Friday, June 26, 2015

Where do I go to trade in my eyeballs?

First, I have to tell you a story that I should be too embarrassed to share. A couple weeks ago, I went to see my optometrist. I was wearing my regular bi-focal contacts. However, I had been wearing them for two weeks longer than I was supposed to. They were getting a wee bit uncomfortable. I was out of lenses and figured I'd just suck it up until my appointment rolled around. After my exam, Dr. K gave me a new pair of lenses to try.  He confirmed what I had already expected, which is that my near vision had gone to hell in a handbasket. He said the lenses would take about ten minutes to settle. Ten minutes later, he did a quick check of my eyeballs and decided that I probably needed a slightly stronger power. So, he told me to do the following (when I got home):  take the lens out of my left eye and throw it away. Take the lens from my right eye and move it to my left eye. He then handed me a new lens for my right eye. I also had my old contact lenses in a lens case in my purse.

When I got home, I tossed the old contacts by dumping out the case from my purse. Then I took the lens from my left eye and pitched it. I put the new contacts in the case. All good.

No, not all good. I woke up the next morning and attempted to install the new contacts on my eyeballs. I opened the case. Right side: one contact lens. Left side: two contact lenses. Son of a! Then I noticed another contact lens stuck to the side of the bathroom cabinet. This one was all dried out, of course. Heck if I know what happened.  Obviously, I botched something - and how.

Dr. K wanted me to come back after a week to see how the new contact lenses were working. I had no choice but to confess that although I was pretty sure I had the correct lens on my right eye, I had no idea what was on my left eye. I figured he would go home and tell his wife: "It finally happened. The dumbest patient of all time came in today." He assured me that he had heard stories like this before and attempted to console me with the tale of a woman who had jammed two lenses into one eye. As luck would have it, he said everything looked fine.

About a week later, I went back to pick up two boxes of contacts and my new glasses. It was a banner day for the visually impaired, let me tell you. I was anxious to get home, take out my contacts, and try the new glasses. What I mainly felt, when I put them on, was pure nausea. I was having trouble adjusting to my old lady glasses, so I sought advice from an old lady. I called my friend Kathy. I can get away with calling her an old lady because she's been one of my dearest friends for the last 15 years. She told me that it would take a while and, in the meantime, I should not attempt to go down a flight of stairs. She made it sound like I would plummet to my death. Duly noted. 

So, right now I'm wearing them in short spurts until I can get used to the bi-focal - I mean, progressive - lenses. Right now, if you approach me while I am wearing them, I can only look at you if you are precisely my height (looking up or down is out of the question) and if you don't approach me at an angle.

My husband nearly blew an artery when he saw the insurance report for my new specs. They would have been something like $800 without insurance, but closer to $500 with it. I spent $9 on some "cheaters" to wear with my contacts, mostly for reading. "Just wait," I told him. "Your day is coming." I hope it comes soon. We can fall down flights of stairs together. It'll be super romantic.

Me in my old lady glasses. Don't look too closely. I just came from the gym.

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