In response to #kinderblog13 assignment #1: Confessions.

Confessions. Hmmm…I am having a hard time with this. I don’t think I have many secrets, but I do have one issue that has been bugging me for the past few months…my sight…or more accurately, my POOR sight. I don’t like dwelling on the negative (hence the name of my blog, Searching for Sunshine), but I am going to confess that my failing eyesight is driving me crazy!

I HATE GLASSES. There, I wrote it. *sigh* I have always felt geeky, nerdy, unattractive and uncomfortable in glasses.

Twelve years ago I had corrective laser eye surgery so that I wouldn’t have to wear glasses anymore…except cute sunglasses. I can deal with those. In fact, I LOVE sunglasses…Maui Jim sunglasses specifically.

I enjoyed 12 years of 20/20 vision…the surgery seriously changed my life. Until you have experienced less than perfect sight, you have no idea how amazing it can be to wake up and read the alarm clock without reaching for your glasses…or go swimming with your kids and be able to SEE them.

I NEVER took my sight for granted. I cherished the freedom that perfect vision afforded me…until my eyes changed.

A few months ago when my eyes changed I contacted my laser eye surgery clinic and arranged to have a touch-up surgery. I thought it would fix the distance issues I had and I would only have to wear reading glasses instead of going to progressive lenses to correct the slight distance issues and accommodate my aging, tired eyes. I knew that eye muscles weaken and reading glasses were inevitable, but the slight change in my eyesight was giving me horrible headaches and I wanted to alleviate those if I could.

My surgery went well, but I have not healed as I had hoped. My distance vision is ok, but my left eye is weaker than I anticipated and I have no clear close-up vision within 10 feet. In essence I traded one vision problem for another and this one actually makes my life harder. The headaches are different, but they are still there.

It bothers me that I can’t focus on my family’s or my students’ faces if they get too close to me. I don’t want to distance myself from them, but I HAVE to so I can focus.

Reading is hard because my left eye muscle weakness is different than my right and drug store reading glasses don’t work for me. I need a prescription for custom lenses.

Not only do I need prescription reading glasses, I also need prescription reading sunglasses. Two of my favourite pastimes are reading and tweeting on my iPad and I can do neither without glasses. My holidays are spent catching up on the reading for enjoyment I don’t have time for during the school year, so if I want to read at the beach or by the pool, I need to buy prescription reading sunglasses.

These are expenses I had hoped to avoid.

I go to see my eye surgeon on Monday and I will get a prescription for new progressive glasses. That way I won’t be taking my glasses on and off…I can’t do that, as so much of my day is spent reading and doing work close-up. I don’t like it, but I have to admit to myself that if I am to give up the past few months of frustration and carry on enjoying life, it’s something I have to do.

There…I wrote about it. I confessed that I hate glasses…and I still do, but I am grateful for the technology so that glasses can correct my vision issues, and I am also grateful for the 12 years of 20/20 vision I enjoyed after my original corrective laser surgery. See…still searching for the sunshine in a frustrating situation!

Update: Just finished at my check-up…I have to wait another six weeks to see if my eye changes more before he will give me a prescription for progressives. Translation…more waiting, more frustration, not yet able to see clearly up close. I will try a stronger pair of reading glasses to see if that helps. On a positive note, my distance vision is 20/20!!!


14 thoughts on “Confessions

  1. Oh dear!!! Your confession has got me worried! I’ve been thinking that MY eyesight is getting worse, but I have just been attributing it to getting older! Now I’m thinking I need to see the optometrist! I have glasses – maybe it is now time for me be to wearing them 100% of the time and not the 0.07% of the time that I have been wearing them.

    I hope your eye surgeon has some comforting news for you!

    • Aw, Sharon, it’s only my vanity that spurred this confession. I know I need glasses and I just have to get them and wear them. Our eyes are nothing to neglect. I doubt my surgeon will say anything other than “time to get glasses…it’s part of aging”. I am not going to do further surgery if he suggests it.

  2. I am sorry to hear of your contined eyesight challenges. I have worn glasses since 5th grade and used contacts for a number of years. Once I had children there was no time for the care contacts took back in the olden days. Then I had to deal with progressives as I aged. Now I am overdue for a new set because I can no longer read with my glasses and I KNOW I cannot start the school year in the fog I am coping with now. That expense is a high one for sure. I get frustrated with feeling secure when I can’t wear glasses such as swimming or even watching how my hair stylist is blowing my hair out so I can attempt to learn how to do that. That all being said, I know that I am fortunate to have use of all 5 senses, despite their less than 100%accuracy. And I,applaud you for owning up to your frustrations. You are such a positive voice that I know this unwashed difficult for you to put out to us to grow from.

  3. I may have mentioned the need for prescription sunglasses once or ten times in the past week. I too, love to read out in the sunshine and it’s becoming a problem.

    • Patty, I found a pair of Coppertone reader sunglasses at Costco that I tried. It was a bit better than not using sunglasses, but I think having proper glasses fit for my prescription will reduce a lot of eye strain. Good luck finding what works for you!

    • Thanks Misty! I used to wear contacts, but then my eyes became too sensitive to wear them anymore. The surgery was the best money I ever spent on myself. Seriously. I loved being glasses/contacts-free for so long! I just have to come to terms with my eyes changing…and that’s ok. 🙂

  4. Eyesight is such an essential sense in our world. I have worn glasses since grade 3 and have dreamt of waking up without having to grab for my glasses. I was never brave enough to go for eye surgery but wore contacts for many years. Michelle, I admire your courage to get the surgery! I also gave up on the contacts after my children were born.
    I am glad to hear that your situation has improved since your original post!!

    • Thanks so much, Janice! Yes, I gave up on contacts years ago and glasses frustrated me so much that I did the surgery. BEST DECISION EVER! I loved the results and this aging thing is the only thing standing in the way of my perfect vision now. Oh well, we all get older, right? I’m just going to fight it every step of the way. 😉

  5. Oh my! I thought I was the only one. I HATE my glasses too. I have been wearing them since I was in 2nd grade. I swear I am blind without them. I always feel icky and so not cute when I wear them. I’m too scared to get the surgery so I’m always thankful for my contacts.
    I’m so glad to hear about the update on your eyesight. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that the stronger reading glasses work out. Keep us posted!

    • Thanks Erin! Yes, I had worn glasses since Grade 3, wore contacts in high school, and found I could no longer wear contacts because my eyes were too sensitive. I think this love/hate relationship with glasses is far more common than we even think!

  6. I have worn glasses since I was 16. Hated them for a long time and took many pictures without them. but I always felt different. Worse part when at parties people thought I was stuck up because I did not greet them or seemed unfriendly. Truth be told , I just did not see them. Good luck on your vision.

    • Sight is nothing to be taken for granted, Faige! I, too, had similar experiences. The worst now is when I have to step back from my students because I can’t see their little faces when they come close to me!

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