On Vision

I went to the eye doctor today for the first time since 2015. I honestly thought it had only been three verging on four years, but I looked it up.

2015.

5 years!

My vision has been on a slow decline for a while now. It’s always been a slight correction, but over the last couple of years, the astigmatism has grown so bad that if I close my left eye, I can’t see much more than shapes. Driving at night feels unsafe. The lights refect and starburst in every direction. Throw some rain in there and it’s what I might even call scary. Not to mention being on my computer for any period of time, incredibly uncomfortable. This has in and of itself, hindered the amount I’ve been writing in the last year. I struggle with headaches and migraines on the regular and things like an astigmatism doesn’t make it easier.

Today I went to the eye doctor, with this secret fear that I had eye cancer or a detached retina or something worse. No, I stay off of those medical pages online. This was all in my head. I was on the phone with my mom beforehand and I made her promise that if I did have eye cancer, she would make me jewel-encrusted eye patches. If I was going to lose my vision, I was going to do it with style. As it turns out, I do have something wrong with my eye, correctable with surgery, but it’s not something that I should be overly concerned about right now. Simply aware of, for all future eye appointments. But as long as it’s correctable with glasses, I’m okay.

When the doctor was finding the correct prescription, there was a moment in the beginning when everything was fuzzy. Not just fuzzy but disheartening. He swiped and swooshed with his metallic eye machine. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. He swooshed again and I could see. Not perfect, but for the first time in more than two years, I could see. A hundred decisions later, I started to cry.

“I can see that. I read the bottom line!”

He moved the screen lower so I could look upon the really tiny writing.

I read on.

“I CAN READ IT!”

I was crying. And then a thing I never expected to happen, he started to tear up. The doctor smiles softly, “these are happy tears… right?”

I nodded enthusiastically. “I really thought I had like eye cancer or something. I was ready to order fancy eye patches.”

He laughed. I laughed.

I can’t begin to explain this feeling. I knew I’d been holding onto this anxiety and fear of losing my eyesight. It was like warm water running off my shoulders, to read things I have never been able to read.

The stars above smiled and my heart feels lighter.

I went in expecting the worst. I am now looking forward to going back, only this time to pick up my new glasses.

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