Thursday, February 24, 2011

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" ~ Satchel Paige

And now here I am, with BIFOCALS.

My eye doctor recommended I go ahead and get bifocals even though my need for them is relatively slight, because she thought this would be a better way to get used to them.  My sad, special eyes are terrible, I have a -10 prescription, which is pitifully strong.  I have a limited choice in eyeglass frames because of the thickness of my lenses, even if I get the expensive top of the line high index superthin lenses they are still way too thick for rimless or even wire rims.

So my "slight" bifocals -- and I got the "progressive" lenses so there's no visible line -- came in this past Sunday.  I had heard about people having trouble getting used to them, but I thought that was because you have to get used to looking down to read and looking straight ahead to walk, etc.  You obviously have to look through the part of the lens that has the correct prescription for where you are trying to see.

I had no idea that everything would be so distorted throughout the whole lens, though.  It's like getting new glasses with a stronger prescription, there is always an adjustment period, only this is way way way more intense.  In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to get the new glasses, and immediately drive to Walmart to go shopping.  Turning my head back and forth and scanning the shelves looking for cans of tuna and two-liters of Coke Zero and a loaf of whole wheat bread was just way, way, way too disorienting.

Greg kept looking at me, white as a sheet and dizzy, and suggesting that I might prefer to wait in the car.  Would there, in fact, be anything much worse than vomiting in a crowded Walmart on a Sunday afternoon?  It would have been interesting to see how many iPhones would have been whipped out and pointed at me, posting pics of my sad, sick moment on Twitter.

But I made it okay, and felt fine after getting home and lying down for a while.  Headaches have been minimal, too, although every now and then I still feel slightly queasy from the distortion.

So far I am not enjoying old age.

And, since I can only wear contacts once every week or two, contacts with bifocals are too expensive for me to justify so I got "reading glasses" for close-up vision when I'm wearing contacts.  I am now officially a person who carries old lady glasses around in her purse for when I need to read some small print on a menu or a price tag.

Also, I have a bunion.  I have old lady eyes and old lady glasses, and now old lady feet and, inevitably, old lady shoes.

Soon, I will stop listening to Nicki Minaj, and will begin tucking folded, used tissues into the wrists of my long sleeved nightgowns. 


  1. Oh, Ellen! You are truly only as old as what a Humanities professor of mine called "the you behind your eyes" makes you.
    I think of you as young and fun and there is nothing wrong with reading glasses when they are tiger-striped or cat-eyes with rhinestones:)
    Seriously, I wear contacts to see and glasses to read because it helps me control my ADD by being physical reminder to concentrate:)

  2. I have bunions. They're hereditary. I've had them for a while but they don't bother me enough for surgery.

  3. at least the reading glasses come in cute, colorful frames, so you can be a hip old lady ;)

  4. Wooz, thank you for thinking of me as young and fun. I think of you the same way!

    violetsinblue, my mother has bunions, too, but hers aren't painful. Weirdly, I have a bunion only on my right foot, and it hurts like a bitch. I'm trying to find shoes that don't hurt, I really don't like the idea of surgery.

    Susan, I did get cute green frames! Greg tells me they look adorable, but I am not sure he is unbiased. :)

  5. dang! You could have been on "People of Walmart"! ;o)

    ...says the one with the green and purple framed, progressive, TRIfocals....ugh. I don't know that I'll forget the day when the eye doctor looked at me and said, "Oh...are we close to 40?"


    Take care!
    :o) BJ


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