All the World’s A Blur

July 8, 2010 at 10:00 am | Posted in Life and Living | 6 Comments
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I’ve had glasses since I was in first grade.  At that age, you learn that you can see because you can’t learn how to read.  Connecting the need for glasses with the struggle to learn to read is the first step to a disturbing life for me and my fellow four-eyed friends.

I wore glasses from first grade through eighth grade.  My eyesight continued to get worse over the years so I would rely on them more and more.  It was particularly bad come middle school when I got braces as well.  I don’t know how I wasn’t labeled a nerd. I guess because everyone looked funny at that age.  For my Bat-Mitzvah, I had my Haftorah printed extra big so I didn’t have to wear glasses.

I first attempted contacts in eighth grade.  It would take me an hour to get them in my eyes, but I was determined to enter high school glass-free.  One time, one of my friends got sick of waiting for me to get them in, so she tilted my head back at popped them right in (clearly she too was part of the four-eyed club).

If you aren’t blind, you can’t possibly understand what a debilitating disability it is.  When I wear my glasses, I am completely self-conscious, not so much about the way I look, though that is part of it, but I also have no confidence in my vision. I feel more tired without my contacts in for one thing. But I have other worries, too.  What if someone tries to grab my glasses off my face? What if I need to see something out of the corner of my eye? I can’t! What if something gets in my eye in the middle of the day? And what if I wanted to go swimming? Goggles really don’t help if you can’t see.

In college, I never left my dorm room with my glasses on.  Now the only time I can be caught wearing them is when I’m walking the dog in the morning (I’m in my pajamas so really what’s the difference?).

I’ve been next to blind now for over 20 years and you never quite get used to it.  Every morning you wake up to a blurry world, a blurry alarm clock, a blurry face. My eyesight isn’t getting better anytime soon, though my doctor promises me it can’t get too much worse. It has to even out at some point otherwise I’d be legally blind by the time I’m thirty.  He’s got a point.

Technology is finally catching up and I’ve been told I’d be a good candidate for laser eye surgery.  The thought is never far from my mind.  How amazing it would be to wake up to a clear world, not worry about having a water balloon fight, and not have to buy contact cleaner.  The procedure is still pricey and not covered by insurance, but I’m thinking I might have to save for the investment.

To all you non-four eyed friends, I think I can speak for the whole crew when I say we envy you. Don’t take your perfect vision for granted!

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