One of the fondest memories I have, while also being one of the most traumatic, was the day I got my first pair of eye glasses. I had to be around 9 or so and I remember like it was yesterday, coming out of the JC Penney’s all dizzy and what not from the sheer medicine in those bad boys. I remember after I dramatically fell off the curb telling my daddy in very excited terms “Daddy look at the trees!! Look at how green they are” I remember him looking at me and saying “You really couldn’t see huh baby” Now this, in no way equals my journey to get my first bra BUT it was mortifying none the less. This was the beginning of my journey with glasses.
I look back over my love/hate affair with those bad boys and until very recently it’s been mostly hate. I’m blind ya’ll and even though my eye dr. assures me I’m not the blindest he’s seen or has seen the day he sees me, in my book I need a cane, dog and Stevie Wonder for inspiration!! I can’t see across the room. I can’t see right in front of my face. I have to actually prop something on my nose to see it. The ONLY time I can convince myself that I can half way see is in the pool. For some reason the chlorine and waves gives me the illusion I can see, but I’m not too far from wearing my glasses in the pool. I can’t even get it together in the shower. I can’t see to shave my damn legs!! I wing it, lol lol
When I got old enough to wear contacts (which meant out my momma house) I ran for the idea. I remember the liberation that I immediately got. I can remember just NEVER taking them off. I’ve had I know half a dozen eye infections due to just not taking those bad boys out. I wore week longs for months and month long for years, lol lol I had become convinced that if I never took those bad boys out, then no one will know I even wore glasses. It actually worked for awhile. Then I began to go through weight changes and as I gained weight, I had to deal with some negativity in my life in the form of some verbal and emotional abuse so the contacts became a fail safe I be damn if I was going to be fat and four eyed. I have a memory of standing in the bathroom dressed up crying because I couldn’t get my contacts in and my eyes were red and I just felt at that moment like the unattractive woman in the world and unfortunately that happened more than I would have liked.
Part of my glasses thing was that I spent all my money on contacts and just never took the time to look at frames, have someone work with me to find the best frames and decide for myself that I was just as fly in my glasses as I was without. Moving to Atlanta, it got critical in that I was dating, going out and trying to have some kinda life. I also became a bit more comfortable in who I was, so I began to run out on the weekend a little bit with my glasses on. The technology had advanced to the point where I could get, through the extra cost of shaving down my lens, a pretty good look. I also got myself some really good INSURANCE and began to explore my options. The diagnosis of having type 2 diabetes made me take a good hard look at my eye HEALTH. I only thought of two things (1) I would lose my legs and (2) I would lose my eyesight. I wasn’t going to let any of that happen.
Fast forward to say the last 6 years. There were a number of things that started me on my process of ACCEPTING WHO I WAS. Good, Bad and Ugly. One of the best was meeting my current eye Dr. He is not a big box Dr. (lens crafters etc.) He has his own office and comes as part of my Insurance package. He takes the time with you and will sit and talk to you for as long as you need. I instantly fell in love and joke all the time that outside of RG he’s the only one I want looking into my eyes, lol lol
Well he has some of the greatest frames ever and after RG insisted (a couple of years into our relationship) that I stop wearing the rickety frames I had forever and stop wearing the same damn pair of contacts. I went and just plopped down like $500+ Dollars to move into the new age of glasses. I LOVE MY FRAMES!! All of a sudden I look in the mirror and a combo of working on self, love of a good man, attention from a good Dr. and figuring out how to accept myself kicked in and I smiled. I smiled so much that I swore off contacts for a year to only wear my glasses (for all practical purposes) to make myself deal with me and put aside all the demons. This was not middle school!! Who is going around teasing someone about the thickness of their lens etc. Hell you couldn’t even tell with todays technology. That was a raging success and I began to like my glasses more than wearing contacts. I was finding that they were getting more difficult in my eyes and I was having glare issues etc. with them. Go figure!
Well in the last year or so I’ve actually been trying to wear my contacts but lo and behold, because of my vision and astigmatism and needing bifocals, the good old soft contact was beginning to fail me. I could either see and couldn’t read or vice versa. I went through a series of contacts before I just got embarrassed and didn’t come back.
