Again, this is a work of fiction. No myopes, high or otherwise have been harmed in the writing of this story, and any references, or scenario's are imagined. No slights have been made, intentionally, or otherwise to those who suffer from high myopia, or from other vision problems.
SURROUNDED BY MYODISCS:
I had met Kristen in the 9th grade and we had dated off and on during high school. After I graduated from high school, Kristen became my steady girl. We had discussed marriage, but not with any great amount of seriousness, at least on my part. At the time, I was only 19, and I had only been out of school for a few months. Kristen was 17, but would turn 18 in a few weeks. And, to be perfectly honest about it, while Kristin was one of the nicer looking girls around here that was close to my age, she sure was no great beauty. Really, all I had been interested in was “getting into her pants” as all the guys called it. I had succeeded about a month before, and since then we had been doing it on a regular basis, as she liked it as much as I did.
One day, Kirsten called me at work, and told me that we had to meet later that day. I had no idea what she wanted, but when I met with her, she told me that she was pregnant. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The rest of my life was completely mapped out in front of me. I didn’t really want to be a father before I was 20, but Kristen told me that she hadn’t planned on being a mother at 19 either. So, we talked about it like rational adults. Both of us had strong feelings against abortion, so that was out of the question. We were going to have to get married.
Four months after Kristen had first missed her period, we were standing in front of a minister. Kristen’s mom, Lynn, had been quite upset that we were going to have to get married, but my parents just shrugged it off, and sat in the church quite pleased that I was going to finally settle down. Mr. Shanks, my boss at the lumberyard had agreed to keep me on that fall, although he told me that I would likely be laid off for a few months after Christmas. And, we had rented an inexpensive, but small, two-bedroom house on the wrong side of the tracks that needed a lot of work. So, I would be able to do most of the work when I was on unemployment. Mr. Shanks also had agreed to sell me the materials on credit and was going to give me an employee discount.
We didn’t have any money for a honeymoon. When the ceremony was over, we went to our little house and on the following Monday, I was back to work. We settled into married life pretty easily, and I had to admit that, except when Kristen was a bit bitchy about her pregnancy, things were pretty good. I knew that the baby was due in January, which was still 9 weeks away, so I was not prepared for the phone call that I received from Lynn at work, telling me that Kristen had just been rushed to the hospital. I made it to the hospital just in time to witness the birth of our very premature, tiny, baby girl. While she was very small, she seemed to be perfectly made. It was a tense time for a while, as the doctors were not sure that the baby would make it. Kristen had a lot of internal bleeding, and had to stay in the hospital for a number of days as well. We had been hesitant to name the baby, but as soon as it looked as if she was going to be all right, we named her Heather Lynn. Heather was in an incubator for quite a while, but finally she started to gain a bit of weight, and after 6 weeks in the hospital, she was allowed to come home to us.
As I had expected, I was laid off, and I spent my time doing a lot of jobs around the house. As the weather started to warm up in the spring, Mr. Shanks called me back to work, and it was great to have money coming in again. Things were pretty busy at the lumberyard that spring, and I didn’t have a lot of spare time to spend with Kristen and Heather. But, one weekend in June, when Heather was about 6 months old, Kristen asked me to look at Heather, and particularly watch her eyes. I looked carefully at her, and I noticed that her eyes seemed to be unfocused and that she didn’t seem to respond to things around her. Her left eye would move one way, and her right eye would move another way. I held a toy up to her and she didn’t respond. She seemed to be blind. So, on Monday we made an appointment with our local doctor to have Heather examined.
Doc Jones had delivered Kristen, and myself, and had also assisted in delivering Heather. Both Kristen and I trusted him, and after he had examined Heather, he sat us down and informed us that Heather was severely nearsighted, and was essentially blind, likely as a result of her being so premature and in an incubator for so long. He said that he thought something could be done for Heather to give her vision. He recommended that we go into the city to see a specialist. So, with his help, we had an appointment set up with a pediatric ophthalmologist the following week.
