Okay. So. Basic background info. I’m 37, presently operating as the peer support on a PACT team, less nomadic now than a couple years ago, and have come to know God through Jesus Christ as of four years ago. That’s the basic present-tense scenario.
I’m the eldest of four children from a fairly derelict coal-mining area in West Virginia: McDowell County. I spent the first 17 years of my life going between Elbert and Welch, WV–the mostly shy and definitely nerdy, eldest daughter of two pharmacists. My first foray into “alternative treatments” came with finding a copy of Jethro Kloss’s Back to Eden on the shelf of resources at my parents’ pharmacy, somewhere roundabout 12 years old. I was fascinated, and continue to learn.
I’ve been wearing glasses (or contacts) since I was in kindergarten, initially prescribed as the result of a series of tests to diagnose severe headaches. Yet, somehow, despite being a voracious reader, early computer addict, and tv derelict, my prescription didn’t spiral out of control over the course of my youth. May have had something to do with required outdoor chores–caring for horses–nearly daily? Maybe a benefit of the infrequent forays into the woods, seeking solitude? I have no idea. Regardless, familial disbanding and subsequent chaotic living didn’t bode well for regular visits with the eye doc, so I was spared major progression of myopia likely as result of disinclination (and inability?) to visit the doc.
Somewhere along the course of occult studies and practices pursued in the 90s-00s, I first wandered across some…perhaps Thai?..method of eyesight improvement. The general principle involved being out-of-doors and challenging one’s eyes to focus on some distant, small object (I think leaves and blades of grass were recommended) until gaining greater ability to focus: Repeat consistently, improve eyesight. I bookmarked the page but never attempted it. Not sure whether that was discovered during habitation of all the varied spots in Pinellas County, FL, or those of New Orleans, LA–both constitute chaotic bouts of life: between abusive relationships, alcoholism, hurricanes being wack, being consumed by bartending, falling off a balcony, losing my mother to suicide, and getting back into college, my eyesight wasn’t remotely the focus of any concern (apart from concern about losing it due to TBI entailing occipital lobe+others contusions–gratefully, not a result).
I did, however, remember that site for eventual follow up. Remembered it well enough to recommended it to a friend, during a more recent stint living in Tampa, FL. He tried it, found practical effects enough as to successfully avoid getting his first pair of glasses at age 30: All by adopting the methods outlined on that webpage (and by increasing his consumption of carrots). The link is still lurking somewhere in all my varied bits of electronic info, I think–if anyone wants to peruse for curiosity’s sake, I’ll eventually hunt it down. Eventually. But not right now.
Fast forward to earlier this year (I think?–maybe it was late last year), when a friend of mine from China was disclosing deep distress regarding her eyesight: Nothing discerned by docs, but something “off.” So, it seemed good to help her find something to help. I started searching online for something legit.
This, knowing our bodies are designed in such a way that they are able to heal from so many seemingly inconceivable offenses. So, the idea of improving eyesight–though utterly counter-cultural–is not difficult to conceive of, given even a marginal awareness of how very limited our medical knowledge realistically extends.
Also noteworthy: In the past decade, I’d accidentally improved my eyesight a couple times, already. The first, over the course of 2012–I didn’t know it had happened and have no idea how, but an optometrist in Tampa informed me of the improvement, all while expressing incredulity (2013).
Second instance was last year: My right eye is non-dominant and had begun to bother me due to disparity in visual acuity. I did a thing where I would read the Bible every week while waiting for church to start, 10-15 minutes–specifically, by taking turns from one eye to the other, getting the book close enough as to be able to get an eye to focus, then continuing with each eye independently until the focus became stable. After a month or so of this, I unexpectedly found myself needing to downgrade to an earlier prescription, due to increased eye strain in the stronger glasses.
I had all this in my favor when venturing in search of information for my friend. And in a surprisingly short amount of time, I wandered across Endmyopia. At first, due to the pervasive humor, I was somewhat inclined to write it off. But, as I continued reading, I noted humor wasn’t substituting for substance on Endmyopia. I was intrigued by the ongoing reference to peer-reviewed studies and accessible, yet seemingly thorough descriptions of physiological processes involved in development and progression of myopia. So, I read more. And set aside a day to watch many Youtube videos–which drove home that Jake’s humor is just that: Jake’s humor (and it grows on you), not any indication of trustworthiness of the info presented. I told my friend about the site, but she has not had time to pursue. Yet, I’ve continued.
And after months of reading through the site and lurking on Facebook, I finally purchased my first differentials (and a pair of normalized, per the CM converter measurements) a month or so ago. This, after having also purchased a pair (all these through Zenni) using the newest optician Rx from last summer (I couldn’t even wear these lattermost, they were so strong).
