I am temporarily near blind.H Help.
May 31, 2012 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I lost my glasses. I need help adapting until someone shows up at my house and can help me find them...in 2 days.

I can only see about 6 inches in front of my face clearly. I have this blown up w/ Windows magnifier to 1050% and I can still barely see. Thank goodness for touch typing in school.

I went to bed and put my glasses in the usual place on my headboard shelf and woke up to them missing. I know they are in my bedroom somewhere but I can't find them. You kind of need to be able to see to find the things that can help you see. I have no friends in this town who can help me find them, or anyone I would feel comfortable seeing my bedroom in the state it is in. My mom comes home in two days and hopefully she can find them. Until then I need to be able to cope.

I have important e-mails that I need to be able to receive and respond to. I have a dog that needs taking care of. I can't walk her as I can't see to walk. Can anyone think of any solutions to help me on this.

Also how do I calm down? Not being able to see is a trigger of abuse to me and I am feeling extremely vulnerable and afraid.

Long shot question: I live in BC, Canada. I'm on disability they don't cover prescriptions. I am deep in debt. If no one can find my glasses do you know of a program that will help me buy some?
posted by kanata to Grab Bag (55 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Do you know the trick where you can see in focus through a small opening?
My favorite is to pinch index/thumb together on each hand, then put my hands together to make a little diamond hole between my fingertips, and hold up to my face to peer through it.
Or you can just take a piece of carboard and put a small hole (pinhole up to 1mm or so) in it. Smaller the hole, tighter the focus, but less overall brightness.
posted by aimedwander at 8:18 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

I wish I lived near you, I'd come help. I totally know the feeling, and wouldn't be able to do anything until I found my glasses again. Can you start from the door of your bedroom, and crawl around while sweeping your hands back and forth? It might take forever, but what else can you do without glasses?
posted by chowflap at 8:20 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Would you be comfortable with a total stranger seeing your bedroom? For many people that's less awkward than an acquaintance. If so, call the non-emergency number for the police and have them come round to find them.
posted by caek at 8:22 AM on May 31, 2012 [16 favorites]

This may not be helpful, but since you mention a pet...

Once I went to sleep at my girlfriend's house, putting my glasses on the bedside table just as you did. The next morning they were gone. We searched the house for hours, turning everything upside down. No luck, they were just gone! I went home, got my spare pair and went on with life.

No kidding, days later she found my glasses outside in the driveway with the earpiece chewed on. Her cat had taken my glasses outside through the cat door.

Could your pup have gotten at them?
posted by iurodivii at 8:24 AM on May 31, 2012

Did you check the space between the mattress and the headboard/wall and headboard/under the bed? If you can't quite reach, try shining a flashlight in those spaces - you should see something glinting even if it's blurry.

And don't worry about having to get new glasses! They didn't disappear into the ether - they just got knocked over into some inconvenient space.
posted by littlesq at 8:25 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you do need to replace them you can buy glasses online for far, far below regular store prices. GlassyEyes is the go-to blog about such things.
posted by ChrisHartley at 8:26 AM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

Aw, that sucks. If they are indeed lost, Clearly Contacts has a "First Pair Free" promotion - so long as you don't get special lenses or coatings, it should be free or quite cheap to get a pair of (not great) glasses. They ship very quickly too (and they're a BC company).
posted by stray at 8:26 AM on May 31, 2012

First of all, deep breaths. You are fine. You will be fine.

Your glasses have most likely been knocked off your headboard during the night. They can't have gone far. You could try going back to your bed and carefully and slowly feeling around the head of the bed, down the back of the mattress and underneath the bed.

If you still can't find them, I think you should consider calling someone. I'm sure a decent, normal person would not judge you on the state of your bedroom.
posted by fight or flight at 8:27 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you take pictures of your room from various angles and send them to your mom?
posted by Ms. Next at 8:32 AM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

Definitely deep breath.

Crazy idea but if you have a laptop with a webcam, can you take photos of the spaces around your bed and use your very large magnifying glass to help you see what's in the photo? This could also work if you have a friend with whom you can skype. Granted it may be a terrible idea given the amount of maneuvering somewhat blind.

I also agree that they are very likely quite near where they should be. It may be best not to unsettle the area a lot and instead very slowly and calmly go over it with your fingers/hands. you might also want to take the bedding apart piece by piece.

