Is It Better? Is It Not?

Frankly, I can’t say at this point. I’ve changed so much in the hope of alleviating some of the problems with my eye, that I’m still not adjusted to all of those changes yet. I honestly won’t know for a day or two how they’re panning out… at the soonest.

However, I have at least managed to reduce some of the workload and thereby some of the stress; I also picked up a new pair of glasses, and it was shocking for me to walk around with them on. People have faces again! Facial expressions! It’s not that I couldn’t see people’s faces before, but now they’re just so vivid and visible. Faces seemed to jump right out at me, is all. The woman at the glasses shop told me that the prescription I have now is slightly different from my old one, which helps, plus my previous pair of glasses had a lot of scratches, which can contribute to disturbances in vision. (She mentioned a hazy light in the peripheral vision, dryness, and trouble focusing as things that indicate my prescription was not quite right. I’m not sure whether she explained that I would be getting glasses specifically designed to reduce strain from computer work, or whether she said that the proper prescription would simply do that. However, she was extremely helpful and friendly, and answered all of my questions as best she could. (And was the spitting image of a student of mine from years ago, though she was much taller than the student I remember.)

Anyway, we’ll see how I feel after a couple of days with these new glasses, and continued rest. (And then I’ll be in the thick of marking, and not spending much time on reading anything except final assignments from my various courses… so I shall have a lot of offline time, it seems.)

UPDATE: No, wait, after only half a day with these glasses, I can say in all certainty that things are a hell of a lot better. I still get the freaky sense of too much light shining in my eye when I use a computer — seemingly regardless of actual lighting conditions in the room — but in general, my vision is so much improved that I am actually feeling semi-constantly blown away by how prosaic everything looks. Signs actually aren’t blurry (most of the time). People’s faces are much more expressive. Many people have worse skin than I remember. It’s weird, actually seeing so much more information. And when I put on my glasses, I don’t feel this weird counter-reaction where, yeah, I can focus better, but see less anyway. I guess I got so used to it that I didn’t realize I had (a) so many nasty little scratches on the lense, and (b) my prescription was no longer appropriate to my needs.

I was told, by the way, that my new prescription is only slightly different from my old one. As the woman who tested my vision at the glasses shop put it: “A small difference but you think, you see, big difference, okay?”

By the way, a student told me to get my glasses prescription done at an ophamologist’s office. She assured me that the prescription would be far more accurate, but in fact, even when I was reading numbers wrong off the chart — and I read them in perfectly adequate Korean — the doctor insisted I have no vision problem, and don’t need glasses, and then went through the motions and gave me a useless, far-too-weak prescription which, when tested on me, was blurry. I’m glad it only cost me the equivalent of $3, because otherwise I’d have been complaining. In contrast the woman at the glasses shop walked me through a pretty involved 10-15 minute long procedure where she tested a bunch of (a) or (b) alternatives to get exactly the right prescription for me. I was really unimpressed with the opthamologist, and quite impressed with the glasses shop. I got lenses for my older frames, and picked up a spare set because I’ll be traveling and spares are a good idea. (Not to mention, glasses are MUCH cheaper here than in North America.) Best of all, for only $20 more for each set, the lenses are “PC” lenses. At first I thought this meant that the lenses were optimized for use with computers, but it turned out that they’re made of some material called “polycarbon”, which means they’re more resistant to scratching and breakage. So I won’t soon be having the same problem I had.

Still, as my mom points out, the message my body sent me about resting and relaxing when possible is still valid, and I am still minimizing my time on the PC for a while. I hope to get some reading done tomorrow, though, in small doses. I have a couple of books I’d like to read, and some research to get through, before I leave for Clarion, and the first of the final assignments will be appearing in my mailbox on Thursday at noon: 50 assignments that will need to be marked by various times next week (and will hopefully mostly be finished by the weekend); next week, I’ll receive more written assignments on Wednesday, and Thursday, as well as marking some presentations on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I need to hand in all my marks by next Friday of the week after that, and I fly to Seattle on the Saturday. And you know, I’ll be trying to get in some quality time with Lime before then. And packing. And cleaning up my place. And… and… and…

As the “Band-Aids” (groupies) in Almost Famous said over and over… “It’s all happening!”

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