I’ve always had trouble with my vision. I got my first pair of glasses when I was in 3rd grade.
I blame genetics & being a book-worm.
It’s not just that my eyes require some correction either. I have had no less than 3 different eye doctors tell me that my eye problems are “a weird combination of things”.
Basically I have astigmatism which ruled out contacts for years. Not a big deal but when I was an angsty teen in 7th-8th grade, I hated my glasses. I wanted contacts. I wanted to be like all the cool kids.
When I got to high school, I decided that glasses would make me look more . . . dignified.
I was a “grown-up” now and it was time to look the part.
I was in high school and still a teenager which equals still not very smart about some things.
Okay, fine. A lot of things.
When I went in for my appointment, I was told about these awesome soft, flexible contact lenses that would work for my astigmatism.
I was in heaven.
Until Day 2 when I forgot to take my contacts out at night and woke up at 3am to a contact that was glued to my eyeball.
I do not recommend doing this. Ever.
I called my eye doctor first thing in the morning and he told me to wear my glasses for a week until the irritation in my eye had settled down.
Side note #1: I never did find the contact in my eye but it was 3am and my contacts weren’t nestled safely in their pristine white case where they were supposed to be. Also? My eyes were burning & itching like crazy so I assumed that they were still in my eyes. Because I’m so smart, I picked and picked at my mother-effing eyeballs for an hour until I finally decided to call it quits and try to sleep for a little bit. Fo’ real. I don’t recommend this.
After the irritation to my eyes had settled down and I no longer rocked the I-have-the-munchies-because-I-partook-in-certain-illegal-activities look, I attempted contacts again. But, I was gun-shy. I would incessantly check my contacts throughout the day & would end up taking them out before lunch because I was terrified that they were going to get glued to my eyeballs again.
Back to glasses.
Aside from astigmatism, my left eye is significantly weaker than my right.
So much so that when I was in 3rd grade (getting my first pair of glasses), my eye doctor recommended to my mom that I wear a farcking patch over my right eye in order to strengthen my left.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
I was going to be a pirate.
I was mortified.
The doctor told Mom to make me wear it every time I was reading or doing homework to increase my changes of improving my vision in my left eye.
She followed his instructions to the nth degree.
Side note #2: When my kids are old enough to be tortured by instructions similar to these, I will absolutely do the same thing. But at the time, I was less than thrilled with my mom. I still love her to pieces and I’m no worse for the wear, so I’m pretty sure she did her job well. So, thanks mom.
I did actually get some improvement with the assistance from The Patch, but it sucked. So, I stopped using it.
And guess what?
My vision is slipping again.
I’ve been getting headaches more frequently than I ever have before (which I attributed to the tiny people who started invading my life 3+ years ago) and my vision has been significantly more blurry than I ever remember. After much prodding from Greg, I finally went back to see my eye doctor.
I had been getting myself all psyched up for my appointment because my family has some genetic links to certain neurologic disorders and blurred vision is an early sign.
Side note #3: If you think you have a medical condition, do not go to WebMD or Dr. Google. They are quacks and they will scare the ever-loving-shit outta you*. I’m asking you as, not only a healthcare professional, but as your friend.
By the time my appointment rolls around at 2:30, I’m ready for a Xanax. Or a margarita. But not both, because I’m responsible.
When I walked into the office, I was pleasantly surprised because less than 5 minutes later, they were ready for me! The nurse took me back, asked me all the normal questions, did part of the exam and left. When the doctor came in, we chatted for a bit. Him: Do you want contacts today? Me: No, thank you. Him: Can I ask why? Me: Um, sure. They scare me a little bit. (I didn’t want him to have to hear the full story. Because, being afraid of contacts is a much safer option. Tara equals not so smart) Him: . . . . Me: I just don’t think I will wear them so I’m just going to go with glasses for now. We are going along and finally he stops and says, “Are you okay? You seem . . . nervous.”
Talk about a loaded question.
So I tell him that I have a cousin that has MS and Dr. Google and WebMD have me freaked out because blurred vision is one of the early signs. I also tell him that I’ve been having headaches more frequently now and Greg has been on.my.ass to get an MRI for months but I agreed to an eye exam first.
He took a deep breath and just kinda stared at me for a few seconds before he smiled.
God bless my optometrist.
Mostly for not having me committed but for taking the time to explain it to me.
Apparently, there is a part of the eye exam that will detect early early signs of MS (along with other things) even before you would start having symptoms. He also told me that because it’s a cousin (and not a sibling or a parent), the genetic link is not so strong that we should all run out and get screened. He assured me that my vision was fine for my age (really could have done without that little zinger, but I let it slide because he was being so nice to me) but that I do need some form of correction. He assured me that I can relax about MS. He sternly told me to walk away from online sources as a method of receiving medical advice. He told me that because my left eye is significantly weaker than the right and that it is genetic, that the kids should be screened as early as possible.
He laughed at me which was kinda charming since, ya know, I’m funny.
Although, it just occurred to me that maybe he wasn’t laughing at something I said because he thought it was funny.
And, because I had gotten myself all worked up about nothing, I forgot my glasses at home. The correction technician (seriously. That was his job title) told me that I could bring in my old frames and they could just replace the lenses which would save me a couple hundred dollars.
Um, yes please!
All-in-all, it was a good day and my glasses with my updated prescription should be ready by the end of the week.
Also? I voted yesterday. Just thought you would like to know that I upheld my civic duty despite my near panic-attack.
*it could just be that I’m hypochondriacal and they scared the ever-loving-shit outta me and I project my anxiety in the form of blame onto others. That’s what my therapist says, anyway.