Billy walked into the house, slammed the door, kicked the table, and threw his coat on the floor in disgust. In the pocket was the prescription from the optometrist, and it was just -0.25 more than his last examination, a whole year ago. He'd worked so hard trying to become more myopic and it just wasn't working. Was he just too damn old?
It was 3 years ago when he first started doing this. He didn't know why at the time and still didn't. Many a time he'd tried unsuccessfully to explain it to himself. Telling others about his little.....hobby....wasn't an option. Most people would think he was deranged to try and make his eyesight worse. There were a few people on the Internet he spoke to, but they all seemed to have much more success than him, and he felt like a failure. "Results vary" was always the disclaimer in this illicit pursuit as in any health-related issue. For Billy, results were pathetic. In three years he had succeeded in creating just over one diopter of myopia. When he'd mentioned this in an e-mail to one of his mentors it was suggested that he began too late, that younger people had the greatest success at induced myopia. Billy was 31.
So he sat down at the computer and surfed the usual sites and message boards. As usual, there were the success stories. He wondered how many of them were actually true, and how many were wishful thinking. Some rang true, people who'd worn 2 diopters overcorrection for several years and achieved 2 or 3 diopters of myopia. Others he wasn't so sure about. People who'd achieved 6 or more diopters? Maybe they were myopic anyway. People who walked around 5 diopters overcorrected? It seemed like a stretch. But he reminded himself that they were younger. And if they weren't...........well he decided they were just boasting. It made him feel slightly better anyway.
Then something caught his eye. It was an article about a new type of contact lens in a therapy called orthokeratology. Worn overnight, they pressured the cornea slightly to change shape, creating a temporary correction. The only problem was, the method was to flatten the cornea, which effectively created farsightedness. NOT what Billy wanted - he wanted to be nearsighted. For a moment or two he thought maybe farsighted would do, if it meant stronger glasses, but he brushed that aside.
Then a flash of inspiration hit him. If he was to use these lenses, flatten his corneas and then get refracted, it would APPEAR that he was farsighted...........
Two months later after a great deal of research and expense Billy managed to obtain the experimental contact lenses. They weren't available to the public yet, but he'd had to get them illegally anyway, because he wanted the strongest ones he could find, much stronger than his actual prescription would call for. The strongest they had created in the lab had never actually been tested out. Researchers had found that higher powers were just too uncomfortable for the test wearers, and were concerned about the risk of damage. Billy had aquired the unused strong lenses from a janitor at the laboratory, and he'd paid the man handsomely to commit this crime for him.
Uncomfortable wasn't the word. The lenses designed to correct 6 diopters of myopia were painful to insert and agonizing to wear. His eyes began to water and just ten minutes later he'd had to take them out. But Billy was an obsessive and he tried again, and again. Each time he inserted the lenses he lasted out a little longer. Day in, day out he persevered until he could leave them in for well over an hour but his eyes were red afterwards and took several hours to recover. After 3 long months he finally reached a point where he'd been able to fall asleep in them, but the pain always woke him after a few hours. He was beginning to think he'd never be able to cope with all night.
But they did have an effect. After each session it took longer and longer for his vision to return to normal, and the longer each session was, the more farsighted he became temporarily - he'd had to buy several pairs of identical reading glasses with plus lenses in a variety of strengths to be able to function normally with close work as the effects wore off. He explained the red eyes away to colleagues at work as the result of a persistent infection, but he never knew quite whether they noticed the ever-changing lenses. Quietly, he laughed to himself, that somebody must have noticed, and was going crazy inside wondering about it......
Then one night, quite out of the blue, he slept right through. When he did wake his eyes were burning with pain, because he'd slept 9 hours. This was much, much longer than he'd ever managed to tolerate them before. Luckily it was a weekend, because suddenly he found himself in a major blur, much more than he expected. It took him a while to figure out why. He'd pushed his sight beyond the point at which he could accomodate for the farsightedness. It wasn't just close things that were out of focus now, but everything. He guessed that he had achieved roughly 5 diopters of temporary hyperopia. His desire to go to an optometrist and be refracted was overwhelming, but he decided to repeat this every night, hoping that his eyes could take it without becoming so red.
But Billy hadn't thought it through properly. The strongest plus glasses he owned were +3.50 and even with those on he was struggling. Reading was a challenge. And if he wore those to work, and kept them on all day, someone would smell a rat. He decided he'd have to take some time off work to work this through. By the end of the week he felt he was ready to test out his eyes on an expert. He had no idea what the doctor would say, and if there were queries he'd just act dumb.
