I had 20/10 distance vision for most of my life.  I know, that sort of makes me a freak of nature, but I enjoyed it a lot.  Somewhere in my mid-30s, my arms started getting too short.  I did not want to admit that my excellent eyesight was beginning to deteriorate, but when I could no longer see clearly enough to read, I had to give in to reading glasses.  I didn’t need a very strong magnification, but I did need something.

Still, my distance vision persisted in being quite good, if not quite 20/10 any more.  For several years, I made do with reading glasses.  The biggest hit came when I realized that I needed reading glasses in order to read music when I played my cello (although I didn’t need them to see the conductor).

Finally, though, a little more than 2 years ago, I realized that my distance vision had gotten to the point where I needed corrective lenses.  Actual prescription lenses, to be precise.  Sigh, time to make an appointment with the optometrist.

Coincidentally, my older daughter was also complaining about not being able to see the blackboard at school, so I made an appointment for me, for her, and for my younger daughter too.

Turns out we all needed corrective lenses, and the younger one has astigmatism.  We all found frames that we liked, and then we waited for them to come in.

I was so delighted to be able to actually SEE once more, that wearing glasses didn’t bother me in the least.

Last October, when it was time to go back and have our annual exam, my older daughter decided that she’d like to try contact lenses for a switch.  The doctor taught her how to put them on and take them off, and she seemed to get the hang of it very quickly.  In the coming days and weeks, however, she experienced so much trouble and frustration with them, that she gave it up entirely and continued to wear her glasses.  Until the start of this school year, when she decided that she really wanted to wear them every day.  With much practice, she’s gotten much better, and can get them into her eyes in the mornings with very little difficulty.

I’ve NEVER wanted contact lenses.  Anything having to do with eyes makes grosses me out a little bit, and the thought of putting something into my eye ON PURPOSE just makes me shudder.

But…

Now that I’m a Mary Kay consultant, I wear makeup a lot more frequently than I did before.  And with my up-close vision being what it is, it’s challenging for me to see exactly what I’m doing when I’m putting on eye makeup.  A magnifying mirror helps a little bit, but not as much as I’d like.  Also, once I have eye makeup on, it’s more difficult to see what it looks like when I’m wearing glasses!

So I’ve been toying with the idea of contacts for the first time in my life.

Because of the way our vision insurance is structured, neither of us were eligible for new frames or lenses until January of this year, so I waited until January for our “annual” vision check.  I told the optometrist (a new doctor who has recently purchased the practice from the former owners) that both my younger daughter and I were considering contacts, and that I wanted to switch my older daughter from daily disposables to monthly disposables (so very tired of seeing all those little plastic cases go into the trash every day – NOT very environmentally friendly – plus, I trust that her hygeine is acceptable enough to keep her new contacts clean so she doesn’t give herself an eye infection!).

The doctor put my younger daughters contacts in for her, and then the assistant started training her on how to get them out.  She wasn’t having any luck after many attempts, and her eyes were starting to hurt, so after nearly 30 minutes, the doctor took the lenses back out for her.  My little one is now convinced that she does NOT want contact lenses (she didn’t really think she wanted them to start with, but thought she’d try it anyway, just to see what it was like).

The doctor gave me two contacts and a bottle of fluid.  She offered to put the lenses in for me, but with my nerves about eyes, I thought it would be best to do it myself.  I got the right contact lens in on the very first try (although I think that might have been beginners luck…), and then I tried and tried and tried, but just could NOT get the left lens to go in.  I’d get very close, but then blink it off or something.  After almost a half an hour, I was too frustrated to continue, so decided to take the right one out.  Not as easy as it sounds – I could NOT get it out.  I tried several times, becoming more frustrated with each attempt, and finally the doctor took it out for me (I really appreciated her patience, and told her so several times).

I picked a new frame that I think I’m going to like very much (although not the designer frame that I *really* liked), and took my girls and myself home after being in the office for about 3 hours.  The entire next day, my eyes felt really sore and just *tired*.

I’m not yet sure if I’m going to make the attempt at contacts again or not.  For one, if I do, it will be an out-of-pocket expense.  For another, I’m afraid I’d end up being like the guy the doctor told me about who had to come in to her office for 8 different half-hour training sessions before he was able to master the art of getting his lenses in and out of his eyes.  I’m quite certain I don’t have that level of determination or patience!

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