Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blind As A Bat

Last Tuesday was a first: I went to a doctor appointment with no kids because both were in school!! How cool is that?
I felt particularly high over this because it would have been extremely brutal to bring my rambunctious boys to this appointment--my annual visit to the optomologist to get a year's worth of contact lenses. As anyone with bad eye sight knows, visits to the optomologists are tedious--lots of waiting while I try my best to read an eye chart, not to mention more waiting for my eyes to dialate so the doctor can test for glaucoma. I can safely say is not a suitable environment for children under 6 years old.
Not having to worry about my boys tearing up the waiting room helped make this rather stressful appointment a little more enjoyable. I've worn glasses since I was 7 years old, so, as you may guess, my eyesight is horrible. If it wasn't for the cutting-edge plastics used to make eye glass lenses, my glasses would make "Coke-bottle" lenses look flattering. I'm sure that I am legally blind. It's amazing that my optomlogist hasn't gotten me arrested for trying to drive home from the office in my contact lenses.
Anyway, I digress. So I settle in the waiting room, hoping to read the latest Newsweek until the nurse calls me, but bam! he calls me in right away. I scurry into the doctor's dark office and sink into the chair behind my torture device, the ominous robot-looking machine that determines how blind I am. I take out my contact lenses and take a deep breath for the nail-biting test that has plagued me since childhood--faking 20/20 eyesight.
I cover my left eye and read the letters--"A O Y K E."
"Good job!" says the assistant, as he flashes up even smaller letters for me to read. "Y ... O ... D ... E ... K," I say.
"Great!" he says. "Can you read this?"
As I expected, the third line of letters are smaller and blurrier. Now it's time to get creative. The first letter can be either a Y or a K, but since the last line I read started with K, I choose Y. "Y ..... O .... D .... E ..... P????"
"Great!" he said, sounding truly impressed. "Now cover up your right eye."
I go through the same routine for my right eye, and then the assistant puts stinging drops in my eyes to dialate them. "You can wait in the lobby until the drops take effect," he says.
Darn! I have my contacts out, but only have my prescription sunglasses with me--I'd rather not sit in the lobby with those on. Plus, I brought my knitting, and feel rather foolish trying to knit with my sunglasses on the waiting room.
But, so be it. With no kids in tow, I am so trying to multitask. I'm never able to knit with them running up to me every five minutes needing me to turn on the DVD player, refill their sippy cups, or cut up an apple. Here I am, completely alone for the first time in weeks, and I am going to make the most of it.
So I pull out my knitting and start to rip out stitches from a botched fingerless glove I'm trying to knit. I'm glad that's all I am trying to do, because once the drops take effect, my eyesight blurs and I might as well have my eyes closed.
I do this for about 10 minutes, and hope the doctor calls me because this Cinderella's clock is going to strike midnight very soon. Translation: I need to pick up Ethan from school in 30 minutes.
Thankfully, the doctor calls me into his office and goes over my eye test results. "Your eyes look great!" he says. "You're seeing 20/20 in your contacts!"
After having my eyesight diminish year after year, I feel the weight of his words. I would love to celebrate my stable eyesight with a Starbucks latte, but duty calls. Ethan is waiting.
I hurry to the car, and am thankful that traffic is light because the dialation has not worn off, and things are still blurry. I feel a bit nervous about driving, but, hey, it's a straight shot from the doctor's office to Ethan's school, it's not like I have to read street signs or, God forbid, merge onto the highway.
I manage to pick Ethan up in one piece, and then it's off to get James from preschool. I stop at home and put on my regular glasses before I get James. I didn't realize what a mistake this was until I'm at the door of James' preschool and another mom gives me a second look. Oh, shoot--I look high, don't I? I want to explain the situation, but hold my tongue. Fact is, between successfully driving around town with dialated pupils, plus the good news I won't be needing a cane any time soon, plus being kid-free for almost three hours, feeling high isn't quite off the mark.


kristi said...

Gaaaah...I hate getting my eyes dilated!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Dang lady....that was a long post! haha But I'm glad to read that you had a good semi-carefree appointment.

I'm nervous about an appointment I have today......the dreaded dentist!! I haven't been in YEARS.....I have many problems, but am finally doing something about it.

Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

I lucked out at the eye doc this year. I had the option, which I paid for GLADLY, of digital eye scans instead of getting my eyes dilated. Much better for me! :) For $35, well worth every single cent.

Mama Zen said...

I've noticed that the more kids you have with you, the longer the wait in the waiting room. If you're alone and planning to read Newsweek in peace, they'll usher you right in. Doesn't seem fair!

Cookie said...

I love being able to get things done without the kids in tow!
Glad to hear your eyes are good :) wish mine were!

rainbowmummy said...

LOL you know that lying bout the letters isn't a great idea, right?

My eyes are fine but I need to go the docs and dentist. My excuse for not going is now in school full time, damn!

MaryAnn Ashley said...

I haven't laughed like that in a while. Thanks for a wonderfully humorous, relatable post. I can just see the look on the other mom's face... hillarious. Congrats on the 20/20!

IzzyMom said...

I uncorrected vision is HORRIBLE and about 20/40 with glasses/contacts. Congrats on hitting the 20/20 mark!!!