During my first 5 years as a grade 3 teacher, I had observed a few pupils get their first glasses. The signs were fairly obvious. At the beginning of the year the student would be able to see quite well from whatever seat they had been assigned to. Then after two or three months of school I would notice a little bit of squinting when they had to copy anything from the chalkboard. The next step was usually to move them from their present seat when I noticed them either copying from their neighbors work, or when I saw them talking to their closest seatmates. Once they were in a seat at the front of the room, I would keep a closer eye on the pupil, and usually they would appear at school sporting a pair of glasses within a few weeks. If they didnít and it seemed as if they were still having difficulty seeing the board, I would send a note home to the parents suggesting that their child might benefit from an eye exam. The glasses usually appeared soon after the note.
But something happened in the early fall of that fifth year that defied all logic to most people. One young lady appeared to be going through all of the motions of a fairly nearsighted child. She complained that she couldnít see the board from the back of the classroom; she did a lot of squinting as if she couldnít see things in the distance, and she held her face very close to her bookwork. I moved her to the front, and watched her closely. But something didnít add up. When she thought I wasnít watching, she appeared to be able to see just fine. And something else was strange. She watched me a lot, and appeared to be staring at my glasses. With most people, when they stare at my glasses, I get a feeling that they pity me, but with Karen, I got the feeling that she envied me. I was proud of my glasses. I felt that I had obtained my nearsightedness by pushing my eyes further and further into myopia. And the glasses I wore were a testament to my hard work. They had a prescription of -16D, and they were just regular plastic in a larger than suggested lens size in a wire frame that was sort of a cross between an aviator style lens and a rectangular lens. They did appear pretty thick, and when I got them at age 23, just before I started teaching, I had been tested at -14D, and I ordered my glasses with another -2D boost. I had been busy with my job, and my desire for more myopia had been pushed aside, so even though I likely could have given myself more increases, I had been satisfied to just wear them, and take my pleasure from viewing the world through my thick lenses. But, my glasses are another story, and I should tell my story first so that people can understand why I had such a feeling of empathy for Karen.
My glasses story goes back to when I was about 7, almost 8. My mom had left my dad when I was about 4, and my dad had tried to raise me on his own for a couple of years before he met my step mom. They got married, and now I had an older stepsister Laura, who was 11. Laura got sent home from school one day with a note from the teacher that suggested she needed an eye exam. Her mom took Laura to have her eyes checked, and sure enough when they came home Laura was wearing glasses. I knew absolutely nothing about glasses, but it didnít take me long to find out that Laura was nearsighted. I liked the looks of her eyes through the lenses. They appeared a little smaller, but very clear, unlike the only girl in my class who wore glasses. Her glasses made her eyes look all big and magnified and fuzzy around the edges. Laura didnít mind wearing her glasses, and after she got them I never saw Laura around the house without them on her face. She even put them on to go to the bathroom at night.
Less than a year later Laura had to go back to the doctor and have her eyes examined again. When she got her new pair of glasses I noticed that the lenses appeared noticeably thicker and I loved the looks of the rings around the lens when I looked at her face from a slightly sideways vantage point. Also, there was more cut in at the sides of her face than the old glasses had. My dad and my step mom were talking about Lauraís new glasses and that is how I discovered that they had a prescription of -3.50D, and that they were twice as strong as her old glasses had been. Lauraís mom was worried about this, and felt that Laura was going to be very nearsighted, because the doctor had told her that this was a pretty strong prescription for a 12 year old. And sure enough, about 8 or 9 months later Laura had to get even stronger lenses put in her frames. Now her prescription was -5D
I was looking forward to seeing Laura with stronger and stronger glasses as she grew older. But, this was not destined to happen. My dad and my step mom split up, and she and Laura moved away. I helped Laura with packing up her things, and when she was out of the room I took the case containing her first pair of glasses and hid it in my room. At the time I donít know why I did it, but I knew I wanted those glasses.
