Friday, March 22, 2013

You Probably Won't Believe This But I'm Telling You Anyway

Over the past year, something very strange has been happening to me. Not like scary strange, although my optometrist was kind of freaked out, but good strange. And I hope it continues to happen. So I won't have to wear glasses anymore. Because (and here's the part you're not going to believe) a few years ago, my eyesight was -4.0 in one eye and -3.75 in the other. Blind as a bat. Contact lenses since I was 15 because I refused to wear glasses anymore.

A few years ago, my eyes improved. Just a tiny bit. I'd been experimenting with all those weird eye exercises you can do where you cross your eyes a lot or look very far away, then very close, then very far away again. Then very close. I told the optometrist that was probably why my sight improved a wee bit, but she said "Uh huh" in that dismissive way that told me she wasn't buying it.

My eyes have stayed the same and unimproved for the next few years, and then I started drinking all those green smoothies, including my favorite breakfast one. (Here's where I could start to sound like an infomercial attempting to sell you my green smoothie recipe book, but I'm totally not. To prove it, I'm telling you my favorite breakfast smoothie recipe right now. And you don't have to pay for it.) See, every morning I drink a quart of smoothie that is made of one banana, about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, and a few handfuls of organic kale. And about 2 1/2 cups of water. I don't really measure anymore.

Anyway, I have always thought that I should mix things up a bit, you know, not do the blueberries every single day. But it's cold and it's refreshing and it's so easy to make. So I risk the food rut and just drink it.

Then I started getting weird headaches when I was reading. I couldn't focus close up at all, and eventually I'd have to take my contact lenses out and read that way. I told my husband that when I look far away, like if I'm at Costco and I look up into the rafters, my eyes go in and out of focus really fast, in a "what if my contacts are too strong now?" way. He said "Uh huh" like people do when they're not buying it. So I figured I'm just getting old and my eyes are crappy. (In my head, I just heard my son say, "Mom, don't say 'crappy.'")

Finally, my eyesight was getting so horrendous and the headaches so bad that I went to the eye doctor. She sat me down and told me in as gentle a way possible that as we get older, we lose our vision more quickly and it was probably time to think bifocals. I felt like an 85-year-old getting her driver's license taken away. She told me all this before doing the exam, so I was prepared for the worst. Mentally, I was already thinking "transition lenses" and clenching my stomach.

After I did all that looking through the big funky eye tester thingie, she sighed and said surprised, "Well, Diane, here's why you're having trouble seeing." She adjusted the eye tester thingie while I looked through it. "Here's the new and correct prescription for you." Flip, flip. "And here's the prescription you've been walking around with every day."

Ouch! The difference was astounding. I thought my eyes had really taken a nose dive. (Can eyes take a nose dive?) But then she said, "Your eyesight has really improved. The contact lenses you came in with are waaaaay too strong." She said it like that: waaaay. Otherwise I wouldn't have written it with all the a's. It just looks weird.

THEN - and here's the kicker - she told me, "Don't worry. Sometimes this happens." Don't worry? Don't worry that my eyesight improved? Don't worry that I'm not getting old and decrepit, that I don't really need transition lenses??? I'm not worrying. I am dancing in the streets. But mentally. Because I'm still in her office.

I decided then and there, that after a good many years in contact lenses that I'd stick with glasses. I pretty much determined that all those doggoned blueberries, not to mention my leafy greens, were improving my eyesight and rapidly. So if it continued to do so, it'd be much easier to put on and remove glasses as need be, because I can't go replacing the lenses every couple of months. I'm not made of money.

So I got these really cool big frames, like 80's retro which probably doesn't look so hot on someone who's already been through the 80's. I figure I look more like I never got rid of the nerdy glasses of my youth. But they're dark brown (fake) tortoise shell, and they make me look pensive yet quirky, just like all those writerly types in movies, the women I dreamed about being like when I was a child. (Ever notice in the 80's every female writer in movies and tv wore big glasses? Never, ever did she go without. She could be all normal-person and then halfway through the movie discover her penchant for writing and suddenly she's got big glasses. And a cool typewriter. I still want a typewriter.) I feel reconnected with my inner nerd in my new glasses, but not to the point I feel laughed at. Not like 5th grade. That was awful. (Thanks, Whitney, for making 5th grade such a charming year in my life.) (Note: I just changed her name. I had her real name there at first, and then I worried she might read this, and that maybe she's really nice now and a nun, in which case I'd hate to hurt her feelings.)

