Tag Archives: optometrist

They Sold the Farm!

Some of you know that my vision is terrible. Not my “vision” vision but my actual eyesight. 

I was told when I was ten that it would get progressively worse until my mid-twenties and then level off; maybe even get better. 

They lied. I’m almost 40 and it’s still getting worse. Granted it’s not getting worse as quickly as it once was. 

Nevertheless yearly eye exams are not a luxury for me. I have to get in to the optometrist or I can’t see. 

I am currently sitting in the chair. 

This is fun. 

What in the world does that say?

I’ve already been run through the battery of pre-testing options. There’s the puff of air. Still not sure what this one is for. Then there’s the “big E” test. Newsflash: I can’t even really see the “E” at this point without my contacts. 

Some tests are new. A retinal photograph has replaced dilation. This is nice as I really never liked stepping out into the mid-day sun after one of these visits looking like an anime character. 

But they got rid of one of my favorite tests. For almost thirty years I’ve been coming to these visits and looking into a giant box at a picture of a farmhouse. Again, the purpose of this test has never been explained to me. I always assumed it had something to do with focus. Then again it could just be a way to calm me down, not that I’ve ever been agitated at the eye doctor. 

This test is so ridiculous.

Truly the farm was a peaceful place. If you’ve ever had this test you know what I’m talking about. It was in a field. I imagine it was in Iowa. There was a lot of corn. I made up a backstory about the farm. It was owned by an elderly couple who’s children had moved away after industrialization had rendered their role in the agri-business field redundant. This couple now wait at home for someone to visit. Once a year I pop into their lives. I feel like such a voyeur. But I think they understand. They’re just happy for the company. Their rotten kids never bring the grandkids – Kip and Karen – around. Brats. 

Where was I?

Oh yes, the farm is gone. All that remains is a hot air balloon and there isn’t enough Valium on earth to get me in that thing.

There’s also the omni-present “better/worse” flipping lens test. Yeah… as I’ve said before, leave the room, doc. I’ll flip it around and find what works. Then I’ll call you back in and you can write it down. 

St. Lucy, patroness of the blind, pray for us!

UPDATE: They just upped my script. -4.25 in both eyes and I get to try daily wears for the first time!


Better? Or Worse? My Adventures With Myopia Continue

I remember it so well.  I was 10 years old, sitting in the back of my 5th grade classroom when one day, out of the blue, I could not see the board without squinting.  An eye exam revealed that I had fallen victim to the family curse of myopia.  It seems my pubescent body had decided to grow and forgotten to remind my retinas what the growing schedule was.

And it’s only gotten worse ever since.

I started wearing glasses and going for regular eye exams.  By the time I hit 25 (pretty late, huh?) I opted for contacts and discovered that I actually had a nice face without the specs.  I still wear glasses at night and on alternating Wednesday’s.

My kids seem to have received a nice mix of genes from yours truly.  Son seems to have no ocular problems whatsoever while Baby Girl, though not near-sighted,  has a slightly crossed eye requiring the same kind of glasses my late twin sister wore when she was around the same age.

Where's the giant E?

Where’s the giant E?

Tonight I was due for my checkup with the optometrist.  I always have fun visiting with these eye-wizards.  I appreciate that you went to school for this craft and all but believe me, I know about as much regarding my vision as you do at this point.

They stick you in front of a million machines with chin rests – devices that resemble hard plastic jockstraps for little people – and subject you to a better of tests.  First there’s the “puff of air” test.  I don’t know what twist-o thought this one up or what it’s even supposed to reveal.  I think it’s just to mess with you.  “Just sit right here and look at the” – “OHMYGOD!!! Why did you do that to me?!”  Then there’s a test where you look into a box and see a pretty little farmhouse go in and out of focus repeatedly.  Again, not sure why.  I asked the technician if it was a real farmhouse.  “You know, does it belong to someone?  Like, is it the doctor’s summer home?”  She shrugged.  There’s also the optic photo.  This one replaced the dilation they used to do.  Thank God because I used to refuse the reversing drops and I’d leave the office looking like an anime cartoon character.

No chin-rest...

No chin-rest…

But the best test of all comes when the doctor finally enters the room.  “I’m going to place this machine against your head.  Could you tell me which image looks better to you?”  I want to tell him “It’s a bunch of letters on a white background.  Warhol couldn’t make these things look ‘better’.”  “OK,” he says, “Better?  Worse?  How about now?  Number 1?  Number 2?  OK, do you like A?  or B?”  This continues for a few minutes and somehow he magically knows what to fit me with.

I have reached the point where I feel confident saying: “Listen pal, leave the room.  I’ll flip these metal plates around myself and call you back in when I’ve found the right prescription.”

Alas, that might be rude.  So I leave the office and head to… the showroom!

OK, only an hour before I’m comfortable leaving the office having chosen frames that I’m positive I’ll love for the next two years but will probably hate within a month.

Oh, and Baby Girl recently broke her glasses.  Guess what aren’t under warranty.  It seems when the glasses fly off one’s face in a fight with your brother in a minivan and then get stepped on by Granny trying to break up said fight, the manufacturer is allowed to shirk responsibility for a poorly made frame.  Go figure.

And for the record, my prescription improved got the first time in 27 years!

Daddy’s Day Off

#dentistselfie  The impression mold of my teeth tasted gross.

