Contact Lens Diary: Part I

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution. I even told you about it: 2009 – the year I finally wear contact lenses. My optometrist (back in Brisbane) has been encouraging me for the last 4 years to wear contact lenses more frequently. 2009 – that’s my year.

DAY 1: A Friday

Oh dear it’s July and I’ve yet to stick contacts onto my eyeballs all year. Having just received a neato package from my neato optometrist, I decide better July than never and I hit on Friday as a good day to start. On Fridays, I don’t have to go to work, so I can take as long as I like in the morning.

The contact lens go in first try. But I notice my nails are way, way too long and so promptly cut them. This means I have to wear the lenses at least half the day – long enough for the rough edges of cut nails to lose their jaggedness.

The next thing I notice is how dirty our shower is. I don’t generally notice small amounts of grime in the shower because I always take my glasses off before stepping in. I was therefore compelled to blitz the shower cubicle with some bathroom cleaner before starting my day.

I go for a teeny tiny ride on my bike to do some chores. And the contacts are okay. Really, they’re okay.

Lens: Johnson & Johnson Acuvue Dailies (old ‘script)
Length of Wear: approx. 0900 – 2300 (14 hours!)
Verdict: I think I can.

DAY 2: Saturday

My eyes feel a bit scratchy. Oddly, they feel much better when I put my contact lens in. Today, I struggled with my right eye (two takes) but the left eye went in smoothly.

I joke with my partner that he has a new girlfriend. Gone is mild-mannered bespectacled Oanh; instead, he has outgoing Oanh. He says, “Hmm, just like Superman, you’re so mild-mannered when you have your glasses on.” He does a good line in sarcasm, does my partner.

We stayed home today, an astounding and unusual thing to do. In the afternoon, we both decided it would be a great time to clean our bike chains, so we head outside to get all mucky. And I get serious mucky – I have managed to splatter black grime all up my bare arms and onto my face. After cleaning my bike chain, I need a shower. I shower with my contact lenses in. Amazing. And my shower cubicle is clean, too.

Lens: Johnson & Johnson Acuvue Dailies (new ‘script)
Length of Wear: 1000 – 2300 (13 hours)
Verdict: Damn, I’m hawt.

DAY 3: Sunday

We’re off to the movies today! It’s been ages since we’ve been to the movies. (In case you’re wondering, we saw Public Enemies. It was okay but not great. I’m sort of glad that we decided not to see a subtitled movie.)

It’s windy and glary – I don’t have non-prescription sunglasses. Prior to the movie, I have to blink furiously and put some eye drops in. After the movie, I have to do the same.

I take my contacts out early tonight. My eyes need a break.

Lens: Johnson & Johnson Two Weeklies (oldish ‘script)
Length of Wear: 1000 – 1900 (9 hours)
Verdict: Must blink more.

DAY 4: Monday

I read once that if you want to start a habit, you should make sure to always do the thing that you want to become a habit every Monday. So, despite not hearing the alarm go off, I resolve to put contacts in for work.

Again, smoothly into left eye; a couple of tries for right eye. What’s with my right eye?

It’s raining and as I cycle, I can see. I can see! There’s no water on my glasses BECAUSE I’M NOT WEARING GLASSES! Oh, joy. This has to be the best thing about contacts so far.

No one comments at work that I am not wearing my glasses. This is somewhat surprising, but forgiveable.

Lens: Johnson & Johnson Two Weeklies (oldish ‘script)
Length of Wear: er, all day and most of the evening.
Verdict: I can see in the rain!

REST DAY: Tuesday

Giving my eyes a break today and back to the glasses. Everything feels a bit weird, but I’m so pleased because it’s windy and rainy today and my eyes are spared the battle with a headwind on the cycle home.

DAY 5: Wednesday

This morning, the lens downright refused to go into my left eye. I tend to do my left eye first and then my right eye. I tried four times with my left eye. I decided that if I struggled getting the lenses into my right eye, it was not meant to be and I would not wear contacts today. The contacts went smoothly into my right eye, first try, no hassle. Oh, the incomprehensibility. This meant I had to try again with my left. So I did and, miracles of miracles, the lens went in after only the second try.

For some reason, I spend all of today pushing my non-existent glasses up my nose.

In a meeting with a client, my hand keeps straying to my face, and then veering back to my writing pad. Partially, it is due to the fact that the client is droning on irrelevantly and not answering the questions I ask her. I don’t think my client has noticed that I keep playing with the bridge of my nose but, more likely, she is going to leave the meeting wondering why I have this strange tic.

Lens: Johnson & Johnson Two Weeklies (oldish ‘script)
Length of Wear: All day but not the evening.
Verdict: Repeat after me – you’re not wearing glasses.

DAY 6:Thursday

The same again: left eye problematic; right eye first try. I’m too excited by my upcoming holiday to be much bothered thinking about my eyes and right after lunch – just as I thought everything would go smoothly for the rest of my day – it all went to hell in a handbasket.*  So, busy and distracted, my lenses seemed fine.

*What does that phrase mean, exactly?

At the pub after work, I was amused that a friend of a friend whom I have only met on 2 prior occassions over the last year asked my partner, while I was in the bathroom, if I usually wore glasses; he was quite certain he recognised my voice.  Yes, I am often preceded by my voice.

Lens: Johnson & Johnson Two Weeklies (oldish ‘script)
Length of Wear: All day at work; couldn’t wait to get home to get them out.
Verdict: I probably can.




  1. will you try and venture into the laser eye surgery territory next? my bf swears it’s the best thing he’s ever done each time he wakes up and can see without reaching for his glasses.

    for me, it’s all about balancing the contact lens perfectly on my finger and then staring straight ahead and moving contact-lensed finger towards my eyeball and waiting for it to vacuum across onto my eye ball. if the contact lens isn’t perfectly balanced on my finger, it’s not going to work.

    the other thing i find useful is if it feels like there’s something in the lens or it’s uncomfortable in, stare straight and drag the lens sideways and then let it slide back (or do the opposite, hold lens in place lightly and look the other way).

    (and i often try to re-position my glasses too when i’m wearing contact lenses)

    btw, did you get the omg everything’s so much bigger in contact lenses thing?


  2. You are nothing if not tenacious.

    I’ve always thought the “hell in a handbasket” phrase refers to someone happily skipping along the path to hell with a handbasket on their arm, not truly realizing the horrors ahead.


  3. n.t.

    My optometrist tells me that my eyes are not ready for laser eye surgery – because they are stil deteriorating. I have plenty of workmates who have had the surgery and they, too, sing its praises. But I don’t know, even if it was an option for me, that I would do it. The procedure involves a laser slicing off a piece of your eyeball. Argh!

    My trick is to put the contact lens on my middle finger, prise apart my eyelids and bring my eye down to my finger, rather than the finger up to my eye. Then I kind of mush onto my eyeball, rubbing it there a little and hoping the darn thing will stick.

    My optometrist says, “dry finger, wet lens” plus a little rub. He’s the expert!

    I don’t find that things are so much bigger, but I do spend my time marvelling at how clean everything is. Some suggest I should clean my glasses more often and to them I say, “Pssht.”


    Thanks. (I think :-D)

    I like that interpretation and imagery – but then the saying should be to hell with a handbasket, rather than in one. Maybe it has corrupted over time …


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