In Second Place

by Specs4ever

Until I was just over two years old I was “the little princess” of the house. But, shortly after my second birthday I was displaced from my position of honor by the birth of my sister Jody. Now, looking back on things I suppose this was a very traumatic time for me, and a physiatrist would probably say that this trauma, at such an early age had shaped my life.

And, I suppose it did, although I didn’t know it at the time. Nor did I realize that my actions during the next few years would have far reaching consequences for me in later years. During my baby sister’s first year I felt that she got all the attention, attention that previously had been lavished on me. Oh, I was still fed and clothed, and loved as much as possible by both my parents, but I felt as if I was being neglected. I learned to read that year, so I suppose my mother actually spent a lot of time with me, but I felt foreshadowed by Jody.

My memories of the time around my third birthday are very sketchy, but I feel that I remember daddy and mommy talking together a lot about Jody. Apparently Jody could only see things if they were brought up very close to her face. So, mommy and I went to a doctor’s office with Jody, and I was allowed to come in to the office with mommy. I remember the doctor telling mommy that Jody had very high myopia for a baby, and that she should wear glasses immediately. I also think that I remember that the doctor told mommy that the prescription for glasses that he was going to prescribe for Jody was a lower prescription than he felt she required, but this lower prescription would be good enough for the next year.

Then I remember Jody wearing glasses whenever she was awake. Jody was a fairly big baby with a large head, and when I tried Jody’s new glasses on I remember that they fit my face quite comfortably. But, I also remember that when I tried them on while she was sleeping that I was surprised that I couldn’t see much of anything when I had them on. I had a hard time figuring out why Jody could see better with them on, when I saw worse.

The following year, when I was 4, Jody got a new, stronger pair of glasses. I saw the piece of paper that the doctor gave mommy, and it read –12.50D in 2 places. At the time I didn’t know what that meant, but now, many years later I know exactly what it means. Mommy put Jody’s old glasses in the top drawer of the dresser that Jody and I shared in our room. I remember taking those glasses out of the case, and putting them on when I was by myself, and I would try to see through the lenses, but it was hard. If I wore them for a little while, and really, really forced my eyes to focus, after a while I could kind of see things pretty clearly. I remember wishing I had to wear glasses, and then maybe mommy and daddy would give me as much attention as they were giving Jody.

That was the year that daddy built me a tree house in the forest at the back of our property. We lived on the edge of a forest, and were the last house at the end of the street. Gram and Gramps, daddy’s parents, owned the forest, so daddy built me my very own tree house. All that summer I would take my book, and go out to my tree house, where I would read for hours. But, I had also taken Jody’s old glasses, and stashed them in my tree house, leaving only the empty case in the dresser. The minute I got to my tree house I would put Jody’s glasses on, and then I would walk around the forest, getting my eyes accustomed to the strong correction. Then after a while I would start to read. When I first started to try to focus on the words in my book I had to keep the book fairly far away from my eyes, but after a couple of hours of reading I was able to bring the book up pretty close to my face. When I would hear mommy calling me I would take off the glasses, hide them and climb down out of the tree house. The more frequently I did this, the harder it seemed for me to be able to see clearly right after I took Jody’s glasses off. And, the more I did this the more I realized that everything looked all fuzzy for the rest of the day, and some mornings when I woke up and went back out to the tree house everything still looked really fuzzy until I put Jody’s glasses on and forced my eyes to see through them.

That fall I was supposed to start kindergarten. Mommy took me in and registered me. Then Jody, and mommy and I went to see Jody’s eye doctor. But, I was surprised. It seemed that I was the one who was going to have my eyes tested before I started school. I sat in the chair, and the doctor moved this big machine over in front of my face. He made me put my chin on one spot, and I had to put my forehead up against a soft cushion. Then he asked me if I knew my letters, and could I tell him what the letters and numbers on the screen were. I couldn’t see any letters or numbers, and I told him that. He started to make the machine make a clicking noise, and pretty soon the letters and numbers jumped into place. Finally he was finished and I got to go out into the other room where a nice lady showed me a lot of different frames. I picked out a frame that I thought looked just like Jody’s old glasses.

That night I heard mommy and daddy talking about the fact that I needed glasses. The doctor had told mommy that my eyesight was poor enough that I should wear my glasses all the time, and that he wanted to see me again in 6 months. Jody’s vision hadn’t changed, so for once I was getting all the attention. I liked it. I also heard my dad tell my mom that he guessed that our poor eyesight might have been inherited from his maternal grandmother, as she had been very nearsighted.

