When I was a young girl, I wasn’t aware that I had very poor vision because it was my “norm”. A person can’t miss what they have never had. When I was in first grade, the school nurse paid a visit to my parents to tell them she suspected I needed glasses and so off to the eye doctor we went. Indeed! The school nurse was correct. I was tested and found to be very, very nearsighted. Shortly thereafter, I received my first pair of eye glasses.
On the way home, with my new glasses sitting squarely on my face, I felt like I had landed in a Magic Kingdom. Everything I now saw had dimensions I had never seen before. The trees had many individual leaves which previously appeared to my near sighted eyes like large green cylindrical spheres sitting on top of big brown vertical sticks. As we came to a 4 way stop, we stopped at a stop sign I had never noticed before and I was excitedly pointing at it and spelling out the word STOP to my father. Previous to that day, everything in my life was seen as a large blur, and now, miraculously, everything was crisply in focus and I was having the time of my life. When a person thinks of miracles, this new pair of eyeglasses was my very first “miracle” made possible for me by a Doctor who had been blessed by God with the intelligence to become an Optometrist. I was so grateful, I felt absolutely giddy over my new ability to see things that people with 20/20 vision took for granted. Thank you God! Thank you Doctor! Thank you Mom and Dad! I was SO happy and very, very grateful.
My second miracle came around the age of 16 years when I was fitted with my first pair of contact lenses. For years I had worn my old coke bottle thick lenses, and while I was still grateful that they made it possible for me to see the world in focus, I now wanted a way to see the world without the heavy frames and lenses sitting on my face. I read about the newly invented contact lenses and began to save my money. This was going to be MY gift to myself paid for with my part time job. My parents could not afford to pay for this new frivolous way of seeing the world so I thought “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”
I remember the day the Doctor showed me how to insert the contact lens into my eyes and saying “You will never be able to see well without optical devices, but these little lenses will allow you to see the world as if you were born with 20-20 vision.” No more glasses! I put them in and as I walked out of the office, once again, my heart skipped a beat. Hello World! Look at me now! I felt instantly freer and even a little bit prettier without my enormous glasses. I also saw the world better because I was no longer restricted by eye glass frames that inhibited my peripheral vision. I loved my new world of seeing!
Now, I find myself back at the Ophthalmologist’s office, being made ready for cataract surgery. I have been 5 and ½ months out of my gas permeable lenses, but, thankfully, I have been allowed to wear soft contact lenses while my eyes adjust back to their pre-rigid contact lens shape. One month before surgery I will see a retina specialist who will take a look at my astigmatism and retina to determine if he needs to do any laser correction before my actual cataract surgery to lower possibility of a retinal separation. For 2 weeks before surgery I have to wear what I exaggeratingly call my “40 pound glasses” because of their weight and size.
I am old enough to remember Mr. Magoo, the cute elderly myopic cartoon character from long ago, and I have dubbed myself “Mrs. Magoo” because I, too, would most likely walk into walls, just as he always did in the cartoon, were it not for the help I have received from Doctors to be able to see the world.
I am nervous, but I am also very excited for this next step. I am grateful to have been born in this country in this time and place where medical miracles occur all the time with God using the brains and hands of trained Physicians. I am blessed.
I will be writing an update on how this next chapter goes on my journey to improved vision.
Please pray for me!