I moved away from the area that I grew up in a few years ago. The first year I came back for a month’s holidays, but I was so busy I didn’t get a chance to drop by and see my friends Mark and Julie. Mark had been my mechanic at the local dealership where I bought my cars, and we had become good friends, even though Mark was about 15 years younger than I am. When Mark and Julie had their second child, Chelsea, my wife and I were honored to be chosen as Chelsea’s godparents.
The following year I had not gone back at all, so by the time the third year rolled around I made it a point to drop by and see Mark, Julie, Kari and Chelsea. Julie was one of the few ladies that I knew that always wore glasses, never contact lenses. And, although I guessed her prescription to be between –1.00D and –1.50D, I never saw Julie without glasses on her face. So, it wasn’t a big surprise when I walked in and noticed Kari wearing a pair of glasses, sitting in a chair watching the television. Of course, I have this thing for glasses, so I managed to greet Julie, and Chelsea, and then I walked over to Kari, and told her to get up and give me a hug. When she looked up at me I almost choked. Her glasses were strong, way too strong for someone who had only been wearing glasses for a couple of years. They were a fairly small lens size, in a black plastic frame, and they looked wonderful with the light flashing off the plano fronts and the black of the frame accenting Kari’s blond hair.
“Hey Kari, first time I have seen you wearing glasses. They look good on you. You did a nice job of picking the right frame.” I said.
“Thanks.” Kari mumbled. “I’m blind without them now, so they better look all right.”
Mark came home a few minutes later, and we sat on the porch drinking a beer. I was unsure as to how to start the conversation in the direction I wanted it to head. Finally, I could contain myself no longer.
“I see Kari is wearing glasses now. How long has she had them?” I asked.
“Oh, this pair is about a month old. But she got her first glasses right around the time you left for the south. She came home from school with a note from the teacher early that October. So Julie took her in for an eye test, and she was found to be pretty nearsighted.” Mark said.
“Yes, I thought they looked pretty strong.” I said.
“The ones she is wearing now are really strong. Her first ones were around –2.50D, almost double what Julie’s prescription is. Then the following August, just before school started we took her back for another examination, and her prescription had doubled in a year. So her next pair of glasses were –5.00D.” Mark replied.
“Wow, that is strong. Is that what her new glasses are?” I questioned, knowing that the glasses Kari had on were a bit stronger than –7, because of the plano front lens faces.
“No, she is up to –8.00D now. She has had 3 prescription changes this year. Every four months her prescription jumped –1.00D.” Mark told me.
“Did the doctor have any idea what the reason for the big increases is?” I asked.
“He had no idea. He says this is fairly unusual. According to him Kari’s first pair of glasses were pretty strong for a first pair, but they were not anything out of the ordinary for a 13-year-old girl. Then the next year he told us that this doubling of the prescription often happens with a young child when they are growing so much. Now he just tells us that Kari is likely destined to be a high myope, and her prescription could keep increasing until she is between 21 and 25 years of age.” Mark replied.
“Did he give any guesses as to how high her prescription could get?” I asked.
“Nope. He just said that it would keep climbing until it decides to stop.” Mark said.
“She is 16 now isn’t she? Is her vision good enough to get her drivers license?” I asked.
“I hope it is with her new glasses. That is why she got them a little early.” Mark responded.
With that I figured I had done enough chatting about glasses. Any more, and Mark might get suspicious. By then supper was ready, and we went inside. Kari and Julie were placing the food on the table, and I was wondering how I could manage to arrange myself to sit opposite Kari during the meal. Fortunately Chelsea wanted to sit between my wife and I, and Kari did sit down opposite me. I looked at her as much as I could all through the meal, and I sure hope nobody noticed.
Now I was wishing I had allowed myself more time, but unfortunately I had to get back to work, so this was the only chance to see Mark and Julie this trip. During the next year I spent a lot of time thinking about Kari, and wondering if her eyesight had continued to deteriorate at a rapid pace. I sent Mark and Julie a few e-mails, and they replied, but Kari, and her eyesight were never mentioned. Just prior to my holidays that year I gave Mark a phone call.
“Hey, what’s up?” Mark asked.
“Just wanted to let you know that we are going to be there the last 2 weeks of August this year. I hope we can all get together a couple of times when we are there. I really miss you guys.” I said.
“Well, we miss you too. How is everything?” Mark asked.
“My arthritis is pretty well under control. The warm dry climate sure helps a lot. How about you and the family? Anything exciting going on?” I asked.
“Well, other than the whole family is wearing glasses now, I guess there is really nothing new.” Mark said.
“What, you and Chelsea now as well as Kari and Julie? And how about Kari anyway? You told me last year that she was having real problems with her eyes.” I said, trying to draw him out.
“Oh, Kari has had some real big increases this past year. Did I tell you that her prescription last year was –8D?” Mark asked.