The more upset I get, the more difficult/frustrating I find the searching. Try to be methodical and calm. Maybe even set a time for 10 minute increments and move through one square of the grid each each 10 minute chunk. Stop after the timer goes off to calm down before moving to the next space.
posted by countrymod at 8:33 AM on May 31, 2012

I did the headboard/under mattress/down any crack thing and poked under the bed w/ broom. Under my bed is all full of crap because..well, depression is messy... I took the sheets and pillows off my bed and checked them. Nothing.

Calling someone isn't an option as I don't know anyone here. I have a brother I don't talk to and his kids but they are away on a school trip. Otherwise I only know my mom and doctors.

I know this seems dramatic and I'm being lame but I really am alone here.
posted by kanata at 8:33 AM on May 31, 2012

After you find your glasses (good luck! That sounds awful) there are online stores that sell glasses way, way cheaper than brick-and-mortar stores. Since your prescription is so strong, they might not be perfect, but you can get a backup pair for maybe $30 including shipping. I know that Eye Buy Direct and Zenni Optical ship to Canada.
posted by zeptoweasel at 8:34 AM on May 31, 2012

Last panic filled update (I promise to back off threadsitting). Maybe if I use my ipod I can see something? Sending my mom the photos would be good but she doesn't have a cell or access to a computer where she is.

In my panic I forgot about glasses online. I can't get my script or face size to match most glasses but it would be better than this. thANKS.
posted by kanata at 8:37 AM on May 31, 2012

As someone who can't see clearly more than an inch in front of my face without glasses/contacts and who has lost my glasses countless times and always found them myself, I can tell you that a broom isn't going to do it. I agree with countrymod; You're going to have to use your hands to reach under that bed and feel around. You have to just get down on the floor, reach under, around, sift through, and not give up. You will find them.
posted by girlbowler at 8:40 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Assuming it's an iPod Touch, just put it on camera mode and hold the screen three inches from your face. Now you're a cyborg with perfect vision.
posted by theodolite at 8:41 AM on May 31, 2012 [23 favorites]

Do you live close to a drugstore that you could walk (or take a taxi) to? You could buy some cheap reading glasses there. They may not be as high as your current prescription, but maybe it will give you enough magnification to find them. You could also call your eye doctor, and see if they can loan you an old pair they have around -- take a taxi to the office; (I did that as a stopgap when my glasses broke and my new ones had to be ordered)
posted by bluefly at 8:41 AM on May 31, 2012

I'd happily look at photos or offer moral support. Memail me if you'd like.

I also think that you may need to remove the things under your bed. Not a fun job and not fun to do with impaired vision but slowly cleaning out the space where the glasses may be will help you find them. Maybe bring in a laundry basket and start filling the laundry basket slowly as you shake out each piece near the headboard. You can keep the laundry basket full of the stuff that came from the space in case you need to search again.
posted by countrymod at 8:42 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Agreeing with countrymod, you can slowly fold clothes and put them in a basket -- if you don't find the specs, maybe your room will get to a state that you would be comfortable calling a friend to help?
posted by bluefly at 8:43 AM on May 31, 2012

Do you have a bright light? You might be able to illuminate the space under your bed and around the room and have the glasses cast a shadow that you'll be able to see in among the light. That and getting down on your hands and knees and physically patting the area around where they could be should help. Your hands are your eyes right now.
posted by urbanlenny at 8:44 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

Calling someone isn't an option as I don't know anyone here. I have a brother I don't talk to and his kids but they are away on a school trip. Otherwise I only know my mom and doctors.

I know this seems dramatic and I'm being lame but I really am alone here.

I second calling the police non-emergency number!
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:45 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you are still at the location in your profile, there is a Salvation Army Church just 950 meters away at 4841 Redford Street (according to Google maps). The phone number there is 250 723-6913. Maybe you could call them and a volunteer there could come by and help you search?
posted by miaou at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

In my experience, police love these sorts of calls. The weird, totally different, and happy productive things that they can do for folks who really need it. Just make sure you use the non-emergency line linked above and don't have pounds of pot or dead bodies lying around, that would make it awkward.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

Oh no. If I was near you I'd definitely come look for you -- no messy room judgement here!

Remember that study that said that people like you better after they do favours for you? Contrary to popular wisdom which would say that people like you better after you do favours for them? Linked here even though it's real long and hard to read even with my glasses.

