The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

January 30, 2013

BICKER: A brand new world — one without eyeglasses

CLINTON — A whole new world opened up to me when I received my first pair of glasses in fifth grade.

And now, at age 36, another world will open up without them.

On Monday, I will undergo surgery to correct my nearsightedness.

Eyeglasses have been a permanent fixture on my face since the summer before I started fifth grade. I still can remember sitting in Dr. Ervin Musk’s office in Fulton, Ill., eagerly waiting for my appointment. Unbeknownst to my mother, who was with me on this monumental occasion, I really wanted glasses. I thought I would look and feel so much smarter with them. In my mind, I was on the cusp of becoming the next Madame Curie with my new pair of glasses.

Up until this point, I had never experienced an eye exam. So, what led me to this point? Well, I started sitting closer and closer to the television and the blackboard seemed to be getting farther and farther away.

It was getting more and more difficult to watch reruns of “The Waltons” too when I came home from school. Since I was blocking my parents’ view of the TV on a regular basis, my mom decided to take me in to get my eyes examined.

Sitting in the examining chair was a little scary — then the lights went off. And then, letters magically appeared on the wall. My small frame slid forward and my eyes peaked through two small holes to view the letters. Dr. Musk flipped different lenses back and forth to see which ones made the letters clearer. It was an amazing experience for me because, for the first time in quite a while, my world came back into focus. I was ecstatic. I no longer had to squint and I could go back to sitting in my favorite chair to watch “The Waltons” instead of a few feet from the TV set.

After my examine was over, Dr. Musk ushered me into another room to pick out a pair. It was exciting — all those frames to choose from — I couldn’t believe my eyes. My first pair of glasses were octagonal shaped and had a strawberry on the side. I thought I looked really cool. I couldn’t wait to show off my new glasses to my dad when he got home from work.

When it was time to take school pictures that year, I proudly showed off my new frames. I was rocking my favorite red plaid shirt, pony tail like Sandra Dee and my brand new glasses. Unfortunately, my glasses only appeared in one other school picture, which was my freshman year of high school.

As time progressed, wearing glasses wasn’t the cool thing to wear anymore and more and more of my classmates started to wear contacts. Unfortunately, for me, I couldn’t even put drops in my eyes so contacts were definitely out of the question.

As the years passed, my glasses took on different shapes and colors. Back in the late 1980s I even had a pair of light purple frames that seemed to consume my whole face. I went from plastic to wire back to plastic, which is the style I wear now. Glasses have been the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night.

Over the last several years, I’ve seriously considered getting Lasik surgery. I’ve talked with my doctor and others who have had it done — many with good results. So, when the opportunity arose back in December to get my eyes done, I jumped at the chance.

In order to get the surgery, I had to see if I was a candidate first. So, the beginning of January I started my journey toward a sharper world. Obviously, I passed all of the criteria and scheduled my surgery date. A life without glasses — who would have thunk it.

I’m sure I will look a lot different at first to my family, friends and co-workers; but, I also will look a lot different to myself. I’ll look like a new woman. A world without eyeglasses — “Wow.”

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at angiebicker@clintonherald.com.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Davenport officials arrest 4 in child abuse case

    Authorities say they have arrested four women in connection to possible child sex abuse and pornography at a Davenport trailer park.

    The Scott County Sheriff's Office says the women were taken into custody Wednesday. They are all charged with felony counts of child endangerment.

    April 16, 2014

  • Authorities: Iowa suspect is longtime fugitive

    Authorities say a man being held in Waterloo is a fugitive of more than 40 years from North Carolina.

    The Charlotte Observer reports the man was arrested after the Iowa Transportation Department's facial recognition system flagged his driver's license photo. Authorities say they found information in his residence that identified him as 68-year-old Ronald Dwaine Carnes.

    April 16, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Inmate charged in Rockford lawyer's 2008 death

    Murder charges were announced Wednesday against the one-time client of a Rockford attorney who was fatally shot while clearing snow from his driveway in 2008.

    Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato said a grand jury has indicted Richard E. Wanke Jr., 53, on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Gregory H. Clark, 60. Wanke was arrested Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, where he has been serving a 14-year sentence on burglary charges with a projected parole date of May 7.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite ruling, Iowa to bar all felons from voting

    Elections officials will continue to bar felons from voting despite an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that suggests not all of them have lost their voting rights.

    Three justices ruled Tuesday that only some felonies are considered "infamous crimes" under the Iowa Constitution that bar individuals from voting or holding office.

    April 16, 2014

  • Branstad's tax return shows income of $234,907

    Gov. Terry Branstad released his tax returns Wednesday, showing he earned $234,907 and paid $28,298 in federal taxes in 2013.

    The governor and his wife paid $32,085 in federal taxes but are getting a refund of $3,787. Their state tax return shows they paid in $10,285 in taxes but will get a refund of $4,158. In addition the governor and first lady each received $54 back from the Legislature as all Iowa taxpayers did making their total Iowa tax bill $6,235.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on 'The View'

    Jenny McCarthy had big news to share Wednesday on "The View": She's engaged to Donnie Wahlberg.

    McCarthy raised her hidden left hand from behind the desk, revealing an engagement ring.

    April 16, 2014

  • Iran cuts nuke weapons ability

    The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade uranium, diplomats said Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video