Monday, December 30, 2013

Another’s Tale

by Specs4ever

Part 1:
I leaned back from the computer keyboard and waited for the program that saved my data to the rewritable CD to finish. Then I could erase everything from the computer, and hide all traces of what I had been doing. I pushed my new –16D glasses tighter to the bridge of my nose, so that I could see the computer screen better. Once my data had been saved, I went back to the disc, and made sure I could open everything from the data disc. Then, and only then could I wipe out any evidence of me having been on the computer. I had been forced to save all my data this way since I experienced a computer crash in the fall of 2004. This crash had left me with no way to recover my thoughts and writings from the previous year, but fortunately I had saved all my diaries from the age of 8, and I was able to reconstruct almost everything else from memory.

I still had some time before the kids woke up from their nap, and I left the data disc in the computer hard drive. I went to the very first entry that interested me, the one in which I told my diary of being asked by my teacher to replace Sarah in our school play. Sarah had been selected to play the part of the heroine, but Sarah just couldn’t get her lines right. So, the teacher asked me if I could replace Sarah. The main reason Sarah had been selected for the part was because Sarah wore glasses, and the part called for the character to wear glasses. Now that I was taking her place, our teacher asked Sarah if I could wear her glasses. Sarah didn’t want to give up her glasses, but instead offered to bring in a pair of her old glasses for me to wear the following day. The entry for the next day told of Sarah giving me her old glasses, and of me putting them on:
“At first I couldn’t really see very well through the lenses in Sarah’s old glasses, but after I had worn them for a while everything became clear. I liked the sensation. Things seemed to look a bit smaller, and more intense. After the practice was over, I was sorry to have to remove the glasses.”
This was the beginning of it all. This was why I was sitting in front of my computer, staring at the screen through glasses, which had lenses of –16D in them. I loved these glasses. The frames were black plastic, and the lenses were shaved off at the back to allow the temples to fold, giving the glasses a myodisc appearance from the front. But, this is getting ahead of the story. As I read my own writings I could remember everything that happened as if it were only yesterday. However, to write down every day’s occurrences would become tiresome, both for me, and for anyone else that reads this. So, I will just write a synopsis of all the main events.

Before the age of 10, I had no interest in glasses nor did I have any particular interest in people who wore glasses. Neither of my parents wore glasses, nor did my older sister. I had a cousin, who wore glasses, but according to my parents this was a result of my father’s brother having married a lady who was nearsighted, and this was why my cousin was also nearsighted. My mother was proud of the fact that no one in our immediate family wore glasses.

After the play in which I preformed, Sarah allowed me to keep her old glasses. No, actually Sarah left her old glasses with the other props in the theatrical department of our school. I just didn’t want to leave them there; after I had experienced the rush I got wearing them, so I took them for myself, and I asked Sarah if she minded me wearing them. Since I told her that I could see better in the distance with them, she told me that that was fine with her. Our school play was held during the spring of the year of my 10th birthday, and for the rest of the school year I would come home from school, and lock myself in my bedroom. I would put on Sarah’s glasses, and I would either do my homework, or read with the glasses on. When summer holidays came, I spent a lot of time reading in my room wearing glasses. When it came time to return to school in the fall, I had a plan. I took the glasses with me to the first day of class, and whenever I needed to see something on the chalkboard, I would remove the glasses from their case, and put them on. Soon everyone in my class was used to me wearing glasses when I needed to see distance. Since my older sister attended the same school, I could not wear the glasses anywhere but in the classroom, but this was good enough for me.

I also often took my glasses with me, and wore them anytime my friends and I went to the movies. I don’t know if this was my undoing, or if it was my salvation, but one Saturday my sister caught me wearing glasses. I didn’t know what to tell her, so I told her that a friend had given me her old glasses because I could see better with them. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I returned home, and sure enough Lisa had squealed on me. I had to tell my parents that I had been wearing Sarah’s glasses so that I could see the blackboard clearly. My mom was upset, and she immediately made an appointment for me with Dr. Stewart, an old family friend, and an optometrist with his office nearby.