“Oh, is that the number it was. That is pretty bad isn’t it?” I played dumb.
“Well that was bad, but it has gotten a lot worse. She isn’t even 17 yet, and her newest prescription is –13.00D.” Mark said.
“That sounds like it is really bad. Oh well, I will have to discuss this further with you when we see each other in person. See you soon.” I replied as I ended the call.
So, I planned to spend a bit more time with Mark and Julie this time. Once we were settled in at my sister’s home, I made a phone call to Mark, and arranged to drop by the following morning to have him work on my car. Mark had left the dealership, and was now working out of a 2 bay garage he built in his back yard.
While Mark was working on the car I went to the house, and visited with Chelsea and Julie. Kari was in town picking up parts for Mark, and Julie was getting ready to go off to work herself. Chelsea looked very pretty wearing her new glasses, and I guessed that they were about a –2.50D prescription, but I was not prepared to ask. I was a little disappointed that Chelsea was a lot heavier than she had been the previous year. She was even more overweight than Kari had been. Mark was a pretty big boned guy, and it appeared that Chelsea had taken after him in her bone structure; however she was also just plain overweight. After Julie left, I sat and talked with Chelsea for a while. Soon a car drove up the driveway, and around to the back shop. It was Kari with the parts that Mark had sent her to town for.
A few minutes later Kari came into the house. Seeing me, she came over and gave me a big hug. I was amazed to see her. She had lost most of her excessive weight and was quite thin now. I looked at her glasses, and they were wonderfully strong, with lots of power rings and a decent amount of minification. The glasses looked so nice on her that she immediately moved way up on my looks scale of 1 to 10. On my scale even a heavy girl could make it onto the chart if her glasses looked nice enough
“Kari, you look great. I really like your new glasses. They definitely suit you. And, you have slimmed way down. You look great” I said.
“Thanks for saying that Uncle Jim. My eyes are worse than any of my friends, and my glasses are pretty strong though.” Kari replied.
So I sat and chatted with the girls for a couple more hours. Then Mark came in to tell me that my car was fixed, and everything should be fine. I had planned to spend the day there, but I had plenty to do, and we were expected back that evening for supper. My wife and my sister were off shopping together, and my sister was going to drop my wife off after they finished. Knowing I was going into town, Mark asked if I could drop Kari off at the restaurant where she worked in the afternoon because he needed Julie’s car to do some repairs on it, and Julie had taken his pickup to work. So I did that.
We returned for supper, and had a great meal. I could see from the amount of food that Chelsea was packing away that there was a definite reason for her weight gain, but it was not my place to say anything, so I didn’t. My wife and I invited both girls to come out for a visit either over their Christmas holidays, or during spring break. Kari declined because she wanted to work to put more money away for her schooling, but Chelsea seemed very receptive to the idea.
We had firmed up our plans, and Chelsea was going to join us down south for the 2-week spring break. I went to the airport to pick her up, and immediately noticed that she was still very much overweight. When I looked at her face I was also surprised to see that her glasses were much stronger than they had been last summer. As we drove to the house I realized that the glasses that Chelsea wore were either the same ones that Kari had worn the summer before last, or else a pair that was almost identical. I tried to keep my mouth shut, but finally I couldn’t.
“Are you wearing your sister’s old glasses?’ I asked.
Chelsea blushed and replied, “Yes.”
“They are a lot stronger than your own. Can you see all right?” I asked.
“I can barely see without them now. I got new lenses for my own glasses last fall that were twice as strong as my other ones, and they worked all right for a while. But about a month ago I tried on these glasses, and they made everything so clear that I wore them to school all the time. Mom and dad don’t know though, so please don’t tell them. I promise I will have an eye exam when I get home, and get my own glasses, but I didn’t want to worry them just before my trip.” Chelsea said.
So, I agreed not to say anything. The first week went really well. We went to all of the tourist attractions and Chelsea had a lot of fun. She was flying out the following Saturday, but on Wednesday morning she fell and her glasses broke. So, I made an appointment with my doctor, and we went in for an eye exam.
I was aware that Kari’s old glasses were –8D, and I was prepared to have the doctor advise us that Chelsea required a prescription in this range. However I was not prepared to have him tell us that Chelsea required an increase to –10D. This was a very well known doctor though, and I was sure that he had done his job correctly. I took Chelsea to the mall, where we visited a one-hour optical store. They were able to supply Chelsea with new lenses for her old wire framed glasses, and Chelsea begged me not to tell her parents just how much her prescription had increased. So, I agreed, but I made it contingent on one thing.
“Chelsea, you are a cute kid, and I love you dearly. But if you want me to keep my mouth shut about your new prescription you are going to have to do something for me.” I said.
“What’s that Uncle Jim?” Chelsea asked.
