Would Teddy Roosevelt Choose LASIK Today?

A recent article based on the biography[1] of past US President, Theodore Roosevelt, shared an interesting look at a momentous occasion.

“Teedie” as he was called, was 13 years old before getting his first pair of glasses. 

The article discussed how Teddy realized that he needed glasses.  Unlike nowadays, when routine pediatric visits or a discerning teacher will usually detect vision problems in a child and encourage the parents to get them vision help, kids ended up figuring out they had any sort of issue based on their social interactions.

In the summer of 1872, Teddy figured out he had a problem while firing off his first gun with his friends and not being able to hit anything.  He described the event as if his friends would shoot and things would simply just drop out of the sky.  The next sign he needed help, was literally a sign – a billboard off in the distance that his friends could read, and he could not even see the letters on.

Teddy described getting those glasses that same summer: “[I] got my first pair of spectacles, which literally opened an entirely new world to me. I had no idea how beautiful the world was until I got those spectacles … while much of my clumsiness and awkwardness was doubtless due to general characteristics, a good deal of it was due to the fact that I could not see, and yet was wholly ignorant that I was not seeing.”

His biography explains the importance of getting these “spectacles” to a boy of that age.

Suddenly, Teddy’s world dove into incredible focus where he could see things he couldn’t before:  detail, color, and movement “just when the screen of his mind was at its most receptive.”  The biographer, Edmund Morris, went on to share that “one of the best features of [Roosevelt’s] adult descriptive writing — an unsurpassed joy in things seen — dates back to this moment; while another — his abnormal sensitivity to sound — is surely the legacy of the myopic years that came before.”

That was a pretty big day for that 13-year-old boy who would end up becoming our president, and not just any president, the youngest American president in history!

We know just how monumental this moment – the moment you can see things in full focus – is for any kid, or adult.  We love hearing our LASIK patients say “I can see the actual leaves on the trees” at their one-day post op appointments!

Looking back, we think it’s safe to say that we bet Teddy would have had LASIK today.

It is extremely common for families to come to Slade & Baker Vision looking for LASIK for their adolescent and grown children. In fact, several families will gift LASIK to their graduates.  If you are interested in LASIK for yourself or maybe an older child, please do call us at 713-626-5544 for a free LASIK screening, and we are happy to determine your options!


[1] The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris

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