I was very nervous about my appointment. I knew Dr. Stewart would find out that I didn’t really need glasses. When we got in to see him, my mother told him that I had been wearing Sarah’s old glasses. He took the glasses from my mom, and put them under a machine that looked like a microscope. He wrote down some numbers, and then he had me put the glasses on, and read the eye chart on the wall. I could easily read the line he wanted me to wearing the glasses. Then he put me in the chair in front of a big machine. He took off my glasses, slid the machine in front of my face, and I heard a few clicks. I read what he wanted me to read, and when he was finished he slid the machine away from my face, and handed me back the glasses. I was really surprised when I heard him tell my mom that the prescription in the glasses I had been wearing was perfectly fine for me. He said that I was a bit nearsighted, this was a mild prescription, and I could wear the glasses as much, or as little as I felt necessary. Looking back at this now, I suspect that Dr. Stewart didn’t even check to see if I could read the 20/20 line without any prescription. He just put the same prescription I had in the glasses in front of my eyes, and saw that I could see well with that prescription. Maybe he realized that I wanted to wear glasses, and he was helping me out.

We didn’t have any extra money to spare in our family, and Mom asked me if I thought I could wear Sarah’s old glasses for a while longer. Of course I agreed. And, I was thrilled to be wearing them whenever I wanted to. The next few days I went to school and wore them all day. Sarah noticed that I was wearing them all the time, and although we were not good friends she asked me what had happened. So I told her that my eye doctor had told me that her glasses were just right for my eyes. I had noticed that Sarah had gotten new glasses a few weeks earlier, and I was totally shocked when Sarah offered to bring me her old glasses, and suggested I might be able to use them if my eyes got worse. I was very grateful to Sarah, and at the time I thought maybe if I were lucky Sarah would give me all of her old pairs of glasses when she got new ones. But, such was not to be the case. Sarah and her family moved away from our city during the Christmas holidays that year, and I never saw Sarah again. Once Sarah was no longer in my classroom, I immediately began to wear her other glasses. At first it was a bit hard to get used to wearing the stronger prescription, but by the time the summer holidays came, I was wearing these glasses all the time. Since the frames of these glasses were very close in shape and style to the frames of the original glasses, neither my parents, nor my sister noticed that there was any difference.

My mother was upset that I had chosen to wear glasses all the time. She had been saving her money to buy me a new pair of glasses – a nicer looking pair. I kept telling her that this pair was fine, but in reality, I had no desire to go back to wearing the lower prescription that the eye doctor had given me. I felt that I had adapted well to the wearing of this pair, and I wanted even stronger glasses in the future. Knowing how stubborn my mom is, I knew that it was only a matter of time. One afternoon, when I was alone at home, I went into my parent’s bedroom and searched for the prescription slip that Dr. Stewart had given my mom. I found it, and when I looked at it, I saw that my prescription at the time was written as –1D for each eye. The more I looked, the more I felt that the –1D could easily be changed to a –4D. So, that is what I did. I put the prescription slip back in its place, and waited for my mom to announce that it was time I got new glasses.

A few weeks later Mom told me that she finally had enough money put aside to buy me my own glasses for my birthday present. I was absolutely terrified that she would notice the change I had made to my prescription, but she must have put it into her purse without even glancing at it. And, at the one-hour optical store, I was extremely lucky. Mom helped me select a new frame, but a lady who she worked with was also in the optical store, and the two of them were talking about some problem they had been having at work. Mom handed the lady who was helping us the prescription blank, and I know she didn’t even hear the girl say that this was a pretty strong prescription for a girl my age because she was deep into conversation with her friend. And, although I had worn the stronger pair of Sarah’s glasses in to the store, I had no idea of how much stronger the new lenses would be.

Mom talked to her friend for almost the whole hour that it was supposed to take for my glasses to be ready. Her friend’s glasses were finished before mine were, and when she got her new glasses I could hardly take my eyes off them. They were exactly the glasses that I eventually wanted for my own. I heard her tell my mom that her new glasses were –10D, and that she had gotten the new hi index lenses, with a special coating to lower the amount of glare. I now knew that I wanted –10D for myself as soon as possible.

Finally my name was called, and I went to the counter and sat down. I had been wearing Sarah’s stronger pair of glasses for quite a while now, but I still felt that they were a little bit stronger than what I actually needed. I had tried the older ones on a few days ago, and they were definitely too weak, but I was sure that the newer ones were too strong. So I was really afraid that I would not be able to see out of the –4D lenses in my own new glasses. When the girl handed them to me, and I put them on everything was a blur. She and my mom both asked me how well I could see, and I told them that everything looked great. By the time Mom and I left the store, I could see a lot better, but I am sure I was using every ounce of focusing power I had.