“You have to make a real effort to loose some weight. You are heading for some serious health issues in later life if you don’t take care of yourself now. Your body isn’t designed to carry an extra 75 pounds around all the time. One thing that often happens is you will likely develop diabetes. Then you will have knee and hip problems, as you get older. And, if you are looking for a boyfriend in later life you will be restricting yourself to those guys who like big ladies. There are lots of guys who like women wearing glasses, but to find a nice guy who likes girls with strong glasses as well as heavy ladies will be a real challenge.” I said.
“I promise I will try.” Chelsea replied.
We were not going to go north over the summer this year, so I wasn’t going to find out if Chelsea had followed through with her promise. And, it didn’t really matter to me, as her excess weight was her own problem. I could only make a suggestion, which I had done only because I loved these kids as if they were my own.
The following Christmas Mark and Julie invited themselves and the girls down for the 2 weeks over Christmas. We were thrilled to have them, and we picked them up at the airport. Julie and Mark looked the same. Kari appeared as slim as she had been the last time I saw her, and I noticed that her glasses looked a bit stronger than the last ones I had seen her wearing so I figured that her myopic progression might have slowed down a bit. Chelsea had kept her promise, and had lost a lot of her excess weight. But her glasses weren’t any thinner. If anything the lenses in Chelsea’s glasses were now as thick as Kari’s were. I was curious to find out what both girls’ prescriptions actually were.
During the 2-week period of their visit I discovered that Kari had been wearing a prescription of –15D for the past year. And the good news was that she had not yet noticed the need for an increase. But while I was talking privately with Kari, I was surprised at a question she asked.
“What would happen if someone wore a pair of glasses that were stronger than their real prescription Uncle Jim?” Kari asked.
“It depends Kari. If it were a young person under the age of 20, their eyes would likely become used to, and eventually require the stronger prescription. In an older person of your parent’s age this wouldn’t be possible. They might be able to tolerate the stronger prescription, but their eyes wouldn’t adapt. For someone my age, I wouldn’t be able to even tolerate the stronger prescription. Why do you ask?” I questioned.
“Oh, no reason, I was just wondering.” Kari replied.
No reason? My bullshit meter was going through the roof when all of a sudden it came to me.
“Chelsea is wearing your prescription in her glasses isn’t she?” I asked.
“You didn’t find that out from me.” Kari replied, and would say no more.
A couple of days later I had a chance to corner Chelsea.
“You look a lot prettier now that you are not quite as heavy honey. I am pleased that you took my advice and have lost so much weight. But your glasses have gotten a lot stronger. They look to be identical to the lenses in your sister’s glasses. What is your prescription?” I asked.
“Oh, I am only –13.50D. Kari’s prescription is still a bit stronger.” Chelsea lied. I could tell she was lying by the way her face turned red.
“Why don’t I believe you? I am pretty sure you took Kari’s prescription, and had your new glasses made with it. Why?” I asked.
“You have noticed that I am still a little chubby. I have tried really hard to get my weight down, but I seem to be naturally heavy. I read on the internet that some guys are attracted to girls who wear glasses, and that the girl becomes more attractive as their glasses become stronger.” Chelsea said.
“I think what you read might have been: “a girl who is slightly plump, and otherwise not notably attractive becomes a real babe as the prescription gets stronger” was it not?” I asked.
“That is pretty close. How did you know?” Chelsea asked me.
“Sounds like something I would write.” I answered without revealing anything more. “But seriously, why do you want your glasses to be so strong? You are a very pretty girl, and you are only a little bit overweight.”
“I don’t know. I just do.” Chelsea said without further elaboration, and I didn’t need any. Of all the people in the world, I understood.
Chelsea made me promise not to tell her parents, and I agreed. They all flew home a day or 2 later, and I was left to ponder this situation. I had observed both Kari and Chelsea reading while they were staying with us, and while Kari held her reading material a bit close, Chelsea really brought her book up very close to her glasses. Kari had mentioned that she wanted to get a pair of contact lenses now that her prescription had seemingly stabilized, but Chelsea simply said she was happy enough to wear glasses
While I was tossing things around in my mind, all of a sudden I started to wonder why both Kari and Chelsea had developed such high minus prescriptions. I know that Chelsea was pushing her prescription higher on her own by wearing Kari’s prescription, but even so Kari had developed –15D of myopia over a 6 year period. She had gone from no glasses all the way up to –8.00D from the age of 13 through 16, and in the following year she had gained another –5D of myopia. Then over the past almost 2 years she had gotten up to her present –15D. This was a pretty big progression of myopia. And, I didn’t know exactly how much Chelsea had pushed her prescription up by wearing Kari’s glasses, but she had gone from –2.50D or so all the way up to –10D in about a year. Then by the time another 9 months had gone by she had either gained, or had accommodated to a further –5D. I had a hard time imagining how she could have developed such a massive prescription just through overcorrecting, but I could see that it was possible.
