Earlier this year, I noticed drastic changes in my vision. As I have been wearing glasses since the age of 10, I just assumed it was my vision changing. I got to the point where I could not read small texts on my computer screen at work and reading books at night (which I loved to do) started giving me severe headaches. Even driving at night became very difficult after 7 pm. I would get double visions when looking at an object, bright lights would either have halos or streaking lights and objects either near or far would look distorted. If I was meeting someone for the first time, I would be able to tell what nationality they were, what colour hair they had and what colour clothing they were wearing. But I would not be able to tell the details of them. If he had facial hair or if she had jewelry or makeup on. After getting very very impatient day after day, my boyfriend suggested we go to my optometrist for a check up.
I still remember the day I went to my optometrist. I started off by telling him how there were drastic changes in my vision and that I probably needed another eye exam. Without examining me, he started asking me numerous questions.
‘Can you read the text from magazines or books? Or do you get headaches when trying to focus on them?’
‘Yes, I get headaches when trying to focus on words or numbers.’
‘Can you drive at night?’
‘No, It’s super hard to see.’
‘Okay, when looking at lights do you see either halos or streaks?’
‘Is it harder to see when wearing your glasses over your contacts?’
He then told me from the symptoms that I had it could be something called Keratoconus. When I heard the word i sort of just shrugged it off thinking it was something like being near sighted or far sighted and another eye exam would make it better. He completed a full exam and said that I definitely had Keratoconus. He told me that Keratoconus is a disorder of the eye in which changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape (football) rather than the more gradual curve (soccer ball). The other unfortunate part was that I had it in both of my eyes. Since it was the early stages, there were things I could do to prevent a corneal transplant in both of my eyes (which would be the last resort).
I went home that day in complete shock. The first thing I did was some research. I found it was genetic and ranges in about 1 to 500 people to 1 to 2,000 people. I found that certain ethnic groups such as South Asians had a higher possibility of developing keratoconus. I also found that having allergies such as hay fever, eczema, asthma and food allergies (I had all of them) increases the possibility of keratoconus.
The top picture shows the vision of a person who has keratoconus
A couple of weeks later, I was fitted into Synergeyes. They are a hybrid lens that have just recently come out where it is a mix of a hard and soft contact lens. They are also custom made to fit the exact shape of my cornea. It’s a never forget the moment when I tried them on. When my boyfriend was a child, he was stung by a bee directly on the tip of his nose. To this day, I had never seen the mark left by the bee sting but once I wore the lens I was finally able to see it. It literally almost brought me to tears!
The lens last between 6-12 months depending on how well you take care of them. It was then when my boyfriend suggested that I get two types of surgeries done on each eye. One would be corneal collagen cross linking and the other would be Photorefractive Keratectomy otherwise known as PRK. The cross linking will be done to avoid my cornea from progressing worse and the PRK will be done to correct my vision hopefully to 20/20.
For Christmas this year I had a ton of baking ideas to implement. Sugar cookies with royal icing, mini and full sized cupcakes with both fondant and butter cream frosting, chocolate fudge, cheesecake and of course gingerbread cookies! As my boyfriend and I just got back from Punta Cana, we’ve both been swamped with so much work to get done before the holidays begin. The cross linking and PRK surgeries in the left eye are both scheduled for December 23rd so I know that I will not be able to do much baking before or after that date 😦
This past weekend, I decided to make the most classic shortbread cookie I’ve ever known. Growing up, I always found this recipe on the back of a box of Fleischmann’s Canada Corn Starch. It was actually the very first recipe that I ever used when I started baking at 9 years old. I still remember how hard and burnt my cookies came out. Back then, I used a regular drinking glass (a different one each time I made cookies) as a measuring cup. In my mind, one of those filled to the top equaled one cup. Softened butter to me meant melted butter 😉 And of course, being 9 years old much of the dough ended up in my stomach rather than being baked. 🙂 After much trial and error, I can finally make these cookies perfectly!
GRANDMA'S SHORTBREAD COOKIES
– ½ cup of Corn Starch
– ½ cup of icing sugar
– 1 cup of all purpose flour
– ¾ cup of butter, room temperature
1) Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Ensure the rack is in the middle position in the oven
2) Sift together corn starch, icing sugar and flour
3) Beat in butter until a soft dough forms
4) Form dough into desired cookie shapes
5) Although the original recipe does not call for this, I like to refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before cooking them. I’ve found that the cookies will not spread this way.
6) Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
7) Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!