Mr. Shanks was a really good boss, and when I explained our problem, he let me use his new Buick to drive to the city. I had been afraid that my old clunker would not make it, and obviously he had the same thought, as he offered me his car as soon as I told him where we had to go. I had been going to the city to pick up things for the lumberyard for the past year in the delivery truck, so I was reasonably familiar with the roads. The Children’s Hospital was in an area that I had never been in, and of course we did get lost a couple of times. But, we made it on time, and we were sent up to the 5th floor, where we met with the head pediatric ophthalmologist. Dr. Burton was a very nice man, and after examining Heather, he discussed her vision problem with us.
He said that Heather was probably born with very poor eyesight and she was blind because her vision could not develop because of the very high myopia that she had. She essentially could not focus her eyes on things.
He told us, “She is extremely nearsighted to the extent of around –22 diopters. To put this in perspective, a person with –10 dipoters is considered to have very high myopia or nearsightedness and Heather was born with over twice that degree of myopia. I have examined her eyes with the most up to date equipment available to us, and I feel that with glasses of the proper strength, her eyes will begin to function together, and she should have useful vision. It will probably never be normal, but with glasses, she should be able to see and not be blind. I am going to give you a prescription for glasses for Heather. This prescription is about –2D less than what the instruments indicate that she needs, but I would rather under prescribe for her than over prescribe, as it seems with congenital myopia that the stronger the first glasses are, the sooner they need even stronger ones. All we are concerned with right now is to get her eyes functioning. In another year, we will bring her prescription up to where she can see the best possible. You will have to see that Heather wears the glasses all of the time in order to have her vision develop.”
There was an optical store right in the hospital, so we ordered Heather a small pair of glasses. Rather than making us come back into the city to get them, they agreed to mail them to us, and after waiting for a couple of weeks, the glasses arrived. Doctor Burton was correct in telling us that Heather would soon learn to move her eyes together, once she could focus, and it was a pleasure to see Heather play with the toys that had previously sat unused in her crib. Once or twice, she tried to take her glasses off, but we had strapped them on to the back of her head. Once, she did manage to pull them off, and they lay on the floor of the crib. She was unable to see anything, and started to cry. But, Kristen rushed in to see what was the matter. When she put the glasses back on her, she immediately stopped crying, and she was happy again because she could again see, and thereafter she was quite content to wear her glasses. People did stare at our pretty little girl that had to wear such strong glasses with over ½” thick lenses.
That fall, instead of giving me another layoff, Mr. Shanks made special arrangements with a friend of his, to put me in “sand camp”. I wasn’t really crazy about the idea, but working paid a lot better than did unemployment. They took the lumber deck off my truck, and put a sand spreader in its place. Now, I had to live in a bunkhouse, with 6 or 7 other men, and wait for it to snow. Then I had to follow the snowplows and spread sand on the highway. Once a week, I got to go home for a day.
I think it was near the end of the first month when I went home, and found Kristen anxiously waiting to talk with me.
“Dave, would you be upset if I had to spend some of the money you are making to get myself a pair of glasses?”
“Why should I be upset if you need them to see?” I replied.
A week later, I arrived home to find Kristen wearing her new glasses. While I had previously thought that Kristen wasn’t the prettiest girl that I could have chosen to marry, the minute I saw her wearing glasses, I fell madly in love with her. Her glasses made her a new person. Once her glasses were placed on her nose they hid the funny little bump that you could see from the side. And, from the front, they made her previously plain face take on a completely different look. They filled her face in as if they were always meant to be there, and made her look much prettier. We immediately made love.
That summer found us going back to the city to see Dr. Burton, and get Heather her stronger glasses. Doctor Burton noticed Kristen’s glasses, and asked her how long she had been wearing glasses. When she told him that they were her first pair, he said that they probably wouldn’t get any stronger, as most people experience the main increases in their teenage years.