Once I got my own glasses I suppose I should have stopped wearing Jody’s old glasses. That is what I wanted – to wear my own glasses, and I got my wish. But, I liked the feeling of putting Jody’s glasses on instead of my own. I liked making my eyes move back in my head, and forcing them to look through the lenses. So, I would go off to school in the morning wearing my own glasses, and then when I got back home at lunchtime I would eat my lunch and go back to the forest to play, and read. But by now Jody was old enough that she wanted to come out to the playhouse with me a lot of the time, and I realized that while I was away at school Jody was probably going to the tree house by herself. So, I had to find a better hiding place for her old glasses. I wasn’t worried that she would recognize them, but I was afraid that if I put them on when she was around she might tell mommy and daddy that Sheila had a different pair of glasses that she wore when she was at the tree house.

I still managed to find quite a bit of time to be able to go around wearing Jody’s old glasses. Now when I put my own glasses back on I found that things that were across the room looked fuzzy again. I knew that the doctor had told mommy that I would probably require a stronger prescription in about 6 months, and I could hardly wait until I went back to the doctor.

I think it was right after my 5th birthday when I went back to have my eyes examined again. This time I remember the doctor telling my mom that my prescription had doubled in only 6 months. And, I also remember that my new prescription was almost half of Jody’s prescription, so I now think that my second prescription was likely around –6D. I refused to get new frames, so they put my new lenses into my old frames. I loved wearing these glasses. When I took them off everything got really blurry, and I liked to put them back on the end of my nose, and put the cable temples over my ears. The cable temples would slowly pull the glasses up tight to the bridge of my nose, and everything would get nice and crisp and sharp again. So, now that I had a pair of glasses that I couldn’t go without I probably should have stopped wearing Jody’s old glasses. But, every time I put them on it was like a rush as my eyes struggled to get used to the overcorrection.

It was around this time that daddy built an addition to the back of our house. On the lower floor we had a nice family room, and on the second floor now there were 2 more bedrooms. Jody and I each got our own room and we had rules. No one could enter anyone else’s room without first knocking. Many times there would be a knock on the door, and I would quickly grab Jody’s old glasses from my nose, slide them under my pillows and replace them with my own before telling the person knocking to come in. I did almost all of my reading that year in my bedroom wearing Jody’s old glasses with my book jammed tight to my face. So, of course when I went back for my next checkup my prescription had to be increased again. This time my new lenses were –8.00D. I wanted to have them put in my old frame again, but my mom wasn’t going to let me. She said I couldn’t go without my glasses for the length of time that it would take to get the new lenses. So, I picked a new frame, and waited almost a week for my new glasses. Now my glasses looked strong. They didn’t look as strong as Jody’s, but they definitely looked strong. Jody hadn’t required much of a prescription increase again this time, but her old glasses were getting well worn, and my mom decided that Jody should have a new pair of glasses. So Jody picked a frame just like my new frame. Her glasses were about –5.00D stronger than mine were, but they looked pretty much like mine.

I snuck into Jody’s room when she was downstairs one afternoon, and I put her old baby glasses back in their case. They were actually getting a bit small for me. But did I leave well enough alone. No, not me! I took her other glasses out of their case, and I left the empty case in her drawer. Then I went back to my room and tried to wear Jody’s stronger prescription. It had been a lot easier for me to wear her other glasses. But I persevered, and soon it was just as easy for me to read with the –12.50D lenses as it had been for me to wear her old glasses.

It didn’t seem like enough time had gone by before it was again time for my next vision exam. Jody had started kindergarten that fall, and she was also doing a lot of reading. So, again we both had eye examinations.

I remember the doctor telling my mom that now, at age 7, I required –10.00D lenses for my glasses. Jody required a small increase as well, and her new glasses were going to be –13.50D. So again we chose new frames, identical to our other frames. And, a week later we each had our new glasses. Jody’s old glasses joined the other 2 cases in her dresser drawer, and the following day I snuck in, and placed her –12.50D second pair back into their case. I took out the pair she had just been wearing. They were in an identical frame to my new ones. I put them on back in my room, and later that evening when mom called me to come for supper I went downstairs wearing Jody’s old glasses. I was shaking in my shoes waiting for mom or dad or Jody to notice that I was wearing her old glasses. But not a thing was said.

The next day I wore Jody’s old glasses to school, and for the next few months I wore these glasses constantly. Now I didn’t even notice that they were stronger than I required.

