I’ve been thinking about this for years. I’ve worn glasses since I was seven, in fact, I don’t really remember life without glasses. Life has always been a bit blurry for me, you could say.
Laser eye surgery isn’t the easiest decision though. Aside from the high costs of surgery, this is surgery. ON MY EYES. If it goes wrong, I’m screwed. I rely on my eyes every day of my life.
Today I sat down to sign all the waiver forms before surgery and it was enough to put you off ever having it. There’s risk of not correcting it fully, of over correction, of blindness, of somehow having the surgeon only fix one eye and not being able to see for weeks (it was worded as if the surgeon may run away half way through surgery….very worrying) and then of course there was the statement I had to copy out saying that I understand I will need glasses in the future. Seriously. Way to put a dampener on things. I’m assuming this is just regarding needing reading glasses down the line but it did make me stop for a minute and wonder why I’m doing this.
But then I remembered, there+ are 10 million reasons I hate being short sighted.
I want my Clark Kent moment, where I can whip off my specs and fly free.
There are very good reasons Superman doesn’t wear glasses:
- They slide down your nose when you exert yourself
- They steam up if you exert yourself, or walk into a warm room from a cold one (perhaps Superman also frequents English pubs and can’t see the beers on tap for five minutes)
- They stop you from seeing in the rain – especially when you’re travelling at speed (he might be flying round the world, I might be on a push bike)
- If you plunge into water it’s goodbye glasses!
And that’s just for Superman. When I go swimming I’m faced with the dilemma of not being able to see or wearing contacts and risking them fall out when my goggles inevitably leak. I’ve tried both and neither is fun.
When cycling I have a similar dilemma – cycle with glasses and the minute there’s rain or sun I’m stuck – can’t see in the rain without windscreen wipers, and buying sports-specific prescription sunglasses is too pricy. With contact lenses they dry out as I stare into the wind, so I’m forced to wear cycling glasses over them, defeating the point of not wearing glasses.
Contact lenses are in fact the devil’s work. They sound like an affordable, ideal solution but actually cost a lot (so much I can only afford 10 dailies a month) are rubbish for the environment (dailies are the worst as there’s more waste but as I said, they are the most affordable) and they’re also totally impractical.
You can’t have a nap while wearing them as they start drying to your eyes and you risk peeling off a layer of your eye when you take them out.
I often wear them when I go out. So when I get back at 4am tired and tipsy, there’s a good possibility I could forget to remove them. I then wake in a panic 3 hours later, trying to remember if I removed them, and asking myself stupid questions like “Can I see more than I should?!” “Is the world blurry enough?” Needless to say I have spent several mornings poking around in my eye trying to remove something that isn’t there.
I’ve also had the disappointing mornings of waking up believing I can see and having a Peter Parker moment of joy at my new found vision, before the realisation hits that I’ve actually just got half dry contacts stuck to my eyes. Never a good thing.
Contacts pose other issues as well. Spontaneous sleepovers can’t happen unless you’re cool with travelling blind. I once went on a date and ended up staying all night. The guy literally had to hold my hand and guide me all the way home the next day. It was so embarrassing (but clearly his chivalry worked as we then dated for several months).
Another time I went out and thought I was being organised by taking my glasses in my bag in case I ended up crashing at a friend’s. Then I lost my bag. The next day I couldn’t see to even contact the police on my laptop. (Admittedly I could have put new contacts in but in my panic I forgot this).
Festivals aren’t fun with contacts either. You only trust antibac gel to clean your fingers effectively before inserting lenses, and then get an almighty sting if you hadn’t rubbed it in enough!
Talking of stings, contact lenses after chopping chilis is the worst idea ever. I may as well have rubbed the chili directly into my eye.
Sadly sticking to glasses isn’t great either. If you’ve ever walked into a pub in winter with glasses, you’ll know the pain of not being able to see your friends until your glasses demist. The same happens when you exercise outside in winter. Foggy glasses are a thing. A bad thing.
As a climber, I actually can’t be bothered to wear contacts and often wear glasses. Which is fine until I bash them, or worse catch them, on a hold when my face is close to the wall.
All of these issues have plagued me for years. The final straw was the cycling, where I realised I just didn’t feel comfortable cycling with limited vision.
I sat down and thought about how much adventuring I want to do. How I want to compete in triathlons, go wild camping, cycle through mountains and swim in hilltop lakes. Maybe I won’t do any of it, but I certainly don’t want my eyesight to be what’s stopping me.
So today I’m going in for surgery. I’m nervous. Terrified in some ways. But if I can ditch the glasses, I’ll be the happiest girl in the world.
Watch this space to find out what happens!