DEAR ABBY: I have been cross-eyed my whole life. I have had surgery, worn an eye patch, special contacts, and have worn bifocal glasses ever since I was 2. Now that I am 21, my "lazy eye" is less noticeable than before; however, it still crosses when I must focus on something tiny. It causes me to have severe double vision.
I work in a medical office, where I work hands-on with patients. While doing so, I tend not to wear my bifocals because my eyes only cross when I have to read small print. (And, being only 21, it's incredibly uncool to be wearing Coke-bottle glasses.)
Is there a nice way I can respond when older co-workers ask me to read small numbers at the front desk for them? Because I am younger, they often ask me to bring my "young eyes" to rattle off patient phone numbers. Although they are all aware of my problem, they pester me anyway, even though they know it's hard on my eyes. (The truth is, while they may have poor vision themselves, I am the only one with severe diplopia.)
Is there a nice way to get these old grannies off my back without having double vision for the rest of the day? -- DOUBLE-VISIONED IN MICHIGAN
DEAR DOUBLE-VISIONED: The magic words are, "Sorry, I can't help you. I'm not wearing my reading glasses." Then suggest to the "grannies" that they ask the office manager to buy a large magnifying glass to keep at the front desk.