l love visiting Alfie. He’s an enthusiastic and passionate man, caring, kind, industrious. I am injected by his enthusiasm and I feel like this is the most interesting thing I could possibly talking about right now, and in a way it is.
When I was a kid I used to play a secret game. I told no one about it, probably because somewhere deep down I thought it was more than just a game, something real that would happen to me and that I was preparing myself for. The family would usually spend a lot of time together indoors during dark winter months and to save money on electricity (I guess), lights were only used when necessary. My ‘game’ was to practice going upstairs in the dark. To feel my way up the stairs, to know where the first one started and the last one ended (there were thirteen in all) and to find my way into the bathroom if that’s where I was headed, pee, wash hands, dry hands, all in the dark. Not a very exciting game eh? But I was so convinced that I was going to one day be blind that I thought I was doing myself a favour in being prepared for this eventuality.
The <i>actual</i> problem was that I had terrible vision from a young age and despite being sent to an optometrist in the local hospital for regular visits from the age of 5 or 6, the ancient doc there refused to prescribe me glasses and told my mother that my sight would probably improve with time. He was wrong.
I never really realised how bad my sight was, having nothing else to compare it to, but when I was fifteen I ended up in the Eye and Ear hospital in Dublin for a separate eye problem and during the routine eye test they do before examining each patient they were incredulous that I didn’t wear glasses and told me to get to an optician as soon as possible. And so I got my first pair of ‘Deirdre Barlow’ enormous glasses, covering half my face, and liek the ends of two milk bottles.
And yet I was delighted with myself.
I didn’t know the half of what I was missing and now I could see people’s actual faces on tv without sitting up real close, I could read the blackboard in school without having to squint and copy what my neighbour was writing down. Trees had proper leaves in the distance! Marvellous.
Anyway, many pairs of glasses later I decided to try contacts and that’s when I met Alfie. He had been recommended to me as an expert in contact lenses, and he most certainly is. The man has a passion and love for helping people attain the best vision possible and for the first time in all the fifteen years I have had help to see, my vision has improved in my really bad eye thanks to him and his care and attention to detail. He doesn’t go along with recommendations of the big corporations just because they tell him so, he conducts his own experiments with new materials and shapes and types of lenses on the market before he will recommend them to anyone. Right now he is off researching some new lenses for me, new to the market and I know whatever I get it will be the best he can possibly offer.
It might cost a little more but I would go to this man any day of the week before becoming a number on a conveyor belt in any of the large chain-store, one hour shops.
Thanks Alfie, I owe you lots 🙂