Two weeks ago, I took the teenager and appeared myself humble at the Drs. doorstep. He gave me the side eye when I was honest about why I didn’t continue to search for the right contact for me. He then spent near an hour really going into my eyes, their weaknesses and what it looked like. Here is a part of our conversation while looking at infra film of my pupil
“This is a normal eye – you see how the colors are all even and spread evenly around the eye – it’s like a nice tropical island. The land just flows nicely into the ocean. This is YOUR eye – quite frankly the best description I can give you is…your eye is Tokyo after the Tsunami. The land is where the ocean should be, the ocean is where the land should be and there are rivers where no rivers should be existing”
“A traditional soft contact conforms to the shape of your eye. For someone like you – it’s like putting shades on top of shades – it’s not fixing your sight it’s duplicating the badness of your sight. A hard contact lays on top of your existing eye correcting your vision without conforming to the already set of shads you have on.”
I told him I’d think about it because I had hard contacts many years ago and basically it was like taking an old school coke bottle breaking it on the ground picking up some random broken glass and plopping it in your eye, lol lol
I came back this past Friday and said, ” I was ready” He said “he knew I was that’s why I already had them ordered.” Insert GIGGLE here!! I had to watch a video and then it was time to put the bad boys on. I had no trouble. I’ve never had issues with digging in and around my eye. I had more trouble with the numbing stuff she put in my eye than the actual contact. The very first thing I noticed was the same feeling I had so many years ago. “Daddy I can read that sign across the room and I can see it!”. Vision was very clear, yet I felt those bad boys in my eyes. I had to sit in the office for like 30 minutes and then he examined me, I took an eye test and sat in wonderment while he said I had tested out at 20/20 and then it was time to practice taking them out. His assistant, handed me a teeny tiny PLUNGER and told me to just attached it to the contact and they should come right out. HUH?! WHAT?! I did and on the first go round they came right out. I was ready!!
It has now been 4 days of me wearing these new Gas Permeable Contacts. The feeling that I have something in my eye (not like something irritating, but something) is subsiding. Currently I’m putting moisturizing drops in every couple of hours or so. I am experiencing glare issues, I swear my eyes are stuck wide open Pupils on Enlarge, lol I keep shades near by and will put them on in the buidling! when something gets in your eye IT HURTS!! you can’t swipe these around to work things out like with soft contacts. I could take an eye lash out my eye without taking my contacts out before. Now I just sit here crying and praying it will come out. I also, since these are bifocals, am trying to stop looking out the bottom half of the lens and looking straight ahead so I can get used to seeing clearly.
This is the first time since like 2009 that I’ve worn contacts to work!! The computer was just no place for me, my eyes and contacts before. So far so good though. I’m sure folks are catching me looking and squinting and just blinking rapidly. I really wanna get used to wearing them so when I do, I won’t have issues. I have worn them once at night and the experience wasn’t pleasant. Full of some very bad light and head light glare YET I could see the signs etc. So I have to try it again. I have been suffering with night blindness before all of this and I just hope that I won’t be those who just can’t really drive at night. SIGH.
I think the biggest thing is that I am COMFORTABLE either way it goes. I got new lens in my current frames and I still love my glasses. I can wear them all dressed up or all dressed down with no issues. I now want to be flexible on the eye wear and don’t need to. I have some wigs that just look more fierce with no glasses. When I look in the mirror, I see the same Pam whether I have them on or not. That’s the most important thing to me and getting over that hurdle has been monumental. I will NEVER AGAIN stand in front of any mirror thinking I’m unattractive!! You best believe that!!!
So below are a series of pictures I took taking you through the process of these new contacts, what they look like and how I’m working it out. I hope that this story educates, lets you into a little bit more of me and inspires you to love your damn self!!
Here they are. They are rigid, they don’t, you won’t be flipping these inside out, lol
One cool thing, you can rinse these with tap water! I feel like they are much cleaner because of this.
Yes you actually use this plunger to take the contacts out. I haven’t missed once, yet
Eureka!! Here it is. Not bad at all.