July 2022


My Persnickety Eyes and Me

Back when I was in Bloomington I decided to get my eyes examined – yes, I know I could do this in Germany, but doing it in Bloomington was nice because the people there know that I have a weird problem with my eyes and can check in on it.

I came away from the exam with a new prescription for eye-glasses, which I took back to Germany and to my local eye-wear shop along with a pair of glasses that I rarely wear. The glasses had been on my avoidance list because the lenses were completely scratched – and I have no clue why. I treat all my glasses equally well (or, perhaps, equally poorly), so I would expect that either all my glasses are in good nick or none are – and this pair was in terrible nick.

When I got my glasses back with the new prescription, the world was sharp – clean lines and great detail – except wonky. Where there should have been 90° angles, there weren’t. Standing in front of the boxes of cereal at the supermarket was a wee-bit nauseating. Walking down the street was challenging because I couldn’t easily tell how high the curbs were versus the street – and, even more annoyingly, I couldn’t tell how tall people were unless they were right next to me. I also felt really short.

After five days of this, I gave up – took the glasses back and they made some kind of minor tweak. It didn’t seem to help.´

So I went back in and had a quick eye exam – essentially the woman here in Berlin gave me the exact same prescription as what I had received in Bloomington.

So we sent the lenses off to be checked – perhaps there was an error in manufacturing.


So I’m back to square one: the axis in my right eye has shifted 160° — and I picked up my reassembled glasses Tuesday afternoon.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had a stern talk with myself that I have to adapt to the new glasses, or else –but in the last 48 hours, my mind seems to have made substantial progress in adapting to the new prescription, something it couldn’t be bothered to do before.

While I’m still having trouble determining how tall people are down the street, the area right around me isn’t so “tilted” – most real 90° angles are getting close to being 90° as I see them. Plus I’m starting to feel a bit taller. I’m not yet back to feeling my normal height, while walking down the street, but it’s substantially better.

I just wish that my mind and my eyes were much faster to adapt.

Next Wednesday I’m renting a car.

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