I don’t generally worry about my age and accept the white hair, the wrinkles and other effects of gravity with – I hope – good grace. But there is one aspect which has always niggled me and that’s declining eyesight. The need to have a pot of cheap Primark magnifying glasses by my computer began some years ago but steadily I progressed to proper glasses from the optician.
The pot of cheapies were put to one side for a while as the more serious prescription glasses became ever more necessary. I didn’t worry about that one jot, except that having to wear them to read began to change my habits. I could no longer just pick up a book and start to read – first I had to find my glasses. I muttered in the car when trying to read the map wearing my sunglasses and sometimes resorted to wearing my sunglasses over my reading glasses, bringing back memories of my Nan, who would improvise and create her own bifocals by wearing two pairs at once when she was watching TV and knitting at the same time.
When I became tired of putting them on and off, I tried a pair of varifocals, but found the reduced field of vision a real nuisance. The optician I’d consulted told me that I should try moving my head a little more – and as a result, I found myself a new one (optician, that is, not head!)
With much better advice and service from people who were more interested in my eyesight than the frames they were selling me, I acquired a great pair of varifocals which were much more comfortable, though I still didn’t feel I needed them all the time and continued to take them on and off as necessary.
But recently, I found myself peering at the computer screen rather and from time to time I got a crick in my neck from trying to look through the right bit of the lens which wasn’t necessarily the bit I should have been looking through. A pair of stronger magnifiers which I’d been given as part of a “two pairs for one” offer found its way to my desk and I thought it was time I went for another eye test. I explained to the sweet ophthalmologist about feeling sad that I needed to wear glasses and if I could choose one thing to change about myself, it would be to have my great eyesight back. He was most sympathetic and said that he thought he had the answer.
Would I like to give them a try? Yes! Would I like to try now? Yes! Did I mind if he put lenses in right now? Ooooh!
He disappeared and came back very excitedly with a couple of boxes in hand and within two minutes had fitted them and we were both smiling. Perhaps he’d never had such an enthusiastic response before? Perhaps he’d never been able to fit them so quickly or easily? Either way, he had one very happy potential contact lens wearer in front of him!
He explained that he would advise wearing two different prescriptions: one for reading in my left eye, one for distance in my right eye and promised me that my brain would work it all out and enable me to go about my everyday life reading and looking into the distance seamlessly. Mind you, he warned me that the optimum age for adjusting to such things was 47!
Here we are, two weeks on. I have been taught how to use the disposable lenses and have put them in and taken them out several times under supervision. I know what to do and what not to do whilst wearing them and have been given a sample pack of ten pairs to try. I’ve worn them for four whole days and this morning, took a deep breath and drove whilst wearing them. They are incredibly comfortable and I forget that I’m wearing them.
It’s as if I’m 47 again!
Except my bedside table gives the game away.