Anyone who reads this is going to think I am crazy, but just remember that I have ended up getting exactly, what I wanted. It has taken a lot of planning, and a lot of thinking, but now 13 years after I started I do not have one iota of regret that I have made myself so myopic.
I suppose I could have been called a precocious child. I was reading printed books before I was 3. By the age of 4, I was using the internet. At some point during my formative years I decided that I wanted to eventually wear glasses. I might have gotten this from my babysitter Julie, who at age 14 almost never took off her glasses. I liked the appearance of her glasses. They were a blue and silver frame, and the lenses were almost flat on the front and looked, to a 4 year old, to be pretty thick. Once in a while Julie would let me put on her glasses, but only when she had her sunglasses with her, because she always said she was blind without her glasses, and didnít feel comfortable without them. And, every time I put her glasses on, I remember being amazed that I could see everything quite well through her lenses. Was I already beginning to become a little nearsighted? I donít really think so. From everything that I had read a 4 year old has an amazing amount of accommodation, and I think that I was just able to accommodate easier than someone else might have been able to. I would have loved to have been able to wear Julieís glasses forever, but it would have been impossible to explain this to my parents, and I was smart enough to know this.
I was also smart enough to watch Julie one day when she was at our place looking after me. Julie wanted to get contact lenses, but her parents were not willing to buy them for her. So, since Julie had already worn a trial pair of contacts that were given to her by her eye doctor, Julie went online using our computer and was able to order contacts from an online contact supply company. Julie found that the company would not ship to her until she had paid them, but she didnít have a credit card, nor did she have access to one. But the company was willing to hold the order until she sent them a money order. So Julie got a money order, and sent it off. Within a week or so, a package arrived at our house from the company. Julie had used our address so that her parents wouldnít find out that she had defied their wishes.
Julieís contact lenses were -7.50. I had no idea at this time that this meant her glasses were -8.50D, but since I could wear her glasses I figured I could wear the same contacts. I went on the same web site that Julie had been on. By this time I had turned 5, and I had more experience in doing research. So, I did exactly the same thing that Julie had done. There were lots and lots of different contact lens manufacturers. And the sizes were a bit of a mystery to me. But Julie, at 14 had needed a diameter of 14.3 and a base of 8.7, so I figured I should probably get the same size. I was going to order the same strength, but at the last minute I decided I should order some -5D contacts and put that down for the right eye, and then I would put -7.50D for the lenses in the left eye column. So, I ordered 4 lenses of each power. They gave me the total, and I went to the post office and got a money order. This took almost every penny that I had saved from my allowance, but I sent the money order away. I hadnít thought about it, but I used my own name and address. Then I got scared. What if I wasnít home when the package came? Or worse still, what if one of my parents got the mail? But I was fortunate, and I was with Julie when the mail was delivered. Julie didnít even ask what was in the package, and I think she thought it was something for my parents. I hid the package in my room.
I didnít have enough money yet for contact lens solution, nor could I afford a plastic hard case for the lenses. I had been smart enough to research the care of contact lenses on the internet, and I had gotten Julie to show me how she put the lenses into her eyes, and how she took them out. So, I figured that as soon as I could buy solution and a case I was in business. I remember that I bought the case first, and 2 weeks later I got a small bottle of solution. Finally, about a month later I was ready. I had opened the 2 vials of -5D lenses the night before, and I had placed them in the case. The next morning I managed to insert a lens in each eye, and I was pleased that they felt quite comfortable. I was certainly glad I had not tried to start off with the -7.50D lenses, because for the first hour or so I had trouble managing to keep my focus. But I managed to wear those lenses all day at day care, and then instead of taking them out when I got home, I managed to leave them in while Julie was there. Before I had supper with my parents I did take them out, and it was a good thing I had, because my mom looked at my eyes and wondered why they were so red. By the following morning my eyes felt better, so I did the same thing all over again. Over the next 2 weeks I managed to reach a point where I could wear the contact lenses from the time I got up in the morning until the time I went to bed at night. And, my eyes were no longer red. By the time I had done this for 4 months I could no longer see much of anything more than a few feet away until I put my lenses in.