BUT - there is a but - BUT I noticed that, despite the fact that my distance vision had greatly improved (over one point in each eye, holy cow), my close-up vision was still all fuzzy, which has been a newer development, slowly sneaking in over the past couple of years. Last night I was reading and noticed my eyes were feeling pinchy again, all tight and weird. I'm not sure how to describe it. But once again, I took off my glasses to read. I've only had the new prescription for maybe a month and a half, so the thought of my eyes improving again seemed highly unlikely.

Then this morning I was reading (I read way too much), and I had to remove my glasses again. At first I did not notice that I was hunched over the book, my eyes, like, six inches from the paper. Then I realized, "Hey! I'm six inches from the paper!" And the writing was crystal clear. I grabbed my free New York Times bookmark, the one they send you in the mail hoping you'll subscribe, and I looked at the teeny tiny print on the back. It was clear! I held it closer and closer, and then I realized that my close-up vision, whatever you call that, was perfect. Perfect!

So maybe you think this is some longwinded way of telling you to get my smoothie book, but it's not. Drink smoothies, don't drink smoothies, whatever. I just had to share that because as unbelievable as it sounds, my vision is way better. And I'm a little afraid of that because I'm really attached to these glasses. In fact, if my vision goes all 20/20 on me, I am totally putting fake lenses in these babies. And then I'm getting me a typewriter, and I'll start wearing big fluffy hair and long skirts and dancing to Gloria Estefan when I think no one is watching but really they are because suddenly I am the star of an 80's movie where the woman decides halfway in she is going to give up her big city job to be a writer, so she puts on large glasses. Or not. Maybe I'll just wear the glasses and shut up.


 

7 comments:

  1. I am so excited for you! Whether the blueberries are what did it or not! My favorite smoothie is a banana,blueberry,blackberry spinach mix with water. I think I got it from your book or maybe just combined a couple. Anyway, if my vision can improve from them that would be awesome since I am only 25 and have a hard enough time keeping my glasses on! I will have to start keeping an "eye" on it. ( hah) you might be onto something here...

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  2. Ok, this post totally cracked me up. I've been drinking smoothies for awhile and haven't noticed a difference but maybe my eyes are worse than yours were. I'll keep hanging in there with drinking them. Love my nutribullet....sold my juicer and just use it now. It's much easier to clean than the juicer.

    Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I followed you back. Glad I did. You are a funny lady.

    Lori

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  3. This is interesting. My mom had her vision go "bad" overnight. Literally one night she went to bed fine and the next morning she could hardly see. All tests show no stroke, no tumors etc. No real explanation other than her optic nerves are inflamed. Interestingly she found if she drinks a frozen fruit smoothie her vision improves markedly after about 20 minutes. The improvement is temporary but no one can explain why this happens either. Cold drinks like water or juice do nothing. If we could find out why this happens perhaps it would lead to a more permanent fix.

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  4. Paul, I'd bet the inflammation goes down after she drinks a smoothie. That's what I've noticed overall, and if I drink the two to three quarts over the course of a day, my other health issues improve, too. I'm planning on writing an update to this post. About a month ago, I had to go to the eye doctor again! My glasses, again, got too strong. Each eye improved by .25 in about 5 months. I've had this new prescription for the past month, and I can tell my glasses are again too strong. The eye doctor told me to come back right away if I notice more improvement (she's in on the whole thing now and is interested in what's happening), so I'll probably go back in a couple of weeks. I'd tell your mom to increase her green smoothie consumption! I'd love to hear about her progress.

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  5. I'm interested to hear how things are today with your eyes. Are you including anything else in your diet that might be helping?

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  6. I heard that there is a tendency with aging to change the vision site from near vision to normal vision and from normal vision to far vision.

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  7. I heard that there is a tendency with aging to change the vision site from near vision to normal vision and from normal vision to far vision.

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