650 – White Smoke Mountain • 19

The Friday Blog

My arms, as they say, have gotten too short for me to read.

I have become a victim of Late Adult Onset Myopia, so called exclusively because of my age. If I were three years younger it would have been would have been regular old Adult Onset Myopia. Apparently I am now a late adult.

I have been having increasing difficulties working. Headaches, squinting, and my stupid eyes just hurt. Lena dragged me (I was not happy to go) to the local Pearlvision to get my eyeballs checked out. We booked their next earliest appointment, and came back five days later. I wasn’t thrilled about the delay, but then I wasn’t happy about being there at all, so I figured what the hell. While we were there they took three walk-ins. Fuckers.

Once the check-up started though, everything was fine. They were way sweet to me and the whole thing took about thirty minutes. I got to look at a very pretty and colorful picture of the insides of my eyes and the doctor assured me everything looked great there. That was kinda reassuring since there are all sorts of health problem they can detect in there.

Anyway, despite being nearsighted, my biggest problem was with reading up close. Far away stuff was still okay… though not quite as okay as it used to be. Not that long ago I supposedly had 20/15 vision, now my eyes were 20/20 and 20/30. (Left to right.) But I had always expected the vision to go eventually… and I think I look good in glasses, so still, it wasn’t really a disaster.

And then… it was time to pick out frames.

Fortunately, as a man, there is much less choice than women have. This seems true across the board, no matter what you’re shopping for. Honestly, I have no idea how women are ever able to make up their own minds about anything. Anyway… the cheapest frames (without lenses) were $140, and they went WAY up from there. I picked the lowest price frames I could find, and talked to the non-vision-impaired salesgirl. (Prescription in my hand for ten minutes, and already I’m feeling aggrieved by the “normal-sighted” world.) We talked for awhile about what I needed vs. what I wanted, I made a few cuts here and there, and we had fortunately shown up during one of their many two-for-one deals. The final price came in at $574.95.

I thanked her and walked out. (Oo! I totally should have said, “Good day, madam!” That would have been awesome.)

Anyway, I went home and started looking online. Lena had some friends that had bought their glasses online and had really liked the results. I found a place with lots of reviews and a good reputation, and then realized I was vastly under qualified to order my own glasses. What the hell did I know? Did I want progressives, bifocals, tints, transitions, polycarbonates, springframes, leaded or unleaded, paper or plastic… I had no idea. So I went to facebook to settle the issue.

Twenty four hours later I was far more confused than I had been before I had asked. Fucking facebook. Lena had a few questions she wanted to ask on my behalf the next time we happened by an optometrist’s office, and fortune put us at Costco the very next day. There we met a wonderful woman named Susan (names have been changed to protect the innocent — her real name was Sandy) who finally told me everything I needed to know to at least order the damn things, even though I won’t really know if they’ll be the right things for a few days after they arrive.

Which brings me to the point of all of this. My glasses are ordered, but probably still two weeks away from my head. I can still work without the headaches, but it requires Excedrine Migraine, at the least. Two blogs last week were several hours late because of this. (Last Friday was made even worse by the suicide squirrel.) While I don’t want to be medicating every day, I am trying to take the pills for as few days as I can and cram all the work into those days, and then go do something outside until my glasses arrive. With luck, this shouldn’t impact my schedule again.

One of the walk-ins at Pearlvision was an older lady in a bright pink outfit who had died her long, doubtlessly white hair matte black. She was there for ten minutes before they started giving her the exam, and she asked why they needed to look at her eyes when all she needed was a cellphone. They guided her next door to the AT&T store.

At least I can see better than that.

