Tag Archives: vision test

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!


The Auditory Adventures of Big Man Sonny Boy

It’s that time of year again for wrapping up loose ends before I venture into my 9th year of teaching.  I look at that and can’t believe it’s been that long.  Of course, two of those years were concurrent (I had two teaching jobs at the same time).  But, since all of my employers have considered that as two separate years of teaching, then so do I.  Regardless of the logistics, this time of year is, to me, like that final week in December is for most people.  The year is coming to an end.  Another one is beginning.  It’s weird being a teacher because I measure time on a different scale.  Whereas many people use that final week of Christmas vacation to schedule doctors appointments because, perhaps, their insurance coverage might be changing; I use the final week of summer vacation to take my kids to the doctor.  That is, of course, because they too are getting ready to go back to school.

This morning it was time to visit the pediatrician for a routine check-up.  Ever have one of those mornings as a dad where things are just not going your way?  The kids were actually being very good for me.  It’s as if they knew I hadn’t had any coffee or that Mommy had woken me up at 9:15 and said “Hey, honey?  I need you to stop by my mom’s house to print something before their appointment.”  And I responded “What time is their appointment?”  And she replied “10.”  And you just knew it was a lost cause trying to shower so you brushed your teeth and hoped you didn’t look like hell presenting your kids as a model of good health to a judgmental doctor?  Yeah, today was one of those days.  Actually the doctor, as always seems to be the case, didn’t actually make an appearance until the end of the visit.  The physicians assistant took most of the information.  Just as I suspected, the kids are healthy as horses (healthy horses, I mean, not sick horses).  And just as cute, too!  They thoroughly delighted the PA with their antics.

Where was I going with all this?  Well, the doctor came in, took a look, and said “Everything’s great.”  I pointed out to him that my son needed to have a vision and hearing check.  Funny how you have to do everything for these doctors…  A few minutes later a lovely nurse was in the room checking my son’s hearing.  My daughter, sitting in my lap, observed with great delight as the nurse put a device in my son’s ear and instructed him to raise his hand whenever he heard a beep.  “Daddy, he looks like an elephant…”  She was right and we both laughed for a bit.  Then came time for his vision test.  The thing is, for kids, they don’t bring out the chart with letters topped by an oversized “E”.  Instead, they use pictures.  It only took a few moments before my son had the nurse in stitches with his vocabulary.  “OK, sweetie, tell me what these pictures these are.”  My son stopped and focused.  He was being very grown up and professional considering earlier in the morning he had run stark naked through the house while I hunted him down waving a pair of size 6 plaid boxers yelling “I will find you and when I do you better hope you have these shorts on that hiney, little man!”  Never mind the obvious fact that it would be impossible for him to be wearing the shorts I was chasing him with.  He covered his left eye with his hand, cleared his throat, and said as matter-of-factly as possible: “That’s a house.  That’s a heart.  Um, that’s a crescent.”  Here’s where I noticed the nurse darting her eyes back and forth between the chart and my son.  Then she burst out into laughter.  “OK, hon, some kids call it the moon but we’ll go with crescent.  Go on, sweetiepie.”  “Um, that’s a…  crucifix?”  Sensing his hesitation, the nurse clarified “Oh yeah, I can see that.  Let’s go with plus sign, ok?”  Needless to say, he’s 20/20.

After dinner I gave them their bath.  They gave me a hard time.  Why wouldn’t anybody want to be clean?  I don’t get this.  To make them laugh I resorted to an old sight gag.  I took the clothes I had just removed from my son (who was giving me a particularly hard time) and piled them on, well, on my head.  I burst into the bathroom and yelled “Argh!  I be a pirate!”  Sonny laughed.  Baby Girl looked up at me, paused with a quizzical look on her face.  I think for a second she thought about trusting that I really was a pirate on the strength of my word but realized that something was amiss.  “You don’t have a eyepatch…”

Foiled again.