The 20/200 Experience


Going to the eye doctor is a joy that the unfortunate many experience each year.  Thanks to some poor eye genes I’m one of those people.  My mom’s entire side of the family minus my grandmother has glasses, so I knew I was doomed from the start.  This of course was confirmed in second grade when I was the only member of my class who had to stick around for round 2 of vision and hearing screening.  Since then my eyes have gotten worse each year, but have slowed in recent years thankfully, cause if my vision continued to go down at the same rate by now I’d be calling myself Andrew Magnificent and taking up the piano.  I understand that I could correct this issue with Lasik, but as my friend Amanda and I have both said I’m not real excited about letting a device near my eye that is also used as a weapon.

So since I’ve continued to passed on Lasik yesterday was unfortunately the day I had to go in for my yearly eye appointment to see how much worse my eyes have gotten and to get fitted for new contacts and of course the appointment didn’t go off without incident.

After hanging in the waiting room for 20 minutes I finally get shuttled to the back and am asked to take out my lenses.  For those that go to the eye doctor they will agree this is the first time you feel judged during this appointment.  If you take out your lenses without washing each hand thoroughly for five minutes you can notice the nurse make a mental note of what a scummy person you are.  After the lenses are out I go through the 30 to 40 minute dance of figuring out just what my new prescription should be.  This is done by using that big ass mask you see on the cover of the new Timberlake album.  But before the nurse starts to fit me for new lenses I still have to go through the process of reading the eye chart without any lenses.  This exercise is a total waste of time though considering I haven’t been able to read the big E since Pogs were a thing.  However every year the nurse acts stunned that I can’t see the first letter.  This is now the second time you’re judged by the nurse.  Now that the nurse has established I’m blind, which she could have just done by reading the chart we begin the process of looking through different lenses to see which makes my vision most clear.  Thankfully I guess they are really trying to fine tune my prescription, but after 20 minutes of asking if A or B is more clear I can’t tell the difference.  Once the new prescription is settled the real fun begins, dilated pupils.

For those that haven’t had this done before imagine your eyes having the sensitivity to light of a vampire, while not being able to focus on anything directly in front of your face like say your phone, computer or wallet when it is in your hand.  The best part though is that you like some EDT super-fan because your pupils make you look like you took all of the ecstasy available on the East Coast.  Now feeling sufficiently uncomfortable the doctor comes in takes a quick five minute look at my eyes and then leaves.  Still in a fog the nurse says “ok, that’s it.  Just make your way to the pay station to settle your bill.”

Now this is my favorite part of the experience.  The nurse who has just read my chart and dilated the shit out of my eyes tells me to find my way to the pay station and that I’ll see the sign that says “Pay Here.”  In my head all I want to say is, “Lady fuck off,” but instead I politely ask if she could tell me how to get there.  One right down the short stairs and then a left is her answer.  This now is the third time being judged.  After Mummying (meaning arms outstretched in front of me so as not to walk into anything) my way to the appropriate waiting room the kind administrator calls for me to come to her to pay.  I’m guessing this happens quite often because once she saw me looking like Mr. Magoo at Tomorrowland she called me to come towards her.  Paying was a delight as well.  I pulled out my wallet fumbling for the gold looking card (thanks AMEX) and signed my name with an X.

Thankfully the contact fitting went off without an issue.  Every time I’ve been fitted for lenses the person doing so is the nicest individual in the building.  The exact opposite of whatever nurse I’ve had previously.  Before leaving though, with my eyes still dilated for another couple hours the contact lady tells me that just the previous week a patient of hers was pulled over driving home from his appointment for driving erratically.  The cop of course thought he was on drugs, making things that much more difficult for the poor bastard just coming from his eye appointment.  So now not only can I not see to well, but I’m gripped with fear of getting pulled over during the 4 minute drive home.

Maybe Lasik isn’t so bad after all…….

Nope that burning red light is going nowhere near my eye, I’ll stick with the crabby nurse.

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