51 Responses to 650 – White Smoke Mountain • 19

  1. I’m 25 and I have very poor vision, 20/200 in both eyes this is caused by a disease called keratoconus (something that glasses can never fix) however I had a very good doctor who recommended special contact lenses and I now have 20/30 in both eyes

    anyway I could give you some advice since I have had poor vision all of my life, first windows has a little tool that helps us folk with poor vision it should be located in START > PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > ACCESSIBILITY > Magnifier I dont use mac but I would be surprised if macs don’t have a simulair program. yup right here http://www.apple.com/accessibility/macosx/vision.html
    Also many browsers have zoom functions that increase text size (I know firefox does its under the View tab)

    and one more thing, face book? huh? should have used Google and wiki! shame on you =O although you do need to get the information from a doctor anyway

    • I wanted to talk to a bunch of people who actually WORE glasses and get their opinions, but in retrospect it was the wrong move. There are about 120% more opinions on glasses than there are glasses wearers.

  2. Just joined the legions of the four eyed this last year. I’d been getting headaches, mostly behind my eyes, for a while but never thought much of it since I spend so much time playing video games or on the computer (playing video games). Then one day we go to a live show of Kids in the Hall (it was awesome btw) and we’re seated way up in the nosebleeds. I’m looking down at this screen that has something written on it and I say “Is that supposed to be all blurry like that?” My sister, who had just recently gotten glasses herself, snickers at me and hands me her lenses. I put them on and the words clear right up. I said “Fuck!” and realized that it was about time to go see the eye doctor. It was still a little while before I got around to it, but ever since the headaches have gone away (except the days that I forget my glasses at home). And yes, they were retardedly expensive, even with my healthcare through work and getting the cheapest ones I could with the fewest bells and whistles they offer. Don’t feel bad Kevin, once you start wearing them and the headaches go away it will totally be worth however much you have to shell out to get your second pair of eyes. Just be glad you don’t have kids to twist the frames all up for you or break them in half. Thank Dear Rev. DM for warranties.

  3. I’m also myopic and have been wearing glasses since 8th grade now, which would make it almost half my life.
    I started blinking alot(the effort of trying to see?) and noticed I couldn’t see the chalkboard all too well from afar.
    I wear them constantly, except when in bed/shower, of course, and when I read books/long internet articles.

    So what’s your prescription on the glasses, Kevin?
    Mine are about -3.25 for the right eye and -3 for the left, even though I started from a mere ~-1. I’m going blind. :'(

      • You should do some Googling (or Oggling as the case may be) for “geek girls with glasses”. The results are likely not safe for work which is why I’m not posting any links…..but yeah, there are some hot ones. And Tina Fey ain’t bad either (plus, she’s got that whole Fairy thing in her name).

    • See how her face lines up inside and outside the lense over her left eye? That’s because there’s no lense there. It’s common in photography and video to prevent glare.

      Unrelated note: You don’t need transitions or tinted lenses (except maybe polarized to stop glare) if you get enough vitamin A.

  4. My Ex is a certified optician (who once worked for the company that owns Pearle), so I soaked up a lot of info about optical places, practices, and prices. Sounds like ya got a pretty square deal if you picked up 2 pairs (if that price was for one, u probably got screwed unless it’s a complicated perscription). However, be warned- big chain store optical places are not always the best quality, or staffed by certified opticians. You may want to have the eye doctor check them over to make sure the perscription is correct and they were made correctly. You haven’t had headaches till you’ve tried to adjust your eyes to a wrong perscription for a few days. Also, put them on for the first time in the morning instead of the middle of the day- it’s easier for your eyes to adjust that way.

    • Zenni Optical gets great reviews and Consumer Reports even indicated that they did the best job matching prescription out of all of the sources they reviewed. I don’t have the issue date, but I heard about it on Clark Howard’s radio show (www.clarkhoward.com). A full pair starting as cheap as like $9 to your door — add-ons cost more, but still for $570 you can buy a LOT of glasses.

  5. You should shop for prescription eyewear on the internet. I’ve been buying single and multi focus glasses from websites very cheaply. They work great. Google for “prescription glasses”.

