Last week, I had my first experience with contact lenses, and to say that it went poorly would be a gross understatement. To be completely honest, I don’t know why any part of me believes that I will ever succeed with a procedure that requires precision, skill, and the ability to repeatedly touch my own eyeballs. When it comes to anything body-related, I have never been successful. All episodes of ear piercing ended in disappointment as the holes inexplicably decided to close up; my flirtation with eyelash extensions was both painful and short-lived, and don’t even get me started on my attempt at using a diaphragm for contraception.
I’m fine with doing things to my body as long as I don’t have to interact with it in the same skillful manner as one would expect from, say, a medical professional. I’d rather be free from responsibility. I can use a battery-operated foot file, but if you ask me to inject a life-saving anticoagulant twice daily for a week, I’ll look at you with a distant expression, indicating that I definitely did not process the instructions. I can see to my bikini area, but please don’t ask me to examine my own cesarean section wound for infections. Go ahead and pierce my ears, but I can guarantee you that I won’t be twisting the studs to release the smelly gunk.
Things I’ve vetoed because of my aversion to any form of bodily intervention post childbirth: getting an IUD inserted, starting my much-needed Invisalign program (I have a bite problem that needs correction), and any form of facial alteration, injection, or enhancement. Unless an intervention can prevent me from getting sick or dying, I’m not interested, at least not. Keep your damn needles and rollers and other things that freeze your fat away from me.
So why did I make the decision to try wearing contact lenses? Surely, this decision is, at best, unwise. At worst, it’s complete madness. After my first cystoscopy, I suffered a complete breakdown (google it if you dare) and was so traumatized that I sat in the bathtub for five hours, silently rocking back and forth with my knees drawn up to my chest. What makes me think that putting things into my eyes will go better? Having to touch the wobbly eyeballs, those rubbery spheres that Lady Caroline from Succession (may one of the greatest dramas of all time rest in peace) so disgustingly calls „Face Eggs“?
Obviously, having things inserted into my eyes was better. I’m obtuse. I mean, if given the choice between having to repeatedly open your eyelids and vigorously touch your eyeball or having a camera inserted into your urethra, I imagine you’d fall into the same camp as me. I’d choose the eyeball every time. However, it’s not what I’d call an enjoyable pastime. Apparently, I have fluttery eyelids, which makes wearing contact lenses difficult, but tell me this: what kind of sociopath doesn’t flinch when something approaches their naked, vulnerable eyeball?
Anyway, it took an eternity to get the darn things in, and I didn’t even intend to do it myself. And I have astigmatism, so some parts of the lens are thicker, and I had to blink a lot to get it in the right position. It felt like blinking with an eyelash in my eye, and everything felt very counterintuitive. If I’m honest, the lenses still felt like eyelashes or debris even when they were in place.
But as soon as I recovered from one torture, the next one began: a lesson on how to get the darn things out. There I stood in front of a pedestal mirror, seemingly destined to show me in my worst light, and all I could see was a version of myself at least fifteen years older than I was used to (possibly because I’m so blind) making faces that wouldn’t be out of place in an aquarium and repeatedly poking herself in the eyeball, while saying „ugh“ and „ow“ and „argggh“!
If anyone had come across me, unaware of my plight of having to sit there until I had learned how to remove these little discs of doom, they would have thought I needed immediate help. Because who willingly sits there and fiddles with their eyeballs until they are dry (I needed emergency eye drops) and sore (of course they were sore) when just around the corner are shelves and shelves of perfectly comfortable glasses to try on?
It has to get better. That’s what everyone keeps telling me, and that’s why I’m giving the whole thing another shot. In lack of a better phrase, I have another appointment – Eye Death Episode II – at the end of the week, and it will either be catastrophic, ending in another mild panic where I flail my arms and say, „Just get them out, for God’s sake -“ Get them out of me!, or I’ll emerge as a victor with a trial pack of my special daily lenses and a spring in my step. I can’t imagine there being a middle ground. If my eyes once again feel like they’re being massaged with sandpaper, I may have to politely decline another attempt and draw a line under my contact lens escapades.
Thank you to everyone who has so far shared tried-and-true contact lens methods – we all appreciate it greatly. Can I show hands for those who expected success after their first try but then emerged as victors?
Image Credit Unsplash