For the next few days I had really bad headaches. All I really wanted to do was to change back to the other glasses, but I was afraid to do that. Finally the headaches stopped, and I found that it was getting easier to get through the day. I did have to pull these glasses a bit further away from the bridge of my nose that I wanted to, but at least I could now wear them. I wore these glasses through my next two years of puberty. By the time I was 14, I wore these glasses tight to the bridge of my nose, and had no trouble seeing through them at all. By the time my 15th birthday came, I wanted new, stronger glasses in the worst way. And, I actually thought I needed stronger ones, because I noticed that things off in the distance were a bit blurry. Dr Stewart had retired since my visit to him, so I chose another doctor, and mom let me go on my own to visit her after school one afternoon. As I had suspected, I did need a little increase. My real prescription was going to be –4.50D for each eye. But, I was not satisfied with a little increase like that. I wanted even more, so I carefully changed the 4 to a 5, and thanked my good fortune that this doctor was a sloppy writer. I returned to the same optical store that we had used before, and when I left there I was wearing a nice pair of –5.50D lenses in a sort of rectangular black plastic frame. And, this time I really didn’t have much trouble adapting to the extra –1D. I probably should have spent the extra money for hi index lenses though, because mom was really upset at how thick my glasses appeared to look. I loved their appearance, but I couldn’t tell her that.

These glasses lasted for the next two years. I wanted to get even stronger lenses a few times, but I just couldn’t come up with the money, so all I could do was bide my time. Just before my 17th birthday I broke my frames. This was disaster. I really couldn’t see without glasses now. I looked like a real nerd, with black tape holding my glasses together. The doctor examined my eyes again, and I ended up with a prescription that read –5.75D for each eye. This was just -0.25D stronger than what I was wearing. I couldn’t stop with this. If I didn’t get much stronger lenses right now, I would never be able to get to the prescription of –10D that I wanted. I had heard that a persons eyes quit getting worse around the time they were 18, and I was running out of time. So, using the old white out and photocopier trick again, I managed to convert this latest prescription to –7.75D. This time I ordered a pair of hi index lenses, and I went back to a wire frame. I saw lots of plastic frames I loved the looks of, but I wasn’t going to have another frame break on me. These glasses, although a whole -2D stronger than what I needed, were a lot easier to adapt to. I could tell that they were too strong for me, but they were perfect if I pulled them away from my nose a little bit.

During the next year I spent a lot of time on the Internet. I met a number of interesting people, and I found that the practice of inducing myopia was more widespread than I could ever have imagined. There were a couple of girls I wrote to a lot. One girl had increased her myopia from –5D all the way up to –16D from the age of 14 through 18. I suspected that she might not be a real person, but she sent me pictures of herself, and pictures of her various glasses, so I had to almost believe her. And, another girl had gotten a strong pair of plus contact lenses, and had worn a pair of –20D glasses over them full time for more than a year. Then she had ordered even stronger glasses – stronger by about –3D or –4D, and had worn them for another year before she had been forced to stop wearing contact lenses because of an eye infection. When she had stopped wearing the contacts, and had gone for an eye examination, she was found to need glasses with a prescription of –3.75, with a bit of astigmatism. She was not happy with this, because she wanted even a stronger prescription, and she felt she was really too old to increase her prescription by wearing stronger glasses than she needed. But she was still trying, by wearing glasses that were –5D with her actual astigmatism.

And, I also met Specs. He was an old-timer; a guy who had tried induced myopia during his 40’s, without lasting success. Then he had gone on to wearing plus contacts, with strong minus glasses over them. He and I became good friends, and he sent me some glasses from his collection. One pair in particular was thought by him to have a –9D prescription, but I went to an optician, who told me they were actually –9.75. These glasses were a bit out of style, so I really couldn’t wear them full time, but I did go off to different parts of the city, and wander around wearing them as much as I possibly could. Around the time of my 18th birthday, Specs offered to buy me 3 pairs of glasses, all in the same frame. One pair was to be –9D, the next pair –10.50D, and the third pair would have a prescription of –12D. Specs figured that I could wear the –9D glasses as my next prescription change. Then, when I felt like it I could step up to the –10.50D glasses. When I was comfortable with them, I would be able to step into the –12D glasses. His theory was that in order for me to maintain a prescription of –10D or thereabouts, I would have to go a bit higher, and then as I got a bit older, I would naturally drop back. I didn’t have the nerve to tell him that if I could become adapted to a –12D prescription I would never go back. And, by using the same frame, no one would ever know that my lens power had changed.

