To clarify, my third visit to any eye doctor – ever. When you spend the majority of your life with 20/20 vision and then the next twenty years only buying cheaters at Staples, a regular eye check-up isn’t an intuitive activity.
After driving through a rain storm one dark night, I was sufficiently paralyzed with fear to hot-foot it to an ophthalmologist. Now I have big-girl glasses for driving and watching TV.
So I had an appointment at 9 a.m., plenty of time before my golf lesson at noon. I was soon ushered into a room and seated by a lazy susan of increasingly strange machines. The technician, (about 30 years my junior) who was very much into the “honey” and “darlin'” form of address, instructed me to place my chin in the first one, saying “Now you’ll feel some air.” A POOF of wind hit my eyeball, like some kind of ophthalmologist prank, surprising me in spite of the warning.
The machines rotated again and now I was to look at a teensy picture of a hot air balloon. At least this didn’t have the dreaded blast of air, but darned if I could tell what it was supposed to be doing. Turned out, I have excellent eye pressure; I sat up a little straighter at hearing that, experiencing an odd sense of accomplishment.
Once we finished with that, she swiveled, and with a gesture worthy of Vanna White, directed my attention to a big square machine squatting in the corner. Apparently, this was an alternative to having my eyes dilated. Well, that sounded pretty good, thought I – and then she added that it was an additional $39. . .which wouldn’t be covered by my insurance. Dilation it would be; I’d never had this done, but it would just be a few drops, right?
Now it was time to see the doctor, a pleasant German lady. She congratulated me on my great eye pressure and I tried to look modest. Next were the drops, startling to someone who only gets that close to her own sockets to apply eye liner.
I was ushered to another room and left in the dark (literally) for the drops to take effect. Maybe if I’d done drugs in the 60s like any other self-respecting baby boomer, I could have enjoyed some moments of happy nostalgia. Instead, it was like being dropped into Monet’s career, as the room became increasingly impressionistic.
The legs of a nearby chair grew fuzzier and fuzzier, and the eye chart directly across was enveloped by a mist that Carl Sandburg and his little cat feet would have been proud of.
After 15 or so very boring minutes, mein Doktor returned to my soothing dark cave and whipped out her tiny flashlight and spent the next ten minutes shining it two inches from my face. And here I’d always thought the whole reason they issue you those snazzy plastic sunglasses when you depart was to protect your eyeballs from bright lights.
I felt my way to my car and silently blessed its previous owner for the drug-dealer smoked windows. I took a right out of the parking lot to a quiet side street to avoid the busier option. Stretching before me – what I could see of it – was a mine field of protrusions. The street was in the middle of being resurfaced and every single manhole cover, gas connection, drain, and I don’t know what-all was raised several inches above the pitted surface.
In my ignorance, I had always assumed eye-dilating drops wore off about as fast as, well, Novocain after the dentist. Not so. Let’s just say that my noon golf lesson on that sunny, sunny day was a learning experience on more than one level.
I cannot believe you kept the golf date! I have worn glasses since 5th grade (age 8), and while I can tell you the drops have improved, my goal on eye day is to get to bed and sleep it off until morning.ReplyDelete
Agreed. I was still dodging lamps that evening.Delete
Sadly I am all too familar with eye doctors. And need to see mine again soon. That jet of air is something else isn't it?
You're lucky you ,lived this long without the dreaded dilation of the eye. I hope the rest of your results are like the pressure.ReplyDelete
That's an interesting experience, I've never known what the puff of air was for. They do it here, but don't tell you anything about it. I assumed it was to dry the eye a little to make examination easier. Next time I go I'll be asking about my eye pressure. I'm overdue for my exam now, but I know already I'll need new specs and I just can't afford them until I'm finished with the dentist. I learned last time that my right eye aches and feels gritty because it does all the work and my left eye sees next to nothing. Huh.ReplyDelete
I would have thought eye dilation would wear off quicker too, I'm surprised they didn't recommend not driving for a while.
Oh my, you are apparently a late bloomer to the world of big girl glasses. You didn't mention cataracts so I'm assuming cataract surgery is not in your future, lucky you. I started with the non prescription half glasses. Progressed to about 30 years of wearing trifocals full time. Had cataract surgery and now I'm back to non prescription half glasses.ReplyDelete
I am surprised they let you drive so soon. Usually you have to wait and wait to use a car. I pay the $39 as I hate them fiddling with my vision. I have to go get my eyes examined once again this summer and just trying to find time to squeeze it in!ReplyDelete
Exactly. I was more capable to drive after a colonoscopy and they just about chained me to chair until my husband came to pick me up. And I would have done great; I was in a happy, happy place after the good drugs they give you. No road rage possible.Delete
I go through this every year at the eye doctor's. I actually DO remember my days as a hippie and get into nostalgia mode when my eyes are dilated. You made me smile hugely. Thank you! :-)ReplyDelete
It took all damn day for my eyes to readjust after dilation. I would not have been getting a gold lesson.ReplyDelete
Thankfully, we stayed in the shade and I kept my cap low.Delete
I had not heard of the $39 option and will definitely be looking into that next time. I am amazed you could go to your golf lesson after the drops. My vision is shot until the next day. I hope you enjoy those new big girl glasses.ReplyDelete
Wow, I can't believe they let you drive afterwards and then you played golf also? Mercy. I always take a designated driver even when they give me the "reversal" shot that is only partially effective.ReplyDelete
Apparently my common sense was as fuzzy as my eye sight that day.Delete
I meant drops not shot.ReplyDelete
It always takes all day for them to wear off for me. Glad you had good pressure, I don't.ReplyDelete