Heather started school when she was 5, wearing bifocal glasses that had –25D lenses. The very strong, thick glasses gave her vision, but they only gave her 20/100 acuity. Because of her poor vision, she was very shy. But, all of her teachers loved her. Heather was such a sweetheart, she would look at you and squint her eyes behind the lenses in her glasses and melt your heart. Consequently, most of her teachers throughout the grade school spent extra time helping Heather. They all bent over backwards to make sure that her poor eyesight didn’t hold her back too much. When she was around 7, and we went back to Dr. Burton for her annual checkup, she had to have new glasses with a prescription of –27D, and over the next couple of years, there was a sizable increase in her prescription each year. By her 9th birthday, she was wearing glasses with a spherical correction of around –30D. She had very little astigmatism, but even wearing the very strong glasses with lenses that were 1” thick, she still couldn’t see well, and we were forced to buy her some low vision aids, such as telescopic glasses so she could see the blackboard and other visuals that they used in school.
During this same period of time, Kristen also had some prescription increases, and shortly after Heather had gotten her new –30D glasses, I came home from work to find Kristen wearing new glasses as well. I stared for a whole minute, as I was surprised that they looked so strong and thick. Kristen told me that they were only a little bit stronger than her old glasses, but they were a little larger frame size, and the opticians had suggested flat fronts on her lenses to try to reduce the edge thickness. I looked at her glasses, and almost told her that it didn’t look like it worked because the edge of her lenses were about ½” thick. But, I thought I had best keep my mouth shut. I did ask her how strong her new lenses were, and I remember her being a bit evasive, only saying that they were a bit over –9D. It didn’t matter to me, as long as she could see, and I still found her incredibly good looking wearing glasses, so we celebrated her new glasses with an evening in bed. I do remember that night was the first time she wanted to leave her glasses on while we made love.
It seemed that Doctor Burton was wrong when he told Kristen that her eyes probably wouldn’t get much worse. When she went for her yearly eye exam, she almost always had to get a stronger prescription. After we had first been married, Kristen had taken a part time job with the local newspaper. She didn’t make a lot of money, just $20 per week, writing book reviews on the new books that came into the local library, but it sure helped out with the expenses. And Kristen was an avid reader. I had never known anyone who could read as many books as fast as she could, and keep all the stories straight in her head. I often came home from my job at the lumberyard to find Kristen with her nose literally buried in a book. One time, I commented that maybe her eyes wouldn’t get worse so fast, if she would move the book back from her glasses a little further, as it seemed that she held her book no further than about 6” from the lenses of her ever thickening glasses. I remember the day that I said something. She did move her face away from the book, but as she continued reading, I saw her draw closer and closer to the book again, so that eventually her nose was buried in the pages again. I figured that it was a waste of time to say anything more and she must need to get that close to see the print.
Heather didn’t have another prescription change until she was around 13. But, then the increases seemed to come in leaps and bounds of 2 and 3 diopters at a time. When Heather was 14 and entered high school, Dr. Burton said that they would have to give her a special type of lens called, a myodisc lens, to accommodate her very high prescription and the increased size of lens that she needed for her glasses. By the time Heather was 16, she was wearing glasses that were around –40D, and her vision was not very good. In order to see things, she had to get very close to them. She had to sit right up about a foot from the TV set to watch programs and she could not see clearly more than about 7 feet. By her 18th birthday, her prescription had increased even further to around –45D. She graduated from High School, but her extremely poor eyesight with her glasses precluded any further thought of higher education.
The year Heather graduated from High School was the year that Mr. Shanks died, and the lumberyard was sold. All of the old employees were let go, myself included. Kristen and I were wondering what we were going to do for an income, when out of the blue; she was offered the job of book reviewer for one of the major newspapers in the city. Kristen took the job, and we moved into the city, purchasing a small house with easy bus access for Heather.
Once we had moved into the city, I was able to get a well paying job driving a truck hauling construction equipment. Kristen’s newspaper job paid extremely well, and Heather had even been able to find a job at the National Institute for the Blind. You know the old saying: “In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is King.” Well, that was also true for anyone who had vision, even someone with as poor eyesight as Heather. And, Heather was able to get along on her own fairly well. We had bought her a computer with a large screen monitor. She had telescopic glasses that she could use to enable her to see a bit more clearly in the distance. And, she carried a small telescope that she could put up to one of the lenses of her glasses to help her read the bus numbers, and the street signs. So, even with her 20/200 eyesight, she got along pretty well. They loved her at the Institute, and soon she was helping train the guide dogs for the blind. She really liked this, and often brought the dogs that she was training home with her. She taught herself Braille, and she even began carrying, and using a white cane, as she had very poor depth perception, and was completely blind at night, and she often tripped on curbs. The cane allowed her to find the curbs before the fall occurred.
