Eyesight is something that can be taken for granted, especially if you’ve been lucky enough to have been born without vision problems, but age can take once clear and beautiful images and make them blurry.
The first pair of glasses I needed were for distance.
I could see fine while reading the newspaper or writing a letter, but driving signs became harder and harder to read.
I didn’t mind too much though, as the only drawback I could see was not being able to wear those cool sunglasses that the younger generation are wearing these days.
But then it happened…
My eyes degenerated to the point where I needed bifocals as well, and as some of you know that is a life changer.
But that wasn’t the end of it as a few years later, I was prescribed trifocals as the finishing touch. It took some work to adjust to them, just as it did with the bifocals, but life got easier once I had a handle on them.
We’ve talked before about my participation in triathlons, a task made harder when you can’t see clearly.
I remember the morning of my first triathlon, I stood at the starting line for the swim and couldn’t make out the other side of the shore. I had to be told which direction to swim and was thankful I could follow the crowd, otherwise I might still be swimming in the middle of that lake.
But sports weren’t the only thing made harder from my declining vision..
As a firefighter, our masks are airtight to keep out the smoke, so that means I couldn’t wear conventional glasses.
I actually had to have a special frame with prescription lenses permanently in place in my mask, and once the work was done, and I retrieved my glasses from my pocket they were usually bent or damaged in some way.
But I retired that special mask in 1991, when I left the fire service and went into police work.
It wasn’t too long before I found out wearing glasses in my new profession could be even more hazardous than running into a burning building.
I don’t know how many times I’ve stepped out of my cruiser and my glasses fogged up, and if you’ve ever had that happen, you could imagine the dangers that poses to a cop who can’t see.
You don’t start running after the bad guy when you can’t see because of humidity, nor can you when it’s raining.
I remember seeing my partner hit the ground face first when his glasses fogged up and caused him to miss a step.
But there were more problems than just impeded vision…
Many times I’ve had to return to headquarters and retrieve a spare pair because the glasses I was wearing got damaged during a difficult arrest.
I could go on telling the different ways my glasses have been damaged and knocked off of my face and then stepped on accidentally and on purpose.
And no, contacts were never an option for me, but I can tell you, I’ve seen them cause just as many problems for both firefighters and police officers.
But there is a way to solving the problem of declining sight…
When I first heard about laser eye surgery, it sounded great so I decided to do some research, but while doing so, I got a little spooked and decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward.
But just like all technology, over the years since I first heard about it, procedures have improved and costs have gone down.
So I decided to go for it…
I had the surgery in mid October and all I can say now is…
Wow, what an improvement!!
It’s like I’m seeing again for the very first time.
No more fogged up glasses or broken glasses…
The other night I got out of my cruiser in a rain storm and it was great not having to worry about not being able to see.
Rosemary and I went to the movies and for the first time in forty years, I’m able to sit and enjoy the magnitude of a giant movie screen.
It’s a whole new way of movie watching for me.
I can see better without glasses than I did while wearing glasses.
I still have to wear reading glasses, but I get them at the dollar store and they present no problem.
The doctor said I could have one eye done for distance and one for reading but I chose to have both done for distance.
I was given the choice and that’s what I decided.
Some choose to go the other way, but the fact that there even is a choice is amazing.
I’m not saying that laser eye surgery is for everyone, but I can’t express how wonderful it is for me now, every day there’s something new and great.
There is absolutely nothing negative to say and so much positive, I could go on and on.
As you can tell I’m absolutely thrilled with this new life.
It’s worth every penny and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
It’s funny that often times, if you’re willing to try something new, you’ll experience a fantastic life improvement.
Oh yeah… and I went ahead and bought myself a pair of those cool sunglasses.
Never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t”… because you’re not and you can.