Thursday, January 08, 2009

Clear vision

I guess it’s part of aging, this not being able to see things up close. Apparently it’s going to keep getting worse until I’m in my 60’s. This is not good since I’m not even 50 yet and already find that when things get too close, as in 18” or less in front of my eyes, they’re mostly a blur. That’s where reading glasses come into the picture. They're a lifesaver, but I have sort of a love/hate relationship with them. Yes, they clear up the blur, but they also introduce a host of issues you didn’t have to contend with before, like:

1. finding your glasses before doing most things (this can take quite awhile sometimes)
2. breaking your favorite pair, then
3. duct taping them back together again repeatedly (this would not be among the 101 best uses for duct tape because it really doesn't work very well)
4. remembering to take them off your face when you won’t need them right away again (cause they can sure mess up distance vision), or
5. learning special eye-neck gymnastics so you can line up those lenses just so when you need them, then tilt them out of the way again as soon as you don’t anymore. (That peering-over-reading-glasses-rims is a charming look but it really is a tough skill to learn.)

This is why I was very happy this week when an optometrist fitted me with a reading contact lens. Not a set of contact lenses, just one singular lens. It’s odd, I know. The optometrist’s explanation went sort of like this, “The way it works is that your brain learns to use the eye with the lens for near-vision, and the naked eye for distance. Your vision will be hazy for a few weeks while your brain sorts the near and distant images out, but in time, you’ll see clearly again.” When he finished talking I jokingly suggested that things should go well so long as I have a flexible mind. He smiled. I was only partly joking.

If this works, can’t say I’ll miss my reading glasses much. But for now, it’s hard getting used to the perpetually hazy vision. And let me say that the skill required to insert and remove the contact lens from my eye far surpasses the aforementioned peering-over-reading-glasses-rims trick. Somehow, there’s just something unnatural about sticking one’s fingers in one’s own eye. So it would seem that contact lenses come with their own host of issues that need to be dealt with as well. At least initially.

I’m not the only one having things checked and fitted, though. Dwight had to do his bi-annual commercial pilot’s medical and is still adjusting to the new lenses in his glasses. Our pick-up also had to have its 30,000 km maintenance check, hence the current trip to South Africa.

Here are some of the week's moments:

We’ve been having A LOT of rain in our area of Mozambique…too much, unfortunately. First, it was drought, now it’s flood. We go from feast to famine rain-wise it seems. We’ve had some dandy storms. (Heather blogged about the damage one storm caused to an orphan home, click here to read about it.)

This shot was taken as we left Chimoio on our 2 day trip south. We always say, “When it doesn’t want to rain, it simply won't rain. But when it does, look out!”

Sunset in Inhambane Province at the end of day 1 of our trip.

We’re staying at Mercy Air now because that’s always where we stay when we’re in South Africa. We’ve had a bit of weather here as too. This is a hail-stone from a storm that passed through last week.

Here we are having a coffee break with Ron and Barb.

Dwight’s flying medical has to be done in Johannesburg, so we drive up there one day, then back the next. (Don’t we already travel enough?) Oh well, the beautiful scenery helps make the trip enjoyable.

Awhile back, Ron offered to help us get our kitchen cupboards built. He does amazing woodwork and we were delighted to have his help. This week, while we were here, Ron and Dwight (below) tackled building the first couple of units. What a wonderful sight! We’ll be taking these back with us when we head home in a few days. I’m very excited about this because I had visions (clear ones) of living in a cupboard-less house for quite awhile when we eventually move. I’ve done that before. It’s not very fun.

These cupboards will be among the first things loaded in the vehicle--they and my stove. Oh, and of course the leadership trainings books. And the building supplies and groceries we need to take back as well.

I think the last thing to go in, lest we run short on packing space, may well be this new contact lens of mine. Just joking, of course. (Really.) That is, unless, my brain clears up this hazy vision and I can refine my contact lens handling skills. In that case I'll consider packing my old reading glasses last instead.


Anonymous said...

Oh Lynnie!! Mom, dad, Luke & I just read your blog & split a gut laughing at your hilarious description about the neck gymanistics associated with your reading glasses. We could all relate & then had to show each other our own neck gymnastics!! I'm still waiting to see how long it takes you to adjust to ONE contact lens before I decide if I want to go that route.

Love you, keep us laughing!

Russoft said...

gotta catch up on my reading. Hmmm, so it seems I'm the only family member without need for vision correction. Assuming I took after you, I expect to lose my vision at 48.

I've heard you can't just leave a contact lens in either. That's gotta be annoying.

Russoft said...

oh, and those pictures of the rain storms? I like!