Friday, March 13, 2015

Blind As A Rhino

     It started with a recipe. I misread the amount of flour that was to go into a cake and added too much of it to the batter. That night, I served a frosted hockey puck to my dinner guests. I was certain the mistake was due to my lack of attention while baking. Note to self: Do NOT watch "America's Hottest Firemen" on cable TV while making a cake.

     There were other slip-ups that soon followed….little things I stubbornly ignored, such as squinting while reading a book. Or leaning over the car steering wheel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame just so that I could see the road beyond my dashboard. It wasn't until I backed my van into a telephone pole one rainy afternoon that I knew it was time to face the painful truth: MY MOTHER LIED ABOUT THE CARROTS.

     I really couldn't blame Mom for feeding me an abundance of carrots when I was young. The myth that they help our vision dates back to WWII with the British Royal Air Force. They attributed the success of their pilot's night vision during German reconnaissance missions to the vast consumption of carrots by their airmen. Perhaps if they had consumed mass quantities of cauliflower instead of carrots, they may have needed less fuel to get their planes off the ground.

     It was my love for books---and the fact that I was struggling to read the small print---that prompted me to purchase a pair of glasses from the drugstore (it was either that or buy all my romance novels in Braille). This tactic worked for a little while until everything around me became slightly fuzzy. I had trouble reading the numbers on my cell phone, and instead of dialing my gynecologist, I called the pest control guy to complain about my irregular periods. My typing skills had also diminished considerably, and the emails I sent out were often questioned by the recipients: "When did you start calling your son Zarf?" "What do you mean you ate the dentist?". My husband had already threatened to enroll me in the Helen Keller Institute For Typing if I didn't do something about my poor eyesight. I finally admitted that he had a point when I could no longer tell if I was petting the family cat or my uncle's toupee. It was time to find an optometrist.

     After having my eyes dilated by the doctor, I strained to read a chart that was a mile away and filled with ridiculously small letters. By the end of my appointment, I had two sets of glasses; one for reading, and one for driving.

     It wasn't long before I was stockpiling glasses of various strengths----some for working on the computer, others to watch TV, and another pair for walking the dogs at night. But no matter how many pairs of glasses I accumulated, I lost them as quickly as I lost my socks every time I did the wash.

     Fed up with wearing (and losing) my glasses, I returned to the optometrist's office to be fitted for contacts. I learned how to insert the flimsy lenses into my eyes and returned home, optimistic that I'd solved the problem of my glasses disappearing into the same black hole that my missing socks were orbiting.

     It was all fun and games until it came time to remove the lenses. The harder I tried to slide them out, the farther they slipped under the folds of my eyelids. Panic set in when both contacts disappeared into the caverns of my eye sockets. You know what true love is? A man who uses a magnifying glass and a mini flashlight to probe his wife's eyeballs for missing lenses.

     Ten minutes and two scratched corneas later, I swore off contacts and decided to live my life as a blind mole. My only comfort was in knowing that at least my eyesight was a step up from the rhinos, who are notorious for attacking trees and large rocks due to their poor vision.

     Living life in a blur became too difficult ( I was tired of walking around with bruised knees from walking into furniture) and eventually I caved, buying more glasses along with several pairs of brightly colored contacts. I needed to be prepared in case I was forced to go on another eye expedition in search of my elusive lenses.

     The way I see it, putting up with lost glasses and slippery contacts is worth it to be able to see the world clearly again. And I may add a few more carrots to my diet, just to be on the safe side.



44 comments:

  1. I never understood why my great aunt, who served us mounds of mashed carrots, stood before us wearing glasses so thick they made her eyes invisible WHILE my mother sung the praises of the dreaded vegetable.

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    1. That's certainly an oxymoron, isn't it???

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  2. This is too funny because I JUST got off the phone with the insurance company trying to find out what is covered and where to go! It seems that my new glasses aren't strong enough after all. I realized this when I kept steaming up the monitor trying to read this morning!