If you've got acquaintances maybe this is an opportunity to become really close! "Hey, look, I know we're not besties but all my close pals are out of town and I can't see. Please ignore the mess, haha! I'll buy you a coffee once this is all through!"

You'll get your glasses back, and as a bonus your vulnerability may make you a brand new close pal.

If that's still totally off the table, you say you're on disability? Do you have a disability services office you could call?
posted by AmandaA at 8:54 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

I like the idea of asking the Salvation Army, or even asking a neighbor.

Until you find them, walk slowly, against walls, feeling where you're going.

When you do get to the point of finding them and are looking for cheap second pair (I always keep an old pair around) get one with large, obvious frames. I keep one I got for $15 from an online US source to "find my glasses when I can't find my glasses".
posted by tilde at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2012

Also, when I lose my glasses/walk around without them, I tend to draw into myself and lose spatial perception of what's going on around me, making me easier to sneak up on and catch unawares. Never been mugged but am aware of the effect sightlessness has on me (so I never take off my glasses if there are my kids or kids with inattentive parents in the swimming pool).
posted by tilde at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012

I am sorry you're going through this. As noted above, for a first call, call your local police non-emergency number. This is within their line of duty, it's not out of line at all. Or, they could refer you to someone who can come even faster.

Do you have a public library nearby? There are probably volunteers there sometime during the day, for various children's programs or other things, who could stop by and take a quick look around for your glasses.

Do you live within a municipality? Call the mayor's office. They could send any of the town employees to have a look.

On preview, best of all, the Salvation Army church is a good bet to call. The same way, I see a library nearby:
4245 Wallace Street, (250) 723-9511. There is likely someone there who could drop by, and even if not someone from there, their official "Ask A Librarian" service should know exactly who nearby to call right now.
posted by caclwmr4 at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012

Since it seems you have time on your hands now, I would start on a cleaning project. Start at one end of the room and take things out one by one. Clean, fold, put in proper place, or just on a couch outside the bedroom. That would actually be the fastest way for them to turn up, as you will have covered every inch of the room. You would have the reward, at the end, of having your glasses back, plus a cleaner room, which will also help how you are feeling.

I would also use a flashlight, even if it is in the middle of the day. You need all the help you can get when you can't see.
posted by Vaike at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012

OK. I've calmed down enough after my initial ransacking of my room and half an hour search this morning. The bright light gave me an idea and reminded me that I have a SAD lamp put away so I'm going to pull that out and plug it in and shine it under the bed. They have to be there somewhere. There is no black hole under my bed that sucked them in.

I was using the broom to reach the one corner under my bed that I can't get to with my hands. I guess I'm going to have pull out the 5 years of depressed junk that made it under my bed as well. And then do an inch by inch search.
posted by kanata at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

are you able to download apps to your iPod? there is a magnifying app that may help also, and costs 99 cents.
posted by redrowan at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012

Just something that might have escaped your mind - do you have an old pair of glasses stashed away in a drawer? Prescription sunglasses?
posted by NoDef at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2012

In my experience, police love these sorts of calls. The weird, totally different, and happy productive things that they can do for folks who really need it.

Yes, exactly. They will totally send a pair of fresh-faced eager rookies to your house who will likely be really earnest about helping you.

Also - did you maybe get up to pee in the middle of the night and leave them in the bathroom? And I assume you've stripped the bed and shook the sheets/blankets/pillowcases out, right?
posted by elizardbits at 9:06 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Also also - can you post your prescription, if you know it offhand? Mefites are a squinty bunch, maybe someone can overnight you an old pair of their own glasses.
posted by elizardbits at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm about as blind as you. I would just put my hand down and pick something up. If it wasn't my glasses, I'd put it on the bed (that I had stripped clean) and then reach down and pick up another thing. I'd keep picking things up that weren't my glasses until I picked up my glasses.

Then I would right away order another pair of glasses and put them in a drawer where I could depend them being there when I lost my primary.

(Actually I have about five pairs of glasses scattered around the house because I have such a dopey prescription that I never want to be without a pair should I break one, lose another and then have another fall apart..., which reminds me that I need to stash a pair in my motorcycle somewhere in case I fall off the bike and lose the pair I'm wearing...)
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have no suggestions for finding your glasses, but I'm happy to help fund a replacement or backup pair - just memail me.
posted by dotgirl at 9:29 AM on May 31, 2012

I found them! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I wouldn't have been able to do it without you all. Oh my!