In the beginning, from time to time I would wear Lauraís glasses. Dad was always a couple of hours later getting home from work that I was from school, so I would often wear Lauraís old glasses while I watched TV, or did any of the tasks I was assigned to do around the house. I guess legally I was still too young to be by myself without a sitter, but I had promised dad I would not do anything wrong, and he believed, and trusted me.
As I got more accustomed to having Lauraís glasses on my face I decided I would take the biggest step possible. I would wear these glasses all day in school. Fortunately Laura had picked a pair of glasses that were considered unisex frames. They were an oval gold wire frame, and they did not look out of place on a male. And before long my wearing of glasses at school became an accepted thing.
It didnít take long before dad found himself another girlfriend. Sheila was nice, but I didnít discover that there was anything special about Sheila until she moved in with us. The first morning after Sheila moved in I went into the bathroom, and there on a shelf was a glasses case. I carefully opened the case, and I know my heart skipped a beat. In the case was a pair of glasses with very thick lenses. I carefully put them on, and was amazed at the blur. I had been focusing my eyes through almost -2D lenses for a few months now, but there was no way I could even begin to make my eyes focus through these wonderful lenses.
I longed for a glance of Sheila wearing her glasses. But if she did put them on it was long after I was in bed. And I know for sure that she found her way to the bathroom in the morning without them on, because I had watched her, walking carefully down the hall, one hand held out in front of her in case she walked into something. I couldnít help but wonder why she wouldnít do something as simple as put her glasses on, and I knew that eventually one day she was going to have to wear her glasses in front of dad and me.
I had been wearing Lauraís old glasses for most of the school year. For quite a while I would take off the glasses, and after a few minutes I couldnít see any difference in what I saw with or without the glasses. But then one day I removed the glasses, and the things that used to come into focus after a few minutes didnít. During my walk home I was both excited, and scared. I was excited that finally my eyes were going to really need glasses. But I was scared because I wasnít sure how I could introduce the suggestion that I needed an eye exam to my dad without him finding out that I had been wearing Lauraís glasses. One thing I did know though was that I would need to find a way to get even stronger lenses than the doctor would prescribe if I ever wanted my glasses to be as nice and strong as Sheilaís were.
Of course I wore Lauraís old glasses for the balance of the school year. Now when I got home I didnít like the blur that I now saw without glasses, and I almost hated to hear the door opening, because I knew I had to hide my glasses. One evening, after I got home from school and before Sheila and dad arrived I snuck into their bedroom. I carefully went through all of Sheilaís things, and was very pleased to discover that there were 6 cases, containing 6 pairs of glasses in one drawer. I had no idea what Sheilaís prescription was now, but as I looked at the 6 different pairs of glasses I could tell that Sheila had gone through a stage where her glasses got thicker and stronger. The weakest pair of glasses was great. I could make my eyes focus through them without too much problem. But the frame they were in was definitely a girlís frame, so there was no way I could wear them in public. The pair with the next strongest prescription was a little too strong for me to wear comfortably, but the frame was more of a unisex frame like the pair I was wearing, and I could likely get away with wearing them. I could, with a great deal of effort, get my eyes to focus through the lenses. I left the glasses in the drawer, and I hoped Sheila would not notice my intrusion into her privacy.
Fortunately she didnít. But now when I came home from school I had a burning desire to sneak into their room and take Sheilaís glasses from the case and wear them around the house. Usually I would put everything back in place, leaving the empty glasses case and take the glasses to my room, where I would read in private. It only took a few days before I started to feel comfortable reading with that one pair of Sheilaís glasses, so for the next while I kept the glasses with me, and I hoped that Sheila would never open the empty case to discover her old glasses were missing.