The more I thought about it, the more I remembered other people I had known over the years. One young lady I knew had gotten her first pair of glasses around age 16. Her parents had split up, and she was visiting her father when he noticed that she couldn’t see very well. So, he took her for an eye test, and she got her first pair of glasses When she returned to her mom’s place wearing glasses, her mom took one look at the glasses and immediately bought her contact lenses. I suspect from what she told me that these first glasses must have been fairly strong and thick. For the next 18 years this young lady wore contact lenses exclusively. When she was 34, her doctor told her that if she didn’t stop wearing her contacts she might do serious damage to her corneas and could in fact go blind. I met her the day she was picking up her new glasses. In the 18 years she had worn contacts her prescription had gone up to –19.00D, and she felt very self-conscious about her new thick-lensed glasses.
And, I suppose other people will know of different examples. One friend of my mothers had not worn glasses until she was in her early 30’s. When she got her first pair of glasses I remember looking at these glasses on her face as a 6 year old kid, and wishing I had to wear them. They seemed pretty strong looking to me. Then a year or so later she got much stronger glasses, and within a couple more years she had even stronger looking lenses. On her death I was helping her daughter clean out the family home, and I came across an old pair of her mother’s glasses. These glasses were probably the last ones she wore before she died. I appropriated these glasses for my collection, and I discovered that these glasses are in the –12D range.
Why, I wondered, is it that some people get glasses for myopia at an early age, and go for years without requiring stronger lenses? Other people start off wearing fairly weak glasses, and their glasses become stronger and stronger. I know I have often read that a person with hyperopia frequently requires a much weaker pair of glasses at first to allow their eyes to become accustomed to the correction. Then the power of their lenses often has to be increased substantially. The excuse most often given is that the hyperope is accommodating. Why then is it not said that a myope who gets their first minus lens will need stronger lenses soon because they were accommodating to be able to see in the distance?
But of course I had no answers, and since everyone seems to have a different rate of progression, there doesn’t seem to be any way to study this for sure. I was pleased, as a lover of high myopes, to have a couple of them available for my viewing pleasure. And, I was planning another trip back this next summer. I had to see how much Chelsea’s prescription was going to increase, now that she no longer had a stronger pair of her sister’s glasses to wear.
When I drove back, of course my first stop was at Mark’s, with the intention to have an oil change done to the car. Mark was pleased to see me, although I could tell there was something bothering him.
“What’s wrong Mark? You seem preoccupied today.” I said.
“It’s Chelsea. She went for her driver’s license early last month, and couldn’t pass the eye test part. So, she went to the doctor, got a new prescription, and she ordered new glasses from this online optical store that she found. They came in a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t believe how strong they look. But then Julie took her in yesterday to see if she could pass the vision test now, and even with her new glasses she couldn’t. Julie phoned this morning to try to get her an appointment with a specialist, but they are booked for the next 4 months.” Mark said sadly.
“Oh, that is a shame. Are Julie and Chelsea home then?” I asked.
“Sure, go on up to the house Jim, and I will pull the car in on the hoist to do the oil change.” Mark replied.
I walked up to the house, and knocked on the door. Chelsea came to answer it, and I gave her a big hug. She had slimmed down a little more, and although she was still a little overweight she was looking quite attractive. Mark was right. Her glasses were a whole lot stronger than the –15D ones she had worn at Christmas. The more I looked at them the more I figured that they were very close to –20D. They were a very nice looking pair. The frame face was divided in half in black and magenta, with the temples being the magenta color also. They looked fantastic, and I could see that the back of the lenses had been smoothed flat to remove some of the lens thickness, and allow the temples to close. My goddaughter was now a seriously high myope.
Julie and Chelsea and I talked for a while before Julie announced that she had to run into town. We had discussed Chelsea’s new glasses and her poor eyesight, and Julie had told me that Chelsea’s latest prescription was –17D, a full –2D stronger than Kari’s prescription was. Kari had not had any increases, and I was glad to hear that she hadn’t yet gotten contact lenses. I stayed with Chelsea, and as soon as we were alone together I asked her a question that I could hardly contain myself to ask.
“I don’t know what is going on here Chelsea, but I think that your new glasses are stronger than –17D. I think they are closer to –20D. They are, aren’t they/” I asked.
“Oh no, Uncle Jim, they are only –17D, like mom said.” Chelsea replied, and she blushed as she lied.
“Chelsea, I know you. Whenever you tell a lie your face gets red. It is now the color of a stop sign. I won’t tell your parents, but level with me. Your new prescription is –17D but your new glasses are –20D aren’t they?” I asked very forcefully.
“You better not tell mom and dad. I’ll never speak to you again.” Chelsea replied.