We were about 2 months away from our next eye exam when I had an idea. I had some Christmas money saved up. So, I popped the lenses out of my –10D glasses, and went to the optical store. I told the girl that I had broken my glasses, and when she asked me my name I told her that I was Jody. She looked up the file, and told me that it was going to cost $90.00 for new lenses. I paid her the money, and she ordered the new lenses to be placed in my glasses. Then, every day after school I would stop by to see if my glasses were fixed yet. That Friday they were ready. I placed these glasses on my nose, and the rush of overcorrection that I was expecting wasn’t really there. Yes, they seemed a little bit stronger, but my eyes adapted to these lenses so readily I thought the store had made a mistake. But, I just told the lady that it was great to have my proper glasses back again, and I wore those glasses from that day on.

As the day drew closer for our next eye appointment I realized I had a problem. I didn’t have the glasses that I was supposed to have. Now I was worried. I was going to get caught. Then it came to me. If I could pop out a lens, maybe I could put one in. I didn’t want to take any chances with my newest glasses, so I took the right lens out of Jody’s old glasses, and I was able to put my own right lens back in. When I took out the left lens the frame snapped, right below the wide part where the little bump that sits on your nose is. Now what was I going to do? I had broken Jody’s old frame, and now I couldn’t wear my own lenses back to the doctor’s office. All I could think of for the next 2 days was to find a way out of my dilemma.

The night before our eye examination I put the broken glasses with the one lens in place on my nose and holding the other lens in my hand I carefully picked my way down the stairs to where daddy was sitting.

“Daddy, I broke my glasses.” I wailed.

“Let me see honey. Yes, you certainly did. Gillian do we have any of that really good glue? Sheila broke her glasses.” Daddy called to mom.

“I don’t know if it will work on that plastic Jim. But we can try.” Mom replied.

We sat at the kitchen table while dad glued my glasses frame by gluing all around the lens as well as the place where they had broken. He wrapped tape around them and then left the glue to dry. It was my bedtime so daddy carried me up the stairs, and helped me get ready for bed.

“It’s a good thing that Jody didn’t break her glasses Sheila. Her eyes are a lot worse than yours.” Daddy said as he kissed me goodnight.

“No they aren’t daddy!” I wanted to scream, but of course I was smart enough not to say anything more than goodnight and I love you.

That night after everyone was asleep I turned my light on, and put on my other glasses with the same prescription as Jody’s. I read for a few hours, holding my book tight to my glasses. I had a goal that after today my eyes were going to be worse than Jody’s, and maybe I would become the center of attention again.

The next day Jody and I again had eye examinations. Finally the moment I had been waiting for had arrived.

“Well Gillian, I am very surprised. Sheila requires a much stronger prescription again. Her prescription is now higher than Jody’s is.” Doctor Parson said.

“How strong will Sheila’s glasses be Doctor?” Mom asked

“She needs –14.25D for each eye. I will write you out a prescription, but I am going to speak with a specialist over at the hospital, and ask him to have a look at Sheila. I can’t ever remember having a patient that started at age 4 with a –3.00D prescription become this myopic in such a short period of time. I am afraid there might be something serious wrong there, and I would feel much better if we can have Doctor Peters look at her eyes.” Doctor Parson’s said.

I felt like cheering. I had reached my goal. My eyes were now worse than Jody’s. Then I realized that the next stop was going to be the optical store. I prayed all the way over to the store that the lady who had looked after me a few weeks ago was not working today. My prayers were answered. This time Jody didn’t get new glasses, as her prescription had stayed the same. I chose a new frame, and this time the frame I chose wasn’t anything like the other frames I had. I chose a really pretty frame with lots of colors.

While I waited the week for my new glasses to be ready I was forced to wear the glasses with the –10D prescription when I was around anyone. I hated it. I could barely see anything. I could hardly wait until I was alone in my room so I could put the other glasses with Jody’s current prescription on. But finally my own new glasses were ready. I put them on, and looked in the mirror. Boy, were they ever thick. There was a lot of indentation at each side of my face, and it almost looked like the front of the lenses were dished in a little bit instead of being flat like my other glasses. I put them on, and wore them proudly out of the store.

Over the next few weeks I basked in the attention that I received because of my poor eyesight. Now mommy and daddy seemed quite worried that my eyesight was failing rapidly. I loved all of the attention, and I continued my habit of reading my books with my nose pressed as close to the pages as I possibly could when I was alone in my room.

Then one night when I came home from school mommy told me that I had a morning appointment at the children’s hospital with a vision specialist. Mommy was going to take the next day off work, and go to the hospital with me.

