I Can See Clearly Now

So I finally broke down and got new glasses yesterday.

Those of you who know me personally were well aware of the need for new glasses, as my vision had deteriorated to the point where I couldn’t see the faces of people walking right next to me. While this was annoying, I was more concerned about my ability to drive safely, and decided that something needed to be done. I also figured that since I work on the computer, I should probably make an effort to take good care of my eyes so that I do not go blind.

I actually got two pairs of glasses.

Pair number one, which I am enjoying right now, is made out of “memory metal,” which is a fancy advertising term for “kinda unbreakable.” Basically, I can fold my glasses up into a little ball in my hand…and then they will spring back out into their former shape. I do not actually recommend doing this, because you could damage your lenses, but it is nice to know that my glasses can take a blow and come up fighting. I’m a little hard on glasses.

Pair number two…prescription sunglasses. I had been wearing transitional lenses which tinted automatically in response to changes in UV level. However, they never got really dark, and they would not tint in cars, because car windows have UV filters. So I think that they will make it safer to drive, and more pleasant to be out and about. The lenses are also pretty large…not quite granny glasses level, but big, so that my whole eye is protected from the bright, painful light. And I got them super, super dark.

I am really excited. When I put on the new glasses in the optometrist’s office, the woman started to ask me how they fit and tweak with them…but I looked around the office, enraptured, and said:

“I can see again!”

The blurry posters on the back of the wall were suddenly legible. I could read the safety warnings on the lens grinding equipment in the lab. I could read the street signs across the street. I could tell that it was safe for people crossing Pine Street to walk. It was literally like being plunged into a whole new world, and it reminded me of the first time I had my vision corrected, when I made this memorable statement:

“The trees have leaves!”

Walking down the street, I was filled with a sense of confidence and well being. I felt eagle eyed, peering down to Market and being able to see everything that was going on for the first time in months. Of course, my new prescription is so much stronger than my old one that it is taking some time to adjust. I’ve had the new glasses for about 24 hours now, and I am periodically switching them out with my old ones to let my eyes adjust. Right now, I’m wearing them…and not leaning into the screen, peering to see what is going on. I think my eyes will be accustomed to the change in about a week, which will be glorious.

I love it.

At any rate, I learned a couple of valuable lessons here which I thought I would pass on to readers:

1. Please get your eyes examined on a regular basis. Due to lack of vision insurance and general laziness, I had not had an eye exam since April of 2004! Although my eyes are extremely healthy, I certainly needed a new prescription. My vision is rapidly deteriorating, but it is still going slowly enough that I was adjusting to not being able to see anything. Had I gotten regular eye exams, I would have been a lot more comfortable.

2. If you are having trouble seeing, get your eyes looked at. In my case, it’s just that I inherited a crappy set of eyeballs from my dad. But vision problems can also indicate more serious health conditions, or the onset of serious optical conditions. Get someone to look at your eyes if they feel weird, and do not be ashamed to compare your vision with people around you; “normal” might actually be a poor level of vision. In addition to being good for you, it’s good for those around you; I think I will be a much more confident and safe driver now, for example.

3. I really need to clean the bathroom.

[new glasses]