During that summer, the summer I was 13, I wore Sheilaís unisex pair of glasses from the time that they left for work until the time they came home. After I had worn them for about 2 months I knew I was in trouble. Now when I put Lauraís old glasses on, the distance blur wouldnít clear with them anymore. I didnít know what to do. I did have some money saved from my allowance, so one morning I rode my bike to the mall at the other end of town, and went to the optical store. I looked at frames, and found a couple I liked at the one hour optical place. When the girl came to help me she asked if I had a copy of my prescription, and I told her I didnít, but I had just had my eyes examined in the spring before we moved here. Instead of telling me that I had to go to the eye doctor and get a new prescription, she told me that they could measure the prescription in my lenses if I wanted to get new glasses for school. I asked her how much a new pair would cost, and she took that pair of Sheilaís glasses that I was wearing and checked them with a machine. Then she told me three different amounts, which were for different thicknesses of lenses. I told her I just needed a spare pair, so I wanted the least expensive ones.
I waited for the hour, and they were ready. The girl fitted the pieces around my ears and when they felt comfortable she gave me my receipt and I left the store wearing my own glasses. I looked at the receipt, and written on it was OD -6.50 x -0.50 x 180 and OS -6.50 x -0.25 x 180. I had no idea what that meant, except that the more I wore them, the less I could see without them.
I was happy that I could put Sheilaís glasses back where they belonged. For the next few days whenever I was around Sheila and dad I would scrunch up my eyes and squint at everything, hoping they would notice. But they didnít. When school started I went to school without my glasses, and by the second day the teacher noticed that I couldnít see very well. He asked if I had glasses, and I told him no, so he sent a note home for my dad. Fortunately none of the kids I had been at school with the year before had heard this conversation, because a few of the kids had asked where my glasses were, and I had told them I broke them.
Sheila took me to her eye doctor, and he was quite surprised that my eyes were so bad for a first prescription. I looked at the paper that he gave to Sheila, and it read OD -3.50 x -0.50 x 180 and OS -3.50 x .0.25 x 180. That was over double the prescription in Lauraís glasses, and not quite half what the prescription was in the glasses that I had been wearing of Sheilaís all summer.
Sheila took me to the same chain of one hour optical stores that I had used on the far side of town. They had the exact same frame that I had purchased, so naturally I chose it. It was a relief to be able to put my new glasses on, as I had been really having problems deciphering the blur without any glasses.
Before anyone had a chance to really examine my new glasses I immediately changed to the first pair I had gotten. When my dad saw me wearing them he remarked to Sheila that they looked pretty strong, and Sheila told him that her doctor had said that I had a pretty strong first prescription. But nothing further was said, and I went on from day to day wearing the glasses I wanted to.
I had been hoping to be able to sneak back into my dadís bedroom and try the next stronger pair from Sheilaís collection, but Sheila was now pregnant, and she was off work until the baby came because of an almost miscarriage. The only good thing about Sheila being home was that she was now wearing her glasses. One night I overheard dad and Sheila talking and Sheila was telling dad that she really needed another eye exam because she was having a lot of trouble seeing things. So dad suggested that she could make herself an appointment, and maybe make one for me as well, since the doctor had told Sheila that he would like to see me in about 6 months, and it had been a little over that. I was glad I had overheard the conversation, as I would have hated to be surprised by Sheila pulling up at school one day and telling me I had to come with her to a doctors appointment. Now I could take my other glasses with me and be prepared in case that happened. And it was a good thing I did that, because that is exactly what happened. Fortunately my other glasses were in my backpack, and I was able to slip them on before I went in to the examining room.
I wasnít surprised, but the doctor was when he had to increase my previous prescription by -2.00D. Now I had a prescription of -5.50D in both eyes, still with the same minor astigmatism. Sheila had a sizable increase as well, and we went to the same one hour place. It was going to be about a week before Sheila got her new glasses, but mine were ready in an hour. I was not satisfied though. I took my previous original prescription and changed the 3ís to 8ís. I had to white out and change the date of the exam, and I scanned the "new" prescription. It looked pretty good, so I headed for the optical store at the mall at the far end of town. They didnít even bat an eye at my doctored prescription. I told the optician that I wanted my new prescription put in my old glasses, and within an hour I had my new glasses on my face. They were stronger than I needed all right, but I felt I could easily accommodate them, because the new prescription was only -3D stronger than my real prescription.
