I was about eight years old when I got my first pair of glasses. I remember the eye doctor telling my parents that I didn’t really need glasses yet because my prescription was so little, but I thought glasses would make me look smarter (who doesn’t love Velma from Scooby Doo?!), so he let me have glasses. So there I was with my little glasses, thinking I looked super cool and smart. Now let’s fast-forward to today… My vision has gotten way worse over the years. I am nearsighted which means that I cannot see far away. At this point, far away is less than six inches in front of my face. I am severely vision impaired and rely on glasses or contacts for daily living.
There are some things that scare me about being so visually impaired and there are some really awesome things that have come out of it. Let me explain…
- If there is a zombie apocalypse, I am screwed. If anything were to happen to my glasses, I would be rendered useless. I have already notified my husband that if this happens, he is to use me for bait to save himself.
- If there was ever an emergency in the night (robbery or fire), it would take me forever to find my glasses. Hopefully Blake would be home to help me find them, but if I was alone, it would be a scarier situation.
- When I am overwhelmed with what is going on around me and want to escape for a moment, I just take my glasses off and deep breathe. Not being able to see around me disconnects me from my surroundings and allows me to handle things easier. I use this trick when I am overly stressed or feel like I am going to cry.
- It’s a magical moment when you’re at the eye doctor’s office, they ask you their questions (1 or 2? 1 or 2?), and they show you the new prescription. This is the moment when you realize how blurry everything was before and how clear everything is going to be now.
- I spend my days adjusting the glasses on my face.
- When my vision gets worse, here come the headaches. A lot of my job is spent on the computer setting up prescriptions, sending messages to physicians, reading patient charts, and completing intakes. Because of this, I will have headaches at night if I have a change in vision.
- Glasses can get expensive! It’s an additional cost that I have to expect for eye appointments, contacts, frames, and lenses. Even with insurance, it can put me back a few hundred dollars a year. For example, this year I am not due for frame coverage through my insurance. When I had my eye appointment recently, I realized that my vision has gotten worse and I now have an astigmatism in both eyes. I need new glasses and have a few different options. I can purchase new lenses for the frames I have now for $106 with insurance or a whole new set of glasses for $200. Because of my strong prescription, I have to upgrade my lenses a couple times (so they aren’t super thick) and my insurance doesn’t cover the whole cost.
Sure, I wish I could live without glasses, but because that isn’t an option, I make the best out of it. My glasses are a part of who I am and when I don’t wear them (wear contacts instead), people hardly recognize me. It could be way worse and I am grateful that they have the technology available to correct my vision. Approximately three-out-of-four people in the U.S. need some type of vision correction. There are tons of people who deal with poor vision (both near and farsighted) and we are not alone in our struggles.