17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why I am a Moron...Part 1

Part 1...because there are oh so many moronic parts to my life :)

So...I'm terrible about taking care of my health issues. Those who know me well know this about me. Good at taking care of the kids, bad at taking care of myself. This episode involves me being a moron about my vision health.

I have bad vision and have since high school. However, the last time I had an eye exam was about 7 years ago. 7 year old prescription for contacts. 7 years ago my vision was 20/80. Oh, and my glasses are from my junior year of college; I will be 33 next month. I can never see anything (ask my girlfriends, they will attest to this). But I hate going to the eye doctor and so...I continue meandering through life slightly blind.

However...my last pair of contacts died on Monday. The ones that I leave in my eyes for months at a time, day and night. Ya wonder why they died? Yeah....Left with my 12 year old glasses (which are complete crap but allow me to at least see colors and vestiges of outlines) I decided, "I MUST GO TO THE EYE DOCTOR". I have been self prescribing my own contacts on 1-800-Contacts now for about 5 years; whenever stuff started to get blurry, I'd "reconfigure" my prescription a bit. No, I am not an eye doctor. Just a moron. This is why Carrie gave me a hard time when I complained of a headache after trying out a "new" prescription last summer.

Anyhoo...I showed up at Lenscrafters today, figured out my insurance, sweet talked them into letting me have an appointment RIGHT now (they could already tell I was a little on edge - not being able to see does that to a person), and went back to the exam room.

The technician took my crap glasses so now all I could see was different shades of fuzz and handed me a board with what she said contained drawings of 8 diamonds. She instructed me to tell her which parts of the diamonds were raised 3-D.

After looking at it for about a minute I handed it back and said,"Is this a trick question? I think it is...". "No, m'am", she said. "Try again". So I looked and looked - couldn't even tell these things were diamonds, handed it back and told her I couldn't see a thing. Then I laughed and asked again, was that a trick question, seriously? "No, m'am. ALL of the diamonds had 3-D raised dots". Failed that one.

Next machine - she wanted me to "look into the light" and press a button when I saw the wavy lines. "OK, go" she said. I sat there, waiting for the lines. "M'am, you can start now". "Oh", I said. "What am I looking for?" By now she probably thought I was mentally handicapped or high or maybe both. "The black and white lines m'am? The ones that are moving?" She had such hope in her voice when she said it. Yep. Still nothin'. "M'am PRESS THE BUTTON IF YOU SEE ANY MOVEMENT AT ALL". Uhhhh...I think I saw three little flashes...maybe. Failed that one too.

I also failed 2 more tests, the basic ones where you read the lines of letters and numbers, yada yada yada. Couldn't see jack.

So then the dr. came in and after I went through my whole spiel about how I refuse to do glaucoma testing because I hate the air puff in your eye thing AND the dilating thing (he was pretty concerned that I was refusing stuff but he should have just been proud of me for even sitting there, looking around at all the fuzzy haze), he asked me what brand of contacts I had been using. I fished out my last poor container of one lonely contact and handed it to him. He looked at it and asked how often I wore these things and how long I would leave them in my eyes. I told him he didn't want to know...but he assured me that he DID so I told him, oh, months at a time.

"M'am...these aren't even FDA approved for this prescription and the way you have been wearing them! Where did you get these things?" Uhhhh...I don't want to talk about it...He made some notes and looked really concerned...I'd have loved to have read those notes he made but you know, I wouldn't have been able to see them.

So we did a bunch of other vision related things, lots of different lenses and "does 1 look better or 2?" WOW! They ALL look great! This is already a HUGE improvement over my own personal prescriptions! Sign me up! WOW, I can see the second line from the top! Now the third! Oooooo, maybe even the fourth?

We finished, he made more notes and told me to never use those contacts again and to please only use what he was going to give me. I laughed, agreed and asked him how bad my vision was. "M'am...you're a big E". "Huh?" I asked. "Well, that means all you can see if the big E on the chart. Your vision is 20/400 and that's without taking the two astigmatisms into account. "I have TWO astigmatisms?!? WOW, no wonder my prescriptions haven't been working!"

I walked up to the front counter to pay my bill, brand new contacts affixed to my happy eyeballs...and my flip flop broke. So as I was paying my bill, I was also stapling and taping my flip flops back together. I must have been QUITE the site.

But hey, I could SEE my flip flops!


  • I was just like you. I had a "loaner" contact that didn't fit well, (they told me it didn't fit well) and I wasn't to wear it for more than the weekend until my new prescription came in on Monday. Well, I lost one of the new ones, dug out the loaner, and wore it for years.

    It was that ill fitting contact that caused the astigmatism in my left eye, and my left eye will now always be worse. I was always so porud of my no astigmatism. I learned the hard way.

    So, glad you got new eyes, wear what the doc says, and good luck to you! My vision is way worse, btw.

    Get lasik if you can. It's prefect for us slackers in the eye exam department.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 4/09/2008 04:23:00 PM  

  • 1. The eye doctor is like the easiest doctor to visit, so you should really start doing it every year! Way better than a pap!

    2. The notes he wrote: Hermana has muy bonita breasts. (that's an inside joke, sorry, had to)

    3. When I was a poor college student I tried to extend those 2-week ones for 2 months to save money, and as a result I got some nasty stuff growing inside my eyelids....yikes.