Now Sheila was almost due to have the baby, and she was wearing her glasses all the time. Contact lenses seemed to have taken the back seat to comfort and convenience. I wondered if this would change after the baby was born. But after my sister came along, Sheila still continued to wear her glasses, and even after she returned to work, she wore her glasses most of the time.
Once I had gotten that -8.50D prescription I didnít bother inducing any more myopia myself. I had enough minor changes over the next few years so that by the time I was 22, and had graduated from University, my real prescription had climbed to -14D. But, on graduating, I gave myself a present of my existing pair of glasses. I had read about prism, so I decided I wanted some prism in my new glasses. I didnít know how much I could tolerate, but I chose 5 degrees base out for both eyes. I wanted a little more myopia, so I increased my real prescription to -16D for both eyes. And I had long ago changed a prescription so that my astigmatism was -0.50D x 90 for both eyes. It wasnít hard at all to get used to the prism, and I actually think that the prism made it easier for me to adapt to the extra -2D. But the pressures of work and all the extra curricular activities I had to help out with had kept me so busy over the past 5 years that I hadnít had any time to think about increasing my prescription. Actually, here I was, with a very strong prescription, and I didnít even have a pair of backup glasses.
And, no I didnít learn the hard way that I should have had a spare pair. This story isnít about me as much as it was about explaining why I was able to recognize in Karen the desire to wear glasses. I really didnít know what to do. So, the first thing I did was to ask Karen if she had ever had her eyes examined. When she said that she hadnít but she thought she might need glasses, I asked her if she wanted me to write a note to her parents, and suggest to them that maybe she should have an eye exam. Her face brightened up with this, and she told me that this would be very nice if I would do that. I asked her if she would mind having to wear glasses, and her answer was that she thought that she wouldnít mind wearing glasses at all. This confirmed my thoughts so I wrote the note to her mom.
I wasnít certain if Karen would actually be prescribed glasses. When she showed up at school a couple of days later, she was wearing glasses, but the prescription was so minor it looked like she had only about -0.25D in each eye. I asked her about her glasses.
"I think he gave me the wrong ones. I canít really see much better with them than I could without them." Karen replied.
"They must be the prescription that you required Karen." I replied.
"I donít think so. I can see much better with Katieís glasses." Karen said.
Katie had worn glasses for a couple of years now and she had been prescribed new lenses at least twice. Her glasses were easily about -2.50D. All of a sudden I made a decision. I was going to do something that I really shouldnít do, and if it ever came out that I had done it, I would be in real trouble, probably even loosing my job. I was going to buy Karen new lenses for her glasses.
"What are you doing after school tonight Karen?" I asked.
"I am supposed to go to the day care until my mom picks me up." Karen replied.
"Think about this very carefully before you answer me. Would you like to get lenses as strong as Katieís in your glasses?" I asked.
Karenís face lit up, "I would really like that. But how can I do that?"
ĎThis is going to be our secret. I will take you to the mall after school, and I will buy you new lenses for those glasses." I replied.
"I wonít ever tell anybody." Karen solemnly assured me.
So, I called the lady at the day care and told her that Karen was staying after school for some extra schoolwork, and that I would drive her right to her doorstep after we finished. When school ended, instead of staying around to prepare the lesson plan for the following day, I collected Karen, and we left immediately. I had prepared a new prescription slip from a local doctor who was always closed Wednesday afternoons, so I knew they couldnít call to check on the prescription. The story I was going to tell, and the one I briefed Karen on was that she had been wearing these glasses for a few months, but they were far too weak now, and that my wife and I suspected that our daughter was going to take after me, with my bad eyes. I didnít really need to elaborate to the optician. Within an hour we had new, -2.50D lenses in Karenís glasses. As I drove her to her home I asked her how things looked through her new lenses, and she was very pleased with how well she saw everything. It seemed to be so easy for her to focus through the stronger lenses that I actually wondered for an instant if the optometrist really had made a mistake.