At this point I decided that I would start to use the -7.50D lenses. I carefully put the -5D lenses back in the bottles they came in, and filled the vials with solution. Then I started to wear the -7.50D lenses for every day wear. The only time I noticed the extra power was when I was reading. For a few weeks I was no longer able to bring my reading material up as close to my eyes as I wanted to. I had been wearing the -7.50 contacts for about 5 months. I was going to be a first grader in about 3 weeks, and while I was reading one Sunday morning my dad noticed how close to my eyes I was holding my book.
"Carrie, get your nose out of that book. You will ruin your eyes if you hold it that close!" Dad exclaimed.
I held the book back from my face. "But daddy, I canít read the words from here." I said.
That night at supper mommy and daddy were discussing my eyesight. They kept trying to test me by pointing things out for me to see in the distance. I just kept saying that I couldnít see that, and soon they came to the conclusion that I needed to see an eye doctor before school started. Three days later my mom took me to the eye doctors. Even though I could see perfectly well with my contacts in I made her lead me to the building, and to the elevators. We went into the office and I told my mom I needed to use the washroom, so after we checked in with the receptionist mom took me to the washroom. While I was in the stall I removed my contacts and placed them in the lens case that I had filled with solution before we left home. Now I really needed mom to lead me back. I could see virtually nothing.
There was a lady in a white coat that came to get me, and she took me back to one of the rooms, where I sat in front of a machine. She had me look at a bunch of things, and finally I was finished. Mom was with us, and she asked the lady if I needed glasses. The lady told her that I was extremely shortsighted, and she was surprised that my parents hadnít noticed it before. I think mom felt very bad about that.
The lady took us down the hall, and sat me in a chair in front of a big machine. I couldnít see it very well, but it sort of looked like it would turn in front of my face. When the doctor came in he greeted me cheerfully.
"Well young lady, it appears that you are going to have to wear glasses. How do you feel about that?" he asked.
"I guess that will be all right if they will help me see well." I replied.
"Well, letís just see how close the auto refractor was to the prescription you need young lady." The doctor said.
He swung the machine in front of my face, and then he started clicking things. As he did the chart on the wall began to get clearer, and soon I could see the second line. Then I could see the third and fourth line, and he kept clicking. Eventually he reached a point where he only had one line for me to look at, and he kept asking me which one was better. I kept picking the one that looked blackest. Then he put on a red lens, and then a green lens, and asked which was better. The red always was. Then he finished.
"And you say she only started to have trouble seeing recently?" he asked mom.
"My husband and I noticed it only a few days ago. And they never said anything about her not being able to see well at day care." Mom said.
"Well, for her age she is extremely nearsighted. And if it came on as suddenly as you say, she will likely need a stronger prescription within a few months. I really donít like to give a child as young as Carrie her full prescription at first, because that often leads to further increases. However, with as strong a first prescription as Carrie requires I am afraid if I donít give her what she needs now, within a few weeks she will be straining her eyes to see, and according to some of the studies on myopia I have read she will then need an even stronger prescription sooner." The doctor told us.
"What does Carrie require Doctor?" Mom asked.
"She can see the 20/30 line with a -9.25D prescription, but in order for her to see the 20/20 line she requires -10D. I am going to prescribe her -10D right now. And I want to see her immediately if you notice her having any more problems. If not, then we will check her again in 6 months." The doctor replied.
I was amazed. I couldnít really understand how I had managed to reach -10D when I had only been wearing -7.50D for contact lenses. But I was very happy about it. And I was already planning to wear my Ė5D contacts under my glasses again, so that I could be sure to get that next increase the doctor talked about in 6 months, or less. Mom led me to the car, and then we went to the mall, where there was a new optical store that advertised one hour service. They were not happy about the one hour service once they saw the prescription I required, and they tried to talk mom into letting them order the thinner lenses from their supplier, which would have taken about 3 days, but mom told them we needed my glasses right away. So, they made my glasses, and it took a little more than an hour, but when they called my name and mom took me to the opticianís counter I was thrilled.
