My name is Meghan Anderson, and I have been very nearsighted, probably almost from birth. My parents first noticed that I didn’t seem to be able to see them, or any of the mobiles they had placed near my crib very well when I was about 6 months old, and my mom mentioned it to my doctor. He suggested that they should wait another 3 months, and if there was no improvement, then he would have my eyes examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Obviously there was no improvement, and when the ophthalmologist examined my eyes at the age of 9 months I was given a prescription of -14D for both eyes.
Of course, I don’t remember any of this. All I remember as a small child is that first thing in the morning I needed to put my glasses on in order to see anything other than a major blur. I do know from experience that sometimes the wearing of glasses can be a real nuisance, especially in the northwest where we live. In the wintertime my glasses fog up the minute I come in from the cold, and I have to stand there until the heat from my eyeball warms the lens in the center, and the lens starts to clear. I don’t really think it is the heat from my eyeball that does it, but I think it is because my lenses are a lot thinner in the very center, so they warm up there first, and then it clears to the outside, thicker edges. When I asked my mom why this happened when I was a little girl, she told me it was because of the heat from my eyeball, so at first I believed her. And in the summer, my glasses tend to slid down my nose on hot and humid days, so I am constantly pushing them back into place, because with my lousy eyesight everything gets blurry whenever they slip even a little bit.
I suppose that I was always asking my mom why I had to wear glasses when none of the other little girls or boys at playschool wore them. So, mom told me, and from an early age I knew that I was very nearsighted. Wearing glasses didn’t really affect my life much. As long as I had my glasses on I could see pretty much everything everyone else could. But I did have to go back to the doctor every year, and he would put drops in my eyes and check my eyes by looking into my eyeballs with a bunch of different machines. The thing I remember the most is that he always shone a bright light into my eyes, and he would sometimes hold up a little lens and would look though the machine with the light in it. Most of the time he would give my mom a prescription for new glasses, and then mom and I would have to go to the glasses store. I didn’t like that too much, because the lady would make me take my glasses off, and she and my mom would try new frames on me. But while they were doing this I couldn’t see a thing.
When I was 13 the doctor suggested to my mom that I should have contact lenses. So I got my first pair of contact lenses, and I really liked wearing them. It seemed that I could see better with them in, and it also seemed that everything was a bit bigger when I wore my contacts. The doctor told my mom that I needed to take my contacts out every night as soon as I got home from school, so every night I had to remove my contacts, and wear my glasses around the house. And, I had my choice. I had to go one full day every week without wearing contacts, so it was up to me if I chose Saturday, or Sunday. If I woke up in the morning on the weekend, and put my glasses on and left them on all day I didn’t mind that nearly as much as I did the days I came home from school, and took my lenses out, so lots of weekends I just wore my glasses both days.
My eyes had gotten worse almost every year since I had gotten glasses. The year I turned 15 I looked at my prescription slips while my mom and I drove to the optical store. My prescription for glasses was -26.00D for both eyes, and my contact lens prescription slip read -18.50D. I knew that once again the lady at the optical store was going to make a big fuss over how bad my eyes were, and I hated that. I just wanted to be like every other girl, but somehow she always made me feel like some sort of freak.
Fortunately this year the lady that usually waited on people was on holidays, and the owner of the store helped us. He was much nicer, mostly because he didn’t make any negative comments about how my prescription was so terribly strong. I had been having trouble wearing the last batch of contact lenses that the lady had tried for me. They were just not very comfortable, and they were expensive – about $240.00 a pair. The optician suggested that I should try another type of lens that would only cost around $200.00 a pair, so we ordered a pair for me to try. My parents didn’t have any extra money these days, so mom was hoping to be able to just have new lenses put into my old frames again, but after the optician looked at my frames he told us that my frames were not suitable for another lens change and we would be wasting our money. He tried his best to find a relatively inexpensive frame that would take my thick lenses, but there wasn’t anything that was suitable in a price range that mom could afford, so we went home without getting me new glasses. Mom felt badly about it, but I told her that as long as I had new contacts I could likely survive around home wearing my old glasses for a while longer.