“I told you that I would never tell on you. But I am very curious as to why you are wearing glasses that are –3D stronger than you need. They are a –20D prescription aren’t they?” I asked.
“How can you be so sure of that?” Chelsea asked.
“Quit stalling, and just tell me the truth.” I answered.
“Yes, they are a –20D prescription.” Chelsea told me grudgingly.
“And let me guess. Your dad said that you found a place to order glasses from online. The reason why you ordered –20D glasses was because that was the strongest prescription that you could order from the website. Actually I suspect that you would have stopped there anyway, but how did you know you could wear –3D more than your real prescription was?” I asked.
“I have been reading a whole lot of stuff on the internet. From what I have read I could see that –3D was probably about the most I could tolerate. And I would have gotten away with it if mom hadn’t made an appointment for my eye test for my drivers license so soon after I got these glasses. If she had waited a few weeks I bet I could have passed. Even after a couple more days I can tell my eyes have almost gotten used to the strength of them.” Chelsea replied.
“Can you tell me why you are doing this Chelsea?” I asked.
“I have thought about it constantly ever since I started wearing Kari’s old, stronger glasses. I know that it didn’t take me very long before I was actually needing them, and it was only a few more weeks before I broke them, and you took me to that eye doctor near your place. I did cheat on the exam by pulling my head back from his machine, but it even surprised me that I needed glasses that were even stronger than Kari’s old ones. I think maybe I wanted glasses originally because mom has worn glasses all my life. Then Kari got glasses and right from the beginning Kari’s glasses looked so much stronger than moms did that I wondered why mom even bothered wearing glasses. I liked the looks of the lenses in Kari’s glasses, and I decided that if I had to wear glasses I wanted to wear glasses with lenses that looked like I really needed them.” Chelsea replied.
“Well, you have certainly succeeded. Actually your glasses look very nice for such a strong prescription. What web site did you order them from?” I asked.
“I got 2 pairs from LBW Eyewear. Do you want to see my other pair?” Chelsea asked.
Of course I answered yes, and she went off to get them. When she returned she was wearing the second pair, and they were beautiful. This pair had a fine wire frame, with double wire temples. The frame didn’t go between the temples, but the lens was held in place by that thin nylon line between the temple pieces. The frame was silver, but the plastic pieces over the ears were purple so the silver frame took on a purple hue. The lenses were shaved off a little like the other pair, and they looked wonderful on Chelsea’s face. So I told her that they looked great on her.
“Chelsea, you are not quite 17 yet. Where are you going to stop this quest for stronger glasses?” I asked.
“ I guess I will stop when I grow into these glasses Uncle Jim. As you thought, these are the strongest ones I could order online.” Chelsea replied.
“Well, that isn’t quite true. You can still order stronger ones, probably up to about –25D by filling out the form as –20D and then writing the prescription that you want in the remarks section.” I replied.
Chelsea looked at me quizzically, and I realized I had made a major blunder. I had given out too much information.
“How do you know that?” Chelsea asked.
“I think maybe we have been hanging around the same website. Is the website that you got most of your information from called Eyescene?” I asked.
“Yes, it is. And I got a lot more information on a website by a man called Bobby. There are lots and lots of stories on there. Some of the stuff I read isn’t true, but a lot of it seems to be sort of true.” Chelsea replied.
“Oh, I have read some of that fiction also. Some of it is pretty good, and some of it is pretty far fetched.” I said, not telling her anything more. I didn’t want to reveal my secret.
Just then the door opened, and Mark stuck his head inside to tell me that my car was finished. It was time I escaped, before I let anything more slip. I said goodbye to Chelsea, and I went out to the shop with Mark. I paid my bill, thanked him and drove off. My wife and I were invited back in a couple of nights to have supper with them.
For the next 2 days all I could think about was Chelsea. I knew Mark and Julie were quite worried about her poor eyesight, but I also knew that Chelsea was doing exactly what she wanted to do. Maybe sometime in the future she would bemoan the fact that she had made herself so nearsighted, but I didn’t think so.
My wife and I returned for an evening with Mark and Julie. Both Chelsea and Kari were there, and both girls had boyfriends with them. I knew instantly why Kari hadn’t bothered to get contact lenses. Her boyfriend Chase couldn’t keep his eyes off Kari, and I could tell from the way he was looking that he loved her glasses. I chatted briefly with Chelsea’s boyfriend David, and in conversation he told me that he really didn’t care if Chelsea needed stronger glasses in the future or not. This was almost too good to be true. Both girls had found guys who liked girls who wore strong glasses.