But after this thought passed rapidly through my mind I realized that there were two factors working here. The first was a burning desire in Karen to wear glasses, and the second was that Karen had a lot of accommodation. I wondered aloud to Karen, asking her how soon she hoped to be ready for even stronger lenses, and I was not surprised to hear her say that maybe she would like stronger glasses before Christmas. I rather doubted that this would be possible, as Christmas was a little less than 3 months away.
During the month of October I watched Karen very closely. I was amazed that she could bring her book right up to within about 6" from her eyes and still apparently read every word easily through the -2.50D lenses in her glasses. As November progressed I noticed that Karen never seemed to focus on anything more than a few feet away from her. And by the time the middle of December rolled around I could swear I saw Karen squinting through her glasses to see the blackboard. One evening I asked Karen to remain behind, and she agreed, providing I would call her daycare, and take her home after we were finished. Of course I agreed.
"Now Karen, I am going to set up an eye chart so that I can see just how far you can see without your glasses." I said.
"I canít even see very far with my glasses anymore." Karen replied.
"Ok, letís just see what you can read on the eye chart when you have your glasses on." I said as I paced off the required 20 feet.
"G is the one on the first line. Then it is followed by W and V on the second line. The third line has another G, followed by an S and a B and an E. The fourth line is N, O, I. H, and a W. I canít quite make out the letters on the next line though." Karen said
"Wait a second. The line you canít see with your glasses on is the 20/40 line. I canít believe that. Are you sure?" I asked.
"Yes, I am sure. I canít read any more lines than I already did." Karen replied.
I did some fast thinking. If Karen couldnít read the 20/40 line that indicated that she needed about -2D more correction. That would make her prescription about -4.50D. Her eye doctor had likely prescribed her the original lenses just to keep her quiet. I really didnít believe that Karen had actually needed those first lenses. This was an amazing development, but now I had a dilemma. I couldnít put Karenís original lenses back into her frames, as she was now so nearsighted that she wouldnít be able to function. So, again Karen and I left the school quickly. We headed for the nearest mall, and I took Karen to the eye doctor at the first one hour optical we came to.
Sure enough, Karen left the doctors office with a prescription of -4.25D in both eyes. I had no way to change the prescription slip, nor did I really want to. I was sure that Karen would manage to force her eyes to become even more myopic by forcing herself to read and do all sorts of near point work while wearing her new glasses. So, I merely purchased new lenses for Karenís frames.
I took Karen home, and even though I would gladly have paid for her new lenses out of my own pocket again, I knew that Karenís parents would notice the stronger lenses. They were definitely thicker, as I hadnít spent any extra money on hi index lenses. So, I went in with Karen, and met her father, since her mother hadnít arrived home yet. I explained to him that I had noticed that Karen was having quite a bit of trouble seeing things in the distance again. So, I had taken Karen to the optometrist, and had purchased the required new lenses for her old glasses. Karenís dad thanked me, and paid me for the new lenses.
I am afraid that Karen became my special project. I made sure that she was doing all of her schoolwork, and I helped her with anything she needed help in. I am sure that the other kids noticed this, and they likely started calling Karen the teacherís pet. But if they did, it didnít seem to bother Karen. And, as she had done with her previous glasses, Karen did all of her near point work with her face very close to her books.
We had had a couple of parent teacher nights, but Karen and her parents had not shown up. Karenís grades were good enough that I didnít really need to have a meeting with her parents, but it is always nice to put a face to people. Karen was quite pretty, and I was sure that her mother was as well. Karen seemed to have become quite nearsighted very rapidly, even with wearing a strong overcorrection for the first few months. And I was curious as to why Karen wanted so very badly to be extremely nearsighted. So one day I asked her if anyone in her family wore glasses. I was surprised when Karen answered that her mom wore very strong glasses, but that she always went out wearing contact lenses. That answered my question as to why Karen had developed so much myopia so rapidly. She was genetically inclined.