  6. It took me a while to get used to my glasses. It didn’t help that the first pair were for an astigmatism that I apparently don’t have. I’m supposed to wear them all the time, but I usually only wear them at work. I honestly can’t see any difference between having them on and not wearing them. Everything looks exactly the same to me. The doctor didn’t tell me what my vision is, but the sales associate lady said 20/50. I don’t think that’s possible, though, because a friend of mine said that’s what her vision is and she can’t see anything without her glasses. I see fine without mine. I was just getting headaches at work and can’t see things very close up. What’s funny is how I sit in front of the computer for DAYS at home and not have any problems. Maybe it’s because I’m not chained to my desk at home, but that’s another story.

    I can’t wait to see your glasses. 🙂 I’ll be sure to wear mine to the game next week and then we can make (more) fun out of the 2-eyed minority at the table. 😀

    • I’m honestly excited to have them myself.

      I do know that your eyes change as you age, and if it’s been more than a year since you got yours and you can’t tell the difference, it may be time for new ones.

      How do you make fun of someone for NOT needing glasses?

    • Tonya: “I see fine without mine. I was just getting headaches at work and can’t see things very close up.”

      Isn’t that a contradiction? If you can’t see things properly, then your vision is not “fine”, period.

      I have myopia, like my mother, and wear glasses since I have been… twelve or so. Don’t remember. *shrug*

      Odd though, from your stories it sounds as if in the USA tons of people are running around without glasses who would badly need them. Here in Germany, the majority of people wears glasses (seriously, you see more people with than without) and those that don’t probably wear contact lenses. 😉

      Ten years back I used to have self-tinting glasses that were supposed to get darker in UV radiation. Never worked properly… the chemicals don’t react fast enough when you step outside after having been in a building, or vice versa, and they don’t react when you’re driving in a car. But they did get darker in the winter (apparently reacting to the cold). So these days I have glasses without but instead go for the standard add-ons like anti-scratch, non-reflecting, lotus-effect coating, plastic glasses (which are not as heavy as real glass and these days the disadvantages plastics used to have compared to glass have been overcome). My husband wears by bendable titanium frames, but that’s a matter of personal tastes.

      Kevin wrote: “Did I want progressives, bifocals, tints, transitions, polycarbonates, springframes, leaded or unleaded, paper or plastic”

      Paper??? 😐

      “One of the walk-ins at Pearlvision was an older lady in a bright pink outfit who had died her long, doubtlessly white hair matte black. She was there for ten minutes before they started giving her the exam, and she asked why they needed to look at her eyes when all she needed was a cellphone. They guided her next door to the AT&T store.”

      Now that was hilarious.

      • I think it’s cause us Americans are a stubborn, vain people. A lot of us see people with glasses as “nerdy” or “geeky” looking and the others just refuse to go to the eye doctor and have their eyes checked. I know several guys who need glasses that just won’t go because they either think they’ll look stupid with glasses or just because they don’t want to spend the money for something they “don’t need.” As soon as I found out my vision was bad I started making preparations to get the money together and go get some specs. I’d rather be able to see well than worry about what I look like. And I wear them well anyway so it worked out okay for me.

        • Hm. Another reason to get your eyes checked is, if you drive a car and have an accident because you didn’t notice something you should have, and the insurance company gets the idea to have your eyes checked, and they find out you drove without glasses when you needed them, they might refrain from paying insurance money.

          Not to mention that’s it’s scary no longer being able to read the damn street signs, especially in twilight conditions.

          • As amusing as it is to watch someone not get the joke…

            “paper or plastic” refers to a question that used to be asked regularly at grocery store checkout, asking which sort of bag you wanted to carry the groceries in. I’ve more recently seen just plastic unless you specify otherwise.

            So he threw that in as an extra emphasis on the various options available, not seriously meaning that it was a choice in frames.

            Though there are paper glasses frames, but only for those red/blue 3D glasses that I’ve seen 🙂

  7. re: the comic

    Aw, the band-aid is trying to befriend the trigger-happy jerk.
    Some days, Morty just can’t win.

