The Nearsighted Ballerina

by Specs4ever

When I turned 55, I decided I was going to make some significant changes in my life. So, I quit my job, sold my house, and moved to a different part of the country. My main reason for stopping in this area was the fact that there was no snow in the winter. Another bonus was that there was no one in the area that knew me, so I was free to do what I wanted.

For a number of years in the area I formerly lived in I had been doing what is called GOC. This involves wearing strong contact lenses under strong glasses. Some people like to wear strong plus glasses over minus contact lenses, but I liked it the other way around. I got my thrills out of wearing strong minus glasses over high plus contact lenses. I had managed to find ways to do this so that I had never been caught by anyone I knew, but every time I went out for a GOC session I was afraid that today would be the day that I ran into someone who was more than a casual acquaintance.

So, the day I moved into my new area I wore my favorite pair of glasses, a pair with a prescription of around –24D. The lenses were a very high index in a fairly small frame eye size, so they were not myodiscs. I felt quite comfortable wearing them, and I had decided I was going to continue this for the rest of my life.

The best paying job I could find immediately was working in the warehouse of a furniture store. I unloaded trucks, assembled the new furniture, and helped load the store trucks for local deliveries. I enjoyed the job, however the hours were short, and the pay was mediocre. I managed to wear my GOC combination full time for the first couple of months, but I hadn’t counted on the fact that the warehouse was dusty, and after a while my eyes began to protest the wearing of contact lenses full time. Now I had a problem. My own glasses were a modest –3D in each eye. This was just strong enough that I could not function without them while I gave my eyes a rest from the wearing of my high plus contacts. So, I came up with an idea. I told everyone that I was wearing contact lenses, but I preferred to be able to read without glasses, so my contacts were set for reading, and I had to wear glasses over my contacts to be able to see distance properly.

This seemed to work. Some days, when my eyes felt they could tolerate it, I wore the GOC combination. Other days I wore my real glasses. This went on for a period of about 6 months. Finally I reached a point where I couldn’t survive comfortably on the wages I had been earning. I was going to either have to find a better paying job, or I was going to be forced to dig into my savings.

Fortunately I managed to find a better paying job. However, I was now operating a backhoe, and driving a dump truck, so any idea I might have had of continuing to do GOC was pretty well out the window. I just couldn’t manage wearing contact lenses in the now dusty environment I was working in.

The nice thing about having a better paying job was that it allowed me a little more financial freedom. I began going out once in a while, and I joined a singles club. Of course I was looking for that elusive girl who wore thick minus glasses that I had been searching for all my life. I really didn’t expect I would find one who suited me, but nothing could stop me from hoping.

The club met every Saturday night for a dinner get together and a dance. Of course there were a few ladies who were GWG’s, but most of them wore plus lensed bifocals. There were 2 who wore minus glasses. Gail was a medium height blond – colored from her natural grey of course, who was a little heavy in the derriere. She wore an interesting looking pair of brown plastic framed glasses in an oval shaped lens style, and from the looks of them, I figured her prescription was around the –15D mark. The other lady, Judy, was rather tall and had let her hair go it’s natural grey color. While she was tall, she wasn’t too tall for me, and her figure was a lot slimmer and trimmer than Gail’s was. But Judy wore a wire framed pair of glasses that had a bit of a curvature to the front of the lens, so I suspected that her prescription was somewhere in the range of –7D. Of course I went for the lady with the highest prescription. But after a few weeks of hanging around with Gail, I had discovered that I really wasn’t attracted to her. We had very little in common, or maybe it was that Gail just couldn’t seem to carry on an intelligent conversation. So, over the period of the next few weeks I managed to distance myself from Gail.

I maneuvered myself into a position where I seemed to be included in the group that hung around with Judy, and while I didn’t want to make it too obvious I did manage to be around Judy a lot. Finally it was suggested that an outdoor picnic would be a nice outing, so I invited Judy to ride with me. We all packed our own food, and I went to Judy’s house to pick her up. She was wearing prescription sunglasses, and I suspected that they might have been her old glasses that had been tinted for sunglasses. They were in a larger plastic frame, and had plano fronts. I could also see the lines of the bifocals. I had been wrong. From the looks of these glasses Judy wore a prescription much closer to –9D than –7D. I don’t know why I was happier that Judy needed a stronger prescription than I had previously thought, but I was. It likely had something to do with the fact that I had always used –10D as my minimum standard for a girlfriend, and –9D was a lot closer to –10D than –7D was.

It took a couple more months of careful courting before Judy and I were considered as a couple. With the couple designation came a few privileges. Now I was invited to Judy’s house. And I met her daughter, her son in law, and her granddaughter.