During the evening I had a chance to talk with Mark and Julie about taking Chelsea to see a specialist. They had contacted one, but it was going to be about 4 months before he had an opening. One of my friends in my new city was a noted eye doctor. He was also a member of the guys who loved girls wearing strong glasses community. While he would not go along with over prescribing a patient, he had often done tune ups on my GOC combinations, and had also looked after the GOC requirements of a select group of friends. I was sure that Joe would see Chelsea, and give her some advice without being judgmental. He would also make sure that she was not in danger of stretching her retina’s too thin. I knew he would probably suggest that Chelsea should not wear stronger glasses than she required, but I also knew he would not raise a fuss about it if she didn’t follow his advice. So it was agreed that Chelsea would return to our house with us in about three weeks, and I would take her to see Joe.
I had phoned Joe to tell him when we would be returning, and he was going to try to get an opening in his schedule as soon as possible. We had been home for 5 days before Joe phoned to tell me to bring Chelsea in the following morning at ten. So, the next day Chelsea and I were in Joe’s waiting room. Chelsea was reading a magazine while we waited, and I noticed that she was again bringing her reading material very close to her glasses. Her glasses were also pushed tight to the bridge of her nose. I supposed I would find out in a few minutes, but it looked to me as if Chelsea had gotten accustomed to her –20D prescription in only a few weeks.
This was proven to be a correct thought when Joe came out to talk to me while his nurse was doing the visual field test.
“I thought you told me she was over corrected by about 3 diopters.” Joe said.
“ She was. Her most recent prescription, about 3 months ago was for –17D. She has been wearing those –20D glasses now for about 2 months.” I replied.
“Well, I could likely cut her back to –19D, but she can read the eye chart easily with the –20D she is wearing. And she does just fine with the –20D for near point as well. I bet she is one of those kids who just eats up minus. They are pretty rare, but there are a few of them around.” Joe told me.
I had heard of that. Heck, I had written about that for the past 10 or 12 years. That type of girl was a fantasy to me, and she was featured in many of my fictional stories. Now here was one in my real live personal life. Right now I wished I could tell Chelsea my secret identity on the internet, but of course that was not ever going to happen. I wondered if there was any way that I could manage to convince Chelsea to continue her schooling here, where my wife and I lived. Kari was in her second year at university, and since Chelsea was only 17, and had graduated early Chelsea was planning to work the following year to enable her to save some money, because Mark and Julie didn’t have quite enough money to be able to send both girls at the same time. I suggested this to Chelsea, and she seemed interested, so the following day we went to the campus, and we were fortunate enough to find they still had an opening for Chelsea. This was very unusual, because normally all the courses are pretty full, but Chelsea was extremely bright in mathematics, and had a very high grade.
Mark and Julie were quite willing to have Chelsea live with us, and they realized that Chelsea would be better off living in a city where she could easily take the bus. I didn’t tell them that I had already taken Chelsea to the department of motor vehicles, where she had passed the eye test, and had gotten her beginners permit. She was going to start driving lessons the following day, and I felt that she would have no trouble getting her license. I was also pretty sure that a driver’s license with a local address would be proof that Chelsea was a resident, and thus would qualify for the lower tuition for in state residents. In the three-week period before Chelsea had to go back home to pack what she needed for the following year she had taken enough lessons to obtain her license, and she was quite proud of the fact that she could now drive.
Chelsea went back home to pack and say goodbye to David. She wasn’t upset to be leaving her parents behind, but she was quite worried about loosing David. I assured her that David could come to visit if he wanted to, and also told her that I thought that David might just be around for the long haul. I knew the look he gave Chelsea and Kari every time he gazed lovingly at their glasses.
Chelsea was back a couple of weeks before school started. She found a part time job as a waitress at a nearby restaurant, and she seemed to like the owners, and the job. She started university, and spent much of her spare time studying. Joe had wanted to see Chelsea again after 6 months, so just before her Christmas break we made another appointment to see Joe, and have her eyes tested again. I suspected she would require another increase, as I had noticed her squinting a bit.
“I suspect that you will require a slightly stronger prescription again Chelsea. If this is the case, are you going to order your glasses in a stronger prescription than you require, or are you going to just stay with the prescription the doctor gives you?” I asked as we drove to the appointment.
“I think I will just stick with the prescription that Doctor Joe gives me this time. But I want to make sure I can get myodisc lenses.” Chelsea replied.
“I am sure that you will be enough over –20D that that will be your suggested option. Even the glasses you are wearing had to have the back of the lens slightly shaved off at the outer edges, so they are quite close to having a myodisc effect.” I replied.
“Where should we go to order them Uncle Jim?” Chelsea asked.
“I know of a couple of opticians here that do a good job on myodiscs. But why do you say that you want myodiscs.” I asked.
“Oh, no real reason. David just said that next time I needed stronger glasses I should get myodiscs.” Chelsea replied.