The school year was drawing to a close when I noticed Karen doing some pretty heavy myopic squinting. Since she had gotten a real prescription the last time I felt I was safe enough to send a note home with her suggesting that she might benefit from another eye exam. I wrote the note, as I always did, on a piece of notepaper with my name on it, and I signed it. The next day when Karen came in she was really happy, because her mom was taking her for another eye exam that afternoon.
"Oh, and my mom says she thinks she might know you." Karen added.
I rather doubted it. I hadnít expressed much interest in girls. "Where does she know me from?" I asked.
"She thinks she might have been your step sister." Karen told me.
"Laura? Is your mom named Laura?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes, it is. Mom told me that she thought Granny was married to your dad." Karen said.
"She was for a few years. I always liked your mom, and we got along well together." I replied.
"Mom said if it was you, I should invite you over for supper Saturday night." Karen said.
"I would like that. Maybe you will have your new glasses by then." I replied.
Actually Karen showed up at school the next morning wearing her new glasses. It was immediately obvious that they were stronger, and I asked Karen what her prescription was. If you ask most people that question they will look at you with a blank stare, as they donít have a clue, but I knew Karen was not just an ordinary glasses wearer. When she told me that she now needed -5.50D, I thought about it for a second.
"Wow that is a pretty strong prescription for a girl who didnít even wear glasses when the school year started." I replied.
"That is what the doctor told mom. He said I had a very strong prescription for a 10 year old, and that my prescription would likely go a lot higher. If it does than I will be just like my mom." Karen said with a grin.
"How strong is your momís prescription now?" I asked.
"I donít know how strong her glasses are, but her contact lenses are -13.50D." Karen told me.
"That would be about -17D for her glasses. I am -16D so she is a little stronger than me, but I have some base out prism, so the edges of my lenses are probably thicker." I replied.
Class started so we had to end our conversation. I was now looking forward to seeing Laura again, and I could hardly wait until Saturday night. When I drove over to Lauraís place I was almost wishing I had taken the time to at least have my eyes examined, so that I could have gotten stronger glasses if I had wanted to, but I hadnít, so for tonight at least her spherical prescription was going to be stronger than mine. But then I realized that wouldnít have mattered, because if what Karen had told me was true, Laura would not be wearing glasses anyway. And, of course she wasnít. It was wonderful to see Laura again. She was quite surprised to see that I wore very strong and thick glasses, because I had not worn glasses when she lived with us. But, I told my story of dad finding out I needed glasses a year or so after she and her mom had moved out. And I continued my story of my eyesight getting worse and of needing stronger and stronger glasses, until finally, about 5 years ago I had ended up wearing the glasses I had on now. I also told her that my eyes required a correction for double vision, and that because of the prism in my lenses I could not wear contact lenses like she did.
Laura had followed a similar course in the progression of her own myopia, so she was not at all surprised by my story. Of course she expressed sadness that I could not wear contacts, but I merely told her that I found glasses to be much simpler to wear than contacts, so I didnít really mind wearing glasses as long as I could see well. Karen agreed with me, although Laura did say that Karen would be getting contacts as soon as she was old enough. I could see the expression on Karenís face, and I could tell that Karen would not be going along with her motherís plan willingly.
By the time the school year was about to end I could tell that Karen had succeeded in making her myopia worse. She was again struggling to see anything in the distance. This was going to be my last chance to help Karen out, so I had her stay in at lunch and I talked to her to see what she wanted. She had just turned 11, and her present -5.50D prescription was obviously too weak for her.
"Well, young lady, you obviously need new glasses again." I said.
"I know I do. I really canít see much anymore unless it is up close." Karen said with a grin on her face a mile wide.
"Well, do you want me to take you to the eye doctor tonight after school?" I asked.
"That would be wonderful if you could do that. Mom is way too busy, and dad is away right now." Karen replied.