We arrived at the hospital well before the time for our appointment. We went to the receptionist, who asked all sorts of questions. She wanted to know my name and my date of birth of course, but then she wanted to know all sorts of other things, like if I ever saw flashes of red, or if I saw better in the morning than I did in the afternoon, and if I ate lots of things with sugar in them, and if I drank soda’s a lot. Mom won’t let us eat candy, and we can’t have sodas except for special occasions, so I answered no.

Then a nurse came along and took me to a machine that I had to look into with my glasses off. There were cows on a hillside, and a path going up to a house. Of course at first with my glasses off I couldn’t see a thing, but soon she made everything clear for me, and I could see almost everything she wanted me to. Then she made me sit in front of another machine with my glasses on, and I had to press a button every time I saw a set of parallel lines that moved all around the machine. After I was finished she took me into another room where a man in a white coat was waiting.

“Hi Sheila. I am Doctor Peters. I am going to try to determine why your eyes have gotten so much worse in the past 3 1/2 years. Could you pick up that book on the table and show me where you hold your books to read?” Doctor Peters asked.

I knew I would get in trouble if I showed him how close I really held everything to my eyes, so I held the book a lot further away from my face than I normally did.

“Well, that is a good distance. I am glad to see that.” Doctor Peters commented.

Then he sat me down in front of the same type of machine that Doctor Parsons used to examine my eyes. He removed my glasses, and then swung the machine over in front of my face. He adjusted the chin pad for me, and then told me to hold my forehead against the upper pad, which I was doing anyway.

“Now I will put the same lenses that you are wearing in your glasses in front of your eyes. There, can you read me the letters on that line?” he asked.

“O, and then maybe a B, and I think an M.” I started off, trying to decipher the blur.

“That is not very good. Here let me try a stronger lens.” Doctor Peters said as he clicked the machine a few times in front of each eye. “Now, try it again.”

“D F N P T H.” I read off rapidly.

“Have her eyes gotten worse in only a couple of months Doctor?” Mom asked.

“Yes they have. She requires another –0.75D to read the 20/30 line. I am going to try her on the 20/20 line but she probably won’t be able to read it, because her strong prescription will minify everything so much that the letters will be too tiny for her to read, no matter how strong I make her lenses.” Doctor Parsons said.

“Now Sheila, what can you read on this line?” he asked as he clicked the lenses in front of my eyes.

“P H U N T D Z.” I replied.

“Very good Sheila. Your vision corrects to 20/20 with only another –0.50D for your prescription.” Doctor Peters replied.

He handed me back my glasses, and I put them back on. “Too weak already” was the thought that ran through my mind. But, I was the one who wanted to wear stronger glasses than Jody. I didn’t want to be in second place.

Doctor Peters spoke with my mom for quite a while. Then he came to get me and said,

“Your mother and I were discussing a number of options for you Sheila. We are quite worried that at 8 years of age your newest prescription that will give you 20/20 vision will have to be –15.50D for each eye. This isn’t the strongest prescription I have ever seen in a child your age, but it is strong enough that I am worried about the strength, and I would like to see what we could do to lessen any further increases. I have discussed with your mother the option of lowering the strength of your glasses to a point where you will be able to see 20/30, instead of 20/20. But, if there is any further deterioration in your eyesight you could drop to 20/40, and even to 20/50 fairly quickly. I have also discussed the idea of prescribing you bifocals for your glasses, because it seems to help stop the myopic creep in young children. What do you want to do?”

It took a minute for what he had said to sink in. “I don’t want bifocals, and I want to be able to see as clearly as possible.”

So, he gave mom a slip for my full prescription without bifocals. I got new frames again, and mom had my old frames fitted with new lenses so that I would have a backup pair in case my glasses broke again. I had already slipped my own old glasses with the same prescription as Jody’s back into the case in her dresser, and no one would ever know that I had bought stronger lenses for those frames, because Jody wouldn’t even notice if she had to wear those glasses as her backup pair.

I was a little worried that my rapidly worsening eyesight was causing concern among my parents. Yes, I wanted to have more attention, but I didn’t want too much fuss. So, I decided that since one of the things I was doing to worsen my eyesight was reading really close to my book, I would move my head back and read at a proper distance. And, this seemed to work. My next checkup indicated that my present glasses prescription was still quite acceptable. Then for my following checkup I required a small increase; so now at 9 years of age I was wearing glasses that had a prescription of –16.00D. The next few years were uneventful. Jody had a few small prescription increases, and it seemed that every time Jody had an increase I required a stronger prescription on my next visit. I was managing to maintain a good –2.50D lead over her, although she was 2 years younger, and she could easily gain that –2.50D on me after my eyes stopped getting worse. At least, the doctors told my mom and I that at a certain age your eyesight stabilized and there were only very minor increases required after that.