Once I had found out that I had much worse vision than most of the other glasses wearing population did I started to do a few searches on the internet about high myopia. This lead me to an internet site that discussed vision problems, glasses fetishes, and other weird things like people who went around wearing strong glasses that they didn’t need over contact lenses that allowed them to see properly. I didn’t ever post anything, but I did read the other postings on a regular basis. This is how I discovered a section for glasses for auction or for sale. One seller always seemed to have pretty strong glasses for sale, and while I had noticed a number of glasses with nice frames in my previous -25D prescription I had not needed to, nor had I ever even considered trying to order a pair.
That day, after I returned from the optician with my mom I went online and checked out the various glasses this person was selling. To my surprise there were 4 or 5 pairs of ladies glasses in a -26D prescription. I checked each pair out carefully. The pair I liked the best didn’t have any information posted, but I found 4 pairs that did have the information listed. I knew that a frame width of 13.5cm would work for me, because I measured my existing glasses and they were 137mm. My temple length was marked on one leg of my existing glasses as 135, so I knew that a length of 13.5cm was good. And, my pd was exactly 62 so I knew that if the measurements were right, I could probably wear these glasses. I did feel that the thickness was a little more than I would have liked, as they were myodisc lenses, and I knew that they could have been made thinner with a slightly smaller bowl, but I realized that these glasses were being sold mostly to people with glasses fetishes, so they wanted thicker looking glasses. But when I thought about it, for the price the vendor was selling them for I couldn’t complain. The price was in Euros, and including shipping for each pair they were $65.47 when I converted this to US funds.
I called my mom, and she came into the computer room. I showed her the 5 pairs of glasses that were available, and I showed her the 4 pairs that had the details listed. The one pair that had no information looked good, but I told mom that I had to focus on the ones that had the information, and she agreed. Two of the pairs I really liked had frame widths and temple lengths of 13cm, and the pd was listed as 61 to 62mm. I felt that they would be too small for me, and since the pd was uncertain, I passed over these two pairs. Then I showed her the white pair, and the pink pair that were the last two remaining pairs for auction in my prescription. Both pairs had the make offer button, so I made an offer of $35.00 Euros for each pair. Now all we could do was wait, and I had no idea how long that would be.
I checked my e mail address every hour for the rest of the day. I knew that these glasses were coming from China, but I had no idea what the time difference was. Just before I went to bed I checked again. There were 2 emails for me, and both my offers had been accepted. My dad had a pay pal account, so we were able to use that to pay for the glasses and now all I had to do was wait for them to arrive. When we did the conversion my 2 pairs of glasses, including shipping, had been less than $120.00. My parents were amazed, and were a little skeptical that I would be able to wear them.
My new contacts were in a couple of days later, so I headed for the optical store after school. With the new lenses my vision was very good, and the different brand of lenses actually felt a little better than my old ones had felt. When I took the bus home from the optical store I was hoping that my contact lenses would continue to feel this comfortable.
I didn’t take them out until I went to bed that night, and when I put them in the next morning they still felt fairly comfortable; much better than my old ones had been.
Two weeks later, when the mailman brought the package containing my new glasses, I had been looking forward to getting them. My contacts had been fairly comfortable at first, but as I wore them more and more I realized that I needed to have glasses to wear more frequently. I left my contact lenses in while I unwrapped the package, and opened the lens cases. The white glasses were nice, but the pink ones were even nicer. Yes, they were thick looking, but I knew this was because the area that I would be looking through was a little bigger than the area in my old glasses. They did look a little strange though, as the front of the lenses were dished in quite a bit. I went to the bathroom, washed my hands and removed my contacts, carefully placing them in the container. I put the pink glasses on so I could see to fill the container with solution, and I screwed on the caps. Then I looked at myself in the mirror. They actually looked pretty good on my face. The pink color went nicely with my dishwasher blond hair, and while the lenses did look strong and thick, I had been expecting this, and I realized that this is what I needed to be able to see. I heard my mom come in, so I grabbed the other pair of glasses and went downstairs to show her both pairs.
