Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Getting Glasses - TODAY

I've started to post about three different things - but really I can't concentrate on anything because I have to go get glasses today.
I have to go get glasses TODAY. I've been meaning to go get them for about a year and a half. I've been putting it off. A year and a half ago I needed to go get glasses but I put it off by digging out my old contact prescription. I really, really, really didn't want to go get another eye exam so I spent 12 hours scrounging through old paperwork to find a contact prescription I'd gotten with my glasses. My glasses had gotten lost and I had to go get the contact prescription filled the very next day before it expired. I could only afford to buy 6 months worth of contacts that day. Now I've stretched that six month supply out far too long. I have one last set of contacts and they are so grubby and cloudy that I know I'm risking an eye infection by even looking at them, much less by putting them in my eyes. I have to go TODAY. Because tomorrow I go to babysit my nephew Thrasher in the Land of Frozen Cow Poo for a week while my sister is in France. I need glasses if I'm going to be responsible for driving a 7-month old around through the frozen wastes! I'm not so good with snow anyway so I need to be in top form. I absolutely must go get glasses TODAY.
But I really, really, really don't want to go get an eye exam.
It makes me feel stupid. It's not just 'failing' the eye test. I know I can't see - duh - I'm there to get glasses. But then they pull that machine down on it's robot arm and they dial up different lenses.
Dr: "Does this look clearer?" Click. Click. "Or does this?"
Me: "Well they both look about the same."
Dr: "Ok. What about this or..." Click. Click. Click. "this?"
Me: "Hmm. I can't really tell a difference."
Dr: "What about now?" CLICK. CLICK. "Right or left?"
Me: "Excuse me?"
Dr: "The RIGHT or the LEFT! Which looks better?"
Me: (still thinking they look exactly the same!!) "Um. Perhaps the right one is a bit clearer."
Dr: "Really? OH. That's unusual. Well, then how about now?" Click. Click.
I think to myself "I knew I should have said 'left'! " And the process continues with minor variations for about 400 minutes until the doctor finally gives up and writes me a random prescription. Then I go out to the 'show room' and pick out the first pair of frames or brand of contacts offered. Eventually I am at home or in the car wearing the eyewear I have acquired. And I have headaches. For weeks. Anytime I have to wear my glasses or contacts I get a headache. After a year or two, my eyes adjust or something and I spend the next four or five years babying my glasses or stretching out my contacts so that I can put off going back to the eye doctor as looooooooonnnnnnnngggg as possible. I KNOW the headaches are probably a result of having the wrong freaking prescription but I don't know how to make the process work! I've TRIED. Really hard. I've VOWED to myself that I would just stick to my guns and tell the stupid doctor that I don't see the difference between his stupid clickety freakin' clicks. I have even tried to explain my issue to the doctor before we get started. But clearly this is not a problem that a lot of people seem to have. The doctor invariably gives me a strange look and reassures me that their machine is very accurate and the lenses are quite distinct. Right. Ok. Here we go again. I've been through this process at least six times in my life and the only time I didn't feel like a complete moron was in Boot Camp. The eye doctor wasn't even listening to my answers and it took not a second more than two minutes from beginning to end (and I got two vaccinations in each arm with those hydraulic gun things at the same time - so hey, bonus). Those were the best (and ugliest) glasses I've ever had. They looked exactly like nerd glasses from the 1950's and they were called 'BC's' for 1) Boot Camp (they were the only glasses allowed in Boot Camp) and 2) Birth Control (because they were so unattractive). I didn't care. They were painless. (Actually... having anthrax, swine flu, bubonic plague, and small pox vaccines pumped into my body at lightspeed with one of those things NASCAR pit crew use to put tires on with - THAT wasn't painless but the eye exam was a breeze.)
For better or for worse, civilian (ha ha - the first time I typed "civillain") eye doctors are different. And I have to go to a civilian eye doctor. TODAY. I have to go today. I know I do. Even if I get the wrong prescription and have a perma-headache, it's got to be better than getting an eye fungus from wearing these contacts one more time. And it certainly has got to be better than trying to navigate by sonar which is what I'm reduced to now.
I'm debating about whether to try to explain yet again about my inability to distinguish between the clickety lenses or whether to ask if they have any anthrax vaccine lying around. Which is my best option, do you think?

1 comment:

Caitlin said...


OMG, I hate those clickety freakin' lenses - if he'd just let me take them all out of the machine, or something, maybe it would help, but fair dinkum, I NEVER get the test "right" because I can't tel the difference, and he keep flipping them backwards and forwards and by then I have a headache AGAIN and I KNOW I can't see without my glasses and by this stage my tear film has all dried out so I have to put drops in again and - arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!HATE IT!

I am so glad I'd finished my cuppa when I read your post, otherwise we could have had a repeat of the infamous Tea Incident of 2004...