Friday, October 9, 2009

Here's LOOKING at You, Kid

At about age 40, my arms started getting too short for reading. I went to the eye doctor and was prescribed some reading glasses. Wow! What a difference. But, before long, I realized how inconvenient it was to have to put on, take off, stash away, find and pull out these glasses, to which I quickly became dependent, every time I wanted to read. So, for the first time, way back in the early '90s, I tried a pair of graduated (progressive) lenses, thinking that leaving those spectacles on my face all day, and looking out of the clear glass for distance and the prescription glass for reading would be just the ticket. Not so! I hated them. Everything I looked at was distorted, I had a hard time walking on a straight path, much less up or down stairs, and I ended up with a crick in my neck whenever I worked at the computer. So it was back to the on-again-off-again reading glasses, for many years.

After we moved to Albuquerque, I thought I'd try progressive lenses again. Maybe the first doctor hadn't fit them properly. For one entire month I wore my new progressive glasses all day, every day. And at the end of the month I set them aside, declaring them another failure, and went back to reading glasses. By this time (after 15 years) I had quite a collection of reading glasses, some stronger than others and some just drugstore readers, but all helpful to some degree. So I kept them all over the house -- a pair by the computer, a pair on my night stand, a pair in the kitchen, a pair on the end table in the family room, a pair at work, and a pair in my purse. And still I would end up looking high and low for some when I needed to read a package label or a coupon expiration date.

Recently I was thrown a new kink. My distance vision was beginning to need correction as well! Oh, my. What to do?!

So, this fall, I bravely decided to try a new approach. I was fitted for monovision contact lenses. (Interestingly, those are what Dan wore for a long time, before his cataract surgeries. He no longer needs any correction.) Monovision means that one eye is fitted with a lens for reading, and the other eye fitted for distance. I was dubious that it would work. First of all, aren't I a little old to start wearing contact lenses? And secondly, would I really be able to touch my eyeball to insert and remove contacts? And could I possible stand to have different focal lengths for each eye?

The first prescription I was given for a two-week trial wasn't quite right. Each eye worked great, independently, but they didn't work together. As I told Dan, my vision was "wonky!" But on Wednesday I went back and the doctor adjusted the prescription in both eyes and, voila! They work perfectly! I'm so happy to put them in in the morning, and be able to drive, read, do computer work and other tasks all day, never having to hunt for a pair of readers.

I'll even be able to read to Sweetpea, without first hunting up some glasses, when I see her next month. YES - next month! Kelsey has invited me to come at the birth of the new baby. She didn't have to ask me twice! These Grandma-eyes will drink in every little wrinkle and dimple on that baby; and all the changes in Sweetpea, since I saw her last, in early February.


Anonymous said...

First, what great news you are going to be at the birth of your second grandchild!

Glad the contacts are working for you. I've been doing the monovision for about 3 or 4 years and it is great! Took awhile to get used to, especially driving.
I've worn contacts for over 40 years, I'm getting old!


Betty said...

You don´t know what this post means to me! You have described my life to a T!!!! Are you sure you are not my secret twin?? :)
I have been struggling with the same thing for many years now. I have so many reading glasses all over the house, plus 2 of the expensive progressive ones too!
I also had this suggestion about the contact lens from the eye doctor and have the "testing" lens laying here in my cabinet for a long time already. I just didn´t believe that it would really help and did´nt try it. But....NOW I will!! Thank you so much, for this post. I needed to hear this so that I would have the guts to try it. I´m a total "chicken" when it comes to doing something on myself, and sticking my finger in my eye seems like no fun. So wish me luck! :)

Linda said...

Betty, give it a try! I'm just tickled with the results. But I hope you have a patient doctor, who will work with you on the prescription. Getting the two lenses just right seemed to be the key for me. Also, my husband had worn contacts for many years, so he was a good resource when I was first learning to put in and take out. I struggled with that for about two weeks. Now it's pretty easy. The trial lenses the doctor gave me were "monthlies" - toss them at the end of a month. Now I'm wearing dailies. Wear a pair and toss them at the end of the day. I'm happy with them, although I must say that the dailies are thinner (flimsier) and a little more difficult to get in the eye.