I had a little trouble navigating the stairs, as the steps didn’t seem to be where they should be. I quickly discovered that I had to bring my head down and look right through the center of these lenses, because as I moved my head things seemed to sway a little. Even with my old glasses I had to look through the very center of the lenses to see clearly, but I hadn’t experienced the feeling that I was walking in a tunnel before. The stairway seemed to have curved sides instead of straight walls. But when I looked straight ahead through the center of the lens, everything was very clear. Of course mom asked me if I could see all right with them, and I told her that my vision appeared to be very good. When dad got home he told me I looked very nice wearing either pair, but he is my dad, so what else could he say?
The following day I put the pink glasses on and went to the bathroom to put in my contacts. At the last moment I decided that I would wear my glasses to school, something that I hadn’t done very often since I got my first pair of contacts. So, I went off to meet the school bus wearing my glasses. I was a little surprised, as these glasses seemed very light and easy to wear, even without them having been adjusted for my face. They had fit me well the minute I put them on. A few of my classmates commented on my new appearance, but no one seemed to give me any negative vibes. What the teacher had written on the chalkboard didn’t seem to be quite as clear as it was with my contacts in, but I really could read everything just fine. I was pretty happy with my purchase.
Because of my high myopia and the possibility of me having a retinal detachment if I banged my head I was excused from sports. I wished that I could have been a cheerleader, but they didn’t even want me to take a chance on doing that. So, while everyone else was in the gym, I had been assigned to the library, where I made sure that all the books were put back on the shelves in proper order. The lady who was the librarian wore pretty strong glasses, and when she saw my new glasses she made me feel very good when she told me how nice they looked on me. This was probably why I wore the pink glasses to school again the following day. Then, on the third day I switched to my white glasses. My eyesight with my glasses with the white frames was as good as it had been with my glasses with the pink frames. And the comments I received made me realize that I didn’t need to wear contact lenses unless I really felt like it.
I had been wearing my new glasses far more frequently than I had worn my contact lenses for almost a year. I still felt that my vision was pretty good when I was wearing them, but I was almost positive I would need another increase again in a couple of months when I had my next exam. I was now just about 16. I had started wearing glasses with a -14D prescription before I was even a year old. I wore these glasses until I was almost 3, and from that time on I have needed an increase of about -1D pretty much every year. So, even though I hoped my eyes wouldn’t get any worse I was enough of a realist to know that the probability of my eyes deteriorating even further was in the range of 99%. I had been keeping a close eye on the glasses that were being offered on the same website, and I came up with a plan. These glasses were so cheap I figured I should flag some of the glasses that were offered for sale, and I should buy any glasses that I really liked that had a -27D prescription or a -28D prescription. It took a while, because these very strong glasses didn’t show up very often. The bulk of the glasses that were offered were usually between -20D and -25D, which of course were much too weak for me.
I watched and waited, and finally I found a pair of -27D glasses that I really liked. All the measurements appeared to be satisfactory, so I placed a bid. Someone else edged my bid up a bit but the price was still reasonable, so I waited until the very last minute and raised my bid. I got them, and while the price was a little higher than each of my first two pairs had been, they were still very reasonable. A few days later a pair of -28D glasses showed up on the site with a buy it now price. I didn’t want to let them get away from me, so I bid the asking price, and bought them. I figured I was set now for the next two prescription increases, and although I still wanted to have a spare pair in each prescription I would now be able to wait until a pair came along that I really liked and wanted.
