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    Old 03-02-2003, 01:03 PM   #1
    MichelleT57's Avatar
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    Post Psychological Question

    This is sort of a psychological question, if its a question at all, but I wanted to ask it, and this seemed as good a place as any I could find.
    I've always been amazed how quickly and how "severely" (relatively speaking) I became nearsighted WITHOUT NOTICING. My Mom is also very nearsighted, so we always had an exam at the eye-doctors before the start of the school year, but in the spring of my Fifth Grade year we had vision screening in school, which I bombed big time. Not only was I shocked that I needed glasses, but I was amazed how much better I could see with those first glasses. They didn't just make things a little clearer and sharper; they made a BIG difference!
    Now, I clearly knew at the time things like that you could see the individual leaves on trees, read signs and billboards from the car, and clearly read the writing on the blackboard (especially if you sat near the front like I did). But I can remember right after getting my new glasses, sliding them on and off my face, and thinking things like, "when did the trees become big green blobs", "since when haven't I been able to read signs and billboards from the car", "when did the writing on the blackboard become all smeary" and how could I have never noticed?
    So I guess the question, if there is a question, is, is that normal (how can that be) or am I just dense?

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    Old 03-02-2003, 04:02 PM   #2
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    if you don't realize that what you see is not normal, how do you know? It may have been a gradual change in your case.

    For me, I knew the sun's glare on the black board affected seeing the black board, but after that year, my vision was very nearsighted. I still didn't realize that I saw things any differently than others, until the day I tried on my sister's glasses. What a difference!

    Old 03-03-2003, 09:21 AM   #3
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    After reading your post, I knew I had to reply. My circumstances went quite the opposite way as yours though it took time to get there.

    Just about everyone in my family has to wear glasses or contacts so it was no great wonder that the day I stepped up to get my eye test in kindergarten I could not see the eye chart. As a 4-year-old child, this did not mean much but as a young adult getting ready to enter college, it floored me completely. I had written away for my elementary and high school records. As I was reading through from the beginning to the end, it really hit me hard and I remember the day completely of not being able to see the eye chart.

    As time passed on, I continued with my studies though it was somewhat opposite as most people. See, I had married, had a child, and divorced before going to college. My daughter was very young at the time, only a couple of years old. During this time I worked, went to college, and was a mom. However, during all this time, I had to have the lenses to my eye glasses updated about every three months over the course of about three years. After wrecking my umpteenth vehicle, my finance' (now my second husband) pushed me to go to an eye specialist.

    The first visit was a doozy. I was poked, prodded, and tested in about every manner possible. At the end of it all, I was told that I had an eye disease and could no longer drive a vehicle. It was not safe. I had driven myself up there some 50 miles from home! Thankfully, I had a friend with me who could drive me home while the days' impact hit me on the drive back.

    There were several doctors after this one to test and look to see what was going on. However, I really liked this first doctor and asked him how in the world had I driven all these years with vision like mine. He said that my unconcious mind had filled in the blank spots in my peripheral vision. My mind had been compensating for the loss. In hindsight, (no pun intended) I stuck to routes I drove all the time. I drove at night only on city streets with lights on them. Basically, I was getting by. What really floored me was my first trip out with a mobility and orientation instructor. We went to an area I was not familiar with. I was totally and completely lost! That was almost 10 years ago.

    My vision has deteriorated to the point of having to use a cane and/or a guide dog. My current guide dog is retired while I am waiting for another one. Also, the towns I grew up in have changed over the years to the point of my having to rely on precise directions and the good sense of my wonderful dog.

    The mind is a wonderful and strangely odd thing.


    Old 03-03-2003, 10:32 AM   #4
    Matt M
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    Michelle, I also knew I had to reply to your post...

    It seems to me that as soon as I got my first pair the deteriation in my vision speeded up significantly. I remember getting new lenses every six months for years, and now around each year.

    It makes you think that maybe glasses aren't a solution, only a temporary one. To be honest, I got so angry at my optician on my last visit I just shouted at her. I felt so bad and apologised, but honestly, I'm putting my vision in the hands of someone who has no idea how to make it better, only mask it's gradual decline.

    If you do a search on the internet you should find loads of sites claiming that glasses only accelerate myopic progression (especially in the young).

    "Death is nature's way of telling you to plan ahead."

    Old 03-11-2003, 03:53 PM   #5
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    Thank you all very much for taking the time to reply to my fairly frivolous question.

    Tree Frog, I'm sorry, but it seems to me that what you are saying is the opposite of what I was trying to say was my experience. When I came out of the doctor's office wearing glasses for the first time, everything looked the same as I had remembered it being 15-20 minutes before, when I went in without glasses. It was only when I took off my new glasses that everything looked different so very blurry! It was the same way in school the next day. The writing on the blackboard was easy to read with my glasses, just the way I had remembered it as always being; but when I took off my glasses I could bearly read it definately NOT the way I remembered it being without glasses the day before.
    From what I've heard, I do think what you are saying is what most people go through. They get nearsighted gradually, and when they finally get glasses they are surprised how things look with them (unlike me who was surprised how things looked without them). I even remember a couple of friends who, like you, just happened to try on someone else's glasses and discovered they needed glasses too. I especially remember this one boy who had been teasing me and this other kid about our glasses he snatched the glasses off the other kid and put them on; I guess he was going to make some rude remark about them, but instead you should have seen the look of surprise on his face! (LOL even now.) Within a few weeks (and after some well placed words from those of us he'd been teasing), he was wearing glasses of his own.

    Paisley, I guess what you are saying makes sense. In the 8 months between my "good" eye exam and my first glasses, I don't remember going anywhere I hadn't been many times before in my life. I don't know about the writing on the blackboard though. But if it was my brain interpreting blurry things as the way they'd always been, you're right it shows what a wonderful and strange thing the mind can be!
    I was saddened to read about your vision though. It makes me feel bad about about how I felt during all those years where I got stronger glasses every year. I felt like this was going to go on until I was blind or had glasses so thick they'd be pressed against my eye on one side and stick out several inches on the other side of the frames. I wasn't very happy about it, especially the year my prescription went over that of my Mom's (who I'd always considered just about blind). Now I'm just thankful that I was (and am) able to see just fine with my "coke-bottles."

    Matt, I've think I've vaguely heard about what you wrote before. It certainly fits in to what happened to me (see what I wrote to Paisley above), but I think its a bit late for me now. My prescription's even been pretty steady for the past few years (finally!). And I do think it would be a very strange thing indeed if wearing glasses for a just a little while would make things seem as suddenly blurry as they did to me at the time. But who knows?

    Thanks again everyone,

    Old 03-11-2003, 03:55 PM   #6
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    P.S. I tried posting my follow-up message several days ago, but there was some problem with my "account".



    Old 06-10-2003, 07:26 PM   #7
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    Michelle, what you experienced is totally normal. Your mind fills in the blanks -- it's part of what makes us human -- adaptability. The same thing happened to me in h.s. I figured it was normal to have to squint and sit near the front of the class and not decipher what the teacher was writing on the board. (I know, that sounds insane, but that's what I thought!)

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