When my sons were younger, I’d take them to a pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Mitchell, for their periodic eye exams. During one such visit, somewhere around the time of my 40th birthday, Dr. Mitchell handed me an article about the perils of radial keratotomy. Noticing that I held the article at arm’s length and squinted as I tried to read it, Dr. Mitchell came up behind me and slipped a pair of corrective lenses between my eyes and the article. The type jumped off the page.
I said, “Wow!”
Dr. Mitchell said, “It’s your turn.”
I’ve worn glasses ever since.
In a matter of a year or two thereafter, I progressed from reading glasses to bifocals. I’ve since graduated to trifocals. I’m not troubled at all by wearing glasses. In fact, vanity notwithstanding, I prefer pellucid vision to stumbling around in a murky haze.
On a recent visit to my own ophthalmologist, Dr. Needleman, he asked me if I’d ever considered multifocal contact lenses. I told him I hadn’t, particularly because I could never cotton to the notion of having to stick things to — and peel things off of — my eyeballs, especially if I had to be present for and awake during the procedure.
In his endearingly condescending manner, Dr. Needlman said, “Pish posh. Contact lenses that actually make contact with the eyeball are so yesterday. Let me fit you with a pair of the latest iteration of the contact lens. I promise: They’ll never so much as touch your corneas.”
He produced the lenses you see above.
If I were inclined to be skeptical or suspicious (I’m not), I might have imagined he was trying to pull a fast one on me. I said, “Doc, these things are little cumbersome, aren’t they?”
Trying as hard as he could not to sound utterly dismissive, Dr. Needleman replied, “Dude. Are you telling me you’d prefer to walk around wearing those clunky glasses — rather than having the inconspicuous convenience of state-of-the-art contacts? I’ve heard of people being change-averse and standing in the way of progress. But you’re something special.”
Duly shamed, and determined to get over my aversions to change, progress and patronage, I left Dr. Needleman’s office sporting my unobtrusive new contacts.
I can see clearly now. But I have no idea how I’ll get my hat on.
— Image courtesy of Oculus, © 2015 Oculus VR, LLC.