A couple of weeks ago, I went to my annual eye doctor appointment and came face to face with my own mortality. Allow me to explain.
I have been a patient of Dr. Gottlieb's for 15 years. Since becoming Mrs. Ty-man and making Georgia my permanent home, Dr. G is the guy who has poked around my eyeballs for over a decade. And we're pretty comfortable with one another. Not Oy, mate, take a look at this goiter. comfortable, but we talk about our kids, latest book reads, and scuba diving. He's also honest with me about what's going on with my eyes.
I've always known my prescription is strong. I'm extremely near-sighted and wear -5.75 prescription contact lenses in both eyes. But, I wanted to know my vision. You know, like I have 20/20 vision! or I'm a fighter pilot and can see 20/10! When I asked Dr. G what my vision is, he laughed. Yes, he laughed. It was more of a controlled snort followed by some spittle, but a laugh nonetheless. And what he said was close to the following.
If you were anyone else, I wouldn't tell you. But it's you. So, you're somewhere between 20/400 and 20/500, which means whatever the normal person sees at 500 feet you see at 20. And you don't see much. If this were prehistoric times, you wouldn't have lived past childhood. If this were Medieval Europe, you'd probably be home bound or the local seamstress. Something like that. Your life would have been very limited and you would have been considered by the populace as blind.
Wow. Just... wow. I mean, I know I'm all batty blind when my glasses are off or my contacts out, but I never think about it because I have the capability of 20/20, or close to it, vision during my waking days. I'm a chick with a cane at night when there's a child crying and I'm banking off the walls trying to get down the hall without toppling down the stairs. But... natural selection? I'd never thought of my poor vision as such. My vision, or lack thereof, would have meant my early demise in any time before now. Wow.
Just two days later, I was out for my usual neighborhood run, the only thing on my mind was a rewarding cup of coffee after three long miles. Quite a distance up the road, I saw what looked like a dog running across and jumping toward the woods behind my neighborhood. Because I didn't know said dog or if it was friendly, I switched to the opposite sidewalk and kept an eye on the woods until I had passed. I didn't think anything more of it until I returned home 30 minutes later and neighbor Jodi proceeded to tell me about the coyote which hung out in our cul-de-sac while I was gone. It showed up shortly after I saw it cross the road.
And all I could think was if I left the house a few minutes earlier and if time had been a few thousand years ago, I would have been naturally selected on my morning run.
Are you there, Bausch + Lomb? It's me, Heather.