Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Dorothy Harris

I can see clearly now


Published:

You, the reader won't know this, but I've had to increase the font on my computer in order to type this article. While I don't yet need reading glasses, I am unable to see the computer screen clearly sometimes. I know a bunch of you in the same boat are nodding your heads, allowing your reading glasses to slide down your noses. At this point, getting glasses seemed like the simplest solution.

I, however, am a decades-long contact wearer. My prescription is just past a negative six, which is basically legally blind for those who have good peepers and don't know what these numbers refer to. In my natural state, uncorrected, I have been known to pet sneakers, thinking they were cats. Sometimes I walk into walls, not spatially judging the distance correctly in my blurriness. Without my lenses or glasses, I'm there, but not focused. I have sat completely oblivious to the eye doctor staff wildly gesturing at me. I'm sorry, is someone there? Without my corrective lenses, I can't see, not a bit, not at all, even if I squint. Do you get the picture?

Well, age has begun to add to this insult, gradually diminishing my reading vision which has always been super-duper. I don't notice this, but my eye doctor, smart chap that he is, insists it is so. He hasn't been wrong yet so I'm trying to agree, even though I am struggling in my efforts to adjust to the wonderful solution of multi-focal contacts.

Doc suggests these will help me with my vision issues and prepare me for when readers are a necessity instead of a convenience. Apparently my over-40 eyes are just starting to have trouble focusing. Books aren't really an issue, menus are just fine and the newspaper poses no problems whatsoever; my issue is seeing clearly at the computer sometimes.

I know, I know, a lot of you have been down this road and can commiserate. (Hopefully if you were driving you wore your glasses.) Some of you remain a bit vain and simply refuse to wear readers. You instead expect me to help you with your tasks, but now I'm struggling too so we're both in trouble.

Multi-focal contacts are supposed to give the wearer near and close up vision, provided they can get used to them. My bi- and tri-focal friends understand this learning curve and curbs, but my issue is getting used to how they feel. Thicker than the lenses I usually wear, I find myself using drops and rinsing lenses trying to increase my comfort. They feel just awful, even if they are super powerful.

My bionic eyes, as Mr. Harris refers to them, don't shoot green lasers, but they can see those little letters on highway signs way far away. Need to know what's on sale across the Wal-Mart? No problem, I'll read it to you because I can actually see it. That itty bitty font on medicine bottles is even clear. Why, I've even found myself distracted by the weave of tiny fibers in my sweater sleeve. Wow, I think as they stand out in clarity, this is amazing.

Doc was right, I needed this correction. It was such a gradual thing. I just didn't notice it as it came on quietly, unlike all those other age-related changes that arrive kicking and screaming for your attention. If I can get ever used to these darn things, I will be able to see so clearly I think I can begin charging for menu reading in dimly-lit restaurants. Tonight's special will be.

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