April 24, 2013

Being Different Sucks

I really don't want to sound like a big whiner, but sometimes.....being different just sucks.

Like right now. The process of finding a place that can manage to make the sort of eyeglass lenses I need as a visually impaired person.

My prescription is too strong and complicated for your average optical store. I knew this before I began. Yet I am surprised at just how difficult this is turning out to be.

It doesn't feel good to be handed off from one eye care professional to another. My ophthalmologist didn't think he could do my refraction well, so he sent me to an optometrist he thought could. The optometrist couldn't figure out my reading lens, so off to a "low vision clinic" I went. The low vision clinic was able to figure out my entire prescription, but they themselves do not have a lab for making me a pair of glasses.

Which I think is lame and pretty half-assed of them, but whatever.

I went to the optical department of my insurance carrier where they told me their lab could pull it off, I picked out frames and the glasses were ordered. I was so excited, expecting to have new, fresh, pretty glasses on my face by Mother's Day.

Then I got a call that completely deflated me. Turns out that lab couldn't make it work and my order had to be cancelled.

I cried.

I have been wearing the same glasses for over 10 years and now that I'm finally trying to make this happen for myself, I feel like I am being jerked around at every turn. I can't understand why, when 10 years ago I was able to get the glasses I needed, it's so damn difficult today. I would have thought I had built up this big annoying process in my head, only to find out that it's not that big of a deal after all.

But I was right. I was right that this was not going to be fun and that I would have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops.

I am not happy to be right in this case. I wish I were wrong. I think I should be wrong. Because TEN YEARS! Shouldn't there have been many advances in eyeglass technology by now? Shouldn't it be more commonplace for someone with low vision to need glasses? And shouldn't optical companies want to accommodate that need?

And after 20 years of being visually impaired, shouldn't I not feel like such a freak anymore?

I want to tap into my zen attitude of well, maybe those weren't actually the right frames, I will find the right place and the right frames and lenses and it will be FINE. Then there's that old adage, "Things worth having never come easy", or some shit like that.

You might be thinking, jeez, it's just a pair of glasses. But what you don't understand is, my ability to see just half as well as you is what's on the line here. With corrective lenses I am still visually impaired. I cannot be corrected back to 20/20, no matter what.

It's about my comfort level as my current glasses pinch my nose and dig into my right ear. It's about maybe being able to feel a little bit prettier.

This matters to me. It's not trivial.

The very best thing said to me as I've expressed some of my frustration was:
All the good people are freaks. Let your freak flag fly and chin up! All will work out in the end.
So alright, I will try not to be bitter about this. I will try to let it roll off my back and look to the end result.*

*But for the record, I'm stomping my foot right now!

Linked up with Pour Your Heart Out.

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