At night, around the house, Kristen was usually found with her nose buried in a book. Heather would spend the evenings up in her room with her face close to her computer, surfing the internet, and I would either go out to my shop and do some woodworking, or I would watch television until it was time to go to bed. We all found that we did like living in the city. One night after we had been living there around 3 years or so, the doorbell ring. I got up and answered it. The young man who stood at the door was a pleasant enough looking fellow, and from the thickness of his glasses, I thought he must have been one of Heather’s co-workers at the Institute. He asked for Heather, and I invited him in, and called up to her room. After that, Jimmy was a frequent visitor, and the two of them would spend most of the evening in Heather’s room – with the bedroom door open – talking, and spending time on the internet.
Jimmy seemed a pleasant sort of fellow. He was well dressed, and polite, and seemed to be quite well educated. His glasses didn’t seem quite as strong as Heather’s were, but they were exactly the same type of glass double myodisc lenses. If I hadn’t known better, I would have almost sworn that they were an old pair of Heather’s.
Kristen’s glasses had also increased in thickness with great regularity, but it didn’t really matter too much to me how thick they were. I still loved her very much, wearing her glasses. One day I asked her, if she needed the car that day, as my pickup truck had broken down, and I had to get some parts after work to fix it. She said that all she had to do was pick up her new, stronger glasses, and if I would do that for her, I could use the car. So, I agreed. After work I got my parts, and went to the optical store. The optician brought the glasses out, and showed them to me, and I was shocked. They were not very thick at the outer edges, but they also looked different and had a small negative lens set into another lens that looked to be a magnifying lens, similar to Heather’s glasses. I knew that these were myodiscs, and I knew that your prescription had to be quite high before you needed lenses like this. I didn’t say anything, but I took the glasses home, and gave them to Kristen. She put them on, and seemed pleased that she could see well again, and we made love again that night with her wearing her new glasses with myodisc lenses.
Jimmy and Heather continued dating, and I found myself hoping that the two of them would get married. Heather was a pleasant looking girl, beautiful to a father, but a bit plain and chubby to a prospective suitor. And, by now her glasses had increased to –50D, and the lenses were so strong that you could not see her eyes behind them. They were very thick and even with the new anti reflection coating, they reflected a lot of light from the front surface and appeared to be glassy spots in front of her eyes. They certainly did not add to her looks and most people were turned off by their appearance. So, Jimmy was certainly a prime candidate for marriage for Heather, in my mind, as he also wore very thick, myodisc glasses. They seemed to be a perfect pair. And Heather was now 22, so she was definitely old enough to be married. One night after Jimmy had left early, Heather was sitting with me watching the TV. I asked Heather if she and Jimmy had discussed marriage, and she told me they had. I asked her what they had thought about having children, since both of them had such poor eyesight, and I was floored by Heather’s response.
“Oh Jimmy’s eyes are not so bad, those glasses he is wearing are an old pair of my glasses. He does wear glasses, because he is nearsighted, but his glasses are only around –10D. He wears plus contact lenses to be able to wear my old –40D glasses, so that he can see. He is a member of a large group of people on the internet that do that. It is called GOC, and I met him on the net, and he wanted to buy a pair of my old glasses that had a very strong prescription, so I sold him a pair. He got the right contact lenses to wear under them, and now he just loves to wear them as much of the time as he possibly can,” she told me. “But, yes he also likes me a lot, because I have to wear these very strong, –50D glasses”.
This shocked me and I could not understand it at all. I’m afraid I lost it. I couldn’t believe that my daughter had actually given out enough personal information about herself, to allow her to meet and become involved with someone that she met on the internet. I also found that I had a hard time rationalizing Jimmy’s desires to wear the super strong glasses that Heather wore. I ranted and raved for a while, and I forbade Heather to ever see Jimmy again. I just could not understand this bizarre attraction to strong glasses like Heather’s.
