Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eye glasses - How we take the simple things for granted

I was very lucky in that for over 40 years I had no need of glasses. If anything, my vision was better than normal. I even had these really cute gold flecks in the wood brown of my eyes that gave them a neat bit of character. My vision though got a little fuzzy after 40. I totally noticed it when watching the screen at the movies, so I had it checked. That first time the doc said my vision had downgraded from beyond good to mere 20/20 - which is till awesome vision. No glasses needed just a little of the effects of aging. Cool!

A year later, I went back as I was having fuzziness again. To be honest, I expected the verdict. I had seen it happen to my mother, so figured I would follow in the family pattern - it was still a shock anyway - the vision had deteriorated again and I would need glasses. Eek! (Yeah, I know those of you who have worn glasses most of your life are just so totally laughing at me. But hey, this was a new experience for me!) :P

I found a frame, they made my lenses to spec, and I joined millions of others in having my vision assisted by glasses so I could read clearly. (Weirdly enough those gold specs I was secretly always very pleased about, disappeared. Guess that part of the eye muscle went defunct. I miss them!)

It took a while to get used to cleaning them, wearing them, putting them away, but I definitely liked my vision being clear again. And, not to brag, I thought I looked pretty spiffy in the darn things too! :P

Went back for a check up last year and wham, another surprise - they were switching me to bifocals! Talk about depressing! (Visions of ancient librarians looking over their glasses at you in disapproval went spinning through my head.) It seemed like my vision was just taking dive after dive. But I took all this a lot more calmly than the last time. At least I had vision to correct!

I was offered bifocals with or without lines. The gentleman at the lens place told me it was harder to go to unlined if you got used to lined, so I took the plunge and just went straight to unlined. Heck what did I know about what a difference it might or might not make. (Yes, I am totally clueless most of the time about most things.) Don't know if I had a hard time because it was or was not lined since I had nothing to base the experience on, but boy, for a couple of weeks I had to be careful with sidewalks and curves! I needed a warning sticker - objects are not as close as they appear! lol. But in good order I did get used to them and life proceeded as usual.

Haven't gone for my check up this year yet (2007 has been an explosively busy year so far for some reason), yet did have a little episode that has me not only writing this but being eternally grateful to whoever invented the concept of glasses in the first place. (Seems no clear credit can be given for the invention of glasses, though they seem pretty sure it was either the Chinese in the 12th century or the Italians in the 1280's. Though supposedly Emperor Nero used an emerald to assist his view during some games, so who knows.)

Anyway, Saturday night I was just signing off EQ2 (online game) and was getting up out of my chair when I heard something hit the floor. I looked for whatever it was and thought it was of a rather odd shape. When I picked it up, I realized it was actually a lens out of my glasses! A screw had come loose and flown from the frame and released the lens so it could fly and be free. I left hubby a note for when he came in (in case he made a stop by his PC), put the glasses back in their case and went to bed.

In the morning I tried to do some emails before we were supposed to leave to go to my Mom's for lunch. The lettering was blurry but legible. I didn't even attempt a book though, the small type would be beyond me and I knew it. My Mom wanted help with a puzzle, and I got a nice little headache from trying to concentrate enough to see the details on the pieces. Playing online again that evening, the words in the text boxes were blurred and I misread things a couple of times.

Went in to work late on Monday, and was pacing outside the lens store eagerly awaiting for them to open. The lady there spotted and opened up a few minutes early and had me fixed up in seconds and didn't charge me. I was just glad I could SEE!

As a writer, I am filled with imagination. This is not always a good thing. For you see, just as I had semi-panicked when I was told I needed glasses, the same types of scenarios ran through my mind when the glasses were broken and I had to do without -- the fear of having to go through life without being able to READ! Reading is a huge part of my life, whether it be for editing, enjoyment, creating, work, or other recreation - I do it almost constantly in some form or other. And thinking of not being able to do it, sent chill after chill through my body. And heck, what if I turned blind? Ah the paths my imagination can lead me to aren't always pretty. Brrrrrrr. I've imagined life for people who read back in the middle ages, when there were no glasses. Felt the misery as their sight began to fail, and that one enjoyment is stripped from them and there being not one thing they could do about it. *shiver*

So here I am, typing this out just so I can say one thing to those innovative people in ages long ago that were smart, ingenious, and imaginative enough to come up with a solution for this problem - THANK YOU!(bold) I for one am totally grateful for this one invention in our day and age we so easily take for granted. Kudos to you! (Long may we Read!)



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