The noise, the noise was awful. These darned 3 guys couldn’t stop arguing. If only I could tell them to shut up. I started to cry, and my mother came over to pick me up.
“Oh my baby, why are you crying? Tell mumsy what is wrong.”
“Tell mumsy what is wrong? Heck, I am only 3 months old. I have these 3 guys screaming and arguing in my head, and you can’t understand a thing I try to say to you anyway. These guys are all arguing about my vision, and I don’t understand a thing.” I tried to say, but my mother didn’t understand baby talk, and I suppose that was all for the better, because she would have figured I was nuts anyway.
During the next two months I started to figure it out a bit better. It seemed that there were 3 men who were hanging around in my head. There was James, who lived in New York City in the mid 1800’s. Jim had been a teacher, and was extremely nearsighted, so he wanted the other 2 guys help him with making me nearsighted. Then there was Herman, who was born in the late 1800’s and lived during the early 1900’s. Herman was a watchmaker, and his profession also allowed him to fit eyeglasses in Philadelphia. Herman was another very nearsighted man, and was more than willing to go along with Jim in his quest. The third voice belonged to Dave, who lived from 1945 until just recently. Dave had not been nearsighted like the other two, but apparently he had wished he had been. And, from what I could figure out, Jim had been me, then when he had died, Herman was me, and when he died Dave was me, and now I have my 3 past lives all living in my head. It is enough to make a baby go crazy.
The arguing in my head seemed to be about the best way to make a baby nearsighted. Jim and Herman didn’t understand what Dave was trying to tell them, and as a result they argued a lot. Dave wanted me to bring everything I looked at very close to my eyes. He also didn’t want me to look at anything far away – not even at a toy on the other side of my playpen. Finally Jim and Herman decided that as long as the end results were what they wanted, they would go along with Dave, and they finally shut up.
So, I was able to stop crying and fussing, and Dave’s voice was now the only one I heard.
“Here comes your mother. Do not look up, or even acknowledge that she is nearby until she either gets right up close to you, or else picks you up. No, do not reach out for the toy she is holding. Let her bring that toy right up almost to your face. Now, reach out now.” Dave would say.
“Ok, bring that block with the letters on it close to the end of your nose. Closer. Closer. Make your nose almost touch it. Now focus on it. See how clear you can make it when you do that.” I was instructed by the inner voice.
Dave was happy when he heard the two people I figured were my parents talking about how poor my eyesight was. I was around 7 months old when we heard them talk about taking me to the doctor to have my vision checked.
I was all bundled up, and taken out into the cold for a ride in my car seat. Then I had to get all undressed. Some guy in white put me up on a table, and he held up a toy.
“Let him bring the toy closer. Closer. Closer.” said Dave’s voice.
“Oh oh, he is trying the M & M trick. He is going to set some colored candies close to you, and you are supposed to crawl over to pick them up, and put them in your mouth if you can see them. Just leave them right there, and he will move them closer to you.” Dave told me.
Sure enough, the candies were moved really close to me, but Dave wouldn’t let me reach out for them. The man in white picked them up in his hand, and brought them right up close to my eyes before Dave would let me show any interest in them.
The guy in white put some sort of contraption on my head, and he did something that made it difficult for me to see, but Jim and Herman were both really happy.
So, after a while I was bundled up, and taken away from there. A few days later mumsy put something on my face that I had to look through. It didn’t feel that bad, and Dave told me to leave it right there, and appear happy that I had it on.
Within a few weeks it seemed second nature to always be looking through this contraption that was put on me the minute I woke up. And Dave made me cry if no one was there to put it on when I woke up, and I had to keep crying until mumsy came running, and put it on. Dave told me that this contraption was my glasses, and that I would now be wearing them for the rest of my life.
Life was really a whole lot better with Dave being the only one who was giving me instructions. I went from crawling, to being able to stand up, and then walking with his help. Dave helped me out when I was looking at pictures of things in books, although he always told me to hold everything I looked at really close to my glasses.
By the time I was almost 3, I went back for another eye exam, and this time I got a new pair of glasses that I could put on and take off by myself. I did try once to take them off, but everything disappeared into a massive blur, so I was happy to put them back on immediately. Dave advised me that it was not a good idea to do this, like I didn’t figure it out for myself.
When I was 5 mumsy took me for another eye examination, and I got new glasses again. Dave told me that these glasses were a lot stronger. I liked them though, because they didn’t seem as thick. But I could only see out of them if I looked straight ahead through the little circles.
A few days after I got these glasses, which Dave told me were myodiscs, mumsy took me to a funny building, and left me there with a whole bunch of other kids. I remember looking around, and I noticed that only one or 2 other kids wore glasses like me. But, the other kids glasses didn’t look anything like mine did. Their glasses looked to have clear glass where the lenses were supposed to be.
