Hi, I’m Jake. I’m addicted to fashion frames.
Alex invited me to guest post. I started the eyesight recovery journey with a -4.00 prescription, currently down to -2.25 (most of the time). I spend quite a bit of time sweet talking optic shops, making deals, getting custom things made. Playing with auto refractors, all the eye checking gear, shopping for glasses on multiple continents and more than nine countries, so far.
For me, the key to ongoing progress is active focus. Being in one-on-one rehab, I get a good deal of feedback, and that’s the one thing Alex used to always be on about. I get lazy. I get distracted. I get friggin’ busy with my life in general. I don’t have time to focus push and eye exercise.
Important note: If you want to get started improving your own eyesight, I offer a number of courses, including options for one-on-one support with me personally. Check out the courses page for what’s currently available to help your eyeballs.
Or so I say.
But we found a way around that. I live life as a vagabond, traveling a lot. And I’m good at talking to people, get things done. And I seriously enjoy some good shopping (especially if I can get a great deal).
I’m not big on online frame shopping. You can’t check how the frame works in your face. You can’t check out the materials. You can’t chat with people. It just doesn’t feel right, to me. I did online shopping because I was in Germany at the time, and glasses there are pricey. 700 Euro for my last set of -4.00 glasses. Insane. That was before I started making deals, though.
Here’s my latest:
That’s a one off Porsche Design (of somewhat questionable authenticity perhaps, being that I bought them in Vietnam), with custom cut lenses. I drew the lens shape, optometrist guy and I discussed the size and proportions, and he went off to cut a set of perfect lenses for that frame. Since these are probably my 20th set of glasses (or close to), I’m getting pretty good at seeing who is an artist, and who’s just a shop clerk. This guy, totally made a work of art.
And before you Google Porsche Design and see prices ranging from $500 to $12,000, let me just say this – frame and Korean made high index lenses, tax and all, 550,000 VND, the equivalent of $27.50 (or so).
27 dollars, 50 cents.
There was nothing cheap about the experience. The shop has the latest in everything from Japan, nothing but high end gear. Huge selection of frames, everything about the place was first rate.
I bought very nice frames with lenses in the U.S. for less than $40. Likewise in Germany, locally made super trick molded rubber fashion frames, 99 Euro all said and done. And don’t forget the benefit of being able to use the shop. I routinely spend an hour or two playing with the auto refractor, putting on the test lens kit frame, reading Snellen with various permutations of lens combinations. It helps me quantify my progress, keep me engaged, entertained.
Right now I alternate between -2.25 and -2.50 lenses. I need both to keep myself in active focus mode (installment 60 of the web program?). I’m doing quite well with no glasses for middle distance as well, and coming from -4.00 (and needing every bit of it), it still gets me every time, just how sharp everything is when I got to the -2.50 (I really just need -2.25, and could even go -2.00 already).
Realize that some optic shop guys are super cool. Family owned ones, if you meet an owner that you hit it off with, make it clear that you’ll be their most frequent customer, put in a good faith purchase. Drop by sometimes, bring some coffee, or chocolates for the girls, some snacks. Make friends. Those guys are the gatekeepers to all the cool, fun, funky styles, and have the thousands of Euro’s in gear that gives you another angle on measurements, besides the centimeter measuring.
Coming from a guy who never thought he could make it off a big prescription, take this from me:
If I can cut my prescription in half in a year, anybody can.
I went through tons of trials and tribulations. One time, I found myself totally lost in some tiny town in Laos, with a -3.00 prescription I was totally not ready for. Middle of the night, can’t speak the language, can’t see clear enough to make out any sort of potential guest house sign. I bought glasses in street markets in Bangkok (that didn’t turn out so well), and had all sorts of custom things made in Cambodia.
I turned it into a fun and rewarding project, and in the process my eyes just kept getting better. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to guest post once in a while. I’ll definitely miss all this, once I’m at 20/20!
You can find me, and all my various posts, in the forum, here (that links right to all my posts). Feel free to say high, ask questions, whatever.
To borrow Alex’ favorite line: