These days, a pair of glasses costs me about $900 and lasts approximately six months. . . or less. That has been true for several years. Sometimes my vision changes between fitting and finish. I’ve had glasses re-made multiple times due to the complete inability to get the prescription right despite the fact that I see some amazing specialists.
There is no point in doing surgery, not even for the growing cataracts, at least, not yet; nothing will get me to the point at which my sight provides a consistent, clear image even corrected. I can see well enough to drive though not necessarily at night, in the rain, or when fatigue overtakes me. Then I stay home, curl in a rocker with my tablet, and contemplate life.
The glasses that I’m currently wearing resulted from the collective wisdom of two different opthalmologists who disagreed both on what ails my eyes and how to address the malady. I rolled the dice and went with the recommendations which came last, from a fancy, can’t-recall-his-area-of-(laugh line)-focus young guy at Children’s Mercy South in Overland Park. How could I not follow the advice of a man half my age who sees adults in a clinic at a children’s hospital?
Two months later, I’m squinting again, pulling the frames from my face and peering through squeezed slits at the computer. I can still see to drive but I can’t quite make out my speedometer or the navigation panel on the dashboard. I can read street signs, speed limits, and the license plates of the vehicles in front of me. I can’t read without taking off the spectacles and pushing the book to my nose. I can still see the stove but not the directions in the cookbook — not without using my bare face pressed to the page.
I’m safe to drive, people; but not to type. Funny thing, for a writer. So I put the laptop on a pulled-out drawer and lean down to its dimmed surface. I can see the words from that perspective.
Did the Republicans leave us a deduction for prescriptions? Because at a grand a pop, I’ll need two this year, I reckon.
But I’m not complaining. As I ruminate from the second floor of my tiny house, I hear again the sound of my twelve-year old, as I navigated the Blazer through the Needle’s Eye at Custer State Park. When the car behind us repeatedly honked, Patrick rolled down the window, leaned out, and hollered, “Back off, buddy, our driver only has one eye!’ The guy came to a dead stop and let us proceed through the stunning rock formation. An eye for an eye.
It’s the seventh day of the fiftieth month of My Year Without complaining. Life continues.