Having Eyesight Problems

Back in January, I managed to break my glasses :( The frame ripped right in half down the nosepiece. My dad tried to fix it but the alignment was off and it didn’t really work. Thankfully, I had the hard contacts at home so I was able to continue to use those.

I have an eye condition – keratoconus – and hard contacts are the only way to correct my vision properly. Even the glasses cannot really fix things. My disorder isn’t in it’s advanced stages or anything….it’s still very mild, but nobody really knows how this disorder progresses. I know it is degenerative, but some patients with the condition have it very mild and it stabilizes and doesn’t get worse all their life. Others who have it find that it degenerates the cornea much more rapidly and continuously, never stabilizing.

My eyesight stopped changing much at around 11th grade, so my eye doctor has reason to believe that my keratoconus also stopped progressing at around that time. Hopefully, it will stay at this level where it is manageable by the use of hard contacts to correct the cornea’s irregularity. If it gets worse, the only way (so far) to fix it seems to be a corneal transplant or a lensticula surgery. I don’t know what to do :( It scares me to talk about it. This is the most open I’ve been on my blog about the whole issue, in fact.

So that little tangent aside, I was diagnosed with keratoconus my freshman year of college. At that time, my parents had great eye insurance and I was able to get fitted for and order a pair of hard contact lenses for free. They are considered medically necessary for somebody with my condition in most insurance policies I believe.

The problem with hard contacts – they need a lot of getting used to. I was given them freshman year and while it felt like I could see the world again properly…for the first time..when I wore them, they were so uncomfortable and painful that I couldn’t even wear them for more than half an hour. I was told I would build up a tolerance to them and get used to them, even, but when I had the option of glasses, I never really bothered getting used to the contacts. They were a pain, took me forever to put on, and I couldn’t even keep them on for the duration of one of my classes. As a freshman, I was lazy and didn’t want to deal with the hassle. They just lay around at home, unused.

Skip to this year, 2012, and I am a first semester senior. Broke my glasses, as I said, and I remembered that pair of hard contacts lying around. Classes started soon and even if I paid for and ordered a new pair of glasses, it would take a week. I forced myself to adapt to the contacts. Our family doesn’t have eye insurance right now, we’re going through a tough time. No dental either, or even just normal health insurance I don’t think. My mom is between jobs and my dad’s office doesn’t cover it. It only offers life insurance.

So family problems, financial problems, vision problems. I thought parents aren’t supposed to burden their child with this kind of stuff. Well nobody told my parents this because I know everything and it stresses me out like no other.

I told my mom not to bother getting a backup pair – they would be too costly without any sort of plan…close to $300 or so even if I get the cheapest of the cheap frames.

Last night, one of my contacts fell out while I was dancing at a party. I don’t know what to do…obviously, it was impossible to find. I was out, there were lots of people, I’m sure it got crushed by the time I bent down to start looking for it. No use. I ran to the bathroom in the hope that it just came off my iris and I could push it back into position, but I would have felt it in some other corner of my eye and I couldn’t feel it. I double-checked in the mirror and rolled my eyeballs round in the most extreme angles. No luck. No little contact.

So now I’m even more fucked. No contacts, no glasses. I’m blind.

BLIND.

That’s what it feels like anyway. I can’t see what I’m typing right now; I’m only typing because thankfully, they teach us how to memorize the keys on the keyboard and now, typing is second nature and I don’t need to look at keys to know what I’m doing.

New glasses will cost ~$300, like I said.

New contacts with fittings and all…they will cost me $500+

Just a visit to the specialist without any eye insurance that would handle a co-pay is $165. So add that to the cost of the contacts, and imagine if it requires more than one visit to get fitted properly.

I’ve just cost my parents another $1000. I feel like such a failure right now :(

I’ll probably be posting less frequently on my blog while I figure everything out. At this point, I don’t see…being able to see (lol pun)…for at least another week, assuming I can go to an eye doctor tomorrow or Monday and order glasses. Or talk to the specialist and see how much it will cost to re-order the hard contacts.

Rigid gas permeable lenses, if maintained properly, last you 2-3 years. Possibly more. I had mine since sometime in late 2009/early 2010, but didn’t wear them regularly until just this year, so I’m assuming that their life expectancy should be until sometime in late 2013..? I don’t know. I don’t know what to do! :(

- Pryanka

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4 thoughts on “Having Eyesight Problems

  1. So sorry for what you are going through. I tried wearing contacts for a while and it was a nightmare, I keep my nails I feared I would one day hurt myself badly, plus they are so inconvenient to put and remove…I find spects a bit more flexible.

    Are you short or long sighted? I know that feeling of not seeing and it’s not cool. Especially when you have to see stuff in class. Only upside is that when walking (around places you know very well) you have a sly smile…you can’t see people and you simply don’t care…carefree walk one of my favorites ;)

    • I think I’m far-sighted? I never learned how to differentiate that way. Without glasses/contacts, I can see close but I can’t see farther away. But really, the keratoconus symptoms make it impossible to read large font even when I literally shove it right in front of my face unless I squint :( You know at first, I was worried about my nails but I have super long nails all the time and I’ve never had an issue. The way you put the contacts…they sit on the pad of your finger….your nails never get close to your eye!

      I guess removal would be where things are different though. For soft lenses, long nails are a hindrance but for removal of RGP (hard) lenses, you just pull at the corner of your eye and blink, and they pop right out and into your hand xD Super easy removal.

  2. oh man, that’s tough. but hang in there right. you’ll figure it out – you have to! i also wear contacts for my eyes but i don’t know what’s the difference between what i wear and hard contacts you have. i hope the condition stabilizes for good too. just remember to breathe pryanka. you’ll figure it out!

    • Thanks for the encouragement <3 <3 I'm trying, but everytime I hold this damn screen an inch from my face to read, I'm reminded of how crippled I am. I wear rigid gas permeable ones. You probably wear soft, or hydrophilic ones?

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