I’ve worn glasses off and on since the sixth grade, when I suspect the doctor gave me them more because I wanted them rather than actually needed them. I remember the first pair of glasses I ever had: circular gold rims, horribly unflattering to my moon-like face. But, I was cool because I needed glasses. Yes, I now realize the irony of thinking a medical device you need to be able to see normally with is ‘cool’. I skated by with these not-so-necessary reading glasses until junior college, when I began to notice my growing annoyance with all of my teachers using what I thought were light-colored dry-erase markers at the same time. Surely they were all using yellow pens on the white board, and writing tiny — there’s no way that it was MY eyes. Well, after asking a friend I sat next to if the writing was really small, she turned to me and said “You need glasses.” Lo and behold after my first adult eye exam, it was learned I had Myopia which in non-scientific terms simply means nearsightedness.
I’m lucky that my prescription is relatively mild, in that if I step on my glasses or forget them, I can see clearly enough to drive or navigate my way through dark alley. However, they’re just bad enough that it makes driving uncomfortable, or watching a movie a fuzzy two-hour long spectacle of blurry edges. When I got the right glasses prescription, it felt like everything was crisp and in high-def. Life had lines and edges and definition. Glasses and I got along for the next ten years, and once I discovered RX glasses I could order online, I was thrilled at the array of cute plastic frames I could get for less than ten bucks. However, as my life got more active, I started to get annoyed with glasses. Glasses fog up on trips to the rain forest. Glasses get scratchy when you throw them in a backpack with no case. Glasses get cumbersome when you can’t wear non-prescription sunnies, and you need to always have normal glasses and sun glasses in your purse. You can’t wear glasses on a roller coaster or in the ocean and they’re a pain when it’s raining.
So, I decided to get contacts. The eye doctor hooked me up with a week’s worth of dailies to try, and then on Saturday I go back in for a follow-up appointment. A very patient lady at the Valley Optometry Center sat with me for an hour showing me how to put in and take out my new contacts, and I’ll tell ya, poking my eye on purpose is strange. Putting them in for the third time today was much easier than it was that first day, but what I’m struggling with most is how to tell if they’re the right orientation (inside out or not). She showed me over and over, and I’ve asked all my contact-wearing friends, but the difference between “a punch bowl” and a “cereal bowl” is definitely not significant on something the size of a dime that’s translucent. (And, if you’re wearing contacts, you can safely assume your eyes suck. Why are we having to look so closely at these damn things?!) A few people have said some contacts have a “123” stamped on them, but mine don’t, and even folding the contact in half like a taco gets me nowhere, because both ways look like a taco to me.
My solace is that friends have told me if I have the contact on inside out, I’d definitely know. For now, wearing contacts kinda feels like there’s something in my eye… not in the “AGH GET IT OUT” type of way, but in the “Oh, there’s this weird little sheath covering my cornea, but it’s all good ‘cuz I can read street signs!” kind of way. Either way, I’m looking forward to getting through the adjustment period and being one of those people that can poke my eye without flinching to successfully wear contacts. The idea of not needing to always have glasses in my purse or being able to buy non-rx sunglasses is very appealing, so I’m determined to make this work.
Do you wear glasses or contacts or both? Do you have any tips for a newbie contacts wearer?