Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ABC Wednesday - "O"

"O" is for Optical Assistance


I have worn "optical assistance," otherwise known as glasses, eyeglasses or spectacles, since I was in my mid-2o's, almost 50 years. My mother told me I wore out my eyes by reading so much, but that diagnosis was not confirmed by the optician. My first glasses were "single vision" lenses, meant only to sharpen and enlarge figures and print, and I did not have to wear them except when doing close work. My eyes were otherwise fine; I could spot a hair on a fly at 100 paces!

As I grew older, that changed, and by the time I was in my late 30's I required bi-focals; optical assistance for both close work and distance clarity. Flies at 100 paces were now completely safe; not only could I not see the hairs on them, I couldn't even see the post they were sitting on. Sigh!


Getting used to wearing bi-focals took some time. For a few days, my eye-brain connection thought that I was walking on a surface that had a lot of holes in it. I did a lot of high-stepping and swerving; I'm sure I must have been comical to observe, and probably was thought to be under the influence of an intoxicant. Those feelings passed, and I happily wore my bifocals for several years. Then...

... "Tri-focals? What do you mean, I need tri-focals? Just because I can't read your silly chart, nor see the speedometer clearly, I need tri-focals?"

And, so it was, in my 50's (entirely too young) that my eyeglasses were ground with corrections for close, mid-range and distance vision.

Over the intervening years, the corrections have become stronger and stronger. I now have not only pretty strong tri-focal lenses, but also a pair of glasses especially ground for viewing the computer screen, and some cute (hah!) little reading glasses. The prescription for all of these changes (gets stronger) about every two years, and I am temporarily financially distressed when I have to get new glasses, because I generally have to replace all three.

Did I already say that I am very, very thankful to be able to see to drive, and read, and blog? No? Well... I am!



ABC Wednesday was created by Mrs. Nesbitt. Please visit the ABC Wednesday site to view others' interpretations of this week's letter, "O."

25 comments:

Janie said...

Thank goodness for optical assistance. I've worn glasses since I was ten. then progressed to bifocals. Would be great to have 20/20, but like you, I'm just thankful I can see with the help of lenses.

Arkansas Patti said...

I really had to laugh at your adjusting to bifocals. I wore my first pair on a date to a nice restaurant. High stepped at the wrong time and did a three point landing in the entrance. I now have Walmart computer glasses, TV glasses and reading glasses, all different strenghts. A prescription pair for when I need all three. Aging is such fun huh?

Reader Wil said...

Great word for "O"! Your story is well written and I am glad that you can do what you want. I was operated on both eyes and can see much better. Thanks for sharing and thanks for your visit too,Pat

Sylvia K said...

What a fun and great story for the O day! I'm beginning to realize how blessed I am to still only have to use reading glasses at 75. Your O Day story made me even more appreciative. Have a great week!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Pat, I never had a 'lick' of trouble with my eyes until I turned 43.. All of a sudden I couldn't read the hymn book at church... SO--since that time, I have worn the 'Walgreens' cheap reading glasses --and have several pairs, all over my house and one pair in the car.

Just recently, I have been having trouble with my long-view vision.. SO--I guess I need to get that checked out. It's always something, isn't it???

Hugs,
Betsy

Babooshka said...

I keep thinking I should go for an eye test getting older, but forget. Really should as a photographer. Good choice.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Terrific photo...and a story I can truly relate to...Thanks!

Patty said...

Oh how I know what you mean about high stepping. LOL I went from no glasses to bifocals when I was around 37. I thought I would treat myself on my 37th. birthday to an eye exam, since I kept blaming the thread company for their cheap thread and the needle company for poor workmanship and the newspaper for their bad printing. LOL

So I get the new glasses and I'm amazed, cottage cheese looks like cottage cheese, I had forgotten it had curds, the salad with some pepper sprinkled over it, looked like 3D.