I had pretty well convinced myself that David was enamored more by Chelsea’s glasses than he was by her. Now I was convinced. Just because he was attracted to her glasses though didn’t mean that he wasn’t going to love her for herself. The glasses first attract most men who really are attracted to girls wearing strong glasses, but if there is no spark, or magic between the girl and the boy the romance will die. And, hopefully if the girl has serious vision issues that require eye surgery, the guy will accept this, and be thankful for the time he was able to spend with her while she wore glasses.
Chelsea and I left Joe’s office with a new prescription for her. She was now going to require –21.50D. Joe did ask me if we wanted him to lighten up on the prescription a little, or if he should give her the best possible vision. Of course I told him that she would want the best possible correction. I took that to mean that he was going to give her the strongest prescription that would correct her to as close to 20/20 as he possible could without any overcorrection.
This time Chelsea wanted a wire frame, so we ordered one that had a little nicer shape that the regular oval ones that everyone seemed to wear. The area by the nosepieces was a flatter shape, and the piece from the bridge to the temple had a nice upward curve to it. If the bottom piece had been the same as the top then the frame would have been more rectangular, but the bottom piece bent up more like an oval frame would have to the place where the hinge was, giving it a nice curve. I liked the frame Chelsea chose. When it came to lenses, the optician suggested myodiscs, in a high index plastic. I agreed, as long as the base curve for the front was flat, and as long as the rear carrier was done in either a slightly minus curve, or preferably a flat curve as well. A 30 mm bowl for the myodisc portion was going to fit perfectly in the frame, so that the myodisc was only shaved off slightly at the top and the bottom. Of course when we ordered these glasses we were told that they wouldn’t be in for at least 3 weeks, but if Chelsea wanted to order contact lenses they could be there tomorrow.
“She has never worn contact lenses. We are not even sure that Chelsea could tolerate contacts. They would be pretty thick in her prescription wouldn’t they?” I said.
The optician consulted a chart. “I see Chelsea likes to wear her glasses tight to her nose. That would likely make her vertex distance about 10 mm, and if this was the case she would probably need –17D contacts.”
“I have another idea. Chelsea’s new prescription is –1.50D stronger than her glasses are. Would you have a pair of –1.50D contacts that she could try wearing under her glasses for a while to see if she can tolerate wearing contacts?” I asked.
“Why, yes, I do. That would be a good idea. By the time her new glasses get here she will know if she can wear contacts or not.” Donna, the optician was pleased at this suggestion.
So Chelsea was fitted with a pair of –1.50D contact lenses to wear under her glasses. She was thrilled to be able to see clearly again, and the contact lenses gave her no trouble at all. But when I asked her, after her new glasses arrived, if she wanted to try a pair of contact lenses in her full prescription her answer was no. The day she picked up her new glasses was the day before she was returning home for the Christmas break, and she was quite excited to see what David’s reaction would be to her new glasses with the myodisc lenses.
When Chelsea returned she was very happy. David had loved her new glasses. Now I felt that possibly Chelsea might manage to go a little longer without any further prescription increases, but as I watched Chelsea over the next couple of months I wondered if any further increases might come naturally. When I had the freedom to do GOC, prior to my retirement, I had often worn a pair of glasses with a –46D prescription. To wear them I used a +25D contact lens in my right eye, and the +25 along with my natural –3D worked quite well. I figured that this combination gave me about the same amount of minification as a natural –24D myope. However, with this I had noticed that it was then necessary to bring most reading material much closer to my face. To me this was a kick, because with my own –3D glasses, I required a +2.50D add to read at a normal reading distance. When I saw Chelsea doing so much close work with her reading material about 10 inches away from her face, I just knew that since she had proven herself to be one of those people who eat up myopia, she was doing so much studying she was likely to have her myopia increase even further.
Chelsea resisted going for an eye exam at her 6-month interval, but I dragged her in to see Joe anyway. The verdict was that she could likely use another –0.75D, but instead of wanting stronger glasses Chelsea decided that she would attempt to make it through the summer. She was staying with us for the summer, and she was going to be working at the same restaurant she had worked at the previous summer. David had come for an extended visit in the early summer, and Chelsea returned home for a couple of weeks just before school started, so I knew her romance with David was going well. Chelsea had been back at school for a couple of weeks when I went into the other bathroom that she normally used, and I saw that she had left a bottle of contact lens solution out. It was then I realized that she was again wearing her –1.50D contact lenses under her glasses. When she came home that evening I waited for a chance to get her off by herself, and I spoke with her.
“You are wearing the contacts under your glasses again aren’t you?” I stated questioningly.
“Yes, I am. I have been doing this since early summer. I could see customers coming in at the restaurant, but I was having trouble determining if they were sitting at one of my tables or not, and a couple of times Jen got upset with me because I took glasses of water and menus to one of her tables.” Chelsea said.
“Why didn’t you just say something? We could have gotten you another appointment with Joe.” I replied.
