have been okay, except she asked me to remove my contacts so I'd be all ready when it was my turn to see the doctor. I'd neglected to bring my glasses, so there I sat in the waiting room, not being able to see a thing. For you see, I'm extremely near-sighted, and without my glasses or contacts, everything is very, very fuzzy.

And the weirdest thing was, I felt like my whole world had shrunk. I didn't feel like I could look at anyone, for fear they would smile at me, I wouldn't see them, and thus, not smile back, and then be perceived as a stuck-up snob! I also couldn't read because I would have had to bring the magazine to an embarrassing distance from my face--yes, I'm that blind! So, there I sat, isolated from the world.

Then I went in to see the doctor, he examined my eyes, and wanted to dilate them. Drops go in, and I get to go back out to the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity, still not being able to see.

While I'm waiting, I have a lot of time to think, and began to wonder about the people in 3rd world countries that go through their whole lives, in a blur, just because they don't have access to glasses. Does it affect their self esteem? Do they feel as insecure as I do right now?

Good news is, my eyes haven't changed, and they renewed my prescription for another 2 years! Yea! The bad news is, after they dilated my eyes, for several hours afterwards, my near-vision was worthless.

To give you an idea of how bad, I couldn't read the speedometer, I couldn't even dial my cell phone, because everything was so blurry. In fact, I had to keep looking at things that were far away, because every time I looked at something close up, my eyes automatically tried to focus on it, and it would literally make me sick to my stomach.

So I think next time when I need to have my eyes dilated, I'll just be extra-safe, and bring someone with me, and let them drive home ;-)

Or I'll bring my glasses.

Blessings, K~