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20 October 201606:40AMlife

So I've joined the ranks of the bespectacled.

The extent to which we normalise things is pretty interesting. I've been getting headaches for probably a couple of years now, and they've been steadily getting worse. I used to be able to knock them on the head with a couple of paracetomol, but lately that just hasn't been doing the trick. Typically they'd start behind one of my eyes, usually the right one, and then radiate across my head and down into my neck.

I kind of just dismissed these as normal, regular, everyday headaches. After all, according to this fun fact from the Victorian Government, 15% of the population is experiencing a headache at any given time.

(How on earth they got that data I have no idea.)

So it was easy to categorise these as standard headaches and assume that everyone got them, despite the fact that there was a very clear and specific pattern of symptoms.

I was describing this to Lochie one day, and the further I got, the more incredulous the expression on his face became.

"Dude," he says. I may be paraphrasing here. "Those are exactly the same headaches that I get."

"Wait, really?" I say.

"Yeah. You need to get your eyes checked. Last time I walked into the optometrists after my headaches got worse, he looked at my face and said, 'So how much panadol are you taking then?'"

I made myself an appointment with an optometrist on Monday. By Thursday, I knew I was longsighted.

The fact that my eyes might be to blame had never even occurred to me, even though that's where the pain was. After all, I could see fine, right? Except apparently that's exactly the problem. Apparently your eyes can correct for longsightedness, but longsighted eyes are working so hard to correct their wonky lenses that they kind of strain themselves a bit. At least, that's how the doc told it. I kind of tuned out after the word 'longsighted' in a mild state of shock.

I was directed to the front of the store to pick a pair of frames, and up the street to the health insurer to check my coverage, and then less than a week later, I found myself with a pair of glasses I had no idea how to use or care for beyond the phrase "they're for close work, but you'll find your distance vision adjusts."

Aww, please, can we keep them?

I've been figuring it out, slowly, over the past couple of days.

I've been learning not to try and explain how glasses work to people who have been wearing them all their lives.

I've been walking the line between telling people, "Hey, I have glasses now," and just letting them notice.

I've been dealing with the change in my identity from 'secret nerd with perfect vision' to 'nerd with face glasses on his face' - because somehow, not wearing glasses felt like the last thing standing between me and being most nerd steretypes.

But mostly, I've been torn between pride that they actually look pretty good on my face, and the looming threat that if I lose them or break them or leave them behind I might be subjected once again to the feeling of someone renovating the inside of my eye socket with an oversized pair of pliers.

I've had them for a week. It's too early to say if they've fixed the headaches or not. Only time will tell if all these recalibrations to normality will actually pay off in a reduction in pain. I guess I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and one more thing - for the love of god, go get your eyes checked.

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