So I just changed eye doctors yesterday. I had a perfectly capable one but my husband is a trustee at this famous eye hospital and it finally dawned on me that I should be going there for my care.
Plus my night vision really sucks lately.
The eye doctor who used to treat me was honest with me always. She said there was a tiny ‘fog’ of cataract in one eye, which we would watch. Each time I came to see her she noted my mother’s glaucoma history and told me I had ‘drusen’ in my eye, which always made me feel like laughing. “Your drusen keeps on Snoozin'” I would think every time she said it.
And you know I liked her well enough – even though in these last years she seemed to imply that I was some ancient thing. For example when I said I was on no medications save for a tiny dose of Levoxyl she looked at me the way they do when they think you’re lying about how many drinks you have in a day.
Then she said the time was coming when I probably couldn’t wear contacts anymore.
“God forbid!” I cried. “Why do you say that?”
“Because older people have trouble seeing their eyes and getting that little tiny lens in there. Plus, well you know, with the wrinkles and all….”
Still, she was a warm person. And as soon as I sat down in front of this new eye doc I to begin missing her sharply.
He kept interrupting me as I told him what the other doctor said.
“A cataract?!” he thundered. “People shouldn’t throw around the word ‘cataract’! I would not call when you have a cataract and you certainly don’t need a surgical procedure!”
I mentioned the contacts issue too and how sad it would be if I could no longer wear contacts.
“Why on earth would you be unable to keep wearing contacts,” he barked. “Unless your hands become crippled with arthritis?”
He said in so many words that glaucoma isn’t inherited so I could just chill the hell out about that too.
Then he told me everybody has bad night vision, and that I should just go get the specially-lensed glasses.
I started to say “No but, see, I don’t LIKE to wear glasses”, but I knew he didn’t care to hear it. I guess I’ll wear my contacts same as always and over them, at night, I’ll wear some plain-glass glasses, made in this special glare cancelling way.
“I’ll see you in a year,” he wound up. “Call with any problems” he added and I was out the door.
So yeah, he might have been a mite grouchy but his news was good and the head technician in the place who did all the eye chart stuff couldn’t have been nicer. When she first came in the room and saw my reading through the records I had brought from my old eye doctor we had a good laugh. “It says here that I kept coming in with my contacts rolled back in my head somewhere. It says sometimes I’d come because I had two lenses in the same eye, one on top of the other.
“Hah!” she cried merrily. “Don’t feel bad. I couldn’t get a contact lens in if you stood over me with a gun.”
And thus drops the curtain on another eye exam. I went out into the day blinded by the light with my scary dilated pupils .
…but happy enough – as long as I was careful not to dwell on the fact that exactly nobody out there has any kind of decent night vision (!)