Judy was a very good dancer, smooth, and lithe. Now I found out where it came from. Judy had trained as a ballerina when she was younger, but an unfortunate accident on stage when she was 17 had severely fractured her hip, and she had been in the hospital for a number of months. The fracture had healed, but the doctor’s had recommended that Judy give up her idea of becoming a ballerina. While she had given up on the idea of dancing professionally Judy had continued dancing through the years, and had actually taught a number of young girls the rudiments of ballet. Presently she was teaching her granddaughter Natasha, and Judy had high hopes that Tasha would become the dancer she had never been able to be.

When Judy told me that she had never worn glasses until after she had her accident something didn’t ring true. Yes, I could understand that she might have thought that she hadn’t needed glasses before her accident, but at age 17, I suspected that she might have been growing a little nearsighted naturally. I had never heard of an accident making someone mildly myopic, although I had heard of an accident causing detached retinas and making someone who had not worn glasses extremely myopic as a result. I suspected that possibly Judy had been a beginning myope, and the weeks of lying in traction in a hospital bed had helped her myopia increase, much like the submariners I had read about in WWII. A large number of Navy personnel had become myopic after serving a tour of duty on a submarine, and the theory was that they had such a short visual field that their eyes adapted to this and they developed myopia. But, I didn’t know for sure, so I didn’t say anything about my theory.

Another thing that added to my theory of natural myopia was that Judy’s daughter Lisa was a myope. Lisa was only around a –4D myope, but I suspected that Lisa might have inherited the natural myopia from Judy. So, I was pretty convinced that Judy might well have been unable to see the object that she tripped on during the dance recital where she broke her hip.

And, the more I hung around with Judy and her family the more I was able to watch Tasha. At age 13, Tasha was at the prime age to show signs of beginning myopia. And sure enough, the more I watched Tasha, the more I was convinced that her eyesight was beginning to deteriorate. The proof came one afternoon when Judy and I took Tasha to a movie. Our first stop was at one of the fast food chains for a bite of lunch. Tasha had trouble reading the menu. Then when we were at the show, Tasha wanted to sit closer to the front. Judy mentioned this to Lisa when we took Tasha home.

Within a few days Tasha became a glasses wearer. I suspected a prescription in the range of –2.50D, because Tasha became an instant full time wearer. But, I didn’t want to show too much interest, so I never asked. However, it didn’t seem to take much more than 6 months before Tasha had to make another trip to the optometrist. This time there was a lot of talk about Tasha’s eyesight. Her new prescription was –4.50D in both eyes, which happened to be exactly the same as her mother’s.

Judy was still training Tasha to become a ballerina. But now Tasha had to wear her glasses all the time, as she just couldn’t see well enough to go around without them. Judy was very disappointed about this, because she knew that Tasha didn’t stand a chance to be a professional ballet dancer if she wore glasses. So, Judy decided that she was going to buy Tasha contact lenses as a present for her 14th birthday. But no one had counted on the fact that when Tasha was tested for her contact lenses it was discovered that her prescription had jumped to –6D. So, Tasha got new lenses in her glasses again, along with contact lenses. Tasha didn’t do well wearing contacts. She could tolerate them for about 5 or 6 hours a day. So, most days Tasha wore her glasses. The only times she used her contacts were when she was practicing her ballet, or dancing in a recital. Judy seemed happy enough with this arrangement though.

By the end of her first year of wearing glasses Tasha had developed –6D of myopia. The following year saw another –3D added to her prescription, and now Tasha, at age 15 was as nearsighted as her grandmother. And, as her contact lenses got stronger as well, the tolerance that Tasha had for wearing contacts declined slightly. Now she could only wear them for about 4 hours, and the more days in a row she wore them the less she could tolerate them the following day. So, now the plan was that Tasha could no longer wear contacts while practicing. This way wearing them for the entire recital was possible.

I suggested that we purchase Tasha a pair of rimless glasses with a small eye size to make the glasses less noticeable, and lighter on her face when she was dancing. I suppose I got a little technical when I was talking about how the anti reflective coating and the edge polishing would work to reduce the appearance of glasses.

"Well, if anyone should know about strong glasses you should." Judy said.

I looked at her quizzically.

"Oh, don’t play dumb. Lisa and I first met you when you were working at the furniture store. We both remarked on how powerful a pair of glasses you were wearing. Then when I met you, and realized that you were the same guy from the furniture store, I realized that your glasses were not the same, and were a much weaker prescription. I looked in your eyes to see if you were wearing contacts, but I saw you weren’t. So, I checked the Internet to see what I could find out, and I think you are one of those men who have a glasses fetish. I think that your glasses fetish also extends to your wearing strong glasses over high plus contacts." Judy told me.

