a spy in the house of love

author alexandra bracken

09 Sep I will say that the one thing New Girl reminded me to do was investigate buying a new pair of glasses.  This is one of the few times I’ve been really bummed about getting kicked off my dad’s healthcare plan.  My vision plan is the only part of my plan that I actually need to use every single year, and as it stands now, I have to choose between using it on contacts OR glasses.  I can’t have both covered each year.
So a lot of people think that they have terrible eyesight because they have to wear glasses, right?  Well, let me tell you, my eyes are so severely near-sighted and astigmatic that I can’t wear normal contact lenses.  I wore hard contacts (“gas permeable” which is a fancy way of saying, “Here!  Let’s insert hard pieces of plastic on your eyes and hope the desert doesn’t dry them out every single day you wear them!”  You had to train yourself to wear those bitches, 25 minutes at a time.) from seventh grade to my freshman year of college, when someone finally developed a soft contact lens that would help correct my level of astigmatism.  The only problem being that these special contact lenses are $500, of which my plan only covers about $200, so… I’m out $300 every year.  It’s worth it, for me, not to have to deal with the pain and irritation that comes with wearing hard lenses, but it does add up pretty quickly.  You can also imagine how crazy thick my glasses would be if I didn’t pay extra to use a special kind of glass and shaping on them.  I generally can’t wear cute glasses like Zooey’s because my lenses make my eyes look freakishly small.
To give you a better sense of how bad my vision is, I’m not a candidate for LASIK surgery.  The only corrective eye surgery I’ll likely ever be able to have is Implantable Contacts, and very few will perform the operation under someone who’s under the age of 40.  I’ve had three eye procedures done on my eyes: one when I was in kindergarten to correct strabismus (which worsened the vision in that eye), and two treatments to correct what some doctors think was a case of macular degeneration and some think is a weird form of ocular histoplasmosis or caused by Valley Fever. 
The two that were done to correct my MD/OH were done while I was a sophomore in high school.  I basically woke up one morning with a huge gray spot in my right eye that I couldn’t see past.  My mom took me to urgent care center, where not one but two doctors accused me of lying about it since I was too young to have any kind of MD. It ended up being a blood vessel in my retina that had inexplicably filled with fluid. The procedure they used to treat it was actually really interesting, though—they injected this light sensitive dye in me over the course of 30 minutes (it had to be 30 minutes exactly for whatever reason), then they numbed my eye, put this strange plastic thing over it to keep me from blinking (think: an enormous hard contact lens), and THEN they turned on what they called a “cold” laser to try to dry up the fluid there.  The first procedure was fine, but the second one hurt like a holy bitch because they numbed my eye and then waited too long to use the laser, so the effectiveness wore off.  The worst part of it was the after effects—once activated, the light sensitive dye made your entire body extremely (and I mean EXTREMELY) light sensitive for an entire week.  I had to be covered from head to toe and avoid direct sunlight, otherwise I got severe sunburns. Guess what’s pretty hard to do during an Arizona summer?
That’s all a rambling way to say that I’m bummed I’m going to have to spend close to $400 on a new pair of glasses.

I will say that the one thing New Girl reminded me to do was investigate buying a new pair of glasses.  This is one of the few times I’ve been really bummed about getting kicked off my dad’s healthcare plan.  My vision plan is the only part of my plan that I actually need to use every single year, and as it stands now, I have to choose between using it on contacts OR glasses.  I can’t have both covered each year.

So a lot of people think that they have terrible eyesight because they have to wear glasses, right?  Well, let me tell you, my eyes are so severely near-sighted and astigmatic that I can’t wear normal contact lenses.  I wore hard contacts (“gas permeable” which is a fancy way of saying, “Here!  Let’s insert hard pieces of plastic on your eyes and hope the desert doesn’t dry them out every single day you wear them!”  You had to train yourself to wear those bitches, 25 minutes at a time.) from seventh grade to my freshman year of college, when someone finally developed a soft contact lens that would help correct my level of astigmatism.  The only problem being that these special contact lenses are $500, of which my plan only covers about $200, so… I’m out $300 every year.  It’s worth it, for me, not to have to deal with the pain and irritation that comes with wearing hard lenses, but it does add up pretty quickly.  You can also imagine how crazy thick my glasses would be if I didn’t pay extra to use a special kind of glass and shaping on them.  I generally can’t wear cute glasses like Zooey’s because my lenses make my eyes look freakishly small.

To give you a better sense of how bad my vision is, I’m not a candidate for LASIK surgery.  The only corrective eye surgery I’ll likely ever be able to have is Implantable Contacts, and very few will perform the operation under someone who’s under the age of 40.  I’ve had three eye procedures done on my eyes: one when I was in kindergarten to correct strabismus (which worsened the vision in that eye), and two treatments to correct what some doctors think was a case of macular degeneration and some think is a weird form of ocular histoplasmosis or caused by Valley Fever

The two that were done to correct my MD/OH were done while I was a sophomore in high school.  I basically woke up one morning with a huge gray spot in my right eye that I couldn’t see past.  My mom took me to urgent care center, where not one but two doctors accused me of lying about it since I was too young to have any kind of MD. It ended up being a blood vessel in my retina that had inexplicably filled with fluid. The procedure they used to treat it was actually really interesting, though—they injected this light sensitive dye in me over the course of 30 minutes (it had to be 30 minutes exactly for whatever reason), then they numbed my eye, put this strange plastic thing over it to keep me from blinking (think: an enormous hard contact lens), and THEN they turned on what they called a “cold” laser to try to dry up the fluid there.  The first procedure was fine, but the second one hurt like a holy bitch because they numbed my eye and then waited too long to use the laser, so the effectiveness wore off.  The worst part of it was the after effects—once activated, the light sensitive dye made your entire body extremely (and I mean EXTREMELY) light sensitive for an entire week.  I had to be covered from head to toe and avoid direct sunlight, otherwise I got severe sunburns. Guess what’s pretty hard to do during an Arizona summer?

That’s all a rambling way to say that I’m bummed I’m going to have to spend close to $400 on a new pair of glasses.