New Glasses: Things Getting Easier with Thyroid Eye Disease

“Well things are looking really great!” my thyroid eye disease (TED) specialist told me during my most recent appointment. It had been about 10 months since my final surgery for TED (knock on wood that it remains the final surgery) and about 2 years since we did the first surgery.

He said that things have settled really well, and we discussed the ongoing emotional process of adjusting to a new normal. "See you in 6 months to check in?" I felt like I was graduating and hoped that after the whirlwind of my journey with thyroid eye disease this was one more step forward on my road of feeling better.

Getting new glasses with thyroid eye disease

Next stop was a trip to my regular optometrist to get my vision checked and to pick out new frames. I wrote about my experience getting glasses last year, and looking back on it I know that it was still a somewhat raw and emotional time for me. But when I made this year’s appointment none of that was on my mind.

I booked my appointment during a break from work and spent a few minutes poking around the displays looking for frames that I thought would look nice on me. I made a plan to return later that weekend and narrow it down to my final selection.

I felt like I did everything right - I had a relaxing morning, got dressed up, did my makeup and hair, and asked my husband to join me in case I got overwhelmed by the choices and wanted his opinion. In the back of my head I knew this could be an emotional experience, and I wanted to feel my very best.

This time was different

I showed him several frames, and after spending years of being self conscious in front of mirrors and hating the way I looked because of TED, I am happy to say that I felt okay. Yes, I was aware that my eyes and face were different, but the lengthy amount of time in the mirror did not overwhelm me.

“Oh this pair is cute!”

“I like this one because the frames are wider and won’t give me a headache.”

“Oh these ones are very different - really bold choice and different than the frames I have at home.”

The most difficult thing that day was simply my own indecisiveness. I flip flopped on my favorite (also more expensive) pair versus my husband’s favorite, and he said, “You like those ones so much. You should get the ones you like the most.” Done.

“I love them!” said the person behind the desk as she was submitting my order. “Yes, that slight cat eye and the brown color looks great on you!”

I left feeling very happy with my choice. Once we stepped out the door I paused for a moment. A year ago, I had an emotional moment picking out glasses - I had been surprised by the person I saw in the mirror. I remember feeling slightly overwhelmed, communicated that with my husband and asked him to make a decision for me. But this year was easier. I smiled and told that to my husband who said, “I’m really glad.”

I know that challenges will still come up (and they have), but I hope that in general things continue to get easier.

Have you had to get new glasses during your thyroid eye disease journey? How did that experience make you feel? If you've done this more than once, did it get easier for you?

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