"If I tell you that you are correct what will that do to our relationship?" I asked.

"I have had this figured out for over a year now. Have you noticed a problem with our relationship in the past year?" Judy asked.

"None whatsoever. But how would you feel if I wore my strong glasses again once in a while?" I asked.

"I can handle it." Judy replied.

I am sure that a gay male or a lesbian female must feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders when they come out and tell friends and family. At least that is how I felt. Now I was able to wear my strong glasses around the house, and while having sex with Judy. She really didn’t seem to mind my little fetish.

It would have been wonderful if Tasha’s eyesight had remained stable. But it didn’t. In the year between 15 and 16 she required another –4.50D added to her prescription. She was quite depressed about this, as she felt that she would no longer be able to attend Ballet school. And because of the rapid increase in her myopia, her optometrist had sent her to a specialist in high myopia. The prognosis was not good. The specialist who examined Tasha very carefully felt that Tasha had a case of severe progressive myopia, and her vision was going to deteriorate very rapidly.

And it appeared that the specialist was correct. By her 17th birthday, when Tasha returned home from her first year of Ballet school her prescription had climbed to –17D. She got a new pair of rimless glasses, however they were very thick at the edges. The optician told us that this would be the last pair of rimless glasses they could make for Tasha.

With this announcement I stepped in again. I spoke with the lab technician at our local 1 hour optical. I explained to him that I wanted to try an experiment. So he ordered a pair of 18.50D lens blanks. I took these blanks home, and using a belt sander I created a pair of blanks with a very thin edge, and a small bowl. Using progressively finer sandpaper all the way up to 2000 grit worked all the scratches out. Then using very fine polish and a buffer I buffed the area around the bowl to a high polish. I then returned the blanks to the lab technician, and asked him to mount them in a pair of rimless frames, using the correct pd of 64 for Tasha. He did this, and then sent the finished lenses out for the antireflective coating. When the glasses were finished, we now had a pair of glasses for Tasha that were almost invisible on her face from a distance. Even close up they didn’t look too bad. But, they were about –1.50D stronger than the prescription that Tasha required, so when we sent her back to Ballet school, it was with the instructions not to wear the new glasses until she was prescribed a higher prescription.

This didn’t take long. By the time Tasha returned home for Christmas that year she was wearing the rimless myodiscs. She saw her specialist, and the specialist found some traces of lattice degeneration, a precursor to a retinal detachment. So Tasha had laser surgery on her retina’s to prevent a detachment. Tasha was still able to wear contact lenses for a 4-hour stretch. She was doing very well at Ballet school, and the following spring we went to see her in a production of Swan Lake. She was wonderful, as Judy knew she would be.

A couple more years of schooling, and a couple more years of myopia progression found Tasha wearing a prescription of –23.50D. The lab technician that had helped me with the first pair of rimless myodiscs had made a number of other pairs for Tasha as her prescription climbed higher and higher. But now we were running out of options. The strongest prescription we could make with even the highest index plastic was going to be –25D. Any stronger would have required a biconcave lens, and this would not look very good. Fortunately Tasha experienced a slowing of her progression, and she did not require the –25D lenses until she was 21.

Tasha graduated, and the National Ballet hired her as a dancer. Her prescription remained stable for a couple of years, but by the time Tasha was 23 another problem developed. Tasha could no longer tolerate her thick contact lenses. In a very high minus contact lens the contact lens is very similar to a myodisc, and the center is paper thin, while the outside area is like a myodisc carrier, and is quite thick. So, as reluctant as I was to try this, I suggested that possibly it might be time to check out the possibility of having lens implants done for Tasha.

Her doctor was not overjoyed with the thought of doing lens implants in Tasha’s eyes, especially with her weak retina’s. He suggested removal of her inner lenses, but I knew that while this would probably allow Tasha to never wear glasses again for distance, it would destroy her ability to focus. So, I suggested the inner ocular lens implant as the best overall choice. After a great deal of discussion it was decided by Tasha that she would take the chance of being blind for the rest of her life rather than having to give up her dancing career, and possibly going blind anyway.

The operation was done, and Tasha now only has to wear a –6D prescription. It would have been nice if she could have been corrected completely, but the strongest available lens implants were only enough to correct -20.00D of myopia. Fortunately she now has a whole range of different contact lens materials to choose from, and the doctors have managed to find some lenses that she can wear for almost 8 hours at a time. Her career has skyrocketed, and she is traveling all over the world to perform. She is pleased that she decided to take the chance. Judy is thrilled. And I am pretty happy, because I am now retired, and Judy lets me wander around wearing my thick glasses whenever I want.


Dec 2006