Writing Projects

Decisions, Decisions, and Maybe an Answer or Two

I have worn contact lenses for thirty or more years, with a couple of breaks to wear glasses when contacts didn’t work. I started with the soft lens that had to be sterilized every single night by “boiling” them in saline solution. Yep, if I traveled, I had to pack up the sterilizer and a bottle of saline plus the cleaner. At first, I used the prepackaged saline with thimerisol as preservative, until I developed a sensitivity to that solution. Then I bought the saline tablets and made my own with bottled distilled water.

Then came the gas permeable “hard” lens, a cross between the old hard lenses that my brother wore and the soft lenses I started with. They were heaven. Until they began to wear ulcers on my corneas after John was born, and I had to discard them. I wore glasses for about two years again until the corneas healed and my eyes were “better.” Then came the soft lenses again. No boiling, no separate bottles of cleaner and storage solutions. This was easy. Until I needed bifocal glasses and/or reading glasses.

Bless my poor ophthalmologist at Columbia Eye Clinic.

We tried quite a few pairs of bifocal contacts, but with my astigmatism, they just didn’t work. We finally found a brand that works, and I could see! I wore those Preference Toric single vision lenses forever!

Until they didn’t work anymore. Since April, I have tried at least six different types of contacts in every brand available. I have not been a happy camper. They aren’t working, so I’m back in glasses for the time being.

Except the glasses aren’t working!


New glasses, lenses, frames, prescriptions. . . . and I can’t see! So what’s the problem? Today’s exam and glasses check may have some answers. I learned that my old contacts did not do a very good job of letting the eye breathe. As a result, the cornea may have been swollen, which meant that the doctor was not able to get an accurate reading. Wearing the glasses (as imperfect as they are—and actually I’ve been wearing glasses–old ones and new ones– since June or early July) may actually be helping since the cornea swelling is going down. I ordered a new right lens for my glasses, which will be in next week (I hope), and new trial contacts that will be in a few weeks. We shall see.

But what does this have to do with “decisions, decisions”? Nothing, really. Except that I have some things to think about for the next couple of months. October is the traditional time for the 31 Days of Blogging challenge when bloggers choose a theme and write and post daily entries for the month of October. I’m wishy-washy. Do I do the challenge this year? And if I do, what will be my theme?

To write, or not to write; that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler. . . .

Uh, I think I’ll leave those weighty questions to Shakespeare and let him play with the iambic pentameter to deal with such things. I’m thinking about it.

Then there is November. Two kinds of writing challenges pop up then: Thirty Days of Gratitude and National Novel Writing Month. We can always use daily reminders of what we have for which we are thankful. There is real research that points out that people who give thanks, keep gratitude lists, and the like are happier and even healthier and less stressed than those who don’t. Why reserve thankfulness for one day a year?

I have wanted to write a novel for a long time. I’m a good writer! (she says a bit defensively) I have started at least one, written in long-hand in a black composition book, using my trusty fountain pen (yes, you read it correctly. I write by hand with a FOUNTAIN PEN, or at least one of them. I have a couple of Schaeffers, a pen or two from Michael’s, several Cross fountain pens, a Franklin pen, and now a Pilot fountain pen. I seem to be a collector!). I have some websites for guidelines on how to develop plot and character and how to outline the plot so that the main plot and subplots do not compete with each other but compliment. (Is that the right word, or should it be complement?)

So, in the next couple of days, I need to make decisions. Now that I’m getting my eyes straightened out, perhaps the decisions about the next couple of months writing will be clearer. I’ll come back here in a few days and let you know what I’m up to.

By Olivia Fulmer

I am the OliviaIrene of OliviaIrene Photography. I am a photographer, a teacher, a story teller. I use this space to tell stories of life, family, and faith through words and images. I'd love to share your stories as well. Join me in this journey.

2 replies on “Decisions, Decisions, and Maybe an Answer or Two”

Olivia, you ARE a good writer, with no need to feel defensive about saying so. I’ve really been enjoying your posts and I’ll be looking forward to seeing what you decide to do in the coming months. I can relate to the vision problems – I got my first glasses in fifth grade and have been through various contact lenses, single, bifocal, and progressive lens glasses, and four surgeries – three cataract-related and one for a detached retina. In the end, with implanted lenses and one multifocal contact, my vision is now perfect, for which I am grateful beyond words. I wish you all the best in finding a solution that works as well for you.


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