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    1. Ha-Ha!! You sound just like me! I recently had to get stronger lenses as well.

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  3. In spite of having four pairs of glasses, with different features and strengths, located in strategic spots around the house to ensure their availability as needed, I still also have a magnifying glass on top of the fridge for reading labels.
    I mean, seriously, they have to be printing those labels with smaller print than they ever did back in the day. My theory has long been that it's a conspiracy, like they're gas-lighting our vision and taking kick backs from the "Optometrists of America", or what ever their organization is called.

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    1. That is HILARIOUS! I think you're onto something there. I sell cosmetics on the side, and over the past 20 years, the print gets smaller and smaller on the products. I too, need a magnifying glass just to read the labels!!

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  4. Oh, Marcia, I feel your pain! When the optometrist asked me if I wanted bi-focals I flippantly replied "Nobody WANTS bifocals!"...so now, I have to leave my glasses on to see the board, then move them down to see what notes are in front of me, back up to see the board, down to see my notes....arrrrgh! I feel ya, sister! Will probably give in on those damned bifocals next time!

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    1. So true! I tried Progressive glasses and hated them. I kept bobbing my head up and down to look at things in the distance and then to look back down at small print. Those glasses suck!

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  5. I don't need glasses to read. I simply use my thumb and forefinger to enlarge the print on the screen...doesn't work to well on magazines.

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  6. Oh Marcia, I'm right behind you. I'm still in the "denial" phase, although I did break down and buy the reading glasses. I've had great vision all my life, so I resent this intrusion of poor eyesight. Meanwhile, my poor husband has been practically blind his whole life, so he has no sympathy. The issue is this needing one kind of correction for reading and another for far away. UGH!!

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    1. Right?? I have always had perfect vision---and so do my siblings. This really caught me off guard. They all use reading glasses but NONE of them need glasses for distance!

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  7. That is so true, fortunately, my sight hasn't deteriorated to this point yet, but it's just a matter of time. I refuse to wear them while driving...makes me feel claustrophobic!

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    1. I hate seeing the rim of the glasses from the corner of my eyes. It took me forever to get used to that.

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  8. I've worn glasses since the fifth grade. For a few years I wore contacts but eventually got tired of the hassle.

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    1. They really are a hassle, aren't they? I will never be able to wear clear contacts because I am NEVER able to see them to get them out, and I always end up scratching my eyes. When I use the colored contacts, it's much easier because I can see exactly where the contact is.

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  9. Getting old sucks, doesn't it? I had perfect vision all my life and NOTHING has made me feel older than having to give in and get glasses. I keep the bifocals in the car, and have multiple reading glasses as you described. And I think it's time for stronger ones. :-(

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    1. I believe I have spent a small fortune on reading glasses over the past few years. It doesn't help that my dog thinks he is a goat and has eaten several pairs.

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  10. You know how our jeans get tighter in the wash? I swear the same thing is happening with labels. Not that they are getting smaller in the wash, just being made smaller. Some people call it denial, I call as I don't see it.

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    1. Amen to that! When I go shopping, I can NEVER read the tags anymore!

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  11. My eyesight has not been affected by age, the whole world is conspiring to make the writing on . . . well . . . everything . . . smaller.
    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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    1. I agree---it's a conspiracy to keep mid-lifers from being able to read or look at a computer screen. Pretty soon we'll need telescopes to read a soup can label.

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  12. I had the lasik procedure about 15 years ago. Umm I thought it was permanent!? I guess permanent for about 15 years. But anyway, up close vision is still okay (knocking me some wood!) but every day my distance vision is getting worse. I don't know if I'll see if I can do the lasik thing again or just stick with glasses. We'll see (well, or maybe not actually).

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    1. Oh man, that sucks! I always thought that the lasik procedure was permanent, too. Keep those glasses handy, just in case!

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  13. Thank you for the laugh and for making me feel better about getting older

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    1. I'm right there with you, going through the same stuff. See? There's strength in numbers!