I don’t know if I went back to my old habits of reading with my book held too close to my eyes or not, but between the age of 13 and 14 I had a big increase. I went up another –1.50D that year, and now my glasses were –19.50D. I could see perfectly well with my new glasses, so I didn’t care. At least I thought I didn’t care that I needed thick glasses until I overheard a couple of guys discussing my glasses, and how I would be pretty cute if I didn’t have to wear such ugly glasses. I was crushed. I liked the fact that I wore very thick glasses. I thought that they made me stand out in a crowd. It wasn’t like I was blind or anything. I saw really well when I was wearing them. Sure, my world was a mishmash of colored blur when I took them off, but it wasn’t like I couldn’t see as long as I was wearing them.

That night I asked my mom if I could get contact lenses. When she asked me why, I told her what the guys had said. She sympathized with me.

“If you really want to get contact lenses Sheila we will get them for you the next time you go for an eye exam. But just remember that contact lenses will not change you as a person. They will just hide the fact that you have to wear very strong glasses. If you continue to wear glasses eventually you will meet a guy who doesn’t care if you have to wear glasses or not. He will like you for who you are.” Mom said.

I thought about what mom had said for a long time. I had prayed to be able to wear glasses. I figured I had ruined my own eyesight by wearing Jody’s old glasses, and I realized that I had wanted that very much, and I still wanted to wear thick glasses. So, in the end I decided that I would wait until I felt that I really wanted contact lenses, and in the meantime I was going to wear my glasses proudly.

Another –0.50D at age 16 put me into –20.00D lenses. Then the following year I increased another –1.50D and when I was 18 I went up another –1.00D, so that now my glasses were –22.50D. I was thinking about getting my driver’s license, and I asked my doctor if he thought my eyesight was good enough for him to sign the doctor’s statement that people with very strong prescriptions required. He didn’t hesitate. He pulled out the proper form and filled in the blanks, signing it before he gave it to me.

“Your vision is quite good with glasses Sheila. I see no reason why you can’t drive. Good luck getting your license.” Doctor Parsons said.

When I got my new pair of –22.50D glasses I ordered the newest type of thin glass lens that was available. And when I got them, my 1.9 index lenses looked really nice. Jody wanted to get a pair of them, but her prescription was only –18D and dad wouldn’t spend the extra money for her. I felt really good wearing these glasses. They looked super on me, and I started to get a lot of attention from the different guys. Now all of a sudden they didn’t mind my glasses, because they didn’t look as thick and ugly as the ones with the regular plastic lenses had.

I started my driving lessons, and after 3 months my instructor felt that I was driving well enough to pass the road test. I had already aced the written part. I was nervous, but I had a pleasant lady examiner, who also wore pretty strong glasses. She asked me a few questions about my glasses, and I told her where I had gotten them, and what my prescription was. She told me that her prescription was only –17.00D. She took me around a few blocks, and when she brought me back to the examining center, she told me that I had passed. I went inside and they issued me my provisional driver’s license, which I would have to convert to a full license soon after I turned 21.

That fall I went off to college. I had decided I was going to take a journalism course, as I enjoyed writing. I hadn’t realized that my course would involve so much reading, and by the time I graduated at age 21 my prescription had climbed up to –24.50D. Jody had decided to come to the same college as I had, and she was taking a course in nursing. Her prescription had reached –20D, before she graduated from High School, and she seemed to have stabilized, as the last couple of exams had shown no increase.

My last year in college I met Mike, a tall really good-looking guy who was studying to be a teacher to children with disabilities. Mike seemed to completely overlook my strong glasses. He hardly ever discussed my poor eyesight with me, and only once, when the subject of having children came up was the topic ever mentioned. I was the one who suggested that if we got married, and had children our kids would likely inherit my bad eyes, and Mike didn’t even seem concerned. Also, any time we were together in bed, Mike was more than willing to let me leave my glasses on. It seemed that he realized exactly how poor my uncorrected eyesight was.