But one day I was pushing the youngest in her stroller, came to this parking lot area, knowing there was a drive way, and thinking I saw an off set, I accounted for that, and stepped down, or at least thought I was stepping down, and about fell down, because it was smooth pavement. Did I ever feel stupid and hoped no one saw me. But then I guess they might have thought I was coming from across the street, which was a Tavern. LOL

I finally got a pair of glasses for the computer because my neck was getting sore from bending my head at an angle to see the screen better. I'm due for a check up in June, I'm afraid I will need new ones this time. The last three years he's been telling me, it's changed a little, and I've noticed I'm making more mistakes at what I'm reading just like before when I would get my S, P, 5, 8 and so on mixed up.

It is amazing what a pair of glasses that fit correctly can do for a person. I was told about ten years ago I have cataracts but thank goodness they don't seem to be progressing too much. I just wish I could get use to my hearing aids as well as I got use to my glasses. The hearing aids set in my closet most of the time.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I have used optical assistance since I was 12. Oh well!

Excellent post!

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, where would we be without these lovely assistants? Right. I know. Great choice! And, thanks for visiting - orange and onion salad sounds delightful -

Snap said...

Good one! Optical Assistance, indeed!

Elaine Dale said...

Great choice for "O", it wouldn't have occurred to me. I'm 53 and will have to bow to bifocals for the next pair of glasses...

RuneE said...

I got my first glasses for school work at the age of seven and have used glasses for work ever since. When I got to be 30 I wore them all day. At the age of 45 I got glasses with continuous, progressive focus. As far As I'm concerned, the person who invented them should receive a Nobel price.

PS Thank you for the comment - The kind of attitude you show is getting steadily more common.

Grace and Bradley said...

Listen to our mother, eventually they are always right. Interesting thing is when we get even older, we all eventually need cataract surgery to replace our old nature lens with new artificial lens. You know what the modern new lens can correct vision, no more glasses afterwards!! We will be young again.

Miss_Yves said...

Good choice !

Moannie said...

I see where you're coming from. Bane of my life, and cause of deep grooves along the nose and behind the ears...hate 'em but can't see without 'em.

spacedlaw said...

I've been wearing glasses since I was five so I can feel for your plea. Being able to see still - even with glasses - is a great thing.

Carol said...

An interesting and fun story and so relatable ...great "O" choice...

rhymeswithplague said...

I have required optical assistance since I was seven. At eighteen I acquired contact lenses and wore them for 35 years. Then, because of corneal abrasions, I had to go back to glasses. I think I look better without them, but glasses it is. Mrs. RWP never needed glasses until hitting 40, but a couple of years ago had to have cataracts removed from both eyes. So far I haven't needed that yet.

Good post!

Dr.John said...

You reminded me I need new glasses.

Granny Smith said...

At the age of 87 I have been through all the phases of optical assistance that you have recounted. I still use only one pair of glasses, however, the blended kind that with very little practice is good for any distance. Some people can't adapt to them, but it took me only about five minutes to forget I even had them on.

O is for Otherwise we would be blind!

Jeannelle said...

Great post, Pat! Funny description of your adjustment to bifocals, just as I imagine it would be. So far I'm still using single vision lenses....its a benefit of being very near-sighted since childhood.

Lilli & Nevada said...

I have worn glasses since i was 12 and my mother always used to make me drink carrot juice, said it was good for my eyes. Well i think she lied as why would i have to wear these darn things if that was the truth?

Denise said...

Very witty post, and an enjoyable read. I find myself squinting more these days. Your post reminds me I need to see about a prescription change. Have a great weekend.

jay said...

Ah, glasses!! I can't remember NOT wearing them! Over the years my eyes have got worse and worse, and now I have floaters and vitreous detachments and all kinds of stuff going on, but like you, I'm thankful I can see to read and blog, and do my jewellery and photography.

I tried varifocals twice and couldn't get along with them. They're the 'progressive', smooth, multiple focus type. But in the end I had to get used to them and I found that - for me - the key was in getting a large enough pair of frames. The opticians say it should make no difference, but it does. With larger frames I don't notice I have them on, and my head and neck don't ache. I still use a separate pair of reading glasses though.