I pulled out everything under my bed and found them sticking out of a bag. Somehow they fell off the shelf and two feet under the bed and ended up hiding in the opening of a crushed paper shopping bag! I have no idea how! Possession??!

Oh my! Sight is a beautiful thing. I am going to go buy my prescription from my eye doctor (grr!) and order a pair that fits online when I have the money next month. Even if they don't fit my wide fat face or horrible script at least I'll be able to see enough to find them. I need glasses with a locator beacon!

So a combo of breathing and calming down, finding a bright light, searching in a grid and removing my garbage helped. Thank you all. I've overwhelmed by your generosity in brainstorming ideas and offering help. You rock! Now I'm going to go and staple these things to my face!
posted by kanata at 9:39 AM on May 31, 2012 [75 favorites]

HOORAY! Best news all day! I have 20/20 vision, my husband has what I think of as "standard-bad" eyesight. I have been the person who finds glasses more than once. I read this whole post and all the comments with my heart in my throat. I am so, so glad you found them -- I was actually to the point where I was considering digging out my still-good passport and driving up from Seattle to see if I could help you find them. (I am glad I didn't have to. My kids would not have enjoyed the drive. But I was thinking about it.)
posted by KathrynT at 9:46 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Good for you! I've lost my glasses to a few wrenching-uncontrollable situations and hate it so much being around without them on. That's why I finally went in on a pair of cheap but see-able pair to keep at my bedside as a backup (as a rule I prefer frameless and you can figure out how easy it is to find THOSE when you're blind.)
posted by tilde at 10:02 AM on May 31, 2012

Very relieved you found them! I'm a little more nearsighted even than you, and definitely rely on having backup pairs for my glasses and contacts -- highly recommend!

One bit of good news -- your optician/optometrist.ophthalmologist is required by BC law to provide you with your glasses prescription including PD at no charge. GlassyEyes mentioned above is a very good guide to buying glasses online; be aware that some online shops charge more for high prescriptions, and some do not.
posted by vers at 10:30 AM on May 31, 2012

I'm so glad you found them! Definitely get a second pair for emergencies. They don't have to pretty or awesome or anything, just functional. Maybe also get a really brightly colored case to keep them in, and keep the case in a designated spot somewhere so you don't have to go looking for the spare pair when you need them.

As someone who also has suffered with depression in the past (now very well controlled with medications, thank god), I can tell you with certainty that cleaning out the accumulated stuff under your bed/in your room will help you so much. Even if you can only do 6 square inches of work each day, it'll get done eventually and you will feel lighter and more hopeful. If you need any help setting up a cleaning schedule for yourself, please feel free to MeMail me.
posted by cooker girl at 10:58 AM on May 31, 2012

Really really try zenni optical online for a backup pair - I haven't paid more than $15 for a pair of glasses in years.
posted by tristeza at 11:09 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you ever shop at thrift shops always check out their used glasses. You shouldn't wear glasses that are not your exact prescription, of course. But you could always start picking up "emergency" glasses that are close to your prescription for 1 dollar each. So you would have some back-ups on hand.
posted by cda at 11:23 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Great news, seriously, that's such a relief. I always think it's such a cruel joke that you have to be WEARING glasses to be able to FIND them.

Now that you're riding that high, just do ONE thing today. Whatever garbage you dragged out from under your bed, pick it up, shove it in a gigantic garbage bag, and take it out. That's it. Don't pull out more stuff, don't try to unpack your closet, just remove the stuff you already unearthed today.

Tomorrow, take a supermarket plastic bag (not huge) and fill that up with garbage. A tiny bit at a time.

If you come across something that you don't want to get rid of for sentimental reasons, like wedding invitations or birthday cards or movie stubs or a brochure, do not let it sit there. Don't scan it in. Just take a picture of it with your camera or phone. The point is not perfect quality of replication, the point is "be able to remember that moment with this photo".

This could be such a turning point! And I don't say that lightly -- it's really really really hard to get out of "depression mess" but you know what the WORST part is? Starting. And guess what! You already started!!!
posted by barnone at 11:33 AM on May 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

posted by bluefly at 11:38 AM on May 31, 2012

Yay! I'm so happy for you!

