I clearly remember the first time my eyesight started to fade.
I was anchoring a morning show in New York City. It was early, too early to be up, made up and reading the news, but there I was. My co-anchor that morning was a doctor who was also filling in. I remember glancing at the prompter before the newscast and thinking wow it does not look as clear as it used to.
I thought I am tired, these lights are bright. So I mentioned it to my doctor co-anchor and he asked me how old I was. He said, if you are over 40, get used to it! It's all part of the aging process and it has nothing at all to do with the lights and the early hours. He also told me fight it with everything you've got, because the moment you start wearing glasses, you won't be able to go back.
Fast forward a few years and I was still fighting wearing glasses until I knew I couldn't anymore. I was squinting to read and getting whopping headaches. I decided it was time to go out and get my eyes tested. I was shocked to learn my eyesight, once 20/20, had really diminished.
The doctor strongly encouraged me to start wearing glasses. This is a big step for someone who has NEVER needed glasses. So I took the plunge and got glasses, nice stylish ones! The first time I wore them in the newsroom, I got a lot of compliments and it really helped my confidence.
At first, I used them to read the computer, then slowly I noticed when I would get on set to read the news the adjustment was becoming more difficult. So I took another plunge and wore them on TV! A huge step for me.
Then, an amazing thing happened, I was flooded with emails from viewers, asking me about my glasses. Where did I get them, why was I wearing them and I love your glasses! Even when I was out and about, people asked me about my glasses. My favorite comment: A lovely lady approached me and said "I just love that you wear glasses. It makes me feel better about wearing mine!"
Recently, I noticed my vision declining a little more. I may need to go for another eye exam soon and I am strongly considering contact lenses. You know that saying you never miss it until it's gone.
Well, some days, I really miss my 20/20 vision, like when my daughters rush up to me and say read this text or paper or whatever, it can be a little frustrating to say: "I can't! I need my glasses!
Jackie is the mom of a tween and a teen. She is an anchor for WRAL-TV. Find her here on Go Ask Mom monthly. Click here to follow her on Facebook.