Sight for Sore Eyes

Posted by The Wine Whore |

Some things are difficult to clearly see through someone else's eyes. I don't think anyone really understood what I was feeling as I went through this part of my life. Growing up I constantly struggled with my vision. It started when I was in first grade. I had trouble reading the chalkboard and eye strain would give me constant headaches.

My concerned mother took me to the eye doctor. I remember nervously sitting in an oversized chair while he stared into my eyes using the light of a star as bright as the sun. I left the office with a pair of glasses and the knowledge that I had inherited something from my father and several other generations of males in my family that would render these glasses useless over time. I was only seven years old and I had cataracts.

If you don't know what cataracts are, I'll give you a brief explanation of how they affected my vision for the next sixteen years. Have you ever looked through a shower door covered in soap scum? Everything seems blurry, dull, and flat. Light just doesn't penetrate the same as it would a clear surface. Well, this is how the world slowly started to appear to me as my cataracts progressed. Like soap scum on a shower door, cataracts create a hazy buildup of cells on the lenses inside your eyes, preventing light from shining through.

Years later, I found myself having trouble driving at night. I couldn't even see my computer monitor without practically wiping my nose with it. The time had come to have my cataracts removed. Little did I know, this would not solve all of my problems. Now I could see clearly at a distance and colors once again were vibrant however the world became flat after the cataracts were removed. I would never again within three feet of my face be able to see clearly without wearing reading glasses.

At first, I didn't care. I just made sure to always carry my reading glasses with me. Without them, I couldn't read a restaurant bill, computer monitor, or cell phone. Over time, I realized that having to carry these glasses around would become a huge pain in the ass.

Then one day, someone helped me...

Tampa Twitters
Tampa Twitters Night Out

I was at a local tweet-up. I brought several bottles of wine for the group to enjoy. As I was taking my glasses off and on to look at the wine, sniff, and sip, the dude next to me noticed what was already second nature to me by this point. He turned to me and asked why I wore glasses. I recounted the story that I just told you and he stated that he may be able to help. I got a little excited at first, but didn't think it was possible without surgery and I wasn't about to go through THAT again. He told me to come by his office and he would help... at no charge!

After that night I kept thinking about being able to enjoy a glass of wine (as well as many other things) without having to be chained to a pair of glasses. After a few weeks, I took the leap and let him show me what he could do. I have never before worn contacts but I wish I had known about these sooner. The multifocal contacts he prescribed were just enough to allow me to escape from glasses without losing my distance vision. I was in heaven!

As I type this, I am sitting comfortably from my computer monitor, glasses free, with a smile on my face. I have finally conquered my cataracts and thanks to one man who noticed my struggle, my quality of life is much better. While I admit that there are much more serious ailments in life, I depend so much on my vision for what I do everyday. You have no idea how much this little change has improved my life.

Despite the fact that this post is way overdue, I am writing it because this awesome eye doctor is actually the first guest on the Cabernet Couch. Who knows, he may be able to help you too... click his image on the couch above to check out his site, ask him questions, or just say hello. He's one of the friendliest, kindest, and coolest people I've met on Twitter. Maybe he can change your life too!

Click here if you would like to be the next guest on the Cabernet Couch and tell your story on The Wine Whore.

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Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD said...

Aww shucks! Those are some awfully nice things for someone to totally fabricate about me. :)

Seriously, I am glad the contacts are working so well. When I saw you at dinner, I was stunned that nobody had introduced you to multifocal contacts. They are slam-dunk for someone like you.

So to all the folks in the Wine Whore Crew, just mention The Cabernet Couch and get a 20% discount when you come to Bright Eyes!

Thanks again!


Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

The Wine Whore said...

LOL! Honestly, it was just cool that someone noticed and was able to suggest something that actually helped. A lot of the other offices I go to treat me like a number and not a person. It's nice to feel human again!


Rachele said...

Congrats to both of you! I'd get on the couch with a caricature...who did that?

The Wine Whore said...

Not sure, I think Nate had this done a little while ago. He keeps a copy hanging in his office.

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD said...

The caricature artist was a funny and talented guy at Busch Gardens. He has seen the Brian Regan stand up comedy bit (Check it out on Youtube) and was joking with me about my job.

I do hang the caricature in the exam room, because often medical exam rooms are boring and stuffy. Things like this help to keep it light.

The kids think it is funny when they look at it and say "That's you!!". To which I reply, "Yes, but my head is bigger..."


El Jefe said...

hi WW - Very happy to hear you found a way to see better! (My eyes are easily my second favorite organs...;) However, clicking on the red couch doesn't seem to be working for me.

I've lived with glasses on my nose from the 4th grade on. I'm so nearsighted and astigmatic that it's just easier to wear them all the time - I only take them off to sleep! Tried contacts several years ago and found them such a pain to put in and take out that I gave up....

Wine Harlots said...

What a happy story! I have a similar one. I used to say I was 20/400, but my doc kindly informed me that 20/400 is when you can see the big �E� on the eye chart, I was so impaired they were holding fingers up for me to count! I had the refractive lens implant (RLI) where they surgically put a contact lens in front of your natural lens. Kind of expensive, but worth every penny. Totally changed my life. Now on a bad day I�m 20/30. I can see! I can see!


The Wine Whore said...

We are very lucky to have so many great ways (and people) to help with our eyes. I always wonder which sense I would hate to lose more: my sense of sight or taste/smell. I don't think I would be happy without either. Without smell/taste, I obviously would never be able to enjoy wine the same way as I do today. However, without sight, I would not be able to meet all of the people that I enjoy talking to every day.


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