Sunday, July 20, 2008

Now Eye Know

On the first day of school in third grade two of my best friends came in wearing glasses. I decided then that I needed glasses too. Of course, even with excessive squinting and horribly misreading signs, my mother wasn't convinced that I needed a prescription.

So I began to read in the dark, stopped eating carrots, and did whatever I could to ruin my eyesight enough to need glasses.

I finally got them the day before school started in sixth grade.

I have hated them ever since.

Almost as soon as I got my first pair of frames they were out of style. Because my insurance didn't cover them, I couldn't get new ones until they broke in the summer before eighth grade. When I got new ones I decided they were dead ugly and when I lost them a month later my mother thought it was done on purpose. I walked around half blind for almost a year until my mother was finally convinced that I really didn't know where my glasses were.

My memories of eighth grade all have a blurry quality... as if I was walking through that year not really seeing what was going on around me...

Of course I found those ugly glasses (Pesach cleaning) the week before my appointment with the eye doctor and when I showed them to my mother she finally agreed that they were as ugly as I insisted they were.

And then I finally got contact lenses!!! For the next six years no one even knew I had ugly glasses because they never saw me in them.

And then I had chemo and I had to stop wearing my lenses because my eyes were sensitive to them. I started a search to find special lenses that my eyes could deal with and finally ended up wearing Acuvue2 like everyone else in the world.

And then I had my baby and after many many many sleepless nights my eyes just wouldn't cooperate with my percious contacts on a day to day basis. And so I went out and bought a new pair of cool frames.

Of course, walking into class this past September, I found that I was wearing the same pair of cool frames as half of my students.

Luckily, JB began sleeping through the night right about then and it was back to my lenses most of the time.

But then I noticed I had a problem seeing certain things. I saw everything around me just fine but for some reason couldn't read street signs until they were right above me. I missed way too many turns on Ocean Parkway before I realized I should check it out.

Mind you, I was determined to check this out almost a year ago, but just got around to it now...

My oncologist told me to check out the possibility of cataracts because it was a side effect of one of the chemos. My father had just finished cataract surgery that week even though he was still too young to have them, and I decided right then that I must also have cataracts.

My eye doctor checked my eyes and found nothing wrong with me and so I made an appointment with an Opthamologist. I was getting all excited thinking about how I was going to have cataract surgery and then never need to wear glasses again.

I reminisced about the times I read with a flashlight under the covers and squinted on purpose and promised that if my kids ever asked for glasses I'd give them a pair of empty frames like my grandmother wears just to look good so that they shouldn't have to ruin their eyesight for it. That way when they decide they're as sick of glasses as I am they can forget about them and never have to live with the curse of a real prescription.

I was getting all emotional about getting my vision back and starting over when I booked my appointment.

I had my appointment last week. The doctor looked at my eyes and said that even though I had a white cloudy spot in one of them it meant nothing much and he wasn't going to touch it now.

When I asked him what I could do to correct whatever was wrong with my vision he laughed and said I should find a new doctor because my other one didn't know what he was talking about. Within five minutes he had me written up for a newer higher prescription and I walked home from his office wearing those huge offensive ugly sunglasses feeling like an idiot.

Hypochondriac that I am, and all I need is yet another new pair of glasses.

So I'm off to fix my prescription (which did I mention hasn't been updated in 5 years?) and I hope this will be the last episode in the saga of my eye wear until I'm ready to do Lasik...


Freeda said...

this story sounds familiar... in 3rd grade, I starte doing e/t possible to get glasses- and I got them! B"H I've been wearing contacts since 9th grade, and only occasionally wear my glasses. but I just ordered new ones. B-)

mickey mouse said...

you had me laughing through out this post... I too DESPARATE for glasses... I was the only kid in my class that didn't have glasses or braces...
when I was 16 and started driving my driving teacher noticed that I held my head on a tilt and when I put my head straight I couldn't see the road straight so... I found out that I have astigmatism... and perfect eye sight which is dead rare... I got my kind of cool glasses to wear when I don't feel like seeing things wonky...
I wish I had discoved this when I was younger and I actually cared about these stuff!

halfshared said...

Omg you just wrote my life story up until the cataract part. I still haven't figured out exactly why my contacts started up with me 5 years ago and I have to wear glasses to work every day! I feel so ugly in them but it's a price to pay not to come home with a smashing headache. I've considered laser too..

Anonymous said...

Hey "Tzipi" I just read ur book! awesome job and awesome author behind it! im so curious who miss rigler is, and michal its so the type id know them...........

Itzhak Schier said...


My Rebbe ZYA did not recommend the wearing of contacts, especially by men, and had I not listened to his advice, I might not have a right eye today.

Before Pesach 3 years ago, I was stupidly misusing Liquid Plumr Gel by pouring it into standing water from far too high above the drain. To put it mildly I know better than to do that, and I also know better than to look over the drain when I use any type of caustic drain cleaner. But the Pesach rush is the Pesach rush, and never mind that all I needed was a plunger, I wasn't paying much attention to what I was doing.

Yes, some of the dangerous and inefficent drain opener splashed onto my right eyeglass lens, which was so heavily coated with some anti-reflex coating that it did not even affect my use of the lens (but since the caustic dissolved the coating, it made the lens seem dirty to someone who looked at me from close up). Had I not been wearing glasses or had I been wearing contacts, I would have had a severe medical emergency.

Oh, and the stuff did not work so I had to run back to the hardware store and get a plunger!

As a result of that experience and being a do-it-yourself type especially in emergencies when I don't have time to think of putting on safety goggles, I will not even think of Lasik. I cannot get a straight answer as to whether my Rebbe would have permitted it or not, but I am thankful for my glasses.

itsagift said...

phew! You got me scared for a second!!
Glad it was all just for a new!!

itsagift said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
itsagift said...

I deleted my comment cuz by mistake I posted the same thing twice...
Keep writing!!
You are doing amazing!!

The Babysitter said...

My father is young too and he recently had cataract surgery, but by him he still needs glasses, he got progressive ones, which have lenses in one and their bigger than the regular glasses by a little bit.

I remember as a kid wanting glasses, I tried to misread the signs didn't food them of course. In 3rd grade I remember my teacher saying that, that was the age most people get glasses, and if they don't get glasses then, then they probably won't need glasses in the future. I thought that meant that 3rd grade was the only chance to get glasses. I later realized it meant that in 3rd grade is when your beginning to learn to read, so that's when you notice that you need it.

I never got glasses, but when I see people who are normally always in contacts and then they wear glasses I think the glasses gives them a different look, I think of them as driving glasses, and it looks cool on them.

Anyways, good luck with your eye, hope the white stuff goes away and you can see all good again!