But to Billy's surprise, it went totally smoothly. He wore +3.50 glasses to the examination, and the doctor told him he'd need an increased prescription, "That'll probably help with the obvious strain you're getting". It was that simple. Billy got the glasses prescribed, for convenience, but his next stop the following morning was the other side of town.....
This was the real test. He had made an appointment to see a LASIK surgeon. It was a morning appointment to ensure maximum effect of his overnight efforts. The examination there was thorough, but apparently routine. Nobody suspected he had created his hyperopia. But there was a snag. Over four diopters of hyperopia could not be treated with standard LASIK. Billy was booked in for a procedure called photorefractive keratectomy.
The next day he had to return to work. He had no choice but to wear his strong plus glasses, as he was diligently keeping up his night work. He got some very odd looks, but no comments, and he pre-emptied any further problems by announcing vaguely that he was having problems with his eyes and was having surgery in a few weeks' time. Nobody asked him details about it, which was a great relief.
When the day came he was a little nervous. What if something went horribly wrong? He had really messed around with his eyes. This was very risky. But he wanted to get away from the sore eyes, and although there was a satisfaction of sorts in wearing strong plus glasses, it wasn't what he really wanted.
Luckily the surgery went just fine. He could see well enough to walk home, and then he waited.......
He awoke the next morning with some discomfort, but it paled in comparsion to the pain of wearing the pressure lenses. Not really knowing how much blur was from the procedure, how much was leftover from the lenses, and how much was just temporary after surgery anyway, he didn't rush to an optometrist. At first however, he was a little disappointed. But as the day wore on, the blur increased. Clearly his corneas were reshaping themselves. He worried that this might cause problems with the healing from the surgery, but it seemed sufficiently gradual that no harm was being done. 36 hours after the surgery he started to find the blur problematic. Wearing his -1.25 glasses wasn't helping one bit, so he put an old pair of -1.00's over the top and it still wasn't quite enough. This was a wonderful feeling, the bare minimum he'd achieved was -2.50, and if that was it, well he could live with that. But he thought it would probably be more. His dearest wish was to reach dependency level. He felt he was very close to that, and went to bed very satisfied.
The next morning came as quite a shock. Instinctively he turned to the clock on waking and saw nothing but a blur. He quickly sat up and found his bedroom had disappeared into a fog. A mixture of emotions came over him, and one of them was terror. He couldn't see anything beyond a few inches and he hadn't prepared for this at all. Why? Wasn't this what he wanted? Somehow he'd expected the blur he'd known while temporarily farsighted to be the same when nearsighted, but it wasn't. There was no accomdation he could use to overcome this.
Somehow he had to get to a doctor. Not knowing quite what his final Rx would be he hadn't bothered to buy any strong minus glasses ahead of time, and he was now asking himself why. Even a wild guess would have worked better than nothing. He showered and dressed in a complete blur, and then stopped...and sat down....and laughed....and thought "You idiot! Be happy, this was what you wanted for so long!". The practical implications were a problem right now, yes, but this was delicious.
Still he had to find his way into town. It was scary walking downstairs and he held on tight to the rail. He decided against crossing the street, and took a bus going in the opposite direction, knowing that once there he could get another one to the mall without having to risk his life. Walking so slowly and cautiously he felt a complete idiot, but he managed to make it to the One-Hour Optical without tripping on anything or walking into a wall. Most people watching him, he thought, probably avoided him, thinking he was drunk, drugged or crazy.
He told the optometrist on duty he'd broken his glasses and didn't have a spare. Obviously there really were people dumb enough to do that as the doctor didn't raise an eyebrow, and just over an hour later, wearing a pair of -5.00 glasses, Billy emerged from the store feeling so happy he thought he would burst. He could see clearly for the first time in months, but that delicious blur was there as soon as he lifted the glasses. He was totally dependant on them, and that felt fantastic. He wanted to dance and sing and shout it from the rooftops. "I'm myopic, I'm nearsighted, I'm a glasses-wearer!" There was nobody to share his happiness with. He was as invisible to the crowds as they were to him if he took his glasses off.
BIlly just had to celebrate. After the incredible cost of this whole adventure (he'd had to sell his car to fund it), one more wild expense wouldn't matter. He went into a very chic bar and ordered champagne. Billy sat by the window sipping champagne and watching the world go by for a full hour, just soaking up the pleasure of wearing glasses he really, really needed.
Now to return to work and TOTALLY confuse people who paid attention to lenses..........