    4. I do cheat a little and buy one more round on 1-800-contacts right before the prescription expires.

    5. Your eyes could have changed a lot from pregnancy....so I am glad you went in!!!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/09/2008 04:23:00 PM  

  • My Mom has 20/400 vision. I don't know if it's always been that bad, but when she went to get her driver's license (back when it was her first license ever), the lady nicely told her not to try to drive without her glasses.

    To which Mom replied "I can't FIND THE CAR without them!"
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 4/09/2008 04:47:00 PM  

  • hilarious! the eye doctors always scare me into coming back (my vision is also HORRIBLE!!!), even though my natural tendency is to skip out on that appt. But I want to know how you faked your own prescriptions on 1800 contacts. I've sort-of tried that but don't they always call up your eye dr to confirm the prescription?
    posted by Blogger Jen at 4/10/2008 05:54:00 AM  

  • Kage, I would seriously rather have a pap smear than go to the eye doctor. I have a bizarre squeamishness about my eyes that I can't fully explain...

    And yes, that's totally what the doctor wrote in his notes - my amazing breasts are always a topic of conversation with medical personnel :)

    The Wiz, I think that I gained those astigmatisms because of ill fitting contacts too. Big bummer...
    posted by Blogger Chloe at 4/10/2008 08:18:00 AM  

  • Oh my GOSH!! I'm dying over this story!! All I know is when I realized I needed glasses in highschool my vision changed from--slightly blurry chemistry notes on the overhead projector to--WOW! It's a miracle! I LOVE being able to see details!

    I can't imagine how the much LARGER change feels to you! Congrats on your new lease on life.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 4/10/2008 12:39:00 PM  

  • Jen, I don't know how she got away with it for 7 years, but I know sometimes they'll give you a free pass if they can't get a hold of your eye doctor. Sometimes (yes, I have been busted on that).

    Sadly, I am an eye moron as well. We're financially comfortable enough for me to afford new contacts at regular intervals, but the poor person in me just can't justify it! I will stretch those extended wear contacts as long as I possibly can! I once got what the eye doctor called a "divet in the cornea" and repented for a couple months, but in 15+ years of bad contact wearing, that's the ONLY time I've ever had a problem. So now I'm back to dragging them out for months.

    I actually like the eye doctor; like Kage said, they're the best kind to have to go to. My problem is I'm just cheap. ;-)
    posted by Blogger RCH at 4/10/2008 02:10:00 PM  

  • First off, I read the title as why I am a MORMON...Part 1. Oops.

    Secondly, have you heard of the comedian Brian Regan? He does a funny bit on going to the eye doc - part of it is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QZpAoUC_fg
    If you can listen to his whole routine on it somehow, it's pretty funny.

    Glad you are able to see now!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 4/10/2008 03:38:00 PM  

  • Okay, you are too funny!! I am one of those that puts off all health care issues for myself except for my eyes. I go get my exam every year (and yes, I did think that 1800contacts wouldn't fill your order unless the prescription was valid and up-to-date).
    I mean, they are my eyes and I kind of need them really bad - you know to see and stuff. Don't really want to mess with them too much (I am already pretty much blind without contacts and scared to death of getting lasik).
    I'm glad you got your vision fixed. Now keep up with the exams!!!
    posted by Blogger Elise at 4/10/2008 03:48:00 PM  

  • Based solely on my experience with 1-800-Contacts, I think that they keep your prescription on file but don't check it when you place re-orders. Or maybe they just spot check once in awhile? Because I've had an invalid doctor AND prescription on their site for 5 years - no problems.

    And Elise, I too am terrified of Lasik. Sam got it done and it changed his life. I think I'd rather give birth instead :)
    posted by Blogger Chloe at 4/10/2008 03:58:00 PM  

  • Oh you gave me a good laugh.

    Then I remembered that for the last week my eyeballs have been bright red. Ummm.....maybe I should do something about that.
    posted by Anonymous jendoop at 4/10/2008 04:51:00 PM  

  • RCH - your dh is a doctor... can't he write you up a prescription for your glasses too...it's all the same, right? ;-)
    posted by Blogger Jen at 4/10/2008 05:36:00 PM  

  • No, seriously, Lasik is a miracle. A MIRACLE. If you can afford it, it will change your life. You know, in a good way.

    Just DO NOT watch the video of it the day you get home. You'd think most people would know that, and yet, I watched. It wasn't the best idea I've ever had. But the surgery? GREAT.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 4/10/2008 09:44:00 PM  

  • I know EXACTLY what you mean about going to the eye doctor. I always hated it. Always felt like a failure because I couldn't see what they wanted me to see. Then having to choose 1 or 2, when they both look the same...terrible! I am so glad I got lasik and I can see now. I am a happy person. I understand how you feel right now.
    posted by Blogger shaina at 4/11/2008 06:08:00 AM  

  • Seriously, there is a reason these people go to school to become eye doctors. Glad you can finally see again!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/11/2008 07:31:00 AM  

  • I feel so at home knowing that I'm not the only moron who wears their contacts day and night. You'd think it was a sin punishable by death the way the eye doctor huffs when I mention it.

    Glad you can see. Although have you noticed that people's hair doesn't look so soft anymore?
    posted by Blogger Blah Blah Blogger at 4/12/2008 09:52:00 PM  

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