More ‘Brought to You by the Dinah and Allen Fund’

You might remember me writing last spring, about helping our friends Dinah and Allen to clean out the building that they bought.  And how they graciously allowed me to sell things and keep the money.  And how I used the money to buy inserts for my high arch feet and my sewing machine.  Well, there was still some money left.  I toyed with the idea of getting a Kindle or other tablet type of reader but since our internet connection is so slow I figured that I would never be able to download any books anyway and my other choice to spend the money might be a little more practical.


Since I was 6 years old, I have worn glasses.  One of the more thoughtful and nice things that my parents did for me (they did a lot of nice things for me.  It’s just that this one really made a difference and stands out in my memory)  was in the summer after 6th grade and before going to junior high I got contact lenses.  I think it was decided that I would probably be responsible enough with them.  And to my credit I was still wearing the same pair (or maybe one had been replaced) at least 15 years later.  Anyway, I loved wearing contacts.  And was very good about cleaning them.  Every night.  (For you younger folks, these were hard contact lenses, before what is known now as gas permeable lenses.  Lenses that had to be taken out every night and cleaned and soaked and then once a week cleaned in something different.  A lot of cleaning and a lot of solution that had to be bought.)  I only switched to gas permeable lenses when it became too hard to find the solution for the hard contacts.  And then our ophthalmologist in Virginia tried to get me to switch to soft lenses but I didn’t like them. 


We moved to Italy.  I moved over some solution and various folks would bring some over to me when they visited.  And I found where it is sold here in Italy.  So I continued to wear my gas permeable lenses.  But some of the time it was difficult.  If we were in a smoky place, not that uncommon here, either cigarette smoke or wood smoke, I would be bothered.  During pollen season.  The dust from cutting the grass.  The wind.  I was spending a lot of time with my eyes watering because something was under a lens or wearing my glasses.


Now my glasses, which in my mind, are for getting me from the bathroom, after taking out my contacts, to the bedroom to go to sleep and the reverse trip in the mornings.  The glasses date from I think the late 1980s.  I would wear them while painting rooms.  I painted a lot of rooms.  The frames are splattered with paint.  They are extremely attractive.  Unlike others (especially here in Italy) who consider glasses a fashion accessory, I have one pair.  They date from a time when I only needed my vision corrected for distance, not reading. (i.e. pre-bifocal)  So if I am wearing them and need to read, I take them off.  And if for some reason, I am wearing them out of the house, then I know it is beyond hope how I look, so I usually don’t bother with putting on any eye makeup.  Without eye makeup, I look a little bland.  My eyes are my best feature.  For me, eye makeup does what it should do, accent my best feature. 


As I had aged and the need for bi-focals had come along, our good doctor in Virginia had fixed me up with mono-vision.  One contact for distance.  One contact for reading.  Which work fine in most settings.  If I am going to read a lot, usually at night in bed, I just take the contacts out.  And if I am driving someplace where I am very familiar I am fine.  But when we moved to Italy I was a little uncomfortable with driving here wearing my contacts so I visited the eye doctor here, asking him to write a prescription for a pair of glasses, with one side plain (for the distance eye) and one side prescription for distance (for the reading eye).  I had explained about my contacts.  And he just exploded!  ‘Oh that was wrong! WRONG!WRONG! WRONG!  Who did that for you?  WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!’  Well the long and short of it was that he is a jack-ass and I left without any prescription. 


In the same shopping center as the ‘suburban’ post office is an optometrist.  I went in to see her and a few days later called back and for 90 Euros I had exactly what I wanted… a pair of glasses to correct for my ‘reading eye’ so that I could drive with more confidence.


Now a few years later,  I was in a quandary.  New glasses that were bifocal so I could wear them all the time or new contacts.  Because glasses are a fashion item here, frames are expensive.  I stopped in to chat with my optometrist friend.  (If you think I am going back to Dottore Jack-Ass…)  We discussed choices.   I came home and over several days had enough of an internet connection to be able to research the choices we talked about.  She was steering me towards monthlies, soft contact lenses that you put in and take out each day, cleaning them of course.  But you know what, I figured that over the years I had probably put in and taken out and cleaned my contacts over 16,000 times.  I am tired of doing that.  I am tired of trying to find and buy solution.  Tired of manufactures changing the solution.  I am tried of the whole mess with it! 


I told her I wanted to try dailies.  (soft lenses that you put in each day and then throw away at the end of the day)  She examined my eyes and then handed me a free 5 day trial.  She showed me how to put them in.  And that was that.  I drove home and spent the rest of the day wondering why oh why had I not done this sooner?????  And then it was time to go to bed.  Time to take them out.  I had no clue how to get them out.  No clue at all.  None! 


Fortunately it was one of those brief moments when our internet was working so I was able to read a few descriptions of how to take them out.  (The video might have been more helpful but can’t get that)   Anyway, I think it took me about 45 minutes to get them both out.  It was then that I remembered why I had rejected these a long time ago in Virginia.  I really don’t like sticking my finger in my eyes.  And that is pretty much what you have to do to get these out.  But what I read on the internet said it would get easier with practice.   And it did.  So I was back to see her and to buy a 90 day supply. 


I love them.  NOTHING gets under them.  NOTHING scratches.  NOTHING makes my eyes water.  At the end of a windy, pollen filled, spring day they feel as good as they did when I first put them in 15 hours ago.  I love them.


So Brought to you by the Dinah and Allen Fund…


march 2012, geroges b day 008


  Daily comfort for my pretty blue eyes.  


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