As promised, I got my 3 pairs of glasses in the spring of 2005, just after I turned 18. I immediately began wearing the –9D pair, and I loved them. Every once in a while I would venture forth wearing the –10.50D glasses, and as far as I could tell, no one ever noticed. That summer I got a summer job in the translation department of a large international law firm. I am very fluent in 6 languages, and I was going to be a specialist in languages. I had been looking and looking for a boyfriend who wore glasses. I wanted one who wore stronger glasses than I did, but I just couldn’t find any. I think all the guys were now wearing contact lenses, even though a lot of girls had switched from contact lenses back to wearing glasses. To many girls, glasses were now an accessory, and the old saying that boys don’t make passes had long ago been proven false. One law student in particular interested me. I spotted the telltale signs of a contact lens wearer – the careful rubbing of the lower eyelid, the redness of the eyes after a night out with the other guys, and of course the edges of the contacts on the eyeball. But I had no way of telling how strong the contacts were. Kevin was cute, and he seemed interested in me, so I thought that I would go out with him as a summer fling.

Summer turned into fall, and the law school that Kevin was attending was near the university that I was at. So fall turned into winter, and in the spring we were still going out together. I still wasn’t sure of Kevin’s prescription, but one evening we had been talking about eyesight, and I happened to mention that I was wearing –10.50D lenses in my glasses. I had switched a few weeks before from my –9D ones, and no one had noticed. Kevin mentioned that his contacts were a bit stronger than that, so I figured that I probably had a keeper.

Kevin is 5 years older than I am, and the year I graduated was the same year that he finished articling, and passed the bar. Our old law firm hired us both, and we had decided that we would get married. So that summer was spent preparing for our wedding. By the time the end of August came around I was a total wreck. I had now been wearing my –12D glasses for about 6 months, and mom was pressuring me to get contacts for my wedding. Finally I was forced to give in. I knew that my glasses were still too strong for me to fool a doctor, so I switched back to my –10.50D glasses, and went for a contact lens examination. My new contacts were –9D, and the doctor told me that I could use another –0.50D increase in my glasses prescription. I got the –9D contact lenses, and wore them for the wedding, but then I found an online contact lens supplier who would allow me to purchase -10D contact lenses without a prescription. The -10D contacts, and the –12D glasses seemed to work just fine for me. I could easily switch between glasses, or contacts as the occasion demanded. Kevin was happy, as he liked me both ways.
Kevin and I had decided that we would have children as soon as possible, so I was not practicing any form of birth control. It was no surprise to either of us when I became pregnant after 6 months. When I had gone for a proper eye exam, wearing my –10.50D glasses, my doctor had given me a new prescription of –11.00D. So, I had taken my old frames with the –10.50D lenses in them into my optical store, and had changed the prescription to read –13.50D. When I got the glasses back I was aroused sexually, and I suspect that this was the cause of my pregnancy, as I insisted on making love with my new stronger glasses on. During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I found the -13.50D lenses didn't seem quite strong enough anymore, so after I started my maternity leave, I spent the days wearing Kevin’s –15D glasses. Kevin has a bit of astigmatism, so I was unable to get really good vision while wearing his glasses, but I did like the extra power.

After Caitlin was born, and I returned to work, I had to go for another vision exam, as the –13.50D glasses really didn't seem to work anymore. My doctor was surprised that I had jumped from –11.50D up to –14D, but she felt that this was likely a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy. I wanted to increase it even more, but this time I didn't, thinking that I really should let nature take its own course.

Caitlin was 8 months old when I became pregnant again. So, when Justin was born, Caitlin was only 17 months old. And, my vision had deteriorated even further during my pregnancy. I went back to my eye doctor after Justin’s birth, and I was given a new, stronger prescription of –15D. Now I needed the same prescription as Kevin wore, although I didn't have his astigmatism. I can’t explain why, but I still had the urge to become even more myopic. So, I changed my prescription to –16D.