The glasses I’ve been wearing for distance aren’t my new normalized, though–I had stopped doing distance things and had slacked on outdoor time and active focus in the midst of some major stresses, again, so had compromised some gains. But I’m wearing the pair from 2014 again, for distance, which is still less strong (by unknown amount) than either of these more recent prescriptions received from optometrists:
OD -3.25 sph -2.25 cyl 6.0.
OS -2.25 sph -2.25 cyl 177.0
(This Script was a result of seeking help for eye strain due to at-home computer work w/10-hr days; in addition to increased general strength over 2014 Rx, I was also given a +1 bifocal lens add-on for this Rx)
I wore this Rx for a long while, comfortably, before starting to do the active focus-thing at church. Maybe a month or so of doing that before I had to downgrade back to the earlier Rx from 2014. Then, I went to get my eyes checked last summer. Because I have insurance, now, and it seemed like the responsible the thing to do when a person has vision insurance.
OD - Right -3.25 sph -2.5 cyl 8.0
OS - Left. -2.5 sph -2.25 cyl 178.0
This, I couldn’t ever wear. I took in the 2016 glasses and the 2014 ones, and the dr said the 2014 was the correct Rx for me of the two. Said this, prior to writing a new even stronger Rx. No +1 values for this one. And I’m still weirded out this fellow decided to go maverick with astigmatism axes–I don’t have any other scripts on-hand (record-keeping isn’t a forte) but the 6 and 177 has been consistent for a long time. He tried to add prism values too, which is “fun”. Just, no.
After getting this latter Rx, just before finding Endmyopia…I was kind of done with optometrists/ophthalmologists. Being told my current glasses are just right vs. the stronger ones from the prior year, then being written for an even stronger Rx that’s too uncomfortable to even wear? No. Just, no: I’m not wearing glasses that make my eyes hurt and give me headaches just because someone with a diploma tells me to do so. I had forced myself to adapt to newly written prescriptions in the past, and witnessed degradation of my vision as a result–primarily, remembrance of obvious degradation resulting from new Rx regards visual phenomena I now recognize as the development of increased astigmatism. The general situation in optometry, where what’s claimed to heal effectively damages isn’t whatsoever uncommon amongst all fields of practice at this point, unfortunately–such is the broken world we live in. But I don’t have to be a part of this aspect of it, at the very least.
So, I’m very grateful Jake has gone about the process of researching and compiling information about how myopia actually works, in the midst of such general chaos. Thanks, @jakey.
The current differentials I’m using:
OD - Right -1.75 sph -1.75 cyl 6.0
OS - Left. -1.0 sph -1.75 cyl 177.0
And they feel great for reading and computer use.
The others I got were a bit too optimistic:
OD - Right -2.75 sph -2.25 cyl 6.0
OS - Left. -2.0 sph -2.25 cyl 177.0
These were based off CM measurements taken months ago while I was doing active focus continuously and patching daily–I’ve reverted to poor habits too much, since. Prob still 20/40? Left eye is great in them, can read everything really well and clearly at distances. But my right eye just isn’t happy, and with the disparity the right eye was tending to become even more weak. So, I’ve reverted again to using the unknown Rx from 2014.
As far as my outdoor time goes, I’m hoping to focus more on that soon. Maybe with a bicycle. Though realistically, I may soon end up needing to not drive for a while in order to save for repairs on my car…in which case, my outdoor time will be largely improved by the necessity of walking (and biking, still…hopefully). =)
I am fortunate that my day job is largely spent driving (agency vehicles, for the win!), though, so distance vision is a constant at work. However, stress is a major and ongoing part of work-life. And stress inhibits so much, physiologically. But, it’ll be fine in the end. And confession time: I still haven’t printed off the snellen, so don’t have those measurements. I moved to Blacksburg, VA, (from Christiansburg–not far) in June and will be taking up residence at my new place at the end of the week so have hope that Snellen may be in the near future.
At this point, I’m just tired of glasses. Tired of depending on the industry which sells them. Tired of dealing with eye strain. Tired of having one eye that isn’t sure what it wants to do in life. I just want to see well and clearly. And at the beginning of this journey, I was also confronted with how much of my life has to do with hiding–behind my glasses, behind my weight, behind my silence, behind my complacency–and I don’t want to continue being controlled by the fears which have kept me continually in uncertainty. Eyesight is a small part of that, granted, but even making minor gains has given me a very real taste of the freedom accessible per coming to terms with life and reality, anew.
All of which concludes my long writing, now. Not having contributed anything (other than the requested reviews), hopefully the entirety of this intro will hold some weight toward allowing less of the “talking” again for a while. Maybe.
Anyway, good to meet you all!