Friday, June 1, 2012

What it's like ...

Being legally blind without correction is kind of a pain in the ass. It means that, if one of my contacts rip (and I have no more, as in the case for today) and if I can't find my glasses, I'm pretty much helpless. Think of a watercolor painting, except that it's blurrier and you're not sure if what you're looking at is a giant bear who will eat your face off or if it's just a tree (actually happened).

Benign leaves or talons of Satan? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. Although, honestly, this is clearer than my vision. Sad, isn't it?

Once when I was about 12 maybe, my parents took me and my sister to Steamboat, CO, to learn how to ski. After my dad tried teaching us, he kind of gave up when we were terrified of the bunniest of the bunny slopes, so he signed us up for classes. I enjoyed it for the most part - my instructor was kind of a dick because, OMG, the first time a preteen was on skis, and she couldn't figure out how to get up? SHE MUST BE A MORON, RIGHT?? Once I got the hang of everything, I was fine and loving just swooshing down the hills. We came back to our hotel room and I decided that I wanted to take a bath. I took off my glasses, because my mom and dad apparently thought contacts were some type of inscrutable technology that I couldn't master at my young age, and proceeded to hop in the tub. As I was sitting there, all warm and relaxed, I suddenly realized, "Wow, I can't see a thing."

Sure, I could see shapes and colors and shit, so it's not like I was ACTUALLY blind, but it was the first time I actually took note of it. In the years prior to this moment, I just thought it was part of my life. I'm not quite sure what triggered this realization, but I was in tears. At first, I struggled with the OMG I'M NOT PERFECT aspect, which is a strange thing to learn. I'd grown up in the church and had been constantly told that everyone was sinful and therefore not perfect, but I hadn't really thought about it too much. This was a different side of that coin. Then I started thinking, "Well, why did God make me so near-sighted? Like, what did I do? Did my spirit at one point kill someone? Was I one of those fallen angels that was made mortal as punishment??"

It was an existential crisis that I still remember vividly. I even still tear up a little. I've come to terms with it and understand that my eyeball is just shaped weird - kind of like an egg, actually - enough to make my eyes prone to constant corneal abrasions, and I even really like wearing glasses. I prefer contacts, but whatever. And I try to keep in mind that there are people MUCH worse off. Like totally blind people. Or my grandmother, who decided that instead of taking glaucoma medicine, she'd just pray about her eyes, and now can only see shadows of things. So yeah, at least I can still recognize shapes ... kind of. Looking at Three without my glasses or contacts is amusing; it's almost like his face is swimming in some sort of thick liquid, but I can see the dark spots where his eyes would be. Reading without correction is also a chore; I have to have the book or magazine or comic about three inches from my face in order for me to read it. My eyesight has essentially plateaued now that I'm older: a solid -8.50 in contacts. I'm not sure how that translates into the 20/20 thing, but just know, it's bad. BAAAAAD. It's hereditary, too, so my kids will probably have the same problem. Yay!! My father got his eyes (bad but not as bad as mine, because I'm lucky, I guess?) fixed with Lasik, but I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with that. Once it gets a few decades more of research, I might try it.

Until then, I'll just get my yearly optometrist and yearly opthamologist (yes, I have two eye doctors. What of it?) appointments, wear glasses, and keep fresh contacts in my drawers. Which reminds me. Crap, I don't have any more fucking contacts. Sigh.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...