Just before Caitlin turned 2, I took a prescription blank that I had cleaned up and photocopied, and wrote a prescription for Caitlin of –2D for each eye. I had no idea if she would adapt to that prescription, but I wanted her to wear glasses. I remember when I first put the tiny frames with the cable temples on her little face. At first she wanted to take them off, which she kept doing the first few days I tried to get her to wear them. But, finally, after a week of me putting the glasses back on her face every time she took them off, she finally stopped doing this. From then on it was easy to have her wear glasses. I even wondered if maybe I should increase her prescription to –3D or maybe even –4D, but I decided I would not do this for at least 6 more months.

Shortly after Caitlin started wearing glasses, Kevin needed a small increase in his prescription. He ordered his new contact lenses, but left me his old frames to take in for new lenses. He had only had a 0.50D increase in his spherical prescription, and his astigmatism had remained at –2.50D for each eye. I couldn't resist it, so I added another –0.50D. Kevin didn't even notice the extra minus. But, I did and I think that I became pregnant again because of this.

Specs has been after me to tell everyone my story, the story of a very pregnant, very nearsighted young lady who has done everything in her power to make herself this way. He feels that there might be others that could find this interesting, and that by telling my story some of these people will decide on a course of action for themselves. As for me, I don’t feel that the story is over. In my heart I feel that I am destined to become even more nearsighted than I already am.

Part 2:
WOW: It has been 8 years, 2 more kids, and a whole bunch of diopters since I wrote the first part of this story. Another computer crash necessitated the purchase of a complete new computer system, and now my data is all stored on a little silver disc the size of an old time silver dollar. Fortunately, because of my habits of saving everything to disc at the completion of a session on the computer, I didn't loose any of my data. When I finished the first part of this story it was the year 2012. I was 25 years old and extremely pregnant with our daughter Brittany. Just so I don’t get anyone confused, I will go back to when I was still pregnant with her.
The urge to increase the power of my lenses was very strong during my pregnancy. I didn't bother going back to my doctor for an eye exam, but just used my photocopied prescription blank to give myself a prescription of –17.50D. I got these glasses shortly before Brittany was born, and I remember that I adapted to them immediately. After Brittany was born, I wanted to return to work, but with a newborn, a child still in diapers, and a 4 year old, it was impossible. I had noticed Justine bringing everything very close to his face to see, so I suspected that he might be naturally nearsighted. So, I made an eye appointment for Justine, Caitlin and myself. I also had to take Brittany along, but at 6 months of age, Brittany was an amazingly quiet baby.

As we sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office I saw an elderly lady come in. I noticed that this lady was wearing a very powerful pair of minus lenses glasses, and when she sat down next to us, I began to chat with her. It was funny, but every other time I had been for an eye exam, I had put on a pair of glasses that were a bit closer to the prescription that I had last been tested at. But, I had noticed every other visit that the doctor never checked the lens power of the glasses I wore in, so this time I had been brave and I had just left on the –17.50 lenses that I had worn for the past few months. If I had been wearing a weaker pair of glasses, I might not have been able to see well enough to notice this ladies myodiscs, and I might not have started a conversation with her. Ellen had been an accountant until the previous year, when she took early retirement at age 55, mostly because of her fears that her poor eyesight was deteriorating even further due to all the close work she did in her accountant’s position. She was very interested in my children, and they seemed to like her as well. A thought came to my mind, so I asked her if she would consider taking a job looking after my children if I were to return to work. We discovered that for Ellen to get to my house, a short, convenient bus ride was all it would take. So, she took my phone number, and told me that she would call me.

Then I was called in with the children. Caitlin went first. She was still wearing the –2D glasses that I had had made for her 2 years ago, and my doctor surprisingly didn't even ask who had prescribed these glasses for Caitlin. She examined Caitlin’s eyes, and told me that Caitlin required a substantial increase, an increase to –5D. Then she gave Justine a thorough exam, and Justin was prescribed a first prescription of –11D, with –1.50D of astigmatism. I suppose he had inherited that from his Dad. Then to my surprise my doctor suggested that maybe she should check Brittany. I didn’t think that a 6-month-old child could have a satisfactory vision exam, but apparently they had developed some new methods of examining infant’s vision. I was shocked, and a bit envious. Brittany required a prescription of just over –20D. Maybe this explained why Brittany was such a quiet well-behaved child – she couldn't see. Then she examined my eyes, and when I saw my prescription slip, I noticed that I too had experienced a large jump from my last exam, when I had been prescribed –15D. I was now prescribed –18D for both eyes, and I was thrilled.