Dave explained to me that I was now in school, and I would learn how to read and write, and how to interact with other children my age. But, I didn’t really like the other kids. They were always trying to pull my glasses off my face and look through them. So, Dave told me to give the one boy a really hard punch in the stomach. I did, and he went down crying. The teacher rushed over, and I told her that they had been grabbing for my glasses. I suppose that the teacher realized that I was almost blind without my glasses, so she lectured everyone, and asked them to leave my glasses alone. I don’t think that it was the teacher asking the other kids to leave my glasses alone that did it. I sort of think that it was the fact that my punch to the one guys stomach really hurt, and that caused the others to leave my glasses alone.
I liked school, and I liked reading. But I didn’t really like all the eye examinations, and I hated getting new glasses. I got so many pairs of new glasses that I just had the old glasses feeling comfortable on my face when the new ones arrived. And every time I got new glasses my prescription was stronger.
When I was 15, and I was in junior high, I was taken to the office of a specialist in high myopia. I was told that my eyes were the most myopic eyes he had ever seen in any child my age. However, he also told me that my eyes were healthy, and that I also had the best visual acuity that he had ever seen for someone with my prescription. Until this time I had never taken any interest in what my prescription was, and I really didn’t know what he meant when he told me that I was a –40D in both eyes. But, from all the fuss that was being made about my eyesight, I knew that this must be a pretty unusual number.
I continued on in school, doing well with my grades. Dave kept pressing me to become an Optometrist, but I didn’t want to, so I ended up leaving school, and becoming an optician. By the time I graduated, my own prescription was –50D, and everyone I met in the field of optometry gasped when I told them how strong my glasses were. It was interesting to talk with everyone in the field. Also it was strange to find out that there were very few experienced opticians that had ever seen a prescription as strong as mine. But what I really found strange was that almost everyone tried to talk me into wearing contact lenses. I liked wearing glasses, so I didn’t really feel the need to wear contact lenses.
I was hired to be the optician at the office of a specialist in high myopia. Dave had really pressured me into taking this job, and I suppose I wanted to work here as well. Dave really liked seeing the little kids that had very high myopia, and he spent a lot of time with me, helping me understand how he had helped me to be able to see as well as I could through my strong glasses. I had never realized why Dave had told me never to stare at anything if I couldn’t make out what it was immediately, but rather to move my eyes away, and come back in a few seconds. But now he explained to me that staring at something actually made you see it worse, and that he had taught me never to stare, and to blink my eyes frequently. So, I passed his tips on as well as I could to the patients that came in for new glasses. Most of them were very thankful for my tips, and more than a few patients told me that my advice had helped them see a lot better.
One day a young mother came in with an adorable little blond girl of about 3 or 4. The mother and I helped Kimberly select her new frames, and I could tell from the -20D prescription for her new glasses that this was already a very nearsighted child. Once we had decided on a frame, I wrote up the order, and I could hear Dave pressuring me to get to know the mother, as he could tell that she was wearing contact lenses. I hadn’t been into dating much, but I knew enough to look at the ring finger on her left hand and I was surprised to see that the mother wasn’t wearing a ring. So, having already found out that her name was Sharon, I asked Sharon to go out to dinner with me. She accepted.
Sharon and I dated a few times, and I found I really enjoyed her company. I had wanted to ask Sharon about her contact lenses, but Dave’s voice told me to keep my mouth shut, and that Sharon would tell me about her own eyesight when the time was right. He was right.
“Danny, I can’t go out tomorrow night.” Sharon said to me one evening when we were together.
“Why not?” I asked.
“I have to have my annual retinal and eye exam the following day, and I have to wear glasses for 24 hours starting when I get up tomorrow morning.” Sharon replied.
“That is a lousy excuse. I wear glasses all the time, and I am sure that I can accept you wearing glasses.” I replied.
“I don’t see very well with glasses though. I won’t feel comfortable.” Sharon said.
“Well, I have a prescription that is so strong that everyone in the vision care industry gasps when I tell them what it is. My prescription is –50D, and it has been up there since I was 25 years old.” I replied.
“Well, you might find this hard to believe, but I have you beat. My prescription is –60D in my right eye, and –59D in my left one. I hardly ever wear glasses, except for finding my way from the bathroom to my bed, and back again, so as a result I have not spent a lot of money on glasses. I wear double myodiscs like you do, but mine are far thicker, and uglier than yours are.” Sharon replied.
I heard Dave tell me to tread very carefully, as this one was special, and we didn’t want her to get away. James and Herman were also so excited that for the first time in many years they were all babbling in my head. Finally Dave knew that I was getting a headache from all the excitement, so he told the other 2 to shut up.
“All right, but how about if I come over and visit with you tomorrow evening. We can watch television, or put some music on, and just sit around and talk.” I said.
“I don’t know if I would feel comfortable being with a man I am attracted to while I am wearing glasses. It makes me feel very self conscious to wear my glasses.” Sharon answered.
“Well, I will have to see you wearing glasses sometime in our relationship, but I understand. I won’t pressure you anymore.” I said.
This was the correct answer to give, because Sharon eventually relented, and we decided to just hang out at her apartment the following evening. I brought over pizza so Sharon wouldn’t have to cook. And she was correct when she said her glasses were not very attractive, although I didn’t let on that I thought this way. Her optician had made the double myodiscs with a plus base on both the front and the rear, and they looked like they really bulged in the center before the dish for the myodisc bowl started. I just told her that I thought she was as beautiful wearing glasses as she was when she was wearing contact lenses, and she seemed to accept my compliment.
