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    It’s not easy seeing green

    The views expressed here belong to the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Optometry Times or UBM Medica.

    The great poet philosopher Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.”

    I recalled that pearl as my wife and I watched the Broadway play Wicked on a recent vacation to New York City. Not only that, I thought at the time, but for some of us, it’s not easy seeing green either!

    I knew that one of the main characters, Elphaba, was supposed to be green, but to me her face was a dullish gray. Maybe it was because we were sitting up high in the so-called “cheap” seats and wavelengths of about 510 nanometers ran out of gas before reaching us.

    Previously from Dr. Brown: UWF: ultra-widefield imaging or ultra-widefield fighting?

    For a fleeting second I even thought about marching to the box office to demand a refund for false representation of pigmentation. But I knew the truth lay deep inside my hopelessly flawed retinas: I am (gasp!) an anomalous trichromat.

    Then the memories started, a steady stream of hue howlers that even in the darkened theater caused my face to burn a shade of hot pink—or something like that.

    Do I not know my colors?

    It began when my mother started allowing me to dress myself, and I would emerge from my room wearing a green sock on one foot and a gray one on the other.

    Unaware that my chromatic cluelessness was all her fault, she assumed that I simply hadn’t learned my colors well enough. So she bought me one of those Crayola boxes of “64 Different Brilliant Colors” with the built-in sharpener, tossed me a stack of coloring books, and told me to get busy and stop bothering her, for Pete’s sake.

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    Michael Brown, OD, MHS-CL, FAAO
    Dr. Brown has practiced medical optometry in a comanagement center and with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in ...


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