01 May 2015

I Can See!

The last few years, I've noticed more and more that I can't see very far. This is very disappointing after having LASIK 8.5 years ago. I know it's not too out of the ordinary to need adjustments, but my siblings who have had LASIK haven't had any trouble. I'm pretty sure that working at a computer all day doesn't help.

Two years ago, I went to an eye doctor who told me that my sight really wasn't as bad as I thought it was and that I could just do some eye exercises. I've done a lot of those exercises and have just noticed my eyes getting worse. And while I know it could be much, much worse, it's embarrassing when I don't see people who know me. It's annoying when I can't see street signs before I need to get ready to turn. It's tiring to forever be squinting. It's boring to go to Michael's basketball games and not be able to see him.

I finally decided to see a new doctor about my poor eyesight—just as soon as one of us gets benefits.

And then I talked to a friend who said that his vision was really bad when he was little and his mom couldn't afford to get him glasses until he was 12. He used to get so tired from leaning right next to a book on a table that he'd just read with his head on the table. I told him about my grandpa (Clyde Smith) who had had troubles in school until his dad suggested they get his eyes checked. Once my grandpa and my friend had corrective lenses, they were both amazed to see leaves on trees and blades of grass. Whenever my mom tells this story about my grandpa, she says, "And so he became an artist." I don't know if there's really a link there, but I like that, and when I look closely at the painting that I inherited from my grandpa, I like seeing all of the colors he was able to see that make a painted face look realistic.

After talking to my friend, I started thinking about how I wanted to be able to really see India when we go for our friend Gunjan's wedding. I realized that it wasn't worth it to me to wait until we have benefits. Maybe I'll get a LASIK adjustment later, but for now, I want to be able to see! I was able to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Costco for just a few days later. For $114, I was given a prescription and a trial pair of contacts. I was able to put them right in, and the doctor said, "It's like learning to ride a bicycle. You never forget." When I walked out to the waiting room, the first thing I said to Michael was, "I can see you!"

All through Costco and the whole way home, I exclaimed about how much I could see. It was crazy to realize how much I’ve been missing out on. I really wish that eye doctor two years ago and not wanting to pay for an appointment without insurance hadn’t made me delay the beauty of being able to see clearly. It was eye-opening (ha ha, that’s punny) to know that I could have seen signs a few streets away, that I could have seen down aisles to know what’s there without having to walk down them, to see people’s faces without having to squint! The next morning, I was again amazed when I noticed that I could see license plate numbers from our apartment. And each time I've taken out the contacts since, I take one out first and then take turns closing eyes to marvel at just how blurry my world had become.

Pretty Garden! photo 2015-05-01 13.40.08_zpsf8oiwrpf.jpg
Look at the pretty flowers I was missing out on! Thanks for inspiring me to go to the doctor, friend.

Yes, part of me is in mourning that I have to deal with contacts again. Yes, my eyes feel dry and I keep forgetting not to squint and lean in really close, and yes, the contacts feel a bit irritating sometimes, but I can see! And that is a beautiful thing totally worth $114.

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