The Blessing of Sight
|Baby grasshopper by a small water bottle cap.|
This morning, as I stood on my porch, I saw things. I have new glasses. I've been wearing reading glasses for quite some time. Years. And I just got bifocals. I have a cataract in my right eye and my left has had double vision for a few years now. I've made do with readers, refusing to succumb to the authentic need for vision assistance. The cataract will be dealt with in a few months, but I decided I really would like to see before that. So now I have my glasses.
I almost cried in the office when I got them. It wasn't a good cry. It was not a cry of "Oh, how wonderful, I can finally see again!" It was a cry of, "Oh, no, I still can't see and it's even worse with glasses on!" The 200 pairs of glasses on the wall in front of me looked like 400. The words she put in front of me to read, floated from large to small and wide spacing to narrow. I could see nothing, and was nauseous to boot.
These can't be the right prescription. She checked the numbers. Everything checked out; it was my prescription. Maybe the doctor had made a mistake? I would have to go back to see him and get this straightened out - literally.
I put the glasses in their case and left the store with my son. As we got to the parking lot, I told him that if these were supposed to be the right prescription, maybe I just needed to put them on and see if my eyes would adjust somehow. It would have to be a miracle though. These glasses were terrible and I didn't know that I could have them on long enough to even find out if they were ever going to work. But I put them on anyway and made my way to the car. I drove with them at the ready...ready to take them off, that is. I didn't think driving was the best place to experiment, but I did it anyway. Actually getting out of the office with all the glasses on the wall staring at me had helped immensely. It was about a 25 minute drive home, and I took the glasses off a couple of times, when I really needed "familiar" depth perception - like pulling up behind someone at a stoplight. But then I'd pop them on again. My eyes actually started getting used to the distance vision.
As I pulled into our driveway, which is a wooded setting, I could see the light playing deep in the forest that I hadn't seen in years. I could see the full roundness of the tree trunks, even the sharp edges of the leaves as they moved in the breeze. It looked like the branches were reaching out to me now. I laughed. The whole image was surreal. I made the comment to my son that it was like being in a 3D movie...at which point he asked, "Mom, do you really think you should be driving?"
I was in my own personal stereoscopic viewer world. Yes, I should be driving. I was going to keep my eyes open forever.
I realized because of the glasses I had been wearing, one eye had become dominant over the other with them on, and the other was dominant with them off. They were never working together anymore really. And now, with these glasses, my eyes were learning to work cooperatively again.
The optometrist says it may take a few weeks to be fully comfortable with the glasses. The close vision is still weird at times, but it's getting better. I don't have to squint and rub my eyes all the time now. I can see to read fairly well, and better than I could. I'm excited to see things I didn't know I was missing.
The great part is, I can see how beautiful the world is again.
The not so great part is ... I have wrinkles.