I'm blind as a bat, as the old saying goes. Just ask the folks at my eye doctor.
I know when they mention numbers to me regarding my sight, the numerals reach astronomical proportions. I bet the numbers don't even appear on any of their charts or referral materials.
It's always interesting to start an eye exam and getting asked to read the chart of the wall. First, I usually have to find the chart before we move on.
My eyes are so bad, and I'm not proud about that by any means, but when I have to close one eye and read the letters on the chart, the top letter looks like a black blob.
Not a fuzzy line with fuzzy appendages. Not a fuzzy circle. Not a fuzzy square.
It's just a big black blob.
And forget about trying to read any of the fuzzy black lines that progress down the chart.
I'd gone several years without an eye exam and had run out of contacts a good while back. I'd worn my glasses constantly for about a year and a half.
During that time, scratch after scratch gouged into the protective coating on the lenses making it more and more difficult to see between them.

It almost became impossible to see, really. I'd have to turn my head and move my eyes around to find the best path through the scratches so I could see.
People I would interview would often inquire about how I could see through the glasses.
I'm happy to say I made an eye appointment and now have new glasses and contact lenses. Everything is taking some getting used to for me.
I'm in night and day dailywear contacts I toss out after wearing them for a month. The contacts are totally different than the ones I used to wear. These, with one eye for distance and one eye for close up, are an adventure. Once I get the hang of them, I'm going to like them a lot.
The glasses are progressives. I like them a lot. Like the contacts, once I get the hang of them, I'm going to like them.
It's fitting with my big 5-0 birthday fast approaching I be in bifocals, or whatever they are being called these days.
It was great not to have to look at the world through crosshatched scratches on my glasses. The difference is incredible.
I used to think eye doctors had some of the coolest equipment. I even liked the machine that puffed air onto your eye. Now, I'm not so sure because it seems like it takes a year and a day when they're spinning the dials on the machine that you look through to fine tune the lenses. You know the one ... is A better than B? How 'bout now? Is this better than this? That machine.
When I first started wearing glasses, I was still in grade school. I'm sure it was during one of those school eye exams I was told I couldn't see and needed to make an appointment with an eye doctor.
So my mom took me to the eye doctor in town. Eye exams back then were done with the room as dark as a cave.
I should have known I was in trouble starting right then and there. The lenses were about a thick as Coke-bottle glass and just as heavy.
When the eye doctor called to let us know the glasses were ready, we went to pick them. When my mom opened the door and we walked outside, I stopped and looked around. Mom, realizing I had stopped, turned around and looked at me. She asked, "What's the matter?"
I answered, "So this is what the world is supposed to look like?"
I was in that familiar situation following this latest eye exam. Walking out of the office with my contacts in was an eye-opening experience. Just like back then, I again realized just what the world should look like, and it looks great.

Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at jsitarz@indexjournal.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.