I was tempted to give Caitlin a bit of a bump, but I decided that it would not be good for me to force my wishes on my child. So, Caitlin got new glasses that day, but Justin and Brittany were going to have to go a couple more weeks before their glasses were ready. And, I had not had a chance to alter my own prescription when I ordered the children’s glasses, so I didn't bother getting my own new glasses then. But, I did alter my own prescription a couple of days later, and I ordered myself new glasses with –19.50D lenses. Brittany’s first glasses were to be –20D, and while I had seriously though of matching her prescription, I thought better of it.

Caitlin had absolutely no trouble adjusting to her new glasses, and I was almost sorry that I hadn't increased her prescription a bit over the last year. But, I hadn't, so such is life. Justin’s new glasses were ready next, and when he started to wear them I could see that his world had expanded considerably. He had been a hesitant shy child, afraid of his own shadow, but now he was running, and jumping and just having a great time now that he could see the world around him. My new myodiscs were ready before Brittany’s new glasses were, but I waited for them to call me to say that hers were ready before I went to pick them up. I had specified myodiscs for Brittany’s lenses, but they ended up using a new type of hi index, and her first pair of glasses were a darling pink frame, with cable temples, and very small, slightly biconcave lenses. I had switched to myodiscs with plano fronts when I was told I would have to have biconcave lenses, so I was a bit disappointed that they had not followed my directions for Brittany. But, she seemed to accept wearing her glasses, so all was well.

Ellen called a few days after I had met her, and she agreed to look after my children for me when I went back to work. I wanted my new glasses before I did this, so until they were ready for me to pick up, Ellen came over every day, and visited with me, and the children. Ellen had 4 children of her own, and what surprised me was that apparently none of them had inherited their mother’s severe myopia. She had one granddaughter who was 7 years old, who had a prescription of around –8D, so it looked as though the myopia had skipped a generation. Ellen herself had a prescription of around –23D, with about –2D of astigmatism.

I returned to work, and since I really enjoyed my job, I had a wonderful time. Most mornings I rode in to the office with Kevin, and since I left work earlier than he did, I took the subway home. I knew when I was 17 that if I wanted to learn to drive I would have to give up on my desire to become a very nearsighted person. I knew that driving while overcorrected would be dangerous. So, I chose not to ever drive, and when Kevin and I purchased our house, we made sure that I would have good access to public transit. So, I really have not ever felt the need to drive a car.

Brittany was 19 months old by now, and Ellen had been looking after the children for the past year. Kevin and I had not planned another pregnancy, but we had not done anything to prevent it happening. So, it was no surprise when I discovered I was again pregnant. I think I was around 6 months into this pregnancy when I decided that I should again attempt to get a bit more power in my prescription. The kids all seemed to be doing well with their present prescriptions, but I figured that a family check up was in order. So, again we all went for our vision exams. Caitlin was now 4 ˝ years old, and she had been going to junior kindergarten half days. I would have thought that her prescription was just fine, but to my surprise, Caitlin was the only one of the children to require an increase. She was now up to –7D. Naturally, I also required an increase, and what was surprising to me was that I needed considerably stronger lenses than my –19.50D. When the doctor prescribed me –20.50D, she was surprised that I had been able to function with such a difference. I couldn't tell her that this was actually only –1D more than I was wearing, as she thought I was wearing the –18D she had last prescribed me. So, Caitlin got new glasses, again in her real prescription, and I again boosted my new script slightly to –22.50D.

In no time at all, our 4th child was born, a sister for the other three. Both Kevin and I had hoped for another boy, who we were going to name Andrew, but we decided that Amber would be a much better choice for our third daughter. I stayed home from work for a couple of months after Amber was born, but Ellen was so competent with the children that I thought that I should get back to work. After I had been back working for a few months, and the evening breast-feeding had finished I noticed that my glasses, which had been –1D overcorrected only 6 months previously, were no longer any more than strong enough. So, I went for another examination, and it was discovered that I actually needed –22.50D. I couldn't leave this well enough alone, so I got new lenses that were –24.00D.

The next couple of years passed by quickly. We all went for an eye examination and all of the children required an increase. Amber had her first eye exam, but she didn't require any correction. Brittany went up to –22D, Justine increased to –13D, and Caitlin jumped to –9.50D. I came away with a prescription for the –24D that I already was wearing, which of course I had to increase to –25D before I got my new glasses.