When we graduated, Mike had one more year to go before he got his teacher’s certificate. We had discussed marriage, but we decided that we would wait another year. So, I got a job working for a local newspaper in the city where Mike was going to be studying for his last year. We did get an apartment together, and we did share a king sized bed in the one bedroom though. During that year my eyesight went from –24.50 up to –26D, and I could no longer get the 1.9 hi index glass lenses. I had to get a lens called a myodisc, which gave me a small circle in the center of the lens that had my prescription in it for me to look through. They were hard to get used to. I wondered why my eyes were getting worse. After all, the doctor had told me that my prescription would likely stabilize in my early 20’s. Jody still was wearing her –20D prescription and showed no signs of requiring any increase.

Mike didn’t seem to mind my myodiscs, and I was glad he didn’t. The doctors and the opticians all told me that with my prescription that was my only choice now. I did find driving a little challenging with the myodiscs, but the doctor signed the renewal form for my license again, so I was good for another 5 years of driving.

For our wedding I got myself a new pair of myodiscs. The lenses were in a small wire frame, and from a distance it almost looked like I wasn’t wearing any glasses. Jody, who was my maid of honor, also got a similar pair of myodiscs in her much lower prescription. We had a wonderful wedding, and a small reception. After a 3-week honeymoon in Europe we settled into a house my parents had placed a down payment on near their home, and Mike was teaching at the local high school. I figured I was a little pregnant, so I wasn’t going to work, as we decided we wanted to have 2 children.

The doctor confirmed my pregnancy, and for the next 8 months my world was filled with decorating, buying baby furniture and of course baby showers. Finally, after what seemed like the longest pregnancy in the history of the western world Mike and I had a baby boy. We had no problem picking a name, as both our fathers were named James, and so we named our son Jamie in honor of the dads.

Jamie was almost a year old when I went for my eye exam. I was shocked to find that I required another –1.00D increase. It had been a little more than a couple of years since I had gotten my first myodiscs, and I had figured that my eyesight had stopped getting worse. I told no one but Mike about my increase, and I ordered a new pair of myodiscs. I was glad that with myodiscs no one could tell that my prescription had gotten even stronger.

I was positive that I wasn’t going to make the same mistake with my first born as my parents had with me. As he learned how to walk, and then talk, I constantly told him that he was going to have a baby sister or brother to play with. And, I knew that I wasn’t going to ignore Jamie for any reason after our second baby was born. Our plan was for me to become pregnant anytime after Jamie was a year old, and Mike and I had a wonderful time trying to accomplish this. Finally we succeeded, and I was pregnant again. We were not sure if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, but finally we decided that it would be nice to know. As we had hoped, our second child was going to be a girl.

This pregnancy was a lot easier than my first one had been, and when Amanda was born she just slipped right out. We had decided that 2 children would be plenty, so I was fixed while I was in the hospital. It was only a couple of days before we brought Amanda home, and I made certain I spent a lot of time with Jamie during the following weeks. He seemed to accept the fact that he had a baby sister, so I hoped he would not feel that he was now in second place like I had felt.

When Amanda was a year old, and Jamie was 3, I took both kids with me when I went for my eye exam. Again I required another –1.00D increase in my prescription. Jamie had 20/20 eyesight, but Amanda was found to be extremely nearsighted. Doctor Parsons felt that she required around a –13.00D, but he suggested that for Amanda’s first prescription he would like to cut it back to –11.00D.

“She will only have to have it increased next year Doctor. And for the whole year she will be seeing things in the distance as a blur. I think I would rather get her the proper prescription right now.” I said.

“Well, you are the parent, and I have to accept your wishes. However, when your sister was the same age as Amanda her actual prescription was –12.50D, and I gave her a prescription of – 10.50D for her first glasses. Her eyes have stabilized. On the other hand, you have had your full correction every time your eyes have been examined, and your eyesight is still getting worse.” Doctor Parsons replied.

“So do you think there is a connection?” I asked.

“No one can be sure Sheila. I just see no reason for Amanda to see any better than 20/40 for the next year.” Doctor Parsons replied.

“Well, I know what it is like to be under corrected, and I would rather have her fully corrected.” I said.

With that Doctor Parsons gave me the slip for Amanda’s full prescription, and we went off to the optician to order Amanda her first pair of glasses. I ordered a new frame and lenses as well, and this frame was different enough that people would notice my new glasses. This time if anyone asked if my prescription had gotten stronger I was going to tell them it had, quite a bit stronger in fact. I liked my glasses, and I was glad I had spent so much time wearing Jody’s –10.50D glasses so many years ago. With my –28.00D prescription there wasn’t much chance I was going to be in second place, and it looked like Amanda was going to follow in my footsteps.


May 2005