Glasses and Contacts

As much as I forget how old I am, because I look and feel so young, my body is keeping count of the years and maintaining processes that come with the success of age and annual birthdays. This Valentine’s Day, instead of being gifted a heart-shaped box of chocolates, I was picking up my pink-framed, transitional lenses that would bring my sight from very-slightly blurry to super crisp.

I know my dad will read this, or at least look at the picture, and recall a time he recommended I get glasses. I’m sure I went to the optometrist the next day, upon returning from my visit, and was told I could but they weren’t necessary. That was probably years ago. A week and a half before picking up my prescription I allowed Caleb to give me an amateur eye exam using a can of nuts from a distance and realized I needed glasses now as I took a step or two closer than him to read the flavor.

I proudly wore my glasses home, to work, to the store, etc. as I adjusted to it being too bright outside, at first, and too dark inside, as the lenses adjusted. I think they’re cute, but they also cost more than all my prior sunglasses purchases of 15 years combined so I was nervous to wear them around paint and other hazards that might cause me to have to buy another pair so soon. There’s also the issue of keeping them clean, which seems impossible, and not scratching them in the process.

Then I got to thinking about all the times, outside of work, that it might be inconvenient to wear them and Caleb told me he’s not used to me wearing glasses yet… I get it. My mom didn’t want to wear glasses as a sign she was aging, but I don’t want to deal with headaches as my eyes try to adjust what seems to be just out of focus, like trying to read this first thing in the morning or with a severe hangover. I recently passed a driving test and the doctor said I was fine, so it’s barely noticeable to anyone else, and happened so gradually that I barely noticed the change myself.

I went in for a contacts appointment, which I didn’t know was a separate occasion, where they teach you how to use them before prescribing them. The doctor said that my blindness was the least amount possible and that he didn’t want to take my money, so I walked out without being seen thinking it would be ok, but I thoroughly enjoy being able to read longer again, stare at my screen, and read things further away with ease. I called the office back and made another appointment.

I sit down and practically shove my money in the doctor’s face, so to speak, as this will not be covered by my insurance. He’s not yet convinced, but has someone sit down with me as I’ll be required to poke a curved silicon hydrogel lens into each eye, twice! The eye doctor assistant is super patient while I attempt to peel back the lids around my tiny sockets and pull the contact out without scratching my retina. He suggests I cut my nails and stare straight forward; don’t blink.

I pass the test, reassure the doctor that I do want to wear contacts, and that I’ll be back next week after having worn them daily to get my new prescription. My appointment is in two days, just two weeks after getting glasses. It took me five minutes yesterday to get the contacts in as there’s definitely a learning curve, but one I’m willing to lean into; along with remembering to blink so my eyes don’t dry.

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