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  14. My mother lied to me about carrots too. Every time I go to the eye doctor, I need a stronger prescription. Where does the madness end :)! Thanks for the laugh tonight - I needed it!

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    1. Glad I could bring you a smile. And yes, I think ALL the moms lied back then about carrots!

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  15. There are so many cute glasses nowadays! Just think of them as another adorbs accessory. My best friend had to get glasses in college, and I remember she came home wearing them one afternoon while all of us (we had crammed 6 co-eds into one sh*tty apartment to save on rent) were lounging around, watching a soap. She stood at the doorway looking at us all for a minute, and then she goes, "DAMN, you motherf*ckers are UGLY." Sorry about the cursing and stars--I do it on my blog but I know you like to keep yours a bit more classy. It's just that the quote isn't quite the same if I don't write it exactly how she said it. It cracked me up so hard!

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    1. I LOVE that!!! So funny! Yeah, things look WAAAAAY different when you can finally see the world through a clear lens, Ha-Ha!

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  16. I can totally relate! Very funny!

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  17. I've been wearing glasses since I was 11... I despised for years and finally was able to acquire contacts. Lucky for me I didn't have the horrible issue you had with them but I had to stop wearing them when I was damaging my eyes more by wearing them too many hours in the day. I finally broke down and bought glasses again and then I needed bifocals..of course I'm not 80 so I paid big bucks for progressive lenses. I have to wear my glasses all day, so not much chance of losing them :-)

    I hope you find a way to work with them and not lise them any longer :-)

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    1. This progressive lenses made me feel nauseous for awhile. And they were so expensive, even after insurance. I'm just still trying to get used to my gazillion pairs of glasses! :)

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  18. As I was reading your blog, (and laughing out loud) I made the typeface 150 percent above normal. I've had a note on my desk for the past 3 months to call the eye doctor. Oh middle age, so much fun!

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    1. I have those sorts of notes on my desk, too. I have one that is three months old--- to call the dentist…..

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  19. My eye doctor just explained I may need to give up a little of my distance correction in my contacts so I can see up close again. Driving home the other night, I sincerely doubted I would pass the vision portion of the driver's exam!

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    1. Driving at night is the worst!! I'm really having trouble with it, especially when another car comes toward me with their bright lights on. I'm squinting like crazy to see the road at night now.

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  20. Oh my gosh, so that's the reason why I plumped up the neighbours fluffy dog and laid him down on the sofa and used him as a cushion. My eye sight is diminishing, ha ha ha ha. Maybe we should try that laser thing when they zap the eyeballs and all of a sudden, you have perfect vision. You should try it first though, then let me know the end result.......

    Instead of wearing glasses, I feel the whole world should just make everything a lot bigger. That way, we all get to see things. Hope you have an enjoyable week, and I hope to contact you soon Mama, take care for now :)

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    1. Alway such a pleasure to see you here, RPD! Love your comment about the dog/pillow. So you want me to be the guinea pig for the Lasic surgery, huh? I'll do it! Anything is better than what I'm going through right now!

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  21. Oh no. I feel you. Thank God for my glasses and contact lens though. Less trouble. :)
    Hope you're okay. :)

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    1. I have to take it one day at a time, where contacts and eye glasses are concerned. It pretty much sucks.

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  22. Oh boy, my mother lied about those carrots too LOL! I’ve always eaten carrots and still had to start wearing glasses in my 30s, reading glasses at first then just needed them all the time. I was not a happy camper when I had to wear glasses full-time! But now I’m just used to them. I just could not use contacts at all!! (great hubby fishing them out of your eyeballs!) Marcia, have you tried progressive lenses? It’s the modern version of the old bi-focal but without the line. Works for seeing, reading and working at the computer. That’s what I wear so I only need one pair (plus an extra in case I lose them!), and mine are transitions so they adjust to sunlight when I go outside. Love the pic of you with all the glasses while reading your book! :)

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    1. Wow---you did start at an early age for readers! I tried the Progressives and had a really hard time with them. I just can't wear them. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to get surgery!

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