When I was young, very young, I was born with a cross eye. My left eye couldn’t keep straight vision. It loved to look to the left as my right eye looked straight. The condition itself has a name. It’s called Strabismus. It’s simply a problem with the eye muscles. Nothing would help it but surgery. At 3 1/2, my sweet and wonderfully talented father performed eye surgery to correct the problem. Yes, he just happens to be an ophthalmologist. How he managed to perform such delicate surgeries like mine always amazed me. To perform surgery on his own child, now that’s just incredible.
After that surgery, I got my first pair of glasses and an eye patch so my eye could heal. When the patch came off, I had exercises to perform, which I still do from time to time. I can’t tell you how long I had to wear those glasses, but it wasn’t terribly long and I looked so darn cute in them.
Fast forward to age 7. My big brother needed glasses. He was 13. I took note to how I saw the world and noticed it was sort of fuzzy. I told my dad and Voila! I had a pair of glasses too. In fact, dad told my mom that he was surprised I hadn’t said anything before then. My eyes were bad. My new spectacles were purple. The color on the glasses was called “grape”. I remember that. They were plastic frames with plastic lenses. I was in second grade.
Suddenly, the world was very clear. The trees outside of my dad’s office were so clear. I could actually see the leaves! The individual leaves on the trees! I couldn’t believe that you could see those… This was normal for people with normal vision. Wow, what I had been missing!
Each year, my eyes worsened. Each year I received a new pair of glasses and case to hold them in. Each year, my lenses got thicker and thicker. They started shaving and shaping the edges of my lenses so they looked less like coke bottles. Then, when I was about 15, they stopped changing. I wouldn’t wish this eyesight on anyone. Thank God for contact lenses. The glasses were so heavy and left marks on my face no matter how thin they tried to make the lenses or how small I tried to get the frames.
Now, I need reading glasses with my contacts or bifocals. who thought my eyes could get any worse. The prescription has even intensified some more. I didn’t think that was even possible after not changing for 31 years, but alas, it has. Damn it! I’m so worried that eventually I won’t be able to see or read anymore. It scares me, but I try to think positively and realize that that possibility is very small.
I’m just blessed that I can see what I do. I may not be able to see everything the way I used to, but at least I can see and I see fairly well. I thank God for that daily. I also thank God for my dad. Because of his care as a child, I can see now. I thank God for my brother, the optometrist. He keeps me seeing.