That night, as Kristen and I lay in bed, she said to me,” I have a confession to make.”
I thought I was going to have a hard time telling Dave what I had done, now almost 21 years ago. But, he was coming down so hard on Jimmy that I thought I should at least try to make him understand that people could have the desire to wear glasses, and very strong glasses at that.
I asked Dave, if he remembered when I first had gotten glasses, and he told me he did. Then I went on to explain that I had always wanted to wear glasses as a kid, and the first glasses I had were ones that I had purchased in a thrift store when I was shopping for baby clothing for Heather, just before we discovered that Heather had serious vision problems. I told him I had tried on an old pair of glasses, and I had gotten such a rush from trying to force my eyes to see through the lenses that I had bought the glasses for less than a dollar. Then, for almost a year, whenever he was at work, I would wear the glasses around the house all day. Finally, when he was at the sand camp that winter, I could no longer see anything more than a few feet away from me without the glasses, and I had gotten up the nerve to go to our local eye doctor, and have my eyes examined. With Dave away, I had been wearing the thrift store glasses constantly, and I even wore them to my eye examination. When the doctor asked me how long I had worn glasses, I told him that the thrift store glasses were an old pair that my girlfriend from the city had loaned me, after I had told her I could no longer see things in the distance. Then I told him that they helped a lot, but things in the distance were still a bit blurry. When he finished examining me, he told me that he thought that that prescription must have been pretty close to what I actually needed, but he would give me a little stronger prescription, since I felt I couldn’t see quite properly in the distance. Of course, I pulled my head back a little bit from the machine that he used to put the lenses in front of my eyes, so I think that that helped me get the stronger prescription, but it is also possible that my eyes had actually become nearsighted, as I really felt that I needed the glasses to see. When he gave me the first real prescription, I had ever had, I looked at it, and I read the numbers: O.D. –4.25 x –0.50 x 180, and O.S. –4.00 x –0.75 x 165. I couldn’t wait to get these new glasses. I had been extremely jealous of Heather, when she got her glasses, and now I was happy that I was getting my own. And, then after I had worn my own for a little while, they seemed too weak, and I wanted even stronger lenses.
That was around the time, when I was starting to do the book reviews for the newspaper. Ever since I had started to wear the first glasses I had gotten from the thrift store, I had been reading with my glasses on, and I would bring the book up very close to my glasses to read. I also began to do needlepoint, and I would do the fine needlepoint with my glasses on, and my nose buried in my work. I used to do this for hours on end, and I would not look at anything in the distance. Most of the time, when I finished, everything more than a few feet away would be very blurry for quite a while. So, when I thought that I could make the blur last for more than a couple of hours, after I had finished my close work, I would make a late afternoon appointment with the eye doctor. Then, I would read as much as I could until it was time to go, and then when I sat in the waiting room, I would work on my needlepoint, holding it a few inches from one of my lenses. When the doctor would ask me how my vision was, I would tell him that up close was great, but distance was nothing but a blur. The first couple of times I went, I would leave with a prescription increase of no less than –1D. I would then both immediately order, and start wearing the new glasses, or if I had had the frames for a couple of lens changes, I would order new frames and lenses. I got up to a prescription of around –6.50D but then it seemed that for the next couple of years, I was unable to force my eyes to get worse, no matter how much close work I did.
