My first experience with the word Keratoconus came when I visited my local Specsavers, in 2008.
My manager insisted I book an appointment for an eye check-up (which I must admit I had not previously followed regularly), after I constantly had my nose pressed to the glass of the screen. And so, given that my company paid for an eye test every year, with no money to pay, I ventured on down to the opticians!
The optician grew curious at the shape of my eyes and the astigmatism that appeared to be in my left eye in particular. To her credit, given that each appointment should probably only last 10 minutes or so, she saw me for about 45, and eventually decided that the best thing to do would be to refer me on to an ophthalmologist at the local hospital. She said that my eyes appeared to exhibit signs of a condition called Keratoconus, which would need to be confirmed. Despite this she did, however, still prescribe me with some new glasses, which seemed to do the trick. I had worn glasses before, but until then hadn’t needed them for anything other than light use, and you could probably get just as much benefit from sticking a couple of bits of cling film over your peepers. The new ones actually magnified, and so I went back to work happy, and waited for the referral.
A few weeks passed, and I eventually saw the specialist (which feels like such a long time ago now in a long line of appointments that, until I was writing this blog, I had almost entirely forgotten about it!). He confirmed I had Keratoconus, and explained the basics to me, but assured me that the best solution would be contact lenses, and that he would refer me on to the hospital opticians.
And so, happy that a solution was on the cards, and with a minor visual disturbance, I went on happy, to McDonalds, and rung my girlfriend to let her know the good news.
I have always been a worrier, especially when it comes to health, and so you would have thought that the prospect of having an incurable, degenerative eye disease would scare me. But to be honest at this point I was quite excited by the prospect of wearing contact lenses, and was having no real trouble seeing, and this seemed like the least of my worries and easily manageable.