The lady optician put my glasses on and off a number of times before she was satisfied that they would be comfortable on me. While she was doing this it almost made me dizzy, because for a minute I could see, and then I couldnít. When mom and I walked from the mall to the car I noticed that everything looked funny. Things appeared so much smaller than they did when I wore contacts. And, I could only see really clearly through the very center part of my lenses. But it was wonderful to be finally wearing my own glasses.
The next day everyone at day care was shocked at how strong my glasses looked. Some of the kids wanted me to let them try them on, but I wouldnít take them off. When I got home Julie was waiting for me, and she took one look at my glasses.
"Oh my gosh Carrie, your glasses look to be almost as strong as mine. No wonder you could see so well with my glasses last year!" Julie exclaimed.
That night when my mom came home Julie told her about me wearing her glasses a few times last year, and that she had been surprised at how well I could see. She apologized for not telling my parents that my eyes seemed to be bad. But all that did was make my mom feel worse because she hadnít noticed it earlier herself. I told her that it didnít matter and that I could see fine now, but she made me promise that I would tell her the minute I started to have any trouble seeing with my glasses, so I did promise her that. I loved wearing glasses and the only time they ever left my face was when I had to clean my glasses. Cleaning them was almost a sexual experience for me. I had a special spray bottle of cleaner that I sprayed on the lenses, and then I would wipe them with a soft cloth. I loved to feel the steep curvature of the inside of the lens, and I loved to feel the flatness of the front of the lens. I know they could have gotten thinner lenses if they had ordered them for me, but I was thrilled with the way my lenses looked. The thickness made me special, and I stood out in a group of other children.
I knew I only had 2 ways to increase my prescription. One way would be to bring everything I was reading very close to my eyes, but I knew my parents would be watching for that again. The second way would be for me to wear the -5D contacts under my glasses for a couple of months until my eyes got worse and then go without contacts until my parents noticed that I was having trouble again. So, that is what I did, and when my parents noticed and took me back to the eye doctor I was given a prescription of -12D. This time they did have to order my lenses, and I made sure that we got a backup pair of glasses as well, just in case I broke my one pair.
I did the same thing all over again, and within another 2 months, just in time for Christmas holidays, I got another new pair of glasses. This time my prescription was -14D, and the eye doctor told my parents that it appeared that I had a very bad case of progressive high myopia. Naturally this worried my parents a lot. And now my prescription, just before I had my seventh birthday, was higher than Julieís, who had just turned 16.
So, I decided I wouldnít use the contacts under my glasses anymore. I still managed to read with my books very close to my eyes whenever my parents were not around. And, at school I was able to bring everything very close. By the time the summer holidays came around I was starting to notice that things were a bit blurry in the distance, but I didnít want new glasses until just before I went back to school, so I decided I would again wear the -5D contacts under my glasses for the summer. Out of my original 8 contacts I was down to 5. I still had 2 sealed vials of -7.50D lenses, as I had ripped one the day I removed them in the washroom at the eye doctors. And I had ripped 2 of my -5D ones. But I felt they were not going to be any use to me anymore, so I wanted to use them up and get rid of them.
The -5ís did the trick, and they lasted until a couple of days before my scheduled eye exam before one of them ripped. I knew my vision had gotten a lot worse because of wearing them, because I really had a hard time trying to function in the blur for those couple of days.
"She has had a big increase since Christmas. She has gone up more than -4 diopters. Her new prescription is going to have to be -18.50D." The doctor said.
"Is there anything that can be done?" my mother asked.
"You might want to consider contact lenses. Carrie shouldnít have any problem learning how to insert and remove them. There is no real proof, but studies have indicated that kids who have strong prescriptions do better with contacts, and have smaller increases than kids who wear glasses. But each case is different." He told my mom.
"Have you ever fitted anyone as young as Carrie with contacts?" Mom asked.
"I fitted a 5 year old girl a couple of months ago. Her prescription was even stronger than Carries. She needed -20D glasses, and her contacts were -16D." The doctor replied.
"Would you like to try contact lenses Carrie?" Mom asked.
"Maybe later mom. I donít mind my glasses." I replied.
