As I continue on my journey to hit up all the appropriate doctors on my mission to feel healthy and on top of my life, I went to the eye doctor yesterday to have an exam. It’s probably been about three years since my last eye exam (I know, bad), and I could feel that my eyes have been straining lately.
Let me set the record straight here and say that I got my first pair of glasses when I was in second grade. They had thick, round purple frames, with green on the sides. In 8th grade, I started wearing contacts. Every time I’ve gone to the eye doctor, my prescription indicates my eyes are worsening – despite multiple doctors saying “At some point this will level off”, and “you’re nowhere near being legally blind” – both statements completely untrue.
So, I went to the doctor yesterday knowing I needed a stronger prescription. I opted to get a prescription for both contacts and glasses, knowing I’d buy my glasses online (I love EyeBuyDirect).
The exam began, with the prescription exam, the eye puff, and some pictures of my eye. When I saw the doctor, she made a comment about how my prescription was “low”. Uhh, no? She then proceeded to ask me to read the letters on the wall, which I could generally see just fine.
Because I still had my contacts in! No one had asked me to remove them. “Why do you wear contacts?” she asked, implying my eyesight was near-perfect. Yeah, I said, because my contacts are still in.
Sooooo I had to do the entire exam again after taking out my contacts. Then she realized just how bad my eyes were, and I even felt like she was getting frustrated with just how poor my eyesight was. “You’re getting really high up there,” she said, as she was going through the switches – 1 or 2? 2 or 3?
But I can’t help it – it’s important I get the right prescription, obviously. Once we got the prescription nailed down, she took a look at the pictures of my eye and concluded I needed them dilated due to the nature of my high prescription.
Honestly, I’ve never had my eyes dilated, so I was asking a lot of questions about the procedure, and trying to decide whether or not I could/should drive after because I needed to get back to work. She said it would be fine, so I agreed (after all, my motto for 2017 is to “just do it”).
After she put the drops in, she instructed me to walk into the lobby to sit and wait for my eyes to fully dilate. What may be difficult to understand here is just how poor my eyesight is. Without my glasses or contacts, I can’t see much at all.
So, asking me to walk anywhere without said eyewear + dilation drops is an issue. But I hobbled in and felt my way to a chair. I was sitting there, quietly, probably staring off into space, when a woman at the front desk was all, “Ma’am, ma’am??”
“Are you talking to me?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I cannot see you.”
…Like are you serious? I could barely see my own body, let alone another person standing 25 feet away.
“Oh, are you dilating?” she asked.
I nodded. Luckily it wasn’t long before I was called back into the doctor’s office for the last part of the exam. She concluded my eyes were okay – although at high-risk for retinal detachment (common for people with high prescriptions).
Naturally, they didn’t have my contacts in stock, so I have to wait for them to come in and have them fitted, which hopefully will be in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to order a new pair of glasses – I’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, and am hoping to get these:
…And in just a few weeks I’ll be seeing clearly… that is, until my next eye exam!
Sorry that it’s blurry… I even tried to retake it a few times, but could never get a decent one, which makes me wonder if I have a serious health issue that is in-turn ruining my selfies.
Anyway, yesh, I got new glasses! Okay, so I also got new contacts… and sure, I realize this is not life-changing information, but let me just explain.
I got my first pair of glasses in second grade, when it was completely uncool to wear glasses. Despite being terrified that my classmates might call me “Four eyes,” I got a pair of round, plastic frames that were purple on the front and green on the sides.
I don’t recall anyone making fun of me, but I was really excited to get my first pair of contacts in the 8th grade. I could actually see during pool parties!
As the years went on, my eyes worsened. Sure, both of my parents wore glasses, so weak eyes were inevitable. But mine were starting to get really bad — I had higher prescriptions than my parents’ combined.
In high school, I asked my eye doctor if I was ever going to be legally blind at the rate I was going. She acted like I was crazy.
“No way,” she said. “Eventually your eye prescription will level off.”
But four years ago, I went to the doctor, and not only was I informed that I had astigmatism in both eyes, but I also needed a higher prescription (-8 in my left eye) — not more than two clicks away from being blind.
I had to get a special order of contacts for people with astigmatism (a mere $80 per box), and a new pair of glasses. Without my insurance, my total was more than $800 — nearly enough to get Lasik.
After that, I hadn’t been back to the doctor in yet another four years. I was scared — scared about how much it would cost, scared they would tell me I was blind, scared I would have some sort of eye disease. So, I avoided it until I was having trouble seeing… I even had to increase the fonts on my computer.
So I went, and got an exam, had the mapping done (where they take photos of the backs of your eyes)… and my eyes are healthy. No diseases, no trouble spots, there was no word of astigmatism, and my prescription is now a -6 and -5.5 …not blind.
Sure, it ain’t great, but I faced a fear and the outcome was really good! So, I got some new contacts, and these awesome glasses (only $40, with prescription lenses, on Eye Buy Direct)!
I’m starting to see (literally) just how good things can be when you get a little bravery inside.