Well, now that my head is back together, reconciling myself to seeing through one lone eye has become more prominent. The most currently significant challenges are being able to read consistently, adjusting to my decreased field of vision, and learning to catch a whiffle ball that my youngest daughter throws to me :).
John, my friend from the Eastside Runners helped comfort me early on by telling me that he had monocular vision. John is a skilled photographer who had to switch dominant eyes when he lost sight on one eye about twenty years ago. He’s also a much faster runner than I, and I’ve seen him cruise up and down a number of local mountains. In other words, two of my major passions (photography and running) are well within monocular capabilities.
John brought over a good primer on the subject for me to peruse. It’s called A Singular View : The Art of Seeing with One Eye by Frank Brady. Coincidentally, my parents had ordered me this same book just days before too. It begins as a motivator for the newly one-eyed to keep doing what they love. It then walks you through how vision works, your basic field of vision metrics, and how monocular and binocular depth perception work. I’m not very far into the book as yet, but it’s definitely intriguing.
Then today, I went to a local ophthalmologist to update my eyewear from a seven year old pair of glasses. Until the accident, I wore hard contact lenses nearly every day for about 30 years. My poor glasses felt underpowered, and were beat up from a sudden spate of everyday use (mostly because I’m not used to wearing glasses all the time). Interestingly, I did not feel confident in the eye tests and the assessments of my vision. I could read letters, but the fidelity was inconsistent, and I saw some halos around the lit screens of eye charts. I suspect this is in part because I’m still adjusting to the art of reading with one eye.
The doctor explained to me that part of the problem is that the contact lenses that I wore until the accident actually changed the shape of my eyes, and therefore changed the prescription necessary for my eyes. My two changed eyes together concealed the background change to my 43 year old eyes. such as the need for bifocals or reading glasses. It’s painful to realize, but I can expect to use bifocal lenses or reading glasses.
In any case, today’s hard work had to do with relearning to see.