With one exception, I can pretty easily see how future tribe and I can meet all our physical needs and substitute hand-made items for civilization-dependent, or adapt to going without. But I haven't really known what to do about my dependency on glasses! I have five ideas:
- Figure on going without glasses. This would suck, since I have very poor eyesight and without my glasses I can't make out any details of anything more than a foot away from my face.
- Make my own glasses from remaining fragments of glass. I haven't read of anyone experimenting with this; I worry that if it doesn't work out well impaired vision will permanently handicap me. Perhaps not as badly as with option #1, but any impairment in vision will significantly impact my ability to hunt and gather, and even to grow food.
- Practice natural vision healing techniques, such as those pioneered by Dr. William Bates. Ran Prieur has done a lot of work on this with significant results, but his progress has taken quite a while and he still has a long way to go before he could discard his glasses altogether. I have heard and read some encouraging testimonials as to the effectiveness of healing your eyes, but I have also seen at least two accounts of case studies showing no improvement in vision tests from months of eye excercises, even when the subject felt his or eye eyesight had improved. All in all, I feel reluctant to depend on healing my eyes back to normal vision with no backup plan.
- Eye surgery such as Lasik or PRK. I really like the idea of walking in with my current crappy vision and walking out with normal vision. The pricetag (maybe $1000-$3000 range for both eyes?) definitely crimps my excitement. Most of all, my uncertainty as to the long term effects of eye surgery scare me off from wanting to try it. Doctors have only been performing these surgeries for 20 years, so no one knows what happens 30, 40, 50 years down the line. I fear some unexpected side effect that leaves my vision in worse shape than if I'd never had them cut open my eyes, or chronic dry-eye or something even more painful.
- Stockpile glasses! Ran Prieur mentioned Zenni Optical, an online store which sells complete glasses (frames & prescription lenses with UV protection and anti-scratch coating) starting at $8, plus a $5 flat shipping cost.