Gherkin Blind Climb poster
Last month I got my routine 6 monthly eye test. My prescription has altered, which I knew before going to the opticians. I was struggling to see my phone, without holding it at the end of my nose and looking over the top of my glasses as I could no longer see close-up with them.
The change in my sight wasn’t a big change, but it was a significant one.
The way my eye condition is, with the strength of prescription that I need I can’t have near vision and long vision. I can have ‘reading glasses’ to see things that are close to me, like reading, seeing my children etc. Or I can have distance glasses and be able to watch tv or the kids playing around in the park. But I can’t see anything closer than my arm length away. If I didn’t suffer with LCA or Nystagmus I would be able to wear varifocals. But as I do, I can’t.
With my LCA I am now also unable to adjust easily to different light levels, meaning that I am also unable to adjust between two different prescription glasses, to go from distance to reading lenses.
So I had to make a choice…….
And I chose to see my children, large printed letters and the people that I love. Because on a bright sunny day, I wouldn’t see anyone even with distance lenses!
However, this time at the optician I received the news that I was very close to the limit of what they could do for me with prescription glasses. I am getting to the limit of a difference that having a prescription would make to me.
The other issue I had, is that although my eye’s have only changed ever so slightly in the last six months, it has actually been over two years of ‘ever so slight changes’ since I have been in a position to purchase a new pair of glasses, because before I have even chosen pretty frames, the lenses themselves are in the region of £280 (after allowances)
So, having the money to spend, I bought a new prescription and the frames to sit them in. Two weeks to make them, and additional £100 to reduce the thickness from 9mm to 3mm, I got my new glasses……
And all the ‘slight changes’ have added up to one hell of a dramatic change.
A change that means that on a bright sunny day, I am better protecting my remaining sight with a pair of non-prescription sunglasses than wearing my actual prescription.
My new prescription, although strong for me. Is in-fact the equivalent of a reading glass prescription in the amount of difference that it makes, especially with my distance vision.
So for the first time since I was about 4, I am getting used to not wearing glasses full time. An issue that I am struggling with just a bit.
When I am outside in the glorious sunshine that we are experiencing at the moment, I am comfortable and confident wearing my new sunglasses, but inside is a different story.
At home, right now as I write this I am wearing my glasses, when I at meetings I am wearing my glasses, but when I am in the gym or on the climbing wall, I do not wear my glasses.
And it is not a look or feel that I am getting used to…… Just Yet!
As my sight has deteriorated, the brightness, font size and contrast have all increased on my phone. Now Siri has become my best friend and now that I have turned on the voice over, my phone is even more accessible than ever.
I have also found the camera to a fabulous addition to my life. It has enabled me to take numerous pictures of my children playing, birds flying, animals on a farm and today a squirrel. I have found that so far in the summer holidays I have taken nearly 100 photos a time when we have been out and about. Not because I am boring everyone on Facebook with what I have been doing. But so that I can see what the children have been doing, for example when they are playing on the swings in the park. Or when they are feeding a goat at the farm. These are just photos for me, many of them get deleted, but it means that I can watch them later or even use the zoom feature to watch them or check on them while they are running around.
Some people curse smart phones and Iphones, but for me having all these features with me enhances my independence not only with my children, but when I am shopping. I used the camera just yesterday to take an image of a shelf price that I couldn’t read. Because with magnification and holding at the right level, I can read it.
I can’t live without mine now. It is a way of communicating with friends and family, my Sat Nav, CCTV, document reader and so much more.