Thursday, August 12, 2010

My optometrist makes me sick

As you'll recall, my right eye has gone all squirrely on me.  I went to my optometrist for help. He helpfully advised me that I'm old, gave me some new contacts (this variety allows more oxygen to permeate, apparently), and told me to put drops (artificial tears) in my eyes as needed.  Dr. K was right, because the contacts and the drops did rectify the issue.  However, just to make sure there is nothing fundamentally or structurally wrong with my eyes, he told me he needed me to come back so that he could dilate my pupils and take a closer look.

I put it off as long as I could.  I had an appointment scheduled for two weeks ago, but the kid's daycare scheduled an ice cream social for the same day, and I would rather eat glass than to tell her she would have to miss it.  So, I rescheduled.  Knowing that dilating my pupils would cause my vision to be more out of whack than usual (so much that I was required to bring a driver with me), I was a little nervous.  Not having control over things . . . well, I struggle with that.

Dr. K and I chatted a bit and then he sent in an employee to put the dilation drops in my eyes.  The drops stung a bit. I was instructed to sit in the waiting room until the dilation was complete - 15 minutes or so.  I sat with my husband and daughter and waited.  The room grew fuzzier and fuzzier as I waited.  I watched the two of them flip through Highlights magazines (can you believe my husband has never heard of Goofus and Gallant?) and make shadow puppets against the reception desk with their hands.  The sun was shining in from behind us and seemed to grow brighter with each passing second.  I mean, we're talking nuclear brightness here.  After a while I cupped my palms over my eyes and stopped trying to look at anything.

Eventually, Dr. K came to retrieve me and I felt a wave of nausea pass through my stomach as soon as I stood up.  When we got back to the exam room, I told him I was dizzy.  "Oh yeah," he said, "I threw up the first time I had my eyes dilated."  Nice.  I pictured him and his cohorts in optometry school squirting dilation drops at each other just for sport.  If he had told me about this puking business before my appointment, there is no chance I would've come in.  I would've moved out of state just to avoid it. 

The fun wasn't over, though.  He still had to look inside my eyeballs.  He shone a bright light into my pupils from several different angles.  When he was done, he sent me on my way.  And by "on my way" I mean that I stumbled into the waiting room looking and feeling like Otis, the town drunk from the Andy Griffith show. I then lurched out to the car, family in tow, and grabbed my sunglasses.  I curled up in the passenger's seat and closed my eyes.  As soon as my husband took the first turn, I felt like I might spew.  I kept my head down until we got home, at which time I took two Tylenol PM and went straight to bed.  It was 7 p.m.

By the time I rolled out of bed this morning, I felt halfway decent.  My pupils were no longer the size of frisbees. So yeah, I won't be having my eyes dilated again anytime soon.  Looking on the bright side, I eliminated my issue with nighttime snacking, if only for one evening.  And ten hours of sleep . . . well, that's a dream come true when you're a mom.

So, lesson learned, kids - be sure to neglect your health and do not visit your local optometrist under any circumstances!  A little tip from me to you.

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