Another couple of years slid by like a runaway freight train. I was extremely busy at work, and Ellen was a real godsend for the children. Caitlin came home from school with a note from her teacher advising us that she was having trouble seeing the board. Caitlin was now 8 years old, and in 3rd grade. I realized that I had been remiss in looking after the children’s vision, so I immediately made us all appointments. I was a bit disappointed. At 4 years of age, Amber still had perfect eyesight. Brittany had no increase, Justine jumped up another diopter to 14D, and Caitlin now required –12D, a rather large increase. Of course, I came away with a new prescription for –25D, and naturally I couldn’t stop there. I added –1.50D, and got my new –26.50D glasses.

I had turned 29 that spring, and my old mentor Specs was pretty sure that this would be my last prescription bump. We had been sending each other a lot of e-mail with the latest round of eye exams, and in one I mentioned that Kevin was planning to take us all to Disney World in Florida over the summer. Amber would only be 5 years old by then, so I was unsure as to how much enjoyment she would get from it, but I didn't want to wait another year. I knew that Brittany, who was almost 7, Justin, who would be 8 soon, and Caitlin, who was now 9, would all have a great time.

I was surprised when Specs suggested that we meet in Orlando during the summer. He and his wife were planning to be in Florida in early July, so he and I managed to book nearby rooms on the same floor at a lower cost motel in Kissimmee. This was a thrilling experience for both of us. We managed to start a conversation, and spent a lot of time sitting around the pool at the motel. He and his wife accompanied Kevin, myself, and the children to Disney one day, and his wife was wonderful with the 4 children. Specs and I were able to have some great chats, and I know he was excited to see me in person, with my –26.50D myodiscs. I went for a ride on the back of Spec's Harley, a great big beautiful blue machine, and Specs and I visited an optical store at a nearby mall. We had a great discussion with a knowledgeable optician about high myopia, and the different lens options that were now available. Just meeting Specs was a great thrill for me.

Now, another 2 years have passed and I have just turned 33. Specs was wrong about my myopia not being able to increase any further, as I had another eye exam last fall, and I got a prescription for the –26.50D that I was wearing. My doctor really is surprised that my myopia still continues to climb. I felt that I had better not jump another –1.50D, so I only increased to –27.50, a –1D change. I was not surprised this last time when she told me that I could no longer be fully corrected to 20/20. I probably haven’t been at 20/20 for years, with all my overcorrection. I really couldn't tell her that this didn't really matter to me.

I have to take the kids back in tomorrow for their 2 year vision exam. Amber is now 7 and in 2nd grade. I think she will likely need glasses this time, as I have noticed her bringing things closer to her face than she previously did. Caitlin, at age 12 is still wearing her –12D glasses, and I know she will need another –2D or so. Brittany and Justin will probably require increases as well, and I think I will have an exam as well, but I doubt I can get any higher than the –27.50D I am wearing.

I am soooooo embarrassed. We just got back from our eye exams. As I thought, Amber needed glasses. She is starting off at –2.50, a rather strong first prescription. Brittany and Justine each jumped –1D, and Caitlin went up to –14.50D. Then it was my turn. I was sitting in the chair reading the chart, and my optician was clicking the lenses in front of my eyes. I had my glasses in my hand, and she took them from me, but I couldn't see what she was doing with them. I was soon to find out. She swung the machine away from my eyes, gave me back my glasses, and had me step over to the equipment that she uses to check my retinas every time I go in. She is worried about the possibility of a detachment, even though there are no signs of a problem yet. She finished the retinal exam.

