Some people wear glasses as a fashion statement.  These people don’t need glasses, as in prescription lenses, but they like the look of glasses on themselves.  Oh, that I didn’t have to wear glasses!!!  Alas, though, I have astigmatism and far or near-sightedness (can’t remember which).  The astigmatism is ever-changing, and every time I change meds, my vision changes.  Glasses are no joke.  They’re expensive!!!  And so are eye exams!!!  I never needed glasses until the day after I got out of the military.  Then I needed bifocals, of all things!!!  I no longer wear bifocals, but I do wear glasses because I do have a wonderful case of astigmatism.  I love to read, write, draw, paint, sketch, and generally see things in general!  The VA only provides one eye exam per year and, unless there’s an extremely notable change in your vision, they don’t provide another pair of glasses.  As often as my vision changes, this makes things difficult.  I’ve paid out thousands in eyeglass and eye exam costs outside the VA system because I need to be able to see.  I hear the rest of the world is in the same bind.  Why wouldn’t the insurance companies want their clients to be able to SEE?!  Seeing might cut down on some of those hospital costs, such as “ran into running table saw and requires amputation and rehabilitation of limb(s)”, etc.  Dental is another story for another time, but it’s the same type of deal.  Why wouldn’t you want your clients to be able to EAT?!  The simple answer would be that they’d rather you died so that they don’t have to pay on you at all…  That’s a morbid thought, but not one that I would put past any insurance or government agency.

Anyway.  Astigmatism.  If you don’t have astigmatism, let me try to describe it to you.  It makes everything fuzzy in a slanted kind of manner, but the fuzzy slanted nature of the vision in one eye doesn’t match the fuzzy slanted nature of the vision in your other eye, so you sometimes get fuzzy slanted double-images of letters on a page, for example, which makes it hard to read and draw and take photographs and paint and do just about everything including reading street signs.  The astigmatism in my right eye is worse than that in my left.  For climbing outdoors, I might miss micro-crimps, but I’m not at that level yet, so we’ll deal with it when I get there.  For reading, however, it has a huge effect!  I’ve learned to ignore it to an extent, but I’ve found that I need larger print to read if I’m going to read anything of length comfortably and without my headlamp shining on it in broad daylight.

Today, I, a 37-year-old astigmatism-sufferer, made a giant leap.  I bought a set of large-print Scriptures.  I’m doing a Scripture-reading challenge and I’ve found that it’s extremely difficult for me to squint and shine the bright light of my headlamp on the tiny references of the verses, then look up the tiny notes in the regular-print version of my Scriptures.  In the large-print version, the notes and references are in the same sized font as the regular print verses are, so they’re readable, and the large-print verses are great to read!!!  I don’t even have to use my headlamp to read them!!!

So, if you suffer from astigmatism, I would highly suggest that you accept it, do what you can to correct your vision with glasses, and buy some large-print books if you like to read.  I discovered that my computer has a magnified-print option in the Settings menu.  I might try that out today.  Swallow your pride and give yourself a break.  You didn’t ask for astigmatism, but it’s a fact of life for you if you have it.  Don’t suffer.  Enjoy life!  And paint on bigger canvases, draw on bigger sheets of paper, and get a magnifying glass for those stupid small-print maps!!!

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