Friday, February 21, 2014

I Can See Clearly Now

I don't like making appointments for any medical reasons. I've heard this is kind of a guy thing. Maybe it's just a me thing. I don't know what motivates it. Or maybe what fails to motivate it. I don't have a primary care physician, so when I feel the need to get something checked out, I go to one of those urgent care places you find in a typical strip mall. I haven't been to a dentist in quite some time. And it's been nearly 20 years since I last had my eyes checked.

I have insurance. So it's not like I'm avoiding these places because I can't afford the visits. Actually, with my deductible, I really can't afford the visits. But if I really wanted to make and keep appointments with these medical professionals, I could do it.

A few months ago, I noticed that things in my field of vision were not as clear as they once were. At least, they weren't as clear as I thought they should have been. I noticed it one day in particular. I was driving down the road, about 25 yards behind a Camry. I could make out the Toyota emblem on the back of the car, but it was blurry. I laughed a little. My whole life I've been able to brag that I had 20/20 vision. I guess that was no longer the case.

I say I had not had my eyes checked out in nearly 20 years. But that's not entirely true. A few years back I needed to have a physical for a job. The doctor at the urgent care place (see?) had me read the lines on a standard eye chart. It was determined that my left eye was 20/20. My right eye, not so much. So I sort of had that knowledge already.

But after the fuzzy Toyota incident, I decided it was about time to visit an optometrist.

I made an appointment and I followed through. They blew air into my eyes. They dilated my pupils. And I promise, I didn't freak out. Much. I'm weird about my eyes. In real life, it doesn't matter how dry my eyes are, how much they itch or how much they hurt, the last thing I want to do is put drops in them. Knowing that I could get past those invasive things made me feel a little better about my trip to the eye doctor that day.

I looked through the different lens settings. I was told, once again, that my left eye is in good shape. My issue comes with the right eye. Apparently I have astigmatism, whatever that means. They really didn't explain it to me, just strongly suggested that get some prescription lenses. Awesome. But seeing as how the problem was really just with my right eye, I asked about the possibility of a monocle. The doctor just laughed. I was kind of being serious, though. How many people actually have a monocle? How cool would that be?

So I sat down with the in-house optician. She handed me about 8 different pairs of glasses. She gave her input and I narrowed it down to one pair that I actually liked. Now, I say I liked them, but each pair looked and felt kind of strange on my face. I'm not a glasses person. I've never been a glasses person. But when I picked a pair, the optician was very complimentary. So was the assistant that blew air into my eyes. I still thought I looked a little weird.

The next day, my glasses were ready. That was a lot sooner than I anticipated. So I went back to the office, picked them up and wore them all the way home. As I drove along, I lifted the glasses over my eyes, then brought them back down. I couldn't believe the difference they made in my vision. I had no idea that I had been struggling as much as I had. No, it's not a strong prescription, but it definitely makes a difference in how I see things.

I hate selfies.
So that's the new me. I'm not really used to having these things on my face yet. They're constantly there in the periphery. I can always see the frames. But do not expect me to ever (and I do me EVER) make the switch to contacts. The thought of touching anything directly to my eyeball gives me the willies. But the way I see it, I'm one step closer to the whole Clark Kent thing.

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