My troubled eyes / by vanessa

When I was 18, I failed my driving test.  Three times.  (Thank you for ignoring why it took me until I was 18 to take my test to begin with.)  As if my intimate familiarity with the Seattle Metro system weren't horrifying enough, my ticket to freedom was delayed by a couple of misjudged three-point turns and foggy mirrors.  By the fourth time though, I nailed it. And it is with that same feeling of dejection with which I left the eye doctor today.

I wear glasses.  I look cute in my glasses.  But still, I do not want to wear glasses.  (Before you suggest it, I hate contacts.  It's like I could literally feel the oxygen being sucked out of my eyeballs when I've worn them.)  At the beginning of this year I set aside $3500 in FSA money to get LASIK.  I know three people within the last three months who've gotten LASIK.  LASIK is in the air for crissakes.   Apparently it's not in my air.

"Has anyone ever told you you have unusual corneas?"

"Why thank you."

And then I realized he wasn't complimenting me.

He cooly broke the news, "You have weak corneas."

I have what?  Tell me I have narrow ear canals. (I do.)  Tell me I'm allergic to gluten and corn and dairy and sugar and caffeine and basically all things worth eating.  (That too.)  I can handle those.  There are treatments to those.  But weak corneas?   I felt like such a failure.  How did this happen?

"Is there something I can do to strengthen it?"  I was desperate.

"The treatment isn't FDA-approved yet," he said.

Man, f*ck the FDA! I said.  (I didn't really say that.)

I left the office with my head hung low.  I should have stopped when he told me to come back in a year and try again.  Instead, I googled "what causes weak corneas."  Word of advice:  don't google stuff when you leave a doctor's office.  It doesn't end well.  Ever.  If you do, you'll likely stumble upon a natural remedy site which tells you that it's your fault for having too much heat in the body and various other things that basically suggest wanton abuse of one's temple.   I reeled for a moment thinking about what I could have done differently; what I should be doing now.  And then...

Oh shut up, Internet.

It hit me.  Is there really value in figuring out if I did something "wrong" to cause a set of pansy corneas?  I don't even care if it's my "fault."  Likely I was born like this, or maybe I ate the wrong foods, or my sixth chakra is effed, or maybe it's because I once told a guy at a concert he was ugly after he blocked my view.  (Sorry!  I didn't mean it!)  I don't know.  The point is, it seems counter-productive to view a physical condition as a character flaw. It's just a lot of extra worry and stress that I could be diverting toward my job.

Instead, I went out to Warby Parker and picked out a lighter pair of eyeglasses.  I'm still going to see my naturopath to see if I can do something between now and next year.  But this time I'm going to do it with a lot less drama about the whole thing.