The Blind Shall See …

 

man with spiral glasses 2

One of the sucky things about getting older (and that is a very long list) is that the eyesight begins to go.

(Wavy flashback lines go here)

I was diagnosed very early in life as being blind as a bat.  This became apparent when my Mom took my brother and I to see the Harlem Globetrotters when they performed in Jackson, Mississippi.  About halfway through the game I asked my Mom, “What are all those blinking lights up there by the ceiling?”

She looked at me incredulously.  “Do you mean to tell me you can’t tell what those are?”

“No, Ma’am,” I said.  “All I see is a bunch of fuzzy, blinking lights.”

My brother decided to get in on the incredulity act.  “Are you telling me you can’t read those ten foot tall numbers on the scoreboard?”

“Those are numbers?” I asked, incredulously.  We were all getting in on this incredibility thing.

A few days later I found myself at the eye doctor attempting to read the eye chart … and failing.  I could not see the giant, foot-tall letter “E” that he was trying to get me to see from just a few feet away.

Long story short, I was diagnosed as being legally blind due to being incredibly near-sighted.  Even the doctor was incredulous.  It was a big week all around for incredulity.  Luckily, at age 8, I had not driven myself to the eye appointment since I was now legally blind.

(Quick, wavy lines as we flash forward … because we need to wrap this up.)

It is a well known fact that, as people age, they become more farsighted.  We know this because movies and TV shows are filled with the joke of old people holding reading material as far away from their face as possible so they can read it.  People joke with each other in these situations, “Do you want to to go hold that across the room for you?”  This is followed by much laughter (most of it feigned).

So, because of that, all my life I have believed that, as I got older, my eyesight would get better because my creeping farsightedness would begin to cancel out my nearsightedness.

I found out that it doesn’t work that way.  All that happened is that I became both nearsighted and farsighted at the same time.  I had to wear contact lenses for my nearsightedness, and also reading glasses for my newly acquired farsightedness.

I complained about this at my eye appointment today and my doctor suggested I wear a different prescription contact in each eye.  I was skeptical.  I had a mental image of me walking around in circles all day long.  But I thought, “What the heck? What do I have to lose?”  So I tried it and he fitted me with a pair of sample contacts.

I feel like a beam of light shone down from me on high and a heavenly host began to sing.  I could see far away.  I could see close up.  I could actually read my phone without wearing reading glasses.  I could read traffic signs.  I was able to work at my computer without wearing reading glasses.  In short, I feel like I did many decades ago when I got my first pair of glasses.

I remember yelling as loud as I could, “Mom!  Come in here quick!”

“What?” she asked, alarmed, as she rushed into the room.

I pointed up at the ceiling and said excitedly, “Look!  There’s a fly!  On the ceiling!”

She did not share my excitement.  She did not realize I had never seen a fly from far away before.  Or anything, for that matter.

And now I can see both far away and close up for the first time in decades.  This is a great time to be alive!

 

 

12 comments

  1. Two things this reminded me. As a kid I had very athletic parents. When I started young in sports I couldn’t see a darn thing. You know that resulted in me always being picked near last. I tackled in football since I didn’t need to see a small ball. Got fitted for glasses in high school. When I got eyes PRK lasered in the service ‘ – age 35, I got mad that I no longer could see the very small very close in to do electronic soldering work. ” We have glasses for that”, they said!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nick! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I suppose I get lucky every now and then with a turn of phrase. As the saying goes (and it seems really apropos here), “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, Dave! Yes, eyes, for all of their magic and wonderfulness and complexity, do cause us more than their fair share of aggravation and inconvenience. I always leave the house juggling reading glasses, sunglasses, a lens case, contact rewetting drops, etc etc. But, as they say, it is better than the alternative.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. We’ve shared a couple of experiences. When I was in grade school, my teacher was the one who figured out I was near-sighted. When I got my glasses, the first revelation was that the leaves on the ground came from the trees around me. And when I had my cataract/lens replacement surgery three years ago — well. It was really special. I have the same arrangement now, with one lens for near and one for far. I thought it might take some time to get used to it, but once the swelling from the surgery was gone and the blurriness with it, there was no problem at all.

    Congrats on being clear-eyed and (presumably) bushy-tailed. Enjoy that new sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Linda, it seems we have had very similar experiences. Before getting glasses in about the 3rd grade, the teacher would write something on the board and ask the class what the answer was and everyone would put up their hands to be called on to provide the answer. And me, not seeing what she had written, used to wonder how the other kids knew what the answer was. I literally thought I must be stupid. But, of course, after getting glasses I could suddenly see what she was writing on the board and then I, too, could raise my hand to give the answers! I was quite relieved to realize that I was, indeed, not stupid. At least, not in that particular instance.

      And, yes, I was quite thrilled to walk outside after first getting my glasses and looking up and seeing individual, distinct leaves on the trees. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! Before it had been a green amorphous blob. Now there were millions of leaves! Simply beautiful! To this day I still love looking at trees and being able to see the individual leaves.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  3. Biff, Biff, Biff… Dear Biff Sock Pow…. I am so glad for you! Being very near-sighted myself (I only take my glasses off to take a shower and to go to bed… Sometimes I think about keeping them at night just to be sure that the person I wake up next to is in fact my bf, then again, it can be fun to doubt it when things are up and down…. but that’s another story :P) I totally understand you! I am guessing someday, I’ll have to try the 2 different lenses technique, and if my eye doctor doesn’t propose it, I’ll tell him: “Biff Sock Pow has them!! I want them too!”

    I made myself laugh a good deal at the beginning of your post too… When I read “blind as a bat” my brain went like “what’s the link between baseball gear and eye sight?” It took me a couple of seconds before it looked into its French-English dictionary, and remembered about bats from the animal kingdom.

    I hope you’re having a lovely week! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cyranny! As always you have me practically blushing with joy at your compliments. And I had quite a good laugh at the notion of you wearing glasses to bed just to be able to verify that the person next to you is your BF. As someone who sleeps so deeply that I almost always wake up disoriented, waking up half blind only adds to that confusion. That’s why I spring for the extra cost to get contacts I can sleep in.

      And I had another good laugh at your creative interpretation of the idiom “blind as a bat!” I have been hearing and using that expression my entire life and I’ve never even considered your alternative interpretation. I must say, I like yours a lot better! And, technically, baseball bats are blind, so it still works. And now I am picturing a belfry with dozens and dozens of baseball bats leaning against the walls and laying on the floor. So thank you for that! You brightened my week considerably, as you always do.

      (P.S. If you need a note from me for your eye doctor, just let me know.)

      Like

  4. That is a great little story! Nothing makes you appreciate something more than the prospect of it being gone. Whether it’s your sight, your hearing, or your life! I’m still feeling an appreciation of life on a granular level after a near death experience (something for another blog post) and this sounds similar. Why must we be put through hell to appreciate things!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Wilt! And you are very correct … we don’t appreciate the things we have with us every day. It’s not until they are gone that we truly appreciate their meaning in our lives. Or when we suddenly have something we never had before, we truly appreciate them. I think everyone can benefit from “doing without” … just so we can gain an appreciation of things we would otherwise take for granted.

      Liked by 1 person

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