I managed to convince Sharon that I would like to be with her for her annual vision exam, so she agreed as long as I would watch over Kimberly while she was having her exam. So I told her I would, as Kim was a very pleasant young lady, and was more than content to sit quietly with her nose buried in a book, her thick glasses only inches from the pages.
James and Herman and Dave were all very excited to again be sitting in a specialist’s office. I had gone in with Sharon, and had taken a casual look at all the equipment that the doctor had. Those 3 had examined every piece in detail, and they were in seventh heaven talking about the various testing tools. And they were ecstatic about watching Kim, with her glasses so close to her coloring book. Finally Sharon came back out with the doctor, and I noticed that she had a long sad look on her face.
“Problems Honey?” I asked.
“My contact lenses are damaging my eyes because I have been wearing them for so long. I have to cut back to no more than 8 hours a day. And my prescription has jumped another –2D as well.” Sharon told me.
“Well, I will get you a nicer looking pair of glasses then.” I said.
“I can’t wear glasses. I can’t see right wearing them.” Sharon said with tears in her voice.
“If you don’t wear glasses you might not be able to see at all.” Her doctor said.
So, with that we returned to my optical store, where we selected a nice frame for Sharon. I knew what the lenses would likely cost from the price of my own, but with –62D of power for the right eye, and –61D for the left eye we were in a much higher price bracket than my –50D myodiscs were. And, there was only one place in the entire continent, maybe even the world that could even make a lens that was over –60D.
It took almost a month before we had Sharon’s new glasses. Now the big problem was to teach Sharon how to see through the strong lenses. Contact lenses are worn directly on the eye, and do not have the extreme minification that a pair of high minus glasses do. Also, a power of –62D requires a very steep curvature in the lens. I know that –40D requires a one inch diameter bowl. So, a –40D lens would have a circle that was an inch in diameter, and a half inch deep. –60D would be about a three quarter inch circle. But of course they didn’t make Sharon’s glasses with only the one curvature. They had a –20D myodisc for the front bowl, and a –42D myodisc for the rear bowl of the right lens. The left lens had a –41D rear bowl. I had specified that they should not attempt to blend the lenses, but should instead leave the front and rear carrier on a plano, or flat base. The front bowl was specified to be a 30mm diameter bowl, and the rear bowl was to be a 25 mm bowl. With the 2mm center thickness, this made the lenses about 17mm thick.
It took quite a while before Sharon began to feel comfortable with her vision while wearing glasses. I had not told her that she likely would not be able to go back to wearing contact lenses ever again, but it didn’t take long before she figured this out on her own. Her depth perception was almost non-existent when she first started wearing her glasses. But it improved as time went on, as I knew it would. Of course Sharon had never been able to drive. Even with contact lenses, and close to 20/30 acuity her doctor had not wanted to sign the waiver for her to obtain a driver’s license. With glasses, I suspect that Sharon only had 20/40, possibly 20/50 visual acuity. This wasn’t a problem to me, because I myself had between 20/30 and 20/40, and I also had never tried to get a drivers license.
It did take a bit longer to teach Sharon to not move her eyes, but rather to move her head so that her eyes always looked directly through the center of her lenses. And, again I taught her never to stare at anything she was trying to focus on, but rather to shift her focus away, and bring it back to the object she had been staring at. I also taught Kimmie this trick. And, because of Kimmie’s already severe myopia, I made Kimmie a new pair of glasses with a lower prescription for her to wear when she was doing close work, or reading. Jim and Herman didn’t like this, but Dave approved, so he was able to keep the babble in my head down to a dull roar.
After we had been going together for a few months Sharon introduced me to sex. I had often thought about making love to a woman, but I had never been able to get the courage up to ask other ladies out. Oh, I had been attracted to many ladies before. But during my school years I was very shy. I knew my eyesight was so bad that I could not see a thing without my glasses, and I assumed that any woman I wanted to go to bed with would make fun of my inability to see clearly more than a few millimeters in front of my eyes. But with Sharon I knew we would both need to leave our glasses on, if we wanted to be able to see each other’s face. And I was correct. Under Sharon’s tutelage Sunday mornings together became a very pleasant experience. Before long I had given up my apartment, and Sharon, Kimmie and I moved to a larger condominium.
Sharon and I discussed marriage, and we decided that we would like to take this step. However, before we got around to this on our own, Sharon announced that she was pregnant. So, the wedding became reality. We knew the baby was going to be a boy, and with both Sharon and I been exceptionally high myopes, I didn’t hold out much hope that our son would escape inheriting our high myopia.
I was both surprised and pleased that Adam didn’t show any signs of myopia until he was 5 years old, and was starting school. And his first pair of glasses were only –1.50D. This is a significant prescription for a child to start off with, and he would likely progress to a stronger prescription as he grew older. But at least Adam didn’t have any previous reincarnations floating around in his head helping to make him more myopic.