I wear contacts. Eric does, too. We're both pretty bad off in the visual department and kind of wondered how Caitlin was doing so well with that whole "seeing" thing and all.
Then it happened.
I went to school to meet the teacher and noticed that Caitlin's desk was in a different location than it had been after the first week of school. I wondered if that had to do with her behavior or the teacher's preference, so I asked Caitlin about it the very next evening. She mentioned, casually of course, that the other location was too far away from the board.
My ears perked up.
"What do you mean?" sez me.
"Well," sez she, "I was just too far away from the board."
"But what does that mean?" I sez, fishing around without trying to lead the witness.
"It was hard to see." She paused for a moment and then added in a rush, "But it's not like I need glasses or anything!"
"How do you know if you need glasses or not?
"Well, I just don't, that's all."
Then there was a flurry of activity: the downloading of a vision chart, scrambling for the measuring tape and getting a somewhat unwilling Caitlin to stand there and read that. Then getting her to move closer when she couldn't see anything.
Then even closer.
Then there was the immediate phone call to our optometrist to set up an appointment for the next available opening.
I suppose it was inevitable, but I had hoped....
According to Dr. K. there was a 30% chance that her eyes would have been just fine, but no, Caitlin didn't beat the Crazy Nearsighted Odds. Instead, she got to sit in the fancy chair and attempt to read the real eye chart.
"Just read any of the letters you can make out to me." said the helpful assistant.
"I can't see anything." Caitlin replied. I was unsurprised.
Flick. The letters got bigger. "How about now?"
"Nope." Still unsurprised.
"Nope." My eyebrows started lifting towards my hairline.
Flick. "Can you read them now?"
Caitlin finally tried to read the letters and made a complete hash of it. My eyebrows were officially stuck in the Oh My God She's Blind! position.
Final enlargement. Only two letters were on the line. They're HUGE. "Can you read them now?"
"S and L." Caitlin replied.
The assistant dropped down one level. Caitlin tried a little harder to read the letters and got them mostly correct. At that point, the eye test was over and the assistant went to go get Dr. K.
Wow. Oh, wow.
How long has this been an issue and she didn't tell me? For that matter, why didn't the teacher mention that Caitlin was having a hard time seeing the board? Is it possible this has been going on for the last two years? I have no idea, but it seems really sudden!
Previously, Caitlin could read all manner of signs as we were driving along in the car, so this was a big surprise to me. Apparently eye changes can happen just that fast as the eye gets squished out of the proper spherical shape. I'm just glad that we caught it as quickly as we did.
Caitlin is kind of worried about being teased.
But I think she'll be OK. We role-played our way through a few situations, just in case.
As for me, my 3rd grade teacher was the one that told my mom I was squinting at the chalkboard. Glasses at eight. Unsurprisingly enough, I kept "losing" them. Eric didn't realize anything was wrong with him until he was eleven and jokingly put on a friend's glasses. What a surprise when everything suddenly came into focus!
What about you? How did you find out you needed glasses (If you do.)?