Myopia Dystopia

I am one of those people gifted with myopia. Vision assistance has been a constant part of my life since third grade. My vision went from pretty bad, to “dang girl, your glasses are THICK.” by the time I was in high school. I was able to make the switch to contact lenses eventually but was limited to those hard lenses. While they allowed me to be heavy glass and frame free, those little plastic circles could exit my eyes with rapid speed and at the most inopportune times, like nearing the top of an escalator.

I eventually put some strain wearing those contacts for longer stretches of time that were healthy so I had to return to glasses. I had three kids by then and very little money, so the glasses frames I could afford were quite low on the attractive list. But I could see, thankfully.

I tried contacts again once the kids were older in the hopes that the newer soft lenses would be a good option. Sadly my prescription needs were too great for existing soft contact technology. Back to hard lenses it was, but by then I had developed allergic reactions to all those wonderful blooming things one finds outdoors. My eyes stayed so irritated that wearing contacts was impossible.

With my last pair of glasses, I had to add what are called progressive lenses because not only could I not I see halfway across the desk without assistance, I also needed help reading stuff up close as well. I told my doc. “Gee, I’m going blind from both near and far.” He wasn’t amused, or had heard the complaint too many times. Those glasses cost a fortune, thanks to the far-sighted feature, plus an option to help make the distance feature less thick, and of a shatterproof substance that was lighter weight then regular glass. I got the lightest weight frames I could for my prescription as well, as even with the options they still were pretty heavy.

Within a year I was having to superglue them together. The frames were rather fragile, and were not staying attached to the lens very well. Thankfully that glue held for another three years.

This year I went for an overdue eye exam. I wanted to give contacts one last try. To my delight soft lenses had become an option for people with my vision needs, strong myopia with a healthy dose of astigmatism tossed in. Somewhere along my aging process I’d picked up crooked eyeballs as well. I got my test pair and was quite satisfied. I could see, they were comfortable and the lenses stayed in all day with no danger of popping out with no warning. All I needed was some reading glasses, and eye drops. I tend to have dry eyes, thanks to the allergy/asthma issues and the medication I take to alleviate that problem. I ordered a six month supply of replacement lenses and prepared to enjoy vision without stuff actually sitting on my face.

Then I decided to take a trip out of town.

The morning of the trip, I put on one of my contacts, only to discover it had torn. “Crap” I thought to myself. “My replacement lenses haven’t arrived yet.” That was no real issue, as I had my glasses that I still wore at night. So off to sunny Florida I went. The next evening I was playing with my grandson Isaiah. He and his family had traveled with me. We had made the trip to attend the birthday party of my maternal grandmother. We were in our pajamas after the party and I was playing with the baby when his little arm hit my head. That is the exact moment that the superglue that had long held those glasses together failed.

Now in the possession of a pair of monocles, I hoped that I still had my glasses case with me, as I knew that I had an old pair in the case. Thankfully they were still in my large purse that carries everything I may need. They were crooked, lacked the far-sighted feature, but allowed me to see well enough to drive, if needed.

I am still waiting on the replacement contact lenses to arrive in the mail, hopefully in a day or so. The glasses I am having to wear right now are not all that comfortable and the lack of strength gives me a constant headache. I am missing the visual acuity I had become accustomed to, and that I, like many others have taken for granted. I may still break out the super glue and try to repair the broken glasses one more time. If not, I’ll survive, pretty well actually, as I can see. It’s hardly perfect, but much better then the alternative.



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