Then, one time when Heather and I had gone to the city for her annual eye examination, I found another thrift store, and there was a nice thick, strong pair of glasses in the bin. So, I bought them, and I started to wear them as often as I could, without you finding out. I knew that I hadn’t managed to make my eyes weak enough to be able to convince the doctor that I needed the prescription that was in those glasses, but I no longer could see clearly enough to drive with my own glasses, so I went back to my eye doctor, and had my eyes examined. I was given a new prescription that read OD –7.75 x –0.50 x180, and OS –7.50 x –0.75 x 145. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to spend any money to purchase glasses with a prescription that was lower than the one in the thrift store glasses, and I felt that I could force my eyes to see through an even stronger prescription than the thrift store glasses. The longer I looked at the new prescription, the more I became convinced that I could change the 7 to a 2, and that there was room to slip a 1 in front of the 2, giving me a new prescription over –12D. So, I went off to the city by myself, and went to one of the new one-hour optical stores. I snapped the plastic frame of the glasses I had bought at the thrift shop, when I was just down the corridor from the optical store in the mall, and I wandered in to the store as blind as I could be. They were very helpful when they saw my thick lenses, and my broken glasses, and they found me a new frame, and resized my old lenses to fit in the new frame. This only took a short time, and then I went on to another mall, and another one of the same optical chain stores. I showed them the prescription I had altered, and I told them I wanted exactly the same frame that I already had. It was no surprise that they managed to have the same frame in stock. But, they wouldn’t put regular plastic lenses in the frame for me. I refused to buy polycarbonate, so they finally agreed to order me lenses in a high index plastic that was new to the market. Then, a couple of weeks later, they called me to tell me that my new glasses were ready. Although I had been wearing the new frame style constantly around town, and around the house when you were at work, I had not worn the other glasses around you yet, and when I got the new ones that were a bit stronger than –12D, I was pleased to see that they were exactly the same thickness as the lower powered regular plastic lenses that had been put in the identical frames. Once I put the –12D glasses on, I found it wasn’t too hard to overcome the blur and wear them all the time. I was very nervous about what your reaction would be when you first saw me with those glasses. The frame that I had ordered was a little larger frame than what the optician had suggested, and the lenses really were quite thick. But, you didn’t say anything, other than asking me how strong they were. I lied, and told you they were around –9D, and we made love that night. I remember that you let me leave those glasses on while we made love, and I have worn glasses while we made love ever since.
After I got used to the –12D glasses by wearing them full time for a couple of years, it seemed to be easier to force my prescription to increase by at least –1D a year. Last month, when my prescription was increased to –21.50D, I was told I would have to get myodiscs. When you picked them up for me, the new glasses had been in at the optician’s for a few days, and I was very anxious to get them. But, I waited for the day that you had to use the car, and I asked you to pick up my new glasses. I knew that you would not be as upset about me having to wear myodiscs, if you saw the glasses first, and then saw me wearing them. But now that I have them, and you are used to the way I look in them, I don’t think you mind them too much. And I absolutely love wearing them. I am sure that it is hard for you to understand, but I think Jimmy feels the same way I do about glasses. There has been no harm done to Heather from her meeting Jimmy on the internet, and he does seem to be a very nice young man. Please try, for Heather’s sake, to understand Jimmy’s desires and let Heather see Jimmy again.
Can you believe my wife? We have a daughter that was born so nearsighted that she was essentially blind, and all of her life she has not had good vision, even with glasses. Now I find out that my wife has been forcing her own eyes to get weaker and weaker for over 20 years, just so she can wear really thick, strong glasses herself. And she thinks it is all right for Heather to marry a guy that has a glasses obsession, and a fetish for wearing very strong glasses.
Well, I find all this pretty hard to take, but what the heck, I guess that I’m just along for the ride. So, I told Heather that I was sorry I had come unglued and sounded off to her about Jimmy, and after thinking it over, I decided it was all right with me if she continued to date Jimmy. They did date for a while longer, and that is why I am standing here at the back of the church, dressed in this monkey suit, waiting for the limousine to bring my severely nearsighted, almost blind daughter, to the church, so that I can walk down the aisle with her. I had always thought that with her poor eyesight, she would never be able to find a guy to marry her. And, to top it all off, Jimmy’s dad is worth mega bucks, so money will not be a worry for Heather and Jimmy.
Well, Jimmy and Heather have been married now for about 5 years, and they seem to be very happy. Jimmy found a doctor that would implant lenses in his eyes so that he can wear the extremely strong glasses that he likes to wear without having to mess with contact lenses. They tried to have the same doctor reduce Heather’s severe myopia, but the doctor wouldn’t take a chance on operating on Heather. He felt that it would just be too dangerous, and that her limited vision was far better than total blindness. Jimmy’s father passed away last year, and left him enough money that he shouldn’t have to worry, but he has gotten involved in buying and selling stocks, and has increased his father’s fortune by a rather substantial amount. They have given Kristen and myself 2 lovely healthy grandchildren – a boy, and a girl, 3 and 5 years of age. So far the kids show no signs of needing glasses.