So that afternoon after school ended Karen and I went back to her eye doctor. When Karen came out of the examining room with her new prescription in her hand I could tell that she was thrilled. As we walked out to my car I took a look at her new prescription, and was not surprised to see that Karen now required -7D. This was an amazingly rapid deterioration for a girl her age, however Karen had a determination that I had never seen before. But her next question did shock me.
"Can you change the 7 into a 9?" Karen asked.
"I suppose we could do that if you wanted to. But you had better be sure that you really want to do that, because there is no going back. If we have stronger lenses put in your glasses than you really need you will have to wear these glasses and your eyes will become accustomed to, and require that stronger prescription." I replied.
"I want to do it. And what about that thing you have in your glasses that stop you from wearing contacts. Can I get that too?" Karen asked.
"I think I could add some base out prism if you want me to." I replied.
"Please, I want you to. Would you please do that for me?" Karen asked.
So, I changed the 7 into a 9, and I found room to write 3 degrees of base out prism onto the prescription. We went to the one hour optical store we had used before, and again there was no questions asked. Karen chose a new frame, a modern plastic one with wide sides that would hide the thickness of her lenses. We were asked if we wanted to spend the extra money for higher index lenses, but I told the girl that Karenís eyes were changing so fast that it would be a waste of money, and since she had Karenís progression right in front of her she agreed.
Karen was thrilled with her new glasses. They looked very strong to me. The fronts of the lenses were now flat, and there was a lot more power rings at the sides of the lenses. The lenses did stick out at the back quite a bit, but the wide temples hid the protrusion nicely. There was no way that Karen was going to be able to hide the power of her prescription from Laura though.
When I took Karen home Laura was there. She was predictably upset when she saw Karenís new, much stronger glasses. But Karen was so excited at being able to see better that soon Laura became resigned to the fact that these strong looking lenses was what her daughter required now, and that it was her own genetic makeup that led to Karen inheriting her strong myopia.
"She is going to be blind Jim. I didnít even start wearing glasses until I was her age, and she is wearing such strong glasses already. What is it going to be like when she is 17 or 18?" Laura asked.
"She will likely have to wear very strong glasses, or powerful contact lenses for the rest of her life Laura. But, she doesnít seem too perturbed by the fact, so that is good." I replied.
There were only a few more days of school before Karen would be leaving my classroom. I watched her closely to see if she had possibly taken too big a step up, but she appeared to have adjusted to the new glasses with no problem. Now it was out of my hands, and whatever Karen did from now on would be of her own accord.
Naturally I watched Karen as she progressed through the next 3 grades. And I loved it whenever she got new glasses, as they continued to get stronger and stronger. I even went out and bought myself a new pair of glasses, increasing my spherical by a diopter up to -17, and my prism by 2 degrees. This time I selected a more modern frame, and it definitely changed my appearance, although you could still tell I had a very strong prescription.
While Karen was in Junior and Senior High I was still able to drop by the house and visit with them. By the age of 14 Karen was wearing myodiscs. By the time she graduated from high school the myodiscs were a much smaller bowl, so I could tell they were a more powerful lens. And, by the time Karen graduated from university at age 22, she was wearing double myodiscs. She was still wearing the double myodiscs a year or so later when I was invited to her wedding. In the interval I had increased my own prescription slightly, and I had, once I reached -18D, gotten myself a pair of myodiscs, which I quite liked. Laura still wore only contact lenses except when she was at home, but I had managed to be there on a couple of occasions when she was wearing her glasses. I told her that she looked very nice in glasses, but I know she didnít believe me, as she still didnít wear them in public.
Karen and her husband moved to another city, so I donít get to see her very often now. I rather miss having my teacherís pet around, but I think that it was rather humorous that her motherís natural myopia was the main reason I was able to become myopic, and that although Karen was genetically predisposed to be myopic, it in turn lead to Karen getting her first glasses before she really needed glasses.