I’ve been waiting years, so long I don’t even know when it all started.
I mean I know when I started wearing glasses. I was in first grade, and my teacher took my parents aside. “I think your daughter has a learning disability.” She probably used different words, this was 1968 after all. My parents weren’t convinced and sought out another explanation as to why I was having difficulty in school. Ultimately, they took me to an ophthalmologist who gave them an answer. Within a few months of wearing my new pink princess glasses, I was moved up a grade.
As the years progressed, my eye challenges worsened. Every few months I needed new glasses. Growing up, I knew to memorize the colors of people’s clothing so when I took my glasses off to go swimming, I knew who the red or blue blob was in the pool. I kept my glasses close to my bedside at night, never wanting to wake up without them in easy reach. In high school, my parents took me to UCLA to see if a new procedure, Lasik, might be right for me. “No, you need to wait until your eyes stop worsening and stabilize.”
Off I went to college, medical school, residency. Life was too busy to worry about my sight that fortunately contacts could correct. Eventually, I reached a point where contacts needed to be special-ordered to accommodate my prescription. Then my favorite contacts were discontinued, and I went through several alternatives without a great result. Again I asked, “Is there a surgical alternative?” “No, you should wait until you’re older, until we can’t find anything to correct your vision.”
And so I continued to manage my vision, even adding glasses over my contacts. This enabled me to read, to correct my double vision and to see at night. Many days I come home so fatigued from struggling to see, that all I want to do is close my eyes and rest.
I’ve waited to manage health issues for my parents who have now passed away. I’ve waited to raise my children and see them off to college. I’ve waited to finally find a doctor who has agreed “I can help you see better.”
I’ve waited so long that I can’t even imagine what it is like to wake up in the morning and see clearly.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan