After 35 years I’ve started wearing contact lenses. It was an impulse and not really something I would have considered – your eyes are special and shouldn’t be messed with. I’ve worn glasses pretty constantly; and not just any glasses! These are heavyweight prescriptions which punch a lot of glass in a big frame. In the 80s I had some Reactolite lenses in huge Aviator-type frames that I don’t know how I managed to balance on my nose. I’ve also paid a fortune over the years to get the highest quality glass to reduce the thickness of the lens and increase my choice of frames.
And then on a whim, during a routine checkup, I popped the question assuming that with my prescription it wouldn’t be possible. A week later I was having my first fitting. Lets just say it will go down as one of the less dignified experiences of my life. One mature gentleman trying to hold open the unwilling eye of another and contact lenses pinging arount the room as they shot out. Lots of gentle “well done, we’ll try one more time” through gritted teeth. It seems obvious to me – as a huge finger approaches your eyeball you shut your eyes right? And whoever is holding your eye open does so with a delicacy which can’t overpower the urge of the victim to shut up shop.
As I was about to give up, the mature gentleman/optician/optometrist/torturer played the masterstroke. He passed me over to an attractive young lady in a white coat with gorgeous eyes. She took me into a well lit booth, showed me how to do it and then let me attempt to put one in assisted by an enormous shaving mirror. Oh there were tears of course, I got a bit rough and annoyed with myself but in they went and after a couple of blinks I could see. It reminded me of the magical moment when I wore glasses for the first time. I couldn’t help touching around my eye to check they really were unspectacled. After that we’ve progressed on to the sort which you can leave in for a fortnight without any problems.
What have I noticed?
- I keep feeling for the arms of imaginary spectacles and push them up on the bridge of my nose
- Its great for the gym and running
- When it rains I don’t need to wear a hat
- I can see the mirror the hairdresser holds up and, ironically, how the frames look when I try them on in the opticians
- I have to plan whether I am going to read in bed because when the lenses are out I can’t (my glasses are in the car)
- I need a bit more time in the bathroom than ever before.
- If I have an early start the lenses seem to be very awkward – I tend to leave them in the night before
- I look like a Greek God and wonder why I didn’t do it earlier.