Dr. Abdullah kindly invited me to be examined at King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital where he worked with the latest eye topography technology. I was elated, but concerned.
How we would pay for the exams and contacts lenses?
But Dr. Abdullah assured us not be concerned about that.
A few months later, as Dr. Abdullah, my husband and the children looked on, a female assistant showed me how to delicately insert the rigid Rose K lenses into my huge, almond-shaped eyes. Though extremely uncomfortable, I saw the most vivid images through the tears pouring down my face. Those images felt more clear and detailed than anything I had ever seen. My corrected vision with those lenses were 6/18 (20/60) in my left eye and 6/12 (20/40) in my right. This means that what a normal person could see at 40 feet away, I had to be 20 feet away to see it.
Still, it was one of the best days of my life.
I looked at everything as though seeing it for the first time. Everything looked crisp – like HD TV. In fact, it was the first time I had seen my 1-year-old twins clearly and I stared at them in awe.
My eye problems diminished until 2007 when I was again plagued with such severe infections that I could not bear to wear my lenses.
Discouraged, I again sought out the expertise of Dr. Abdullah who now that his own private practice. The good doctor ascertained that prolonged use of the rigid lenses (RGP) had caused scraping and further damage to my corneas. I then started a ‘piggybacking system’ which entailed wearing two lenses in each eye – soft lenses placed beneath the hard lenses like a pillow for comfort and I continued using the piggybacking method for many years.
Though I had infections on and off, my vision seemed to have stabilised and I resigned myself to a routine that I would have for the rest of my life – wake up, insert lenses, work, remove lenses, sleep.
I also resigned myself to the constant explanations of why I feared water, swimming and going on boats – my lenses started popping out again and I fear losing them in the sea. The other thing I had to explain - why even fresh water and swimming pools posed a danger if harmful, flesh-eating bacteria became trapped behind my lenses.
But most people scoffed at these things and usually retorted, “Then, just wear glasses!”
I never bothered explaining the disease in depth to anyone.
Basically, I just got on with it.
I got on with the drama that was my life - work, children, divorce, traveling, relocating, rescuing, reinventing…
I got on with it all.