Just to nth the above, you should not have to "buy" your script from your OD. That should be given to you.

I got a pair of frames at Wal-mart for $9 that I absolutely love. I originally went in for something as a back up and now they're my favorite pair.

I wear bi-focals, so the whole cost, out the door was $100. YMMV.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:50 AM on May 31, 2012

I just came in to cheer "hooray!" too!
posted by bebrave! at 12:01 PM on May 31, 2012

posted by lotusmish at 12:20 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ok that's good to know that I don't have to buy them from him tho on the form I signed to get these it said that I had to pay 50 dollars to get my PD so I don't know.

I am a tad overwhelmed from the mess I made this morning trying to find them. My room is now in a worse state and I pretty much just have a clean spot on the bed I made to nap in. I'll try to sort all the stuff out I guess. Or find a place where I can put it until I can. Heh. That's how it ended up under the bed tho :)

Thanks again.
posted by kanata at 12:20 PM on May 31, 2012

Oh my goodness, as a fellow glasses-wearer this was the most suspenseful AskMe I can remember. Even more than the person who was locked in their room, or the one who was thinking of asking out the girl who was sitting on the sofa. Hurray!
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:18 PM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Just came back to check and see if you'd found them, and you have! I'm so glad!
posted by chowflap at 1:22 PM on May 31, 2012

Zenni Optical, in the US (I'm here), has a bit for measuring your own PD: http://www.zennioptical.com/measuring-pd
If you ever shop at thrift shops always check out their used glasses.
Even if you can't use the whole glasses, even snagging people's broken ones are a good way to get spare parts. Frankeneyes for emergencies. :)
posted by tilde at 1:33 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

said that I had to pay 50 dollars to get my PD

What jerks. Google "how to measure pupillary distance for glasses" -- loads of DIY instruction out there for that part.
posted by kmennie at 6:44 PM on May 31, 2012

Zenni Optical also mails out self-measuring PD rulers. You might be able to ask them to send you one gratis, or at least just for the cost of postage.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:00 PM on May 31, 2012

If you ever shop at thrift shops always check out their used glasses.

Definitely — if you find frames you like at the thrift store for cheap, getting new lenses put in existing frames is a whole lot cheaper than buying frames+lenses.

So glad you found them! From another nearsighted struggler-with-depression: yay you!
posted by Lexica at 8:51 PM on May 31, 2012

I'll be the unpopular person on here who cautions against buying your glasses online.

Disclosure: I'm an optician and have been for half of my 36 years.

Forget paying someone 50 bucks to measure your pd, but also don't take it yourself. Find a shop that will do it for free, then buy them a coffee or cookies or something as a thank you.

If you're as nearsighted as you say, having an accurate horizontal (pd) and vertical measurement of your eyes will prevent a lot of unwanted vertical/horizontal imbalance (prism) which can cause acuity problems and "double vision."

Google "prentice rule" which is the formula that shows how much prism is created when the optical center of a lens is not directly in front of the pupil. For someone with a relatively mild prescription, like me, inaccurate measurements aren't that big of a deal. For someone like you, with a very strong prescription, even a millimeter of error can cause a lot of problems with how you see out of your new glasses.

Sometimes the key to a great looking, great fitting pair of eyewear through which you see perfectly is the experience and expertise of the optician who helps you select the best frame and lenses for your needs. And that optician will generally stand behind what they sell far more than cheapstuff dot com likely will.

If you do buy online, that's cool, too. But, if you later take them in to a local shop to have them adjusted, be nice about it and don't brag about how little you paid for them, especially if they're adjusting them for free. (which they should be)

Cheap eyeglasses that give you headaches or blurry vision aren't money saved, rather money wasted.
posted by tkerugger at 9:46 PM on May 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

A cheap backup pair that gives you a way to see well enough to find your lost glasses are perhaps not such a waste of money, actually. In fact, I find them invaluable.

FWIW, my bought-online glasses have passed my optometrist's meticulous inspections. I still do buy frames and lenses from him when I can because he is truly an expert, though money doesn't always allow that, and I cannot do without glasses. So, I like him even better for being understanding and supportive (and I've lost count of the number of people to whom I've recommended him).
posted by vers at 4:05 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

« Older Art that is both beautiful and strange.   |   Cleaning Schedule that Works? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.