This artist, has painted sea scapes for 30 years, however it may shock many to know that for 48 years, if I was standing on this beach without glasses or contacts this is what i saw through my eyes.
Nearsightedness, or myopia begins around the age of 9 or 10. It was third grade when i really began to notice that I could not see well. It was sitting in a classroom in the fourth grade when i knew I couldn’t see well because I could not read the chalk board unless I was sitting in the first row. My mom would write a note asking the teacher to put me in the first row, because i was having trouble seeing but it always seemed that she would forget a move some trouble kid to the front and move me to the back. Teachers always want the kids in the front that they have to keep tabs on. Did it ever occur that year to my parents to take me to an eye doctor? No…. my mom would just say you are probably just a little nearsighted shug. My mom had 20/20 vision, and people that see perfect can not imagine the above image. I have said before that in my family with limited funds, you had to have a severed arm hanging it seemed to get to see a doc. That is a vast exaggeration however, it seemed that was the case until finally in a school wide eye exam, a note was sent home that my parents must take me to the optometrist.
In that first visit as I sat there at 10 barely able to visualize the chart letters, my first eye exam showed that I was a -300. That would mean 20/300. I really couldn’t see people. Getting glasses was a game changer for my education. I feel as if I missed so much in school all those years being unable to see. I did, however during all of my elementary years consume many books weekly. I was an avid reader as a child with a huge imagination. I was nearsighted, so everything near was 20/20 but away from that was a land of fuzzy distorted blurriness.
I wore glasses until the 9th grade and was the skinniest, gangliest glasses wearing blonde child there has ever been during middle school, but in 9th grade I was very involved in sports. I was on a gymnastics team and track team, so glasses didn’t work and i got contacts! Game changer in sports and in my social life! Boys started to notice the blonde, and I began doing better in my sports winning many gymnast ribbons and coming in first in the regional long jump! I could fly and my son David inherited that speed and unfortunately the need for contacts as well.
As an adult my vision had become horrible. My right eye was 20/1100 and my left 20/1050
So speed up to 2019 when my wonderful Optometrist/friend, declared that I was ready for cataract surgery, and that it would solve my vision issues completely. I had been extremely skeptical because even contacts over the years only got me to a 20/30 or 20/40 vision. The tricky issue was that I could not wear contacts for 3 weeks prior to being examined by a Opthomologist. SCREECH. Whoa 😮 Yikes. How would I survive? How would I drive. I had always kept a pair of glasses by my bed in case of an emergency, but getting around in those very thick thick glasses made the world very distorted. I had never driven a car with glasses because they made my peripheral vision almost zero. I knew that I had to just do it. Those 3 weeks were a struggle. My life was a blur. I have such an appreciation of anyone going thru extreme eye issues. Not seeing just makes you off your game in every aspect of your life. You just feel discombobulated. That describes it perfectly. My wonderful friend whom was in need of a cornea replacement about the time I was going thru this process described it the same way. She has had way more issues with seeing as of late than I. She was born with FUCHS disease and has now had one cornea done and will have the other done in a couple of months.
So speed up to my surgery which went perfectly and then a week later they did my other eye also doing a couple laser incisions on the outer corner of my eye to improve my astigmatism as well as removing my blurry cataract lens and replacing them with perfect clear as a bell lenses.
The first morning awoke to a bright new morning with the sun coming in and the trees beyond and the colors bursting was nothing short of a miracle to me. I sat up in bed and just looked around at my whole new world. I had tears coming down my face. I can never remember just waking up and seeing the world without grabbing for glasses or contacts first. I gave thanks to God first, thanks to my great doctors including my long time optometrist friend and I prayed that I would continue to not have any complications from my two surgeries. It has now been 3 weeks and other that some sensitivity to very bright lights and some starburst effects from lights at night. The doctors say as time goes by my brain will adjust to it.
WHAT is the greatest gift? We each have our opinions. Health, sight,,hearing. Everyone celebrates the one that returns after having issues with losing. Right now I am celebrating the gift of sight. My husband has marveled at my sight journey throughout this process. He had 20/15 vision all of his life until he needed readers around 45. My insurance paid 80 percent of the surgery after we reached our deductible. Both surgeries before insurance was probably about 7000. My husband has said that the money he paid for my surgery was the greatest deal he ever got in his life. He said he would have paid a hundred times more than that price. Being an artist and now florist, color plays an important roll in my life. Colors have never ever been as vivid as they are now. Don’t put off trying to improve your life. Science has improved leaps and bounds in medicine and surgeries. The surgery was painless and simple. Why not see the world with eyes wide open and clear?!!!!