I was both shocked and pleased when I went for my next eye exam. My prescription had remained the same as it had been the year before. Even my doctor was surprised, because he felt that most girls of my age usually had fairly large increases. I didn’t mind that I hadn’t though, and I still liked my 2 pairs of glasses well enough that I didn’t mind waiting another year before I had to get out the -27D pair. I had unpacked them, but I hadn’t even put them on. Sure I was wondering what they would look like on my face, but I was afraid to try to wear them at all in case my eyes were able to adjust to wearing them and I would end up actually needing that prescription prematurely. So, all I did was take them out of the case every once in a while, and look at them. I often did exactly the same thing with the pair of -28D glasses that came in a few days after the -27D ones did.
It had been almost 2 years since I got my prescription of -26D before I noticed that things didn’t appear quite as crisp and clear as they previously had. I was now 17, and was in grade 11 and I didn’t feel quite as badly about probably needing stronger glasses this year. I took my -27D glasses and placed them in my purse to take them to my eye doctor with me. When I took them out of my purse he asked me about them, and I told him honestly where I had gotten them. He checked them with his machine, and told me that the prescription was exactly -27D. Then he checked my eyes, and when he was finished he told me that my new glasses were pretty close to the prescription I needed, and that it would be quite all right if I wore them from now on. So I put them on, and he checked my eyesight with them. I could see the 20/30 line fairly well, but neither of us was surprised at that, as I have only been able to see 20/30 with glasses for most of my life.
I had been looking at glasses on the same website ever since I had gotten my other 2 pairs. But I hadn’t seen any pairs in a -27D or a -28D prescription that caught my eye. That was probably because I knew there was no real hurry. But now that I actually needed a prescription of -27D there was a very good reason to find another pair so that I would have a backup pair.
It took a month before I found a pair of -27D glasses that met my specifications. The lenses were in a red plastic frame that looked absolutely fantastic in the pictures shown on the website, so I did the buy it now trick again, and the glasses were soon on their way to me. When they arrived I knew I had made the right choice. They looked fabulous on me, and they soon replaced the blue oval wire frames that I had first gotten in this prescription as my primary pair. I had felt pretty good about wearing my thick glasses over the past couple of years, so I decided that I wasn’t going to get contact lenses in my new prescription this time. I could wear my old contacts if I really had to, because they were only -1D under my new prescription, but I was almost too lazy to put them in. My doctor had told me that my contacts would likely need to be somewhere around -19.50D this time.
I felt very good about myself and my appearance when I was wearing these glasses. Sure, everyone who looked at me could tell instantly that I had very bad eyesight, and wore extremely strong glasses, but I had been used to this all my life. And wearing strong glasses had not stopped any boys from asking me out on a date. As soon as my parents had allowed me to go out on Friday nights at the age of 16 I had not had any shortage of boyfriends. Sometimes I did wear contacts when I went out with whichever guy I was dating, but more often than not I wore my glasses. After all, they were used to seeing me with glasses on, and it didn’t seem to bother any of them.
I often switched back and forth between my blue oval wire frame pair and my red plastic frames. The red plastic frames were my favorites, but now I liked both pairs and they were both very comfortable to wear. Although I must admit that as the 2 year mark came up since I had last had a change in prescription I found I was looking forward to needing stronger glasses so that I could show up in a new frame. I was now 19, and was taking classes at our local community college so that I could be a pharmacy technician. When I did have my eye exam both the doctor and I were again surprised that I hadn’t needed an increase. This was the longest time I had ever gone without one. I liked it that I didn’t need stronger glasses, but I still wanted a new pair of glasses. Fortunately I was working at the local pharmacy on the weekends and was earning my own money, so I started shopping again.
I looked and looked. The vendor had lots of glasses for sale, but nothing in my -27D prescription. Finally, I made my first posting on the internet site where I had discovered the seller of strong glasses. In my posing I asked if he would soon have any -27D or stronger glasses available for sale soon. He answered with a posting in which he said that he would soon have some made up in a -27D and a -28D prescription. So, I kept my vigil, visiting his online store daily to see if a pair I liked would show up.
