I’m in the first grade, sitting in my classroom, when all of a sudden us kids were told to form a line to go somewhere important
Turns out, this little trip to the school medical center would change my life completely
All of us were weighed, measured, our vitals were checked and then in the end, we had to cover one eye and read these random alphabets placed at the back of the door
It was my turn to do this. I was confident because I’m a first grader so it’s obvious I’d know my ABC’s. But when I did the thing and started saying the alphabets, this lady near me says that I am telling it all wrong. When the lady asked me to stop, I saw the alphabets with both my eyes and could see it all – except the last two lines
The lady wrote something on a paper and told me to give it to my parents. That this was urgent
That piece of paper, turned my life upside down
The first thing I did when I reached home was hand this piece of paper over to my parents. Dad told me that we were gonna go out later in the evening
We reached a building and went in. The receptionist told us to go inside. I was still clueless but I thought this was gonna be something fun!
Boy oh boy was I wrong….
This doctor, asked me to sit and then all of a sudden started to examine my eyes with a small flashlight. I was then made to sit in front of various machines which were moving and was told to keep my head still
My head didn’t feel normal towards the end of it. I was made to wear these weird glasses and then lenses were put in these. The doctor kept asking me to read the alphabets and numbers again and again. It sort of felt like magic. When it was over, he asked my parents how is it that I have survived for this long without any aid? My parents were confused with this question, and I was convinced I was dying
Okay come on now, I was five! The doctor said stuff like, “How have you not noticed this before?” and “It might have been too late had you delayed the checkup” and child me thought I had some terminal disease
I didn’t want to die before I could finish watching my Barbie movie…
You see, I have a condition that I was born with. My corneas, are damaged. There is a tear in them or something like that
The doctor asked my parents if there was anyone in the family who wore glasses and they replied in the negative. The doctor was in disbelief and said that there has to be someone because my condition is a genetic one. I inherited it. My parents were in complete disapproval of this theory and argued with the doctor. The doctor said that it was possible that someone has it but was never diagnosed with it. But my parents said that not a single person has ever complained about their vision. This argument went on for about an hour
This was a whole lot of new information for my little brain to process. The only explanation I gave to myself was that I was adopted. I was the introverted child of two extroverted parents. I also somehow inherited a condition that no one in either of my families has
My conclusion made sense. With this I will also admit, I was an extremely stupid kid
Two days later we visit the doctor again. He went into detail about what this condition meant. He also spoke about how the power of my eyes were extremely high and were always fluctuating. I had both the “plus” and the “minus”. The plus was somewhere at a 3 or a 4 and the minus, well one eye was 8 and the other was 6. My eyes basically defied normal eyes
He said that the only way to stabilize my eyesight would be by me having to sacrifice a huge part of my childhood. Summer vacations were going to start and obviously I wanted to play and dance my heart out, but I’d have to do that without my complete eyesight. I was made to wear this eye – patch which was essentially a band – aid for my eye. I had to cover one eye of mine and see the world through the other eye. I had to train myself to go about my day with just one eye. The only time I was allowed to take this eye – patch off was when I was sleeping and when I was to take a bath. I did this for an entire month and you’d think that the misery would be over after this but nope!
I then had to wear an eye – patch on the other eye and go on with my life using my other eye which I previously had closed off. I now had to wear this patch for 15 days. I don’t think even ninjas have such rigorous training
The entire experience was just so awful. I was just a kid and half of my eyesight was taken away from me. I also had to apply eye drops thrice a day, everyday. Oh, I also had to wear glasses 🙂
Going back to school with an extra pair of eyes was not fun. Half of the people didn’t recognize me while the other half asked me if I watched way too much television during my summer break and so ended up with glasses
How was I supposed to explain to them that I had some weird condition related to a part of my eye I can’t even pronounce?
Most of my childhood passed in everyone asking me how many fingers are they holding when I took my glasses off, and also holding objects really far away and asking me to tell what exactly it is. I felt like a toy for everyone
But on the other hand, all the struggles I went through paid off when the doctor said that my eyesight had stabilized. He was shocked at how quickly it happened! I got rid of my “plus” power and the “minus” power was now at a normal number
But I had to wear glasses permanently. My parents weren’t happy with this
They asked if there was anything they could do, any surgery or operation to rid me off my glasses. But the doctor said they’d have to wait till I was eighteen years old
You see, my parents were young and knew no better. Societal standards didn’t allow glasses. They weren’t “pretty”. I don’t blame my parents, they just wanted their daughter to fit into the world. But alas, that wasn’t possible
So, I grew up with an extension to my body – my glasses. But little did tiny me know that this part of me which I loathed would end up being the most inseparable part of adult me. Because I had to wear them from such a young age, I grew attached to it
Today, these glasses of mine are what make me feel normal. They’re a part of me. They make me feel, me. They have become my identity now. Honestly, I feel naked without my glasses
I know that according to the rules laid down by the society we live in, glasses are “unattractive”. So many people have told me to “take my glasses off” while I’m going out or while taking photos. I find it funny how people react when I say I feel uncomfortable without my glasses. They show me others who don’t wear them on a regular basis and I always say, “to each their own”
Shouldn’t we all just do what makes us feel comfortable? Can’t we just choose what we want to do and wear rather than conform to some stupid notions?
And wow sorry my inability to see makes me “not – pretty”. I’ll choose having an aid to help me see things better over idiotic beauty standards any day 😂
I do believe I rock wearing glasses though. I completely own the look!!
And so, this is the story of my “four eyes”
Do you have any such stories? Ones where you or your condition(s) defied the normal human body?