A few years ago, I had a standard yearly eye doctor appointment, which I actually usually push to at least two years. Bottom line, I go only when I need contacts. I am somewhat near-sighted. It’s a mild prescription, compared to some. My husband is practically blind without contacts or glasses. For me, things are less extreme. Sometimes I get all the way to the car before I even realize I’ve forgotten to put in my contacts. My house is small, so it’s rare that something is far enough away to cause me to squint. But back to that appointment. While examining my eyes, he asked me if I was having any trouble seeing things close up with my contacts on. I was confused. I’m near-sighted; I have trouble seeing things that are far away. This wasn’t my regular eye doctor; I hadn’t been able to get an appointment on short notice. I couldn’t wait any longer because my contacts were about to throw themselves into the toilet in protest. Yes, I push things that far. I buy monthlies that I wear for several months rather than one month. Saves money, and I’ve never had a problem. I stretch every pair as long as possible, until the last pair becomes so uncomfortable I can no longer function. Then, and only then, do I book an appointment. So there I was, with the unfamiliar eye doctor, and he was asking me questions that made no sense. I was annoyed. I just wanted to wrap this up, get my contacts and leave. Then he asked me how old I was. “Forty-one, why?” He then predicted that I had maybe a couple of years left before I started having difficulty seeing things close up with my contacts on, but probably less. I left, new contacts in hand, feeling extremely aggravated because however confusing what he’d been saying had been, one thing was clear. He was calling me old.
I swear he was an evil witch doctor in disguise. Before that appointment, I hadn’t experienced anything like what he’d been saying. But only six months later, everything he’d predicted started happening. Maybe he should have been a psychic instead of an eye doctor. Now, a few years later, the problem is very much an everyday part of my existence. My contacts work perfectly for seeing far away, but when I try to read, it’s nearly impossible to focus. On my last trip to the eye doctor – not the evil one – we decided to drop one of my contacts a step in strength to help balance the issue. It helps a tiny bit, but now things aren’t quite as perfect far away. She did warn me that soon I’ll have no choice. I’ll either have to wear glasses over my contacts when I read, or buy specialized contacts that help my eyes adjust. I find myself wearing my glasses more and more often instead of contacts, to avoid the problem. It’s easier to stick my glasses on top of my head to read than it is to try to read with contacts in.
Getting older sucks.