27 November 2008

Keep my eyes open wide

Unusually enough it has been a week since my last post, and although a number of interesting things have happened, such as djing at the 64th birthday party of The Very Understanding Girlfriend's father*, a two day visit from Mr Ross, and work on remixing three tracks for someone as part of a super secret project (about which more will no doubt be revealed over the coming months), I have not taken the time to sit and write about it as is my usual wont.

Recently I have been experiencing some pretty bad headaches after long periods of reading, writing, or programming in Max/MSP. While I challenge anyone not to get a headache after extensive Max/MSP work, the reading and writing thing did set off some alarm bells, so I trundled off to Dixon Hempenstall, a friendly non-chain opticians, currently celebrating their centenary**.

After much testing of lenses, reading of letters, and the blowing of air in my eyes I was informed that I have astigmatism in both eyes. I said, "Cool. The blood of Christ compels you." "Nope," they said, "your eyes are misshapen and not actually round. They have been that way since birth, I'm surprised you haven't been in constant agony all your life." "Well" I said, "I have been. I just learned to channel the pain into sarcasm and a healthy intolerance for the actions of others."

"Also" they said, "you can't really see out of your left eye, you probably haven't noticed that because your brain would tend to shut the eye down when it wasn't working too well. Do you do a lot of reading or work with computers at all? Because that would probably cause you a lot of pain if you do."


Its not actually that bad, as with most things I am exaggerating for comedic affect. Astigmatism is relatively common, and mine doesn't really hurt that much. I am, however, both slightly long-sighted, and slightly short-sighted (surely that means I am just 'sighted'). I need glasses immediately for reading and fine detail work, but that's about it for the next ten years or so.

What is annoying is to learn, aged 35, that my eyes have probably been wonky since I was a child and I should have been wearing glasses for most of my life. The optician said that if this had been discovered earlier (as in years earlier) corrective lenses might have improved the vision in my left eye over time, but it's too late now. On the other hand discovering that I haven't really been able to see fine detail all my life goes some way to explaining my choice of paisley shirts in the early 90s, not to mention a life-long series of disastrous haircuts.

Wandering around the house this morning wearing my new Actman & Mico Thrasher is literally eye-opening, as in I suddenly realise how much I have been squinting for most of my life. It is very strange to suddenly see just how bad my eyesight has been for so long without me really noticing, the difference is startling.

It also make me wonder just what else is wrong with me that I no longer notice.

* Never again. Old people are rowdy and demanding. Also, as every Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra song is under two minutes in length (no doubt corresponding to the attention span of your average 70 year-old) you end up having to play at least twice as many tunes as a regular set. Very hard work, though I would like to think that I will be just as rowdy and demanding when I am 64.

** Any time I've seen someone who is 100 years old or more, they're wearing glasses. Thus it stands to reason that an opticians that is also 100 years old would know a lot about glasses. Or at least it does in my mind.


At 3:41 pm, Blogger 2BiT said...

"It also make me wonder just what else is wrong with me that I no longer notice"

Where would you like us to begin? :D

At 5:03 pm, Blogger Kate said...

The curse of the confirmed non-driver!

If you had at any stage in the last 18 years applied for a provisional driving licence, no doubt this would have been picked up very quickly.

We have regular medicals in work and my eyesight is slightly better than 20/20 (didn't think that was possible but there you go)

I'm thinking it's to balance out the 5% above register-able deafness. Hmmmmm does disability pay more than unemployment benefit? (/thinks if credit crunch gets much worse I might have to go stand beside some speakers... pesky 5%!)


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