Not fully, you understand – just my reading glasses.
I have worn some kind of aid to sight since I was 16; I am short-sighted, a fact that was discovered when Much Missed Mother realised I couldn’t read the hymnboard in church. I was whisked off to the opticians the next day, and became the (not -so) proud possessor of NHS specs, brought out of my pocket only when I needed to see something at a distance. And, when visiting the cinema with the Beloved Male Companion of that period, only when the lights went down!
Then I progressed (?) to needing to wear them all the time, and then, in my mid 20s to wearing contact lenses, which I love.
Only, recently, I began to discover that my arms are too short; things that I was reading needed to be held further and further away to be in focus….and eventually, the optician suggested that reading glasses were now needful. And they made all the difference. But they also necessitated a whole new routine. It was now no longer sufficient to check “phone, keys, diary” when leaving home; now the mantra has become “phone, keys, diary, glasses”.
All manageable, and I am deeply grateful to live in a context and a generation in which all the things I need to function well in the world are easily obtainable.
But there has been a complication; when wearing both my contact lenses and my reading glasses, anything beyond reading distance becomes very blurred. And if I don’t wear my reading glasses, anything I am supposed to be reading becomes impossibly blurred.
And when a major part of life is standing in front of people and speaking – from notes – as well as trying to see faces and maintain eye contact, this was becoming more than a little frustrating.
So, when I had an appointment last week, I mentioned this, and Optimal Optician said “given where you are now in your sight, I think we can do something”. She then explained to me what she was going to do, and although I understood it at the time, I am not sure it has stuck. But what I do know is that by foregoing just a little bit of my distance vision with my contact lenses (though I still see well enough not really to notice the difference) my close vision has been adjusted such that I no longer need my reading glasses.
It’s not perfect, and I am having to learn to see like this…but it’s wonderful.
Not exactly ground breaking or a life-transforming miracle. But more than enough to make me smile, and give thanks for Optimal Optician, who listened to the reality of my experience and the demands of my particular context, and to all those I will never know about, whose work, skill and creativity mean I am typing this without glasses!