Monday, March 29, 2010
You know it’s a bad day when your eye doctor tells you, “Wow, your eyesight is bad…I don’t come across very many people with such poor vision – it’s even worse than mine!” I wanted to tell him, “Gee, thanks, doc – that’s encouraging. How ‘bout you just examine my eyes and leave off the running commentary?” But I didn’t. Mostly because I didn’t want him gleefully giving me an extra puff of air when he does that one test that tests…well, I’m not sure what it tests. But I don’t really like people blowing air directly into my eyes under the best of circumstances – so I kept quiet. And I only got one air blast per eye, so I figured that was reward enough.
My vision has changed yet again from last year, which is to say it has gotten worse. The good news is that I get a new pair of eyeglasses out of the deal. That bad news is that glasses with my prescription cost money. A lot of money. Not only am I extremely nearsighted, but I’m also extremely astigmatic. Not to mention that I’m dealing with the whole presby…something – the fancy word for “old eyes” where you need the bifocal thing. Great.
Gone are the days I can get by with much cheaper “single vision lenses.” Plus, my glasses used to function simply as back-up for when I finally took my contact lenses out and wanted to see at night. I didn’t have to replace them every year and didn’t care so much if they weren’t the latest and greatest style.
As I’ve gotten older, I’m finding my vision to be a big pain. I can’t wear hard gas permeable contacts with the ease and comfort of my youth, so I’ve resorted to soft contacts for astigmatism. This means basically that I pay a lot more for my contacts, too. And I can only keep them in my eyes for a few hours before it looks like I’ve pulled an all-nighter and I’ve got so many red squiggles in my eyes that I could be the “before” picture for a Clear Eyes ad.
So I’ve taken to wearing my glasses most of the time. In the morning when I get up, the first thing I do is blindly feel around the night table to locate my glasses. Sometimes at night I leave them on the bathroom counter, which must be a joke I’m playing on myself because I won’t remember putting them there and will be searching for them on the bedside table in the morning. There have even been mornings when I think I must have knocked them off the bedside table, so I’m crawling around on the floor trying to feel for glasses that aren’t there. It’s probably amusing to watch, but Vince is smart enough not to laugh at me.
If you’re old enough to be presbyopic, you probably remember Mister Magoo, the little cartoon guy who could barely see and got into all sorts of trouble because of his poor vision? Yeah, that’s pretty much what I look like searching for those damn glasses!
I’d get that Lasik surgery if I was (a) braver, and (b) really thought it would do me some good. With my ever-changing prescription, though, I don’t think it’s a good idea. It’s not like they could keep Lasik-ing me every year, nor could I order a stronger set of eyes. Of course, if I could order new eyes, I’d probably want some that were the latest and greatest style. Which means that I’d want a pair that could see 20/20 without correction. And preferably without the red squiggles – after all this money I’ve spent over the years on glasses and contacts, I can’t really afford the Clear Eyes.