Almost Blind

For many months during 2012, I struggled to see anything closer than three feet away. I didn’t talk about it to anyone.

It is very typical in your forties to require “cheaters” or bifocals, so I wasn’t surprised to find out that I needed them. I also heard that if you are nearsighted like me, that tends to improve. Well, I guess I am an exception to that. All my life I’ve worn powerful contacts, because without them I can truly see nothing from six inches past my nose. Glasses give me a headache within the hour. Oh, and I get vertigo too.

So, last year I consented to trying progressive lense bifocals. I bit the bullet.

Instant vertigo.

So now what? Am I going to be a blind artist? Maybe I’ll take those piano lessons again.

I was barely able to complete two commissioned pieces, then I left the studio: I thought it might be for good.

At the next eye appointment, I got my new prescription. No improvement in my far vision and my close vision was worse than ever. I  called a few days later to find out if there were any other options for me.

They said I could wear one contact for close, and one for far. Knowing myself, THAT, wasn’t going to work. Or, I could try the bifocal contacts. Hmmm…. Well, here goes nothing.

I put them in at home and was amazed. Looking into the bathroom mirror, I could see! Gee, I look older than I thought.

Shortly thereafter, my husband and boys came home from the store. My eight-year-old drama king comes over to me and says he’s starving. He’s got to show me how skeletal he is by lifting his shirt and sucking in his gut. He does this ALL the time.

Does he have hair around his belly button? I look closer, horrified. No, it’s –

“Your stomach is covered in dirt! Rick, come and see this!” I called for my husband.

“But I wash my stomach like this!” as he shows us a scrubbing motion.

Needless to say, he got a good soaking and scrubbing with my assistance that night. I’m happy to note that the first layer is off and we are working on the second. All those times these past months that he demonstrated his abject hunger and showed his stomach, I couldn’t see the dirt. How much else have I missed?

The bifocal lenses are far from perfect, but at least I can see up close. Now it’s back to the studio!


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