Losing Focus

One day in fifth grade, I arrived to school and couldn’t see anything. My world had suddenly become a blur. The previous day, I had sat at my desk at the back of the classroom, watching the teacher at the blackboard, and all was fine. The next day, no matter how close I got to the blackboard, I couldn’t make out any of the writing on it. That afternoon, I went to the optometrist. For several days afterward, I walked around in an impressionist-style world full of soft edges, until my glasses arrived.

That lasted for 22 years, during which I went through numerous pairs of glasses and contact lenses. Over the years, my vision became worse and worse, to the point where if I wasn’t wearing my glasses or contact lenses, I couldn’t make out shapes, only areas of color. One day I suddenly thought to myself, “If I were kidnapped and my kidnappers took away my glasses, or my contact lenses dried up, then I would have virtually no chance of survival. Even if I were to escape, I probably wouldn’t survive.”

I investigated Lasik surgery and discovered I was a fair candidate. The doctor warned me before the surgery that because my eyesight was so deteriorated, he couldn’t promise that I would have 20/20 vision after the surgery. He also said that once I turned 40, my eyesight would probably degenerate and I would need glasses again. Even with those caveats, I felt the surgery would be worth it.

I woke up the day after the surgery with 20/15 vision. I was ecstatic. I walked around, just staring at things. My favorite thing to do was wake up, keep my eyes shut, then open them quickly, and see how far I could focus on something. I could swim. I could camp. I could see. I could see!

That lasted for almost ten years. Ten, glorious, sight-ful years. Recently, however, I noticed that things were beginning to become slightly blurry. I could still see, but there’s not the crispness that there was before. So I got glasses (again). I’m not quite in the habit of wearing them. So every now and then, I’ll be watching a movie, or walking at night, and remember I have glasses. And it’s such a treat to put them on and have everything be clear once again.

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