Finally a few pairs showed up online. There were 3 pairs of -28D glasses, and one pair of -27D, as well as a couple more pairs of -26D glasses. Of course, the -26D ones were of no use to me. I liked the one pair of -27D glasses, and he had posted the specifications showing me that they would suit my needs. I bought them immediately. Then I looked at the 3 pairs of -28D glasses very carefully. One pair of -28D lenses were in exactly the same frame as the -27D pair I had just purchased, but the other 2 pairs were pretty nice looking, so I bought both pairs of -28D glasses. Now I had 3 pairs of my -27D prescription to switch between, and I was totally prepared with 3 pairs for when my prescription climbed to -28D.
A lot of the other ladies in my class at the community college were also glasses or contact lens wearers. Occasionally our conversations at coffee break would turn to contact lenses, or glasses, or both. After I showed up wearing my purple wire and plastic frames they all asked me about my new glasses, and when I told them I had purchased all 3 pairs of my glasses already made online for about $50.00 a pair, no one wanted to believe me. A couple of the girls in my class had fairly strong prescriptions also, and the one girl who had a prescription of around -18D as much as called me a liar. The following day I printed out my most recent purchase, and I showed it to her. She apologized, but she was totally incredulous. I had also been checking on other online sites, and after she told me her complete prescription I realized that there was no possibility for her to buy an already made pair from my vendor. She had different prescriptions in both eyes, and she also had some astigmatism. But I did give her the name of another website to try that could handle her prescription.
I had another year of school to go, but first I had to get another eye examination out of the way. Incredulous and thrilled were the only words I could use to describe my feelings. For three years in a row my eyesight had remained the same. I celebrated by going online again, and I was fortunate enough to find another pair of -27D glasses I was able to purchase. Now I had a wardrobe of 4 pairs of really great looking glasses in my current prescription.
At the end of that year I graduated, and became licensed as a dispenser of pharmaceutical prescriptions. I joked to everyone that this was just a fancy name for a drug pusher. My next eye exam was going to come up in another couple of months, and so far I had not noticed any further deterioration in my vision. I must admit that I constantly thought about the 3 pairs of -28D glasses I had waiting for me, and every day the temptation to start wearing them became greater and greater. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer. I wore one pair of the -28D glasses to work. They felt great. I didn’t notice any problem with them at all. Everything seemed to look a little crisper and brighter. Also my vision didn’t suffer nearly as much when my glasses slid down my nose a little, and I no longer had to push them up immediately to be able to keep things in focus. I knew that by wearing them constantly at the age of 22 I would likely place myself in a position whereby my real prescription actually became -28D, but I I suppose I had the feeling that it was inevitable that my eyes would still get worse anyway, and I was prepared to let this happen. So, from then on I wore my -28D glasses.
One of the other highly myopic girls from my class worked with me at the drugstore, and again our conversations sometimes turned to glasses. With my help she ordered her first pair of glasses online, and when they came in she was very pleased with both the cost, and the quality of them. Her prescription was -14D with -3.75D of astigmatism in her right eye and -14.50D with -4.25D of astigmatism in her left eye. I figured that this would be a hard prescription to get correct, but the supplier did it, and even though she had to pay extra for both high myopia and high astigmatism the cost of her glasses were well under half of the cheapest pair she could find anywhere locally. Her toric contacts were very expensive, and they gave her a lot of trouble, so it didn’t surprise me much when she started to wear her new glasses all the time. And she also ordered a second pair of glasses so that she could change her appearance when she wanted to
From all of my past exchanges with the other girls I came to realize that I was very fortunate in that my eyes were both exactly the same prescription and that I had no astigmatism at all. Because of this, for the last few years I had been able to inexpensively purchase all of my very strong glasses from the net.