I felt twin flashes of annoyance and concern, then the thunderclap of an epiphany: I was reading my texts without glasses! In a dark car! I could see the full palette of emojis, right down to stripes on the zebra and holes in the Swiss cheese.
It wasn’t exactly the moment when the Velveteen Rabbit realizes he’s real, but it still felt momentous.
That night, in the bright warmth of our dining room, I realized my texts were fuzzy again. I knew the drops could wear off in a matter of hours, and you can only use them once a day. But I still held my phone, then a book, at an arm’s length, exacerbating my double chin, not wanting to surrender to glasses. I felt like Charlie in “Flowers for Algernon,” slowly reverting back to my old self.
To make matters worse, the whites of my eyes had a pink tinge. Picture Campbell’s tomato soup when you add an extra can of milk. My 20-year-old daughter assured me I did not look high: “But your eye bags are bigger than usual,” she said.
The next morning, I put in the drops as soon as I woke up. This time, I waited the recommended 10 minutes before popping in my contacts. I had not been able to read the microscopic instructions the first go-round, so missed that detail. For someone as nearsighted as I am (my lens prescription is -9.50 in each eye), with an outdated pair of regular glasses, this extra time would have been worthwhile had Vuity worked as promised. It didn’t.
Not only did my eyes retain their bloodshot, rheumy cast during the five days I used the drops, my close-up vision never improved significantly enough to make reading glasses redundant. The drops burned as they went in, too. I’m not talking about an acid kind of pain, more like a lash in your eye, but still unpleasant.
Vuity did come in handy when I walked Fig within a few hours of taking a dose. I could pause on a corner, peek at my phone and make sense of what I saw without fumbling around in my pocket for a pair of glasses that would fog up the instant they touched my skin.