…at Girls Who Wear Glasses. This little poem by Dorothy Parker said everything there is to know about why I hated wearing glasses as a young woman. Often I just went without them. I found that I had the ability to sort of squinch the muscles in my eyes to see normally, although after a day of that I’d have to hide in the privacy of my own home and gratefully put the glasses back on. (I will say this for Sarah Palin: she’s made wearing glasses cool again.)
Before that, I hated wearing glasses as a child (and I’d been wearing them since age two) because of the taunting. “Four-eyes” was the popular chant, but in all fairness, that applied to both girls and boys with glasses.
I so longed to wear contact lenses, but I was totally put off by the concept of poking a piece of glass in my eye, and I’d heard horror stories of what damage they could do. And then came the miracle of soft contact lenses. Although it took some practice, I wasn’t so put off by putting something in my eye that reminded me of a tiny piece of Saran Wrap.
I’ve now been wearing contacts for about 30 years, and in that time I’ve seen so many improvements. It’s quite amazing. Lenses you can wear overnight. Lenses you can dispose of, instead of having to laboriously clean them. Lenses which can correct all sorts of vision problems, rather than the simplest ones.
I no longer care so much about the aesthetics of the whole thing, I now hate glasses because I can’t stand to have them on my face. I don’t like the way they feel. You constantly have to adjust the damn things. I tolerate sunglasses as a necessity, but you don’t have to wear them all the time. I don’t like waking up and pawing through the stuff on the bedside table to find them. I like waking up wearing contact lenses that you can sleep in, which allow you to see normally the minute your eyes pop open.
But last week, I ran into an unexpected problem…this is the primary cause of my Week From Hell. It’s been a year and a half or so since I had an eye exam, and so for several months now I’ve been wearing my glasses since I ran out of contacts. My optometrist’s office, to their credit, is religious about you having an annual exam before renewing your prescription for either glasses or contacts. So I dashed in on Tuesday morning for the exam, expecting to walk out as usual with one complimentary pair of contact lenses while I waited for the six-month supply to arrive. But during the exam, no matter what they did, they could not get my right eye to correct. Taking another look, the optometrist said, Aha! No wonder! The problem is, you have a pool of blood on the retina in your right eye, near the macula. I felt like I had been thrown into a telephone pole. Instant panic.
I’m bleeding in the eye? Macula? I didn’t know what that was but somewhere in the recesses of my brain I dredged up the term “macular degeneration” which I thought means inevitable blindness. (In some cases, it does.) So the exam came to a halt, and I was referred to an opthamologist, whom I saw the next day. For three hours. Sometimes it helps a lot when you’re faced with unexpected medical emergencies to focus on how cool the technology is. And the tests they did and the equipment they used were indeed fascinating. I was mostly amazed by the cameras which take pictures of the retina, all the way through the eye.
So next Wednesday, they are going to inject a drug into my eyeball to try to stop the bleeding. I’m not too scared, because I don’t think it will hurt. You don’t have any feeling on the inside of your eyeball, and they will deaden the cornea before sticking the needle in. Nevertheless, there is a huge Ick Factor here, wouldn’t you agree? However, I’ve learned that the unendurable is in fact endurable when the alternative of doing nothing leads to sure and certain disaster.
Another of the fascinating issues is that there are two drugs they can use, one of which is not approved for use in the eye. The other drug is, but it’s ten times more expensive. I had another jolting experience as a result of this…I had a heart to heart talk with my insurance company about whether they would pay for this treatment. The answer was yes, they would pay for either one, even the one that is “off-label”, whatever the doctor decided, and they offered to voluntarily call the doctor and say so. What? Insurance companies normally top my personal list of the Axis of Evil, and here they are saying yes without saying no first? Actually offering to help ease the way? Hmmm. It appears I’ll have to revise my list.
> they are going to inject a drug into my eyeball to try to stop the bleeding<
OMG! I better not ever have that happen to me…! I’ll end up in a psycho ward! lol!
My wife has also worn glasses since she was very young but that didn’t deter me a bit!
Lol, Anarchist 🙂 If it ever does happen to you, I’m sure they would let you take a tranquilizer first so you didn’t care. As for me, I try to endure icky procedures drug-free–only once did I take a tranq beforehand. I want my fight or flight response to be highly tuned and ready for duty–particularly the flight part lol.
These days wearing glasses is not the kiss of death it used to be. I read an opinion somewhere that as intelligence in women has become more admired, along with appearance, wearing glasses gives that intelligent, learned, “librarian” look. Unless you’re Sarah Paline, then wearing glasses only says, “Can’t see well”.
* That would be “Palin”. I either need better glasses or smarter fingers.
Good luck “four eyes.” Hope it works out well for you.
Lol pt, Thank you…I think. P.S. Did you go to grammar school with me?
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in the second grade so I feel you. I wear both glasses and contact lenses. And I’m with Anarchist, that needle in the eyeball thing has me squirming in my chair. I hope it works out for you!
Honest, I will be fine! I’ll get bragging rights about how brave I am…that is, unless I lose heart in the middle and run screaming down the street.
I see pt is not content to treat my political comments as fair game, now he wants to be mean about personal issues. Frankly, I was kind of expecting it.
No I was genuine it is just my humor.
I don’t seem to be able to detect when you are being humorous, which I think is less about my powers of detection and more about your powers of expression. Your ENTJ needs a little more F in it. I don’t doubt it’s there, but it’s not my job to read between the lines. I consider that traditional women’s work 🙂 So in the spirit of going first, what is it about me that sets your teeth on edge? You have perfectly reasonable conversations with Nick and Anarchist, but with me…
“I don’t seem to be able to detect when you are being humorous, which I think is less about my powers of detection and more about your powers of expression”
perhaps it goes to the issue of trust. Perhaps you look for stereotyped behavior and so you find it..for example I borrowed “four eyes” from you to amuse you and it apparently had the opposite effect.
“Your ENTJ needs a little more F in it.”
It is who I am, don’t expect me to change, I tell you all who I am to alert you and honestly prepare you so that you can better understand me.
“I consider that traditional women’s work”
What is a traditional woman? 🙂
I tell Nick and Anarchist where our points of disagreement are and we agree to disagree or we debate or banter. I say I am the same with them as I am with you. You take offense quickly.
I hope your week is better and that you have no further complications with your eye. That is serious sounding shit. And if you need a different car now is a great time to buy.
I went to the Va Tech game Saturday and it was a fantastic day.
hey four eyes….. did you get that needle thing done yet?
“Four eyes”…Grrrr. Okay, okay. I will lighten up.
Yes I did, on Wednesday. It was completely painless because they numb your eye so well. Until the numbing medication wears off. Wednesday night I was in total agony, which went to “in pain” on Thursday, and “sore” today. And I get to do it again in 6 weeks. Before that happens, we’ll have a serious discussion about pain medication (they didn’t give me anything). Turns out your eye has a lot more feeling than I expected. I’m glad I didn’t know, because at least I didn’t obsess for a week. Now I can obsess for six weeks!
You are my hero!