‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the science of optometry

It has come to my attention that I can't see as well as I once could. This is most apparent when someone presents a splinter to be removed. I cannot see the splinter and estimated guesses as to its whereabouts are under-appreciated.

After a period of fretting and hand-wringing and worst case scenario-izing, I made an eye appointment. That appointment happened yesterday.

Eye appointments are fabulous. You should really make them more than every 15 years. The chair is comfy and they even give you a place to rest your chin. All chairs should come with foot and chin rests. Once you are nice and comfortable, they ask you to do things that are much less repulsive than the other things you have to do in the course of a day.

You read letters, top to bottom, until you get to the line of hieroglyphs. The hieroglyphs are there to trick you.

Then they ask you questions. I get asked questions all day long but I don't know the answers to those questions. Those are questions like "why are we so far over budget?" and "who totaled the company car?" The optometrist asks questions like "which one's clearer? A or B?"

I like questions I know the answers to. And if I get them wrong, who will know?

I could tell I was getting them right because the more I answered, the better I could see. It was like magic! Toward the end, the letters looked like they had been cut with a scalpel from black construction paper.

But that's not the interesting part. After the "exactly how blind are you" part of the exam, they start looking at the eyeball proper. They put drops in your eyes and after dropping the drops they say "that's yellow highlighter" and you're all "hahahahaha! that's funny! as if you would actually draw on my eye with a yellow highlighter!" and you wipe a little laugh-tear from your eye with a tissue and it looks like a bug got squashed in your eye because the tissue is bright, bright, bug-gut yellow and it turns out they did actually just put yellow highlighter in your eye.

Just as you are deciding never to trust them again, they put another drop in your eyes and tell you they are testing the pressure. The drops will make your eyes feel like they are wrapped in double stick tape.

Finally, they put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils, and send you to the waiting room to look at magazines but not read them because you have yellow highlighter and double stick tape in your eyes.

When they get you back in the chair, they tell you they're going to look inside your eye with a bright light. What they don't tell you is, they are looking inside your eye for ants which they then set on fire with the light and a magnifying glass. It's the only possible explanation for someone to point a light that bright at you. Also, I know that's what they're doing because after they do it, all you can see is exploding ant fireballs.

And then they tell you you need glasses, which you pick out while still under the influence of exploding ant fireballs.

Which explains a lot.


Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

I've never had my eyeballs burned, but I did spot two red apples on a table when the optometrist told me his projector was only showing one. Must explain why I have four kids when hubby and I said we'd only have two. My only course of action was to have eyeglass lenses made of prisms, so I prefer to keep one eye closed instead. Much cheaper.

The Empress said...

Oh, your description of clarity is dead on.Yes, cut out with a scalpel from black construction paper.

And I am so with you on the grossness of the yellow hiliter eyedrops.

That was just so gross to see that on a tissue I used. Surreal, actually.

just making my way said...

I agree with The Empress. This is a perfect replay of what an appointment to the eye Dr is like. Only there it's not so funny. The description of the dilation made me laugh out loud - literally. Exploding fire ants. I will never have that procedure done without thinking about that now.
I hope you got cute frames!

Cheryl said...

Sorry, I laughed all the way through. I've been going to the optometrist for almost 30 years and never had the fire ant treatment. Since I was driving I begged out since it'd be unsafe to drive. Ha! Last time I went, the doc had some new geegaw that replaced the fire ant test. No pain.

I really thought you might post a picture of you in the glasses. How you picked them out with those eyes is beyond me.

Logical Libby said...

Weren't you afraid of getting poked in the eye? Every time I go I am scared to death I will accidentally get poked in the eye.

I bet you look nice in the rhinestone hornrims...

Lemon Gloria said...

Hahahahahahaha! Oh, laughing and laughing. Great descriptions. Very interested to see the glasses you chose while under the influence.

Susan said...

Rose - Eye patches are quite trendy in these parts!

Libby - It's disconcerting when ones distinctly non-Bambi-esque eyelashes get tangled up in the proddy thing.

Greg said...

Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to make an eye appointment.

You've reminded me how nice it will be to see extra clearly again.

Always Home and Uncool said...

You need an optometrist that has the equipment to take a picture of your retina as opposed to the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil drops. May cost you an $100 but worth it. Unless you dig those exploding ant fireballs.

Tiny Dancer said...

That is the best description of a visit to the eye doctor! I haven't had the double sticky tape or fire ant experience, thank goodness.

My first pair of glasses at the age of 8 were a revelation. I noticed there were mountains where we lived. They were close. It made my mother cry. And then she was glad I could finally see.

I think it's time to go again.

Ambley said...

I also had to pick frames while blinded by dilation. Luckily, I've met my eye doc's wife and know what an amazing aesthetic eye he has. Therefore, I did what any blind woman would do: I asked the women in the office to pick two or three that would look good on me, and then let him choose from those. I get compliments on my glasses all the time! :)