    But Morty raises a good point: Most adventurers aren’t friends, they’re merely mercenaries who work together raiding dungeons. If they didn’t recognize each other as fellow player characters (must be that invisible PC halo) they’d have no reason not to kill each other for XPs.

    • well unless it’s an entire party of Paladins, Rangers, druids and monks, you always wind up with one guy who just had to go “Chaotic Neutral” (Which means he can basically do whatever the heck he wants)

      Speaking of monks, I never played ADND after second edition came out, kinda glanced at “oriental Adventures” – How DID the monk class ever finally turn out? Do they still have that lame “There can be only one” bit at the higher levels? (In my campaign I split monks into three ‘schools’ by alignment, so there were actually THREE “grand Masters” (LG was “…of the flowers”, LN was “…of the four winds” and LE was “…of the Dragon Fist”) and I added one more level above those three that really WAS a “there can be only one” – If I had heard of Dragonball Z at the time, the title for that probably would have been “Kaio” – But I dont think DB even existed at the time…)

      • Dunno, while I did play AD&D 2nd Ed, I didnt have Oriental Adventures. I only know Monks from D&D 3rd Edition where they’re simply martial artists with some pseudo-oriental KungFu powers thrown in.

        I di remember that in 2nd edition, the druids had this silly “cannot advance to higher levels unless he beats some druid above him” and “only one druid of 18th level in the whole campaign world” crap. Rising through dead men’s shoes…

        • “Beat” or “defeat” doesn’t necessarily mean “kill” – in 1st edition ADND, Monks had to “defeat” another monk after, if I recall, about level 12 (There was one level where there were 3 monks of that level in the world, and every level after that there was just one of each level)

          The basic mechanic was this:

          Monk levels up and gets the new abilities…but MUST seek out and duel the monk of their level (Kinda like a geas spell) – whichever monk loses the duel (not necessarily by dying) goes to the bottom of the level below where he’s at.

          So if there were two player monks in the party, they could wind up having to duel each other if one ever caught up, and whatever way you look at it, one of em is screwed.

          At the higher levels, it more or less came down to “whoever gets the first meele hit wins” because of quivering palm…either you surrender and go down a level, or you die and have to be ressurected AND go down a level.

          The main problem with the mechanic was, it requires the DM to have NPC monks lined up and work them into dungeons if possible. I partially solved the PC VS PC problem by splitting it up into alignment-schools, so as long as both PC monks were of different alignments, they wouldn’t wind up dueling each other until the extra top level I added in myself.

          Of course, one LE monk in my old campaign scouted out the NPC monks ahead of time via some unsavory NPC associates, and tried to arrange “accidents” for them a week or so before he levelled up…quite creative on his part, and sometimes it even worked.

  8. Well, I have worn glasses since I was like seven, and these days I wear Day and Night contacts, because, seriously, you put them in at the beginning of the month, you take ’em out at the end, and, you know, done.

    But I don’t (yet) need reading glasses.

    A Cousin

    • The problem I always saw with glasses is, once you start wearing them, it accellerates the decrease in your vision since your eyes are no longer forced to exercise their “focus” muscles, so you will need thicker and thicker glasses as time goes on.

      • Sorry, the idea of glasses as “eye crutches” that make eyes worse is pseudoscientific nonsense concocted by Dr. William Horatio Bates (1860-1931) and his followers Peppard, Price and Bernarr McFayden.
        The Bates’ system of eye exercises to combat “eye strain” was very popular in Germany, Enland and Amerika during the 1920-1940s, but… oh well, the man had all the wrong ideas about how accomodation works.
        Check out Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (1957) by Martin Gardner, chapter 19.

    • I understand that issue, Elfguy, but assuming the prescription can more or less keep pace, I’m unconcerned. Switching glasses means zero compared to headaches and being unable to focus.

  9. Been wearing glasses since I was… 6 or 7 I guess. I barely remember a time when I didn’t have some.

    Lately, I’ve changed glasses. Took some cool frames that make me look really good (whooot!).

