Even in very familiar places, I am uncomfortable walking around without my glasses. Yes, I can see my own feet, but not well enough to distinguish individual toes, let alone toenails. Considering I am less than five feet tall, that mean I can see less than four feet with any clarity.
To put a finer point on it–my clear vision is probably about the length between the end of my nose to my bicep. Maybe.
At any rate, I hesitate to move around much without the aid of my glasses, because any object on the floor, unless it is drastically different in color from the floor’s surface, just blends into the overall terrain and can possible do me some damage. Or I can do damage to said object.
Shoot, I put my glasses on even when I’m going to the bathroom without turning on lights in the middle of the night.
Knowing this, you can well imagine the feeling of panic deep in the pit of my stomach when I reach out to get my glasses and they aren’t where I left them.
Oh. My. GOD!!!
When I was a kid, I was a big Scooby-Doo fan, and particularly related to Velma. Short, smart, nearsighted Velma. A good bump or jerk could leave her sans specs and helpless, and it seemed funny to so many people I knew. But I often found myself with sympathetic tears in my eyes, because I know that feeling: “My glasses! I can’t see without my glasses!”
Once, a few years ago, I readied myself for a shower. I put a fresh towel on the toilet seat and placed my glasses, neatly centered, on top. This was nothing new. Routine, routine.
While I was showering, all unknown to me, my daughter came into the bathroom. She moved the towel and my glasses, used the toilet, replaced the towel and left the room, declining to flush so I wouldn’t get scalded by lack of cold water. All quiet and polite, my child.
The problem was, when she returned the towel, the glasses didn’t go with it.
I got out of the shower. Clean and dripping, I reached for the items so carefully left in place, and my glasses were…GONE!!
Oh. My. GOD!!!
There I was, wet and panicked. I wrapped the towel around me and began feeling my way over the top of the toilet tank, thinking that maybe I had left them there instead of on the towel. Which was just a ridiculous notion, you know. When you’re this impaired, you make sure, very sure, where your glasses are placed when they’re not on your face. But–wishful thinking, you understand.
Of course, they weren’t there.
And now, I was afraid to move. Yeah, there were my feet, those pink blobs. Stupid beige carpet, I could barely discern where my feet ended and the carpet began. My glasses were brown. I’d never see them before I stepped on them, and then what?
“Help!” I yelled. “Hello, the house! Who’s here? Help!”
It took a few minutes, but my daughter finally heard me calling and came in. She admitted to moving the towel to the toilet tank and back to the seat. It took her an eternity to locate the glasses, which had fallen off the towel and behind the toilet when she was moving things back to the toilet seat.
It took even longer for my heart to return to a normal rate.
Variations on this theme have happened occasionally over the years, but that might have been the scariest time, because I couldn’t pinpoint anything I had done personally to make those glasses change locations and had no idea my kid had been in the room at all.
Knowing this about me, you can understand why I have never felt compelled to laugh when Velma is on her knees wailing, “I can’t see without my glasses!”
Recently. I have had some issues with glasses that have nothing to do with them being lost. What is being lost is my ability to see with or without them.
These last few months, I have been dealing with cataracts. They left me with foggy, less than perfect vision even with corrective lenses. I always think my lenses are dirty. The left one, especially; it seems to have a smeary film on it.
I don’t think I have ever cleaned my glasses so often in all the years I’ve worn them, and they aren’t actually dirty at all. The lenses of my eyes are the problem.
Last night I was wishing for a teeny, tiny squeegee to clean my eyes with. It was funny, but not.
I don’t know if the cataracts are ready to be removed, but I assure you, I am ready for them to be gone.
Say a little prayer or put out some good vibes for me, will you? I have an appointment coming up, and I really hope to be told that these nuisances are ripe and ready to be removed.
In the meantime, I am reading and writing slower than ever due to eyestrain. But fear not! The work goes on! Nothing can stop me. I have my glasses. And the other glasses on top of my glasses. I look funny, but I carry on.