“I don’t know. I guess I just didn’t want to get new glasses again so soon. Anyway David really likes these glasses.” Chelsea told me.
“Well, we can get you a new pair, and then have your new prescription put in those frames.” I responded.
“That would be a waste. I don’t even wear out one pair of glasses before I need new ones. So I can’t see having a second pair.” Chelsea said.
“Kiddo, your vision without glasses is so bad that you really should have a spare pair. Could you imagine having to go around for three or four days without glasses if you broke a pair?” I asked.
“I don’t even walk from my bed to the bathroom without glasses. I couldn’t imagine breaking them, and being so blind.” Chelsea giggled at the thought.
“Well, if you get a new pair we can get plastic lenses without a lens coating, and then when you have new lenses put in those frames we can have the other ones tinted for sunglasses. You really should have a pair of them, and a pair of sunglasses would be better than no glasses at all. Also your vision would be better with a pair of prescription sunglasses than it is with the clip on ones you use.” I stated.
“Sounds like a plan. Will you call Dr. Joe, or should I?” Chelsea asked.
“It really doesn’t matter, but I have to talk to him about another matter, so I can have him get you an appointment.” I replied.
So I called Joe, and we got an appointment for Chelsea the following week. Anyone else would have waited a month or better, so it was fortunate I was close to Joe.
“You will now need a prescription of –23.50D for your new glasses Chelsea. That is another –2D of an increase in only 9 months. I see from your chart that you just turned 19. You will likely have a few more sizable increases before this slows down.” Joe said to us.
“When will that be, and how strong a prescription will I end up with Doctor?” Chelsea asked.
“I can’t be certain. Everyone is different. Usually most of the large increases occur between the age of 15 and 21. I had one patient who was –25D when she was 19, and her prescription increased to –30D by the time she was 21. Then it slowed down, but at age 30 she has now gotten up to –33D.” Joe replied.
We left Joe’s offices, and went to our usual optical store. We chose a new frame for Chelsea, one that she liked very much. Donna again asked Chelsea if she wanted contact lenses this time, but again Chelsea told her she didn’t. But then Donna surprised me when she went to the back and got Chelsea a new pair of –2D contacts to wear under her glasses while we waited for her new ones to come in.
When Chelsea’s new glasses arrived she tried them on, and liked them so much she decided that she would have Donna send them back to have the lenses coated. She then ordered new lenses in a sunglass tint for her present glasses. When the clear glasses came back in a few days Chelsea left her other glasses with Donna to have the tinted lenses inserted when they came in. Chelsea looked good. She had chosen a black plastic frame with wide temples, and the black plastic stood out against her sandy blond hair and her light skinned face. I didn’t like what they had done with the lenses as much as I had liked her previous pair. They had used a slight negative base instead of flat, and they had used a negative carrier. The myodisc bowl was 35mm, which was possible to do because now some of the prescription was in the front. But the main thing wasn’t if I liked the glasses or not. Chelsea really liked them. The negative front base didn’t bother her, and she really enjoyed having a little larger area of vision. So that was all that mattered.
I was a little surprised when Joe didn’t find it necessary to increase Chelsea’s prescription at all at her next 6-month checkup. And, when she went back for her yearly one, there still was no need for an increase. It looked as if Chelsea had reached the end of her increases, and I was pleased that she wouldn’t end up in the –30’s. But. When she went back for her next checkup, Joe found it necessary to increase her prescription by another –1.00D. Again we went through the routine of choosing new frames, but this time Chelsea didn’t find it necessary to wear any contacts under her glasses while she waited for her new glasses to arrive. This time she had chosen another pair of gold wire frames, in a slightly oval pattern. The lenses were a little smaller center area, about 30 mm again, and this time there was an area around the whole circle, so the myodisc was clearly defined. I loved these glasses, and when David saw Chelsea wearing them he must have loved them also, because he asked Chelsea to marry him as soon as she graduated.
The next year flew by. I was in no hurry to have Chelsea graduate, because I loved having my very own high myope around to gaze at whenever I wanted to, but with life everything changes. The only thing that didn’t change that year was Chelsea’s prescription, and I was actually pretty happy about that. It was probable that Chelsea would creep up another -1D or -2D over the next few years, and I didn’t want her prescription to get so high that she would have real problems.
When the school year ended, Mark and Julie came to stay with us for a few days. Kari came along as well, but David had to work so he was unable to be there. Kari was engaged to Chase, and when they were together again at my home the 2 girls discussed the possibility of having a double wedding, and decided that they would like that.
After the graduation ceremonies Chelsea was driving back home with her sister and her parents. As she was leaving she came up to me, gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, “So it worked. The strong glasses helped a fat girl get a husband.”
“You aren’t fat anymore, just a little plump. But the glasses certainly helped you hook David.” I whispered back.