    And then, wearing them, I realised the frames didn’t go behind the ears but stayed close to the head. Too close in fact: It was squeezing my head too much, hurting me.
    So I went to the optician, they fixed it… Not enough.
    I went back, they fixed it again, and it was fine!
    Save that it no longer clutched enough: When I bent my head, they tended to fall down.
    Guess what? I went again to the optician, and now, it squeezes again too much.

    AAAARGH!!!

  10. The Truth About Glasses:
    Kevin, like you I once had 20/15 vision. On an unrelated note The Alaskan tribes all had 20/20 vision or better according to SSSScience. Then they were “civilized”. By which is meant, their children were forced to go to school or be killed on (myopic) sight with laser beams, the same as the evil white devil children. That generation had the exact same rate of requiring glasses as the white devils. In conclusion, if you like reading, it’s going to kill your eyes. That said I personally use my glasses as little as possible, because I can feel them changing my eyes. Learn Braille maybe? That might make reading erotica more fun…
    Also it’s OK to take anything you want from the girl glasses side, last time I got new glasses I found out the ones I liked were girl glasses, but they assured me nobody knows.

  11. My goodness so many posts!

    I remember when I first needed glasses. I was playing baseball when I was 8 and then one game I could no longer make out the ball in the stadium lights – I played 3rd base and I nearly got nailed by a line drive I didn’t see. Then in History class I was asked to read the projector and I couldn’t, I was so embarrassed by the fact because I did not know what was going on I sat silently, slightly trematic.

    My dad always wore glasses and being young I always wanted to be like him, and then it happened and I hated life. Glasses for me were ok in the end but I never got over how restricted my line of sight became, and how my nose always shown little red marks from the frames – they don’t do this as much today.

    When I got contacts it was like a whole new world, I could see clearer and more of it was in focus. I easily look past the bad sides of contacts – dry eyes, irritation if you wear them too long, cleaning, etc… because when I put my glasses back on it is like I am in a tunnel. Now my eyes are not that bad I can still see around the edges, but I would not comfortably drive either.

    I guess it is a different opinion of glasses when you get to a certain age, like a sign of respect, learned. When I am old I will toss both glasses and contacts, double monicle is the only way to go! :mrgreen:

  12. Loving the Laser surgery.

    Having a friendly wrestle with some friends (about age 16) and one chap had glasses. So whipped them off him and “to keep them safe” I put them on. And HOLEy crap, suddenly I could read stuff on the other side of the room!! When I went in and did the eye chart. It turns out I could just make out the top letter, and saw one line of smudges underneath. In my classes I always sat at the front so I could ignore the class…or at the the back so I could ignore the class and teacher. Wasn’t a fun place to be.

    Got laser surgery several years later for myopia and unusual astigmatism (turns out the lenses of my eyes were shaped like the number 8. no lies! As a gamer and magician I had to smirk at that – although the optical specialist never worked out what was so amusing).

  13. Regarding the aesthetic issue…

    I’ve worn glasses since ~12 or so.

    Bifocals since early-mid high school.

    Vision such that I won’t run into stuff, but can’t make out text at a distance without a lot of effort without my glasses. So reading what was on the blackboard was right out.

    I get some very odd looks when people notice I wear bifocals (less so now that I’m approaching 30, and thus qualify as an ‘old fogey’ to those who would give me odd looks for it).

    Honestly, when you’re nearsighted, and all the time in class you’re SWITCHING between looking down at your notes, up at the board, etc, the bifocals helped me a metric f-ton (that’s approximately a s-tonne in english standard units).

    I also have had the benefit of a good glasses place that I patronize when I can, they really do know their stuff, and have excellent service, but that doesn’t help anyone outside northern new mexico.

    And now I shall be mocked for not typing out my curse words…

  14. Man, am I your only reader with ASTOUNDING PERFECTLY SERVICE-WORTHY EYES?

    Because if so:
    HA! I’m optically superior! Nyah nayh!