Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's not really different. It's just more so.

A couple days ago I walked into a sticky-outy door handle on the way out of a bathroom. It stabbed me square in the belly button.

Being that the belly now precedes me everywhere. Hurt like bloody fucking hell, in case you're wondering.

As you know, I have never been coordinated.

The team sports, they sucked. The walls, they get walked into, or at very least, brushed against. The sidewalks, they get tripped on.

I blame this on the fact that I am farsighted. And I have an astigmatism.

The farsighted means that actually, I can walk around without my glasses and see just fine. I go running without them. Reading is hard, but I can do it. I don't, because it gives me a headache. But I can in a pinch.

But walking around without my glasses means that my depth perception is kind of suspect.

Everyone says pregnancy is supposed to make you less coordinated. I believe they blame this, like everything else, on hormones.

And it is true. You drop things more. You stumble more. You bump into things.

For me, it's probably less obvious than for normal people, because I was already a person who tripped a lot, who walked into the sides of cubicles and such. Even with my glasses on.

So I drop things and people ask if I've gotten clumsy in my pregnancy, and I just say yes. But really, I've always done this kind of thing.

I just didn't know why, for the longest time.

Then some years ago an eye doctor asked about my depth perception, something to which I'd never given any thought. I said I was a terrible parallel parker - which turns out to be a great way to meet helpful men, but a hard way to get around in the world.

He said, "No wonder! Look at this astigmatism!"

Or something of the sort.

This was, unfortunately, a couple years after I poured an entire bottle of mineral water on the table at a wedding.

It was the fancy schmanciest wedding I've ever been to. Held, I kid you not, at a castle in Tuscany. My old boyfriend's business school friends did very, very well. And then got married.

And so we were sitting at a table with a multitude of glasses - water, white wine, red wine, champagne - you name it. Everyone had 37 glasses at their place.

So there were a lot of glasses. Just so you know. It makes things confusing. Especially if you've had some of the contents of each.

And I maybe picked up the bottle of water, and as my boyfriend's glass was empty, turned to refill his before mine.

And I maybe didn't notice that I was very carefully, gently, and concertedly pouring the contents of the bottle right next to the glass.

I was immersed in conversation, so didn't really notice how much time was going by. Just the fact that the glass didn't seem to be filling.

Until someone reached over, tipped the bottle up, and said, "You might want to stop before you empty the entire thing on the table."

Ah, yah.


  1. I can SO relate. I have NO depth perception (Long story, eye issues as a baby). Anyway, I've always been clumsy. I'm proud to say I only fell ONCE during my entire pregnancy. Of course, it was in public (outside a movie theater). I imagine I looked like one of those whales on nature shows. You know, where they show the whale jumping out of the water in slo-mo and then belly flopping back down. Yeah.

    Hang in there, you're on the downslope!!

  2. ha ha! at least it wasn't the red wine! but of course it *just had* to happen in a castle in Tuscany, didn't it?!

  3. That is a page from the Lexa playbook. I was meeting a close college friend's pals from home and literally fell down the stairs within ten minutes of meeting them. They still call me "Drew Barrymore girl who fell down the stairs".

  4. Pardon this long winded comment full of completely unsolicited advice, but I love talking about eye problems!

    As a practicing, board certified optician, and a sufferer of horrible compound astigmatism myself, I can tell you with professional certaintly that the astigmatism does royally mess with depth perception and focus. You might look into getting glasses that only correct the astigmatism so you can wear them when you're walking around/running and then have your reading pair for when you need to read. Another idea would be to get a pair of sport-type glasses like this that have a specific yellow-orange to them. http://www.rudyprojectusa.com/products/sunglasses/styles/maskeryna.htm This serves two purposes - the yellow helps with depth-perception and with the astigmatism correction, your eyes will be able to focus and make running safer.

    I do lots of rx's of this sort for my patients. Your rx has probably changed a bit bc of your pregnancy. So if you do decide to get a new, astigmatism-only correction rx, wait 3 months post-partum to have your rx updated. Your eyes stabilize again after that.

    I'm a nerd and I talk too much. I'm done now. :-)

  5. Wow - I have astigmatism but never knew that. Here's the one thing I learned today. Thanks!

  6. Whoops! I have sucky depth perception so I feel you pain on that one!

    And boy, did I really love when my whole center of gravity changed during pregnancy. Yikes! I tottered around like an insane paranoid when I was pregnant with The Dancer during the winter time. I was sure I was going to fall in the ice and snow. Made me crazy.


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