In living color, or lack there of.

My brother always used to tease me when I pointed out a color. I would look at a blueberry and say “That’s purple!” he wold retort with “You’re colorblind!” At the time I thought he was just making fun of me. It was really jarring having your own perception of reality challenged.

As a kid I wanted to be a pilot. I have always loved flying, and was excited at the job fairs when the Air Force had a table. They had a pull up bar and asked for 60 pull ups, I came short somewhere in the 50s and said “I can’t.” They assured me that that isn’t true. That was a really touching moment I’ve found hard to forget.

At the dinner table one evening my brother pointed my color deficiency out again, I can’t remember what it was about but I remember he said “I told you, you’re colorblind.” By this point I had already come to realize I don’t see things like other people, and though I hadn’t really come to terms with it, I knew it. I had taken the test already. It looks like this.

One of my favorite party tricks was taking this test with friends. I was really bad at it.

As fun as this was it had a profound affect on the occupational possibilities I could take

My step-mom didn’t believe me when I agreed with my brother. I went go to the nurses office at school the next day and asked them to give me a colorblind test to settle a bet with my step-mom. They showed me a bunch of different colors in a booklet and asked me to tell them what I saw.

“Yeah, you’re really colorblind.”

My high school nurse’s official diagnosis. (I won the bet.)

this past week I went to the optometrist. I had gone friend when they were picking up thier own perscriptto this place with my It really struck me the amount of options of lenses they had me go through. In fact, I saw a drawer full of small lenses with tiny handles on them. There had to be at least 30 different ones for each eye in that drawer alone.

There were machines that seemed like something out of a spaceship to try to hone in on what kind of vision I have. It turns out I am mildly far sighted, but the amount is so negligible, they weren’t really trying to push glasses or contacts on me. They asked if I even felt like I needed a prescription.

After all of these tests were done they sat me down in front of an iPad and had me take the Ishara test. It said what I already knew. Strong Deutan AKA strong red-green colorblindness.

What came next was kind of odd to me. They asked me to try on a series of four sample glasses and walk around outside. We didn’t do any kind of testing after they were on. In fact most of the time I was trying on the glasses, my optometrist was seeing other patients.

I feel really off-put by the lack of attention when it came to diagnosing and treating my colorblindness. Even having someone, whether doctor or otherwise, with full color vision walk with me and test my ability to discern colors would have given me some sense of confidence in buying these glasses.

I need proof. The magic of seeing purple for the first time has kind of worn off from me, and to an extent, I’m not really sure I would notice the difference anymore. I don’t really depend upon color in everyday life, and the streets of brooklyn arent exacly painted purple and teal. Before I drop $500 on what could very well be just be essentially the optic equivalent of a nice instagram filter.

Prove it it to me, Doc.

-Judah Sledgehammer

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