However my curiosity was satisfied. I had wondered how I managed to get a prescription of -10D for my first glasses after only wearing -7.50D contact lenses. From what the doctor had just said it appeared that contact lenses were weaker than the glasses had to be. I really didnít want contacts, and since my glasses were now dished in on the front as well as the back to supposedly make them thinner I wasnít all that excited at getting stronger glasses. My glasses looked pretty thick. So, I tried my best to be a good girl, and to practice good eye health. I tried to make sure that I held my reading material a decent distance from my glasses, and I did my best to try to look up from what I was reading from time to time, as the doctor had suggested. The next exam, 6 months later only saw a -0.75D increase, and by the time I was 8 my prescription had gone up another -0.75D. So my new glasses for grade 3 were going to be -20D. The following 6 years gave me an average increase of only about -1D each year, and by the age of 14 I was wearing -26D lenses in my glasses. I had to get high index lenses now, and even in small sized frames my lenses were very thick. My doctor had suggested myodiscs, and when he explained what they looked like I realized I had been wearing lenses that were a little bit like that already. My lenses didnít quite reach the outer edge of the frame, and they was a little area at the nose edge as well that was flat on the back as well.
Another 2 years went by, and the increases continued slowly. Now my glasses were -27.50, and I decided that by the time I reached my 18th birthday I wanted to be right at -30D. I hadnít had much luck in finding myself a boyfriend though, and I wondered if that was because there was no one around that I had met that could appreciate my glasses. I loved them, and wouldnít have changed a thing, as I mentioned at the start of this tale. But I had a plan that I was going to put it into effect.
My plan was simple. I opened a My Space account under a nickname. I couldnít use Facebook because Facebook wants too much information about you. I posted a few pictures of myself wearing my strong, thick glasses, and I mentioned somewhere in the blurb about myself how severely nearsighted I am. Then I went to a web site that is devoted to people who like glasses and posted, as an anonymous visitor, a link to the My Space account. I was pretty sure that this would draw guys to me like a bear to honey. And it did. Sure, I had to weed out a lot of unsuitable males, but this gave me some pretty good options. I used some teasers, such as "Attractive 16 year old girl here for friendship and possible dating. Unfortunately I canít wear contacts, so I have to wear these almost -30D myodiscs to see anything. My vision is pretty good with my glasses right now, but my doctor thinks I will need stronger glasses in the future." That will bring them in donít you think?
And it did bring them in. I was presently corresponding with 17 guys from various countries around the world that were all just a little older than me. I did want to meet a guy who also wore strong glasses, because I didnít want to be blamed for passing my poor eyesight on to our children. But I did realize that most of the guys that I had met from this web site would actually like it if their kids wore strong glasses.
Even though I was corresponding with 17 guys, I had pretty well narrowed the field down to 3 that I talked to regularly on the internet phone. One of them was from Canada, and he was trying to get a job near me as soon as he graduated. I really liked him, and he was just nearsighted enough himself that he had good potential. Another one was from the UK. He was a computer person, and he was also thinking about a move. He did GOC though, and he didnít need glasses in real life, so that was a little bit of a hang-up for me. The other one was from the eastern US. He was the most myopic of any of the 17, but I wasnít as fond of him as I was the other 2.
My doctor had told me when I was around 13 or 14 that I probably wouldnít be able to pass the eye test to get my drivers license, but when it came time he was surprised that I was able to get pretty close to 20/20 with my -27.50D glasses. So I did get my drivers license, and I have been driving around the city for the last year and a bit after school doing deliveries to garages for my dadís auto parts stores. I like to see the reaction on peoples faces the first time I do a delivery. They almost do a double take when they see how strong my glasses are, and I know that they are wondering if I can possibly see well enough to drive. I donít know how much longer I will be able to pass the eye exam, but this year, when I turned 18, and my prescription reached -30D I was still able to pass the vision exam and have my license turned into a permanent 5 year one.
One of the service writers at one of the dealerships I deliver to has started talking to me every time I go in with a delivery, and I think he is getting ready to ask me out. Today he was wearing his glasses instead of contacts, and I told him that he looked good in glasses. I meant it, because his glasses were at least -12D, maybe more. He would be very suitable husband material. Iíll just have to wait and see if he asks me out, but if he doesnít I am still getting plenty of responses from my My Space site.