Friday, December 21, 2007


How many times have we ALL heard the title of this post? And how many times has this assumption been right or wrong? Probably 50/50 either way, I imagine. Well, here's my latest, "Not everything is MS" story...

As some of you long-standing and not yet completely bored CHEESE readers (or maybe you ARE completely bored and just haven't figured that out yet?!?) know, I have been experiencing difficulty with my vision this past year. No, not optic neuritis difficulty...difficulty READING small print, computer screens, etc. I have delayed seeing my optometrist for several rational reasons (my vision plan wouldn't cover new frames, I wanted to "wait" to see what my vision might do, I couldn't find time in my schedule, etc.) and one completely irrational one...I didn't want to be told the cause of my changing vision was aging!

I finally broke down and made an appointment two weeks ago after losing my glasses TWICE and later locating them on top of my head. I was placing them there whenever needing to read anything up close...for an all-my-life-nearsighted-person, the idea of not being able to read up close was most disturbing. I've ALWAYS been able to see things in front of my face...just not far away. And my right eye is sooooo incredibly near-sighted, I often had to have things smack dab in FRONT of my face to see it, but I still could "see" it with my glasses on. So, my optical appointment went something like this:

EYE DOC: (after twirling, spinning, blowing air in my eyes, and basically blinding me for several minutes) "Well, you are right. Your vision HAS changed substantially since your last exam."

BLIND ONE (me): "I know. I've been putting off coming here for several months. I DID see an opthamologist in April this year because of those headaches (had previously disclosed my "migraine" issues from this spring), but he basically said everything looked fine with my optic nerves. You know, this darned MS can be such a stinker sometimes."

EYE DOC: (looking at me quite puzzled...her face is close enough to mine that I can actually SEE her eyes and quizzical look) "Oh, this isn't MS. This is old age."

BLIND ONE (me): "No, I don't think you heard me correctly. My story is, THIS is MS...and I'm sticking to it!" (me, now looking quite smug)

EYE DOC: (smiling or maybe laughing hysterically...she's moved across the room and I can no longer see her expression) "You can call it what you like, but you need bifocals."

BLIND ONE (me): "That would be MS BIFOCALS, right?" (still with smug look on my face, trying to uphold my inflated attitude)

EYE DOC: "You can call them whatever you like...they're still bifocals."

BLIND ONE (me): (making a leaking air sound as my ego deflates)

So, I now have some very expensive GOGGLES. That's right...these darned "progressive bifocal lenses" feel like I'm wearing goggles. They are great for reading a computer screen, I must admit, but I shan't dare try to WALK more than a step with them on...the FLOOR seems to rise to meet my every step!!! EYE DOC assures me I will eventually "train" my eyes to get used to the new "look"...I hope so. I also hope the dizzy feeling I have gotten during the few hours I have worn them does not trigger my vertigo. If THAT happens, the goggles will be returned to sender and I will be back to my old practice of peering over the top of my mono-lenses or losing them on top of my head.

Man, Multiple Sclerosis can be a beauch sometimes...
and so can getting old, but I'm not admitting that just yet...LOL...


harkoo said...

Sounds like you put up a brave fight, but you have now joined all of us who have made this sobering passage. Boy, turning 50 and having an AARP magazine arrive at your house is going to be tough-I hope I am still alive to help you on your journey! (it will be worth staying alive to read your posting on that fateful day! lol)

Bubbie said...

Ms.Cheese has officially joined in the ranks of the merely myopic ms'ers. Bubbie's Hubby is always around to remind me of the ravages of age. My smirk reminds him that HE is my senior. lol If bifocals are all we need to cope with time, we are all doing very well indeed.


Your story made me laugh. I'm ONLY 38 and have been hearing the 'you're entering that age....' from a number of docs lately.

I've had optic neuritis in both eyes (complete grayout in the right once) and don't ask me to walk with my eyes closed.

But I've also worn glasses since I was 4 years old. That curved floor you see rising up from your feet WILL flatten back out. I used to think this was really COOL as a kid each year my glasses had to be upgraded, especially with the diamond-shaped carpet in my eye-dr's office.


By the way, since I found your site a few weeks ago, I have been working on an MS resource page on my blog. I've found a few MS bloggers to add to your list of 100+.

Miss Chris said...

If I'm holding books at arms length so I can read the print...does that mean my eyes are going bad.....I'm guessing the answer is a big fat "YES". Argh!

Callie said...

OMG! I've had bi-focals since I was 36 yr and now I'm 44. You do get used to it especially if you're like me and haven't really worn them.LOL

Merelyme said...

awww yeah...i hear ya. i have a new pair of glasses waiting for me for the beginning of the new year. a rite of passage this is.

Becky said...

when I took my kids for an eye exam once....the Dr kept telling the kids they were doing great, when I could see that they were saying the wrong letters. I asked the Dr about this and he asked me when I had last had my eyes checked. I told him years ago because my eyes were perfect. Turns out, that I went straight to bifocals..I got the progressive and they do take some getting used to but they are wonderful now!!

BBC said...

And learn how to fly on the way down

Posts like this remind me to thankful for good genes. I do wear glasses for close work, but just cheap reading glasses.

At 64 I've held up very well over the years and can still out work a lot of men younger than I.

Seattle hey? I haven't been there for a while, not fond of big cities anymore. As far as I'm concerned Port Angeles is too big.

"getting old, but I'm not admitting that just yet"

Yeah, I'm still denying that. LOL

Have a peaceful Christmas.

Merelyme said...

just wanted to come back to wish you a very merry christmas!

Have myelin? said...

That was one funny post. I don't feel sorry for you, hun... I have bifocals too but I went to the progressive lenses (yeah, they cost more but I don't want anyone to know!) however...only one problem with those lenses. You can't watch tv laying down.

And I lost my glasses Thanksgiving because I can't keep track of anything.

I need to blog about my eyeglasses problem. LOL.