Monday, February 27, 2012

Little bits of plastic in my eyes

Bryan and I jinxed our children. With both of us very familiar with the world of contacts, glasses, eye appointments and optometrists...we knew when we married 18 years ago that our children wouldn't stand a chance. And so it was no surprise when both Rebekah and Julianne started exhibiting signs of the world turning into a very blurry place.

Glasses, so much cuter than they were when I was their age, are still undesirable and kind of a pain when you are a teenager. So at their combined appointment with Dr. Murray this past week, we discussed contacts and decided to make the jump. 

Watching the girls learn how to insert what is realistically, a piece of plastic, into their eye has brought back a lot of memories. My more vivid memories are wrapped around the days (months) of getting used to my gas permeable (hard) lenses initially (much harder to do than with soft lenses) and then the times when I would lose them, which unfortunately happened occasionally. On more than one occasion my dad...and then in later years, my husband...spent time lying under the bathroom sink carefully tearing apart the plumbing in the hopes of finding a tiny, bluish tinted contact lens resting in in the u-bend after I had dropped it down the sink. I actually dropped one of my lenses down the sink the day after I got married in mine and Bryan's hotel room. (!!!) Though a bit humiliating, luckily we weren't leaving for our Florida honeymoon until the next day so I was able to call my mom and have her make a quick trip to my eye doctor for a loaner lens and bring it to me at my hotel. (Awkward, yes.)

Thirteen years ago I had LASIK eye surgery. It seemed rather miraculous to me that I went from having to be literally guided down the hall to the surgery room because I couldn't sitting up and immediately being able to read the clock on the wall! 

(Don't I look lovely with those protective eye shields taped to my face?  I could hardly keep my eyes open for the picture, so sensitive to light were they at this point.)

Bryan, on the other hand, still wears contacts. He suffers from an eye disease called Keratoconus....a degenerative condition where structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape rather than its normal, gradual curve. Bryan's mother and brother, Kevin also have this condition. It became so pronounced in Kevin some years ago that he was literally going blind and had to have cornea transplants in both eyes. Bryan's keratoconus, thankfully, has never got that bad and his prescription has stayed fairly stable for the past few years. In light of this, Dr. Murray told Bryan of a new that he feels will take the place of LASIK very soon AND is a good fit for Bryan despite the keratoconus. Less invasive than LASIK, apparently they implant a contact lens somewhat permanently in the space between the cornea and iris. Which means that if Bryan's eyes started getting worse again, they could go back in and either replace the contact with a new prescription or just remove it all together. Amazing, isn't it, what modern medicine can do? This surgery may be in his future a year or so from now.

But in the meantime, there are now three contact wearers in the family. With advice and tips from their dad, the girls have taken to their soft lenses like pros. Though they did have glasses, they wore them sparingly and grudgingly, so I had to laugh when Rebekah made the comment, “Wow...the world sure is a beautiful place when you can see!”


MG said...

My son made the same comment just a few months ago when he started wearing his contacts.

Judy said...

love your blog . . .can't wait to go exploring :)

Sara said...

I'd thought all these years that Rebekah already had contact lenses. I don't remember the last time I saw her wearing glasses. Glasses are so cute these days - especially if you aren't doomed to wearing super thick lenses (like I had to put up with until high school!) After 11 years of no glasses or contacts, I'm doing just great with my new glasses. It's so good to see!

Shauna said...

I really want to do LASIK at some point. I gave up on my gas perms after my third child because they are really an all or nothing kind of lens and it just got to be too time consuming to deal with it all on top of trying to get three little kids ready every day. It's not in the budget yet, but it's on my list. I'm always jealous when people tell me how great it is to see!