I had a big fight with Kristen after she told me about making her eyes worse and worse. But, we kissed and made up, and she promised me that she would stop doing anything to force her myopia to increase further. But it seems, that she still needs stronger glasses almost every year. I often watch her reading. She is still holding her book 6” or less in front of her thick myodisc lenses, and I really don’t know if she has stopped forcing her eyes to get worse, or if she has done it for so long that they are just getting worse and worse naturally. When I think about it, I remember what Dr Burton first told us about Heather, and the fact that stronger glasses seemed to lead to even stronger glasses, so maybe Kristen has reached a point where her eyes just naturally require stronger glasses every year. But, the first time Kristen went for her annual eye exam after she promised me that she would stop forcing her increases, she came home and showed me the new prescription. It was the largest actual increase she had ever had. I couldn’t believe that she had been doing everything she could do to prevent this increase, so I called her eye doctor, and we went to see him together. I wanted Kristen to tell him the truth, and to see what his reaction would be.
I was surprised to see Kristen back in my office again so soon, and with her husband accompanying her. He had a look on his face that led me to believe that there was something seriously wrong, so I rearranged my appointments to be able to meet with them. Kristen told me the same story, word for word that she had told her husband. When she was finished, I didn’t know how to react, but I could tell that her husband thought that she had continued increasing her prescription because she wanted to continue to need stronger and stronger glasses.
I told Kristen that I thought that when she had started wearing the thrift store glasses that she had likely been developing myopia naturally, probably as a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy. I asked her if she had passed the vision test for her driver’s license before she became pregnant, and she nodded her head yes. And, I then told her that if she had not been developing natural myopia, it would have been almost impossible for her to have needed a prescription that was stronger than the thrift store glasses.
I went on to explain to Kristen and Dave that when Kristen had first come to me, after moving to the city, I had given Kristen the same thorough vision examination I gave to every new patient. I had given her the drug atropine, to paralyze the cilliary muscles in her eyes, and that it was almost impossible that she could have used any of her own accommodation while these muscles were paralyzed. I then showed Dave and Kristen how, for every vision exam, I first use the auto refractor to get an indication of the strength of the new lenses, if in fact new lenses are required, and then I use the old, tried and true method of which lens is best with the phoropter. And, with Kristen, I had, on a number of occasions, measured the axial length of her eyes, and I could assure both of them that Kristen did indeed have the extremely elongated eyeball found only in high myopes. I also had noticed, in past examinations, that Kristen had a very steep corneal curve, which accounted for part of her myopia. She also had the best accommodation I had ever seen in a patient of her age. Her accommodation was every bit as good as a child’s. This would explain why she had been able to wear glasses that were a lot higher power than she actually needed, until her eyeball naturally grew to the length that required that prescription.
I surmised that Kristen was probably one of the very few people that have progressive, severe adult myopia, and that it was quite likely that her myopia would continue to increase for the rest of her life. Dave and Kristen left my office unhappy with my prognosis for further increases in her myopia, but happy in the knowledge that Kristen hadn’t really caused her own severe myopia.
We all watched Kristen on a television news talk show this afternoon. She was giving a book review, and she had picked up her newest pair of glasses that morning, just prior to the broadcast. I hadn’t even seen her wearing them until we saw her on the television. During the interview, the host, Dana, who has known Kristen for a number of years, asked her if her eyes had gotten worse, and if she was wearing new glasses. When Kristen told her that they had gotten worse, and her new glasses were much stronger, Dana asked her if she was going to continue reviewing books until she went blind. Kristen told her that her daughter’s eyes were about –22D worse than hers were, and that Heather was still able to read. So, Kristen felt that she would be able to continue with her book reviews for quite a while longer.
With a mother who has to wear –50D glasses with myodisc lenses, and a grandmother who wears –28D glasses and enjoys wearing glasses with myodisc lenses, and a father who also loves to wear strong glasses with myodisc lenses, do you think I should have any reason to be a little worried about what the future might bring for my two grandchildren?
Specs4ever, with editing by Aliena.