“Here are 2 prescriptions for you Trish. You can choose which one you want to have filled.” She told me.
I didn't understand what she meant. I looked at the 2 pieces of paper. One was a prescription for –28.00D. Then I looked at the other, and saw that it was for –30.00D.
“What, what do you mean?” I stammered.
“Well, I checked your glasses in the lensometer, and you have obviously been bumping your prescriptions yourself for a number of years, so I am saving you the trouble. The one prescription is the minimum prescription that you require, and the other one is the maximum prescription that your eyes can adapt to. You can choose which one you want this time, and this will save you the trouble of writing your own prescription.” I was told.
"How did you find out?” I asked.
“I have been worried about your prescription increases for many years now. I really was mystified as to why you were constantly having large increases. Then about 6 months ago you were in and I gave you a new prescription for –26.50D. You changed this to –27.50D, and had the prescription filled. I got a call from your optician, telling me that they had made the lenses –28.00D, -0.50D stronger than I had prescribed, and she asked if I thought that they should have the lenses remade. I knew I had not given you that strong a prescription, and I realized immediately what you have been doing over the years. So, I told her that the stronger lens would be just fine. I knew you wouldn't complain. All these years I have been giving you the lowest possible prescription that you require, and you have been making it stronger, in order to increase your myopia as much as possible. So now you have a choice. Your eyes now require –28D, but you can easily wear –30D. Which will it be?” she asked me
“-30D.” I replied without hesitation.
“I thought so. How much more myopia do you want?” she asked.
“As much as I can get.” I replied.
“I sort of understand. I too have increased my own myopia over the years. I am willing to go along with you, to the extent of giving you the strongest possible correction in the future. But, I am warning you to let nature take its course with your children.” She said.
I gave her my word that I would. Now that my secret was out, I had an ally. I will have my –30D glasses within the next couple of weeks, and I can hardly wait to see where this will lead to next time.

Part 3:
Well, another month has passed, and Specs e-mails me almost every day to ask me when I am going to get this story posted on the Internet. But, I can’t seem to get it to stop. There are always new twists, and turns.

After my surprising eye exam, I went in to see my friendly young optician to order my new –30D glasses. When I handed Connie my new prescription slip she seemed very excited as she looked at the numbers.

“Oh wow Trish, you have finally reached –30D. I was telling my classmates at the opticians course I was on last week about you and your children, and nobody else has ever seen anyone with a prescription this strong.” Connie said.

I looked closely at her glasses, which I had noticed seemed a bit stronger the last time I had been in a few months ago. Connie had worked at the optical store since she was 16, part time for the first 2 or 3 years, and full time the last 3, and had always been very helpful in assisting myself, and my children. She actually seemed to take very special care of us. When I looked at her glasses this time, I was sure I could see a lot more power in the lenses.

“Connie, you have had another prescription increase, have you not?” I asked.
“Yes, I jumped up a little bit. I am now wearing –12D lenses in my glasses.” Connie seemed to be blushing a little as she told me this.

Could it be possible that Connie also liked the feeling of more powerful lenses in front of her eyes? I remembered the first time I had met her. She had been wearing glasses that were around –5D, and it is unusual for anyone to increase from –5D up to –12D after the age of 16 without any assistance. I also remembered Connie taking more than a normal interest in my prescriptions, as well as the prescriptions of my children. Almost any time any of us had gotten new glasses, I had seen Connie try them on herself first.

“Have you increased your prescription yourself Connie?” I asked.
“Oh no, I would never do that!” Connie exclaimed.
“Even if I told you that over the years I have always gotten the strongest prescription that my eyes would tolerate?” I said.
“Well, I guess I have to admit that I have done that as well.” Connie said.
“How much stronger would you like your prescription to be Connie?” I asked.
“Oh, it is probably as strong as I will be able to get it right now. I wouldn't really want it to go too much higher. I love your myodiscs, but I don’t think I would want a pair of glasses that strong.” Connie told me. “How much stronger do you want to have your prescription get?”
“Well, once you have to wear myodiscs, it really doesn't matter how strong your lenses get from an appearance factor. So, I have to say that I wouldn't care if I went all the way up to –40D. But, that really isn't likely. I am probably at the top of my increases now.” I replied.
“Does your optometrist know about you wanting stronger lenses every time?” Connie asked.
“Well, thanks to your calling her the last time I got my glasses made here she does. My prescription was only –26.50D. I had bumped it to –27.50D, and someone from here called her to tell her that they had accidentally made them -28D. So, she was able to figure this out herself.” I said.
“Oh, I was the one who did that. I am so sorry. Did you get in trouble?” Connie asked.
“Fortunately she understood. This time she gave me a choice between the strongest prescription I could tolerate, and the weakest prescription I could wear.” I told her.
“Would she do that for me?” Connie asked.
“I am sure she would.” And, having ordered my glasses I left Connie with the idea that she could possibly get another increase or so.

Well, that pretty well brings this tale up to today. I have to publish it, or Specs will just keep bugging me. I hope you enjoy reading the story.

Nov 2004

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