It’s inevitable..things change…and we change. Of course I know that it’s part of our life cycle. Some of those changes bother me and the majority of them don’t. But there is one change that I find particularly unsettling. The changes in my eyes.
As a child, I was diagnosed with a condition called Amblyopia also known as ” The Lazy Eye”. Any attempts at improving my vision with glasses resulted in a prescription that was fabricated with a clear glass lens in the right eye and a grossly magnified & thick left lens, which left me both feeling and looking like a one-eyed monster. It is true! And is also the reason why I hated glasses my whole life and rejected them until my vision betrayed me into needing them. And I’m pretty sure that there was a negative mental health component just by being labeled with a condition called, The Lazy Eye. What was worse was that glasses do not help Amblyopia. And yes…it is always an embarrassing experience for me to go take an eye test to obtain or maintain my driver’s license at the DMV office. Of course those offices are always jammed with people no matter when you go there. I can vividly recall standing at the eye machine willing my left eye to see something in that darn machine. The man kept loudly prompting me to put the center of my forehead on the bar in the middle of the eye testing machine. The worst part is that I kept doing that over & over with a little more force each time. If I used any more force, I would have given myself a head injury. I reminded myself of a chicken in the middle of a behavior modification experiment being prompted to hit a bar to get the payoff. Finally, it was over and the man announced to anyone within a 30′ proximity, that I could drive with a condition 1 which requires corrective lenses and rear view mirrors. Hello..everyone needs rear view mirrors.
So you see, I already have this insecurity about my eyes. But now the Sjoggie and Aging universes are joining forces to further mess with my eyes. I’m not quite sure when it started happening. At first it was just a little cloudy here or a little blurry there. It was pretty easy to determine that all of the cars on the road were deliberately tailing me with their brights on. Jerks. And I could not quite figure out why the cars on the opposite side of the road needed their brights on at dusk. And what’s up with these late model cars and their fog lights? And seriously.. who needs fog lights…ever? It is fair to say that I had and have been mumbling my share of nasty thoughts & an occasional obscenity at passing cars before realizing that my eyes are the problem. And it is entirely possible that the cities and townships have tried cost-saving measures & bought streetlights that offer halo lighting. I mean…doesn’t everyone see large halos around lights?
Which brings me to my journey through Pittsburgh’s tunnels. Or any tunnels for that matter. I find myself in dread mode several miles before I even get there. Should I wear my sunglasses through the tunnel or not. The culmination of poor, halo tunneled lighting, my eyes and oh yes…did I mention I have developed old lady cataracts? Well…let’s just say I have concerns about my ” tunnel vision ” sending me into a tunnel wall (it does not matter what time of day it is). My breathing speeds up as my car slows down. I find myself remembering a lesson in my youth driver’s training where someone told me to always focus on the center white lines out ahead of me when going through the tunnel. So far..so good. As I start to move through the tunnel, I begin to mumble a line from a song pretending that I am not as nervous as I feel. As I see the light emerge at the end of the tunnel, my song rendition gets a jolt of loud confidence..piece of cake. I find myself breathing a huge sigh of relief when I make it through a tunnel without causing a wreck. And yes..now I understand why little ole women, want their husbands to drive, and so do eye! So if you see me driving anywhere near a tunnel..steer clear. It’s only a question of time!
SjoDry and Squinting