#dentistselfie The impression mold of my teeth tasted gross.

My day started out not unlike any other.  By that I mean that I woke up with a foot in my face courtesy of my precious daughter.  She’s doing much better today, thanks for the prayers!  Furthermore, I went to the kitchen, grabbed my coffee, and headed for the living room where I watched the news.  Today, however, I had many things to do on the checklist.  It was a day off from work but not from being me and certainly not from being a dad.

Contacts AND glasses.  I prayed to my twin sister in guidance picking out these frames.  She might have been playing a joke on me from heaven.

Contacts AND glasses. I prayed to my twin sister in guidance picking out these frames. She might have been playing a joke on me from heaven.

I immediately got showered and dressed and headed over to the dentist where I sat for two and a half hours in a chair.  All things being equal (and I’m almost sad I have something to compare this to); but this was by far the easiest root canal I’ve ever had.  One shot of lidocaine (usually takes quite a bit more) and the work was rather painless.  I tweeted a picture with the hashtag #dentistselfie to my classes.  Judging by the retweets and favorites, I’d say it was a hit.

Then I headed over to the eye doctor for my follow-up.  My contacts are fine and my eyes are good to go for another year or so.  All these doctors visits reminded me that I need to schedule a physical.  But, since I’m really a bit uncomfortable with the whole hernia test thing I think I’ll put that off until tomorrow.  On that note, I know, I know, he’s a doctor.  Doctors are allowed to see us naked.  I just hate embarrassing the man.

After the optometrist I drove up to the library and picked up the last of my text books.  What’s that?  Text books from the library?  Yes!  It’s called saving some dough.  After the first of the year, when we realized our take home would be down $300 a month (thank you very much, Mr. President) we decided to find creative ways to cut costs.  One area was the situation with my school text books.  I’m taking online classes toward a second Master’s degree.  The first quarter books cost us almost $300 and I hardly used them!  My wife, the smartest woman I know, suggested searching the area libraries for inter-library loans.  Turns out, if one is willing to wait a week or two, one can indeed find his text books this way.  There was only one snag.  One of my courses had an assignment due the very first week that required me to answer questions out of the book.  So I bit the bullet (the book hadn’t yet arrived) and paid the reasonable price of $16 to borrow the ebook from the school’s Barnes and Noble site.  Otherwise, though, we just saved some cash.

Hmm... Wonder who ate all the popsicles?

Hmm… Wonder who ate all the popsicles?

Finally, I was back home and it was only 11AM.  Let’s get back to my daughter, who hasn’t been feeling too well.  Well, it turns out that this virus she has really does seem to be running its course.  Last night was tough, though, because it seemed to flare back up.  I had to call the ER where we had taken her on Saturday morning.  I asked the doctor on call if there was anything else they could prescribe for her nausea.  It’s a catch-22.  She has an upset stomach.  Therefore she can’t hold down the ibuprofen she need for her sore throat.  Nor can she hold down much else.  Therefore she’s getting dehydrated.  And she absolutely refuses to take the pills they gave her for nausea.  The doctor’s response was that no, what he had given was all there was for nausea.  Well, we muddled through the night without much incident.  Back to this afternoon, I took her with me to noon mass.  I’m happy to say that this is day 21 of keeping my resolution and going to mass every single day!  Yay!  Word!  Eucharist!  Graces!  But, the car ride didn’t sit too well with her.

My son requested this for dinner.  It's a heart-shaped grilled cheese.

My son requested this for dinner. It’s a heart-shaped grilled cheese.

We came home and she and I rested for a bit and then went to her doctor.  Fortunately, her doctor chimed in right away with “of course there’s another anti-nausea medication.  In fact, the same drug is available in liquid form with a strawberry flavor.”  Wow.  That was easy.  Again, it’s kind of moot since she’s exhibited very little of that nausea today.  I think it’s passing.

Picking up the pieces

Picking up the pieces

And then there was tonight…  My baby girl lovingly let me do the whole nightly bath thing, get her dressed, and comb her beautiful hair. She got into a fight with her brother and came calling to me.  “Daddy!  Daddy!”  I do believe she has confidence in me.  This is one reason I love being a dad and one reason I never understand those guys who bemoan either having children or every wanting children.  Look at it this way, fellas.  You wake up in the morning and there are these tiny genetic copies of yourself.  That’s a plus right there.  Add to that the fact that they think you’re superhuman despite the fact that you haven’t hit the gym in months.  FYI, if my wife is reading this, I’d love another gym membership so I can get back in shape.  *wink*  My daughter thinks I can solve all problems and even if I can’t she knows I can make her feel better when she’s sad.  I love that and I thank God for that grace every day.  My son, on the other hand, has confidence that I can simply do all things.  His latest obsession is Lego toys.  Tonight one of his awesome creations fell off the kitchen table and broke into a million tiny, colored bricks.  I picked them up and fiddled with them for about twenty minutes.  The boy walked up and said to me “Daddy, you can put it back together.”  I turned and said, “No, son, I’m not sure I can.”  “It’s OK, Daddy,” he said.  “You can always read the magazine.”  I think he was talking about the instruction booklet.  And if I could make sense of that thing then I am Superman!

The "magazine" of which he spoke.

The “magazine” of which he spoke.