Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Look Over There (Where?)

Well, it’s been three hours and I think my eyes are beginning to focus again.

As part of my ongoing campaign to pay attention to my health again, I spent this morning at the eye doctor’s, being subjected to what would probably be considered assault if it weren’t for the fact that I was paying for it.

I’m sure they weren’t thrilled either.

I’m really not very good at eye drops, or indeed anything approaching my eyes. I have learned through painful experience that if they’re going to give me eye drops it will save everyone about half an hour of increasingly snippy conversation if they would just drop them in the corner of my eyes and let me open my eyelids on my own schedule. And don’t even get me started on the notion of wearing contact lenses. If I can’t handle liquids, what on earth makes people think I would be up for putting solid objects on my eyes?

I had a long talk involving many short words with a doctor on that theme once. He retired not long after that.

It’s been three and a half years since the last time I had my eyes checked, and I was beginning to notice certain signs that it was about time I changed that. Those of you who are in your forties know those signs. Apparently eye doctors even have a word for it: “tromboning.”

When I was younger, I’m sure this would have referred to some sort of euphemism for an act that likely would have gotten me kicked out of any officially sanctioned school function, but these days it simply means that back and forth motion middle aged people use to get reading material into focus. Eventually your focal length exceeds your wingspan, and then you have to go to the doctor.

The doctor – a pleasant young woman (when did doctors get younger than me?) – eventually told me that my eyes are in pretty good shape in all areas except the fact that they can’t really see anything anymore, and she recommended bifocals.

Add in the hair, and I could be Ben Franklin.

This news did not upset me particularly – it was about what I figured it would be, and better than I had thought on the general health issue. What bothered me was that the drops they gave me for my eyes had the effects of dilating my pupils to the point where I could teach bats how to navigate around obstacles and then numbing them to where they no longer responded to, well, anything.

And the bottom line of that? Everything blurs into a kaleidoscope of color and motion, which – while pretty – is a suboptimal way to try to get work done. Or drive.

This makes for more excitement in a day than is really called for.


Rufus Dogg said...

I hit the bifocal stage 4-5 years ago and keep those things in the case for when I need to drive longer distance. My hear-sight works fine, it is just seeing things at a distance. And hell no! on contacts.. again HELL NO!!!

I have that same aversion to people sticking things in my eyes, including that puff of air thing. I can't sign that waiver fast enough.

And young doctors? They are irritating, but the last time I had to choose a medical doctor, I specifically asked how old she was. The nurse was puzzled until I explained, "I want her to be old enough to be good, but young enough to out-live me."

The older couple in the waiting room who overheard me laughed out loud. They understood and I think secretly wished they had asked the same question :-)

David said...

I actually don't mind the air puff thing so much because it catches you unaware and is over - my eye doctor doesn't do that anymore, though. She numbs up your eyes and then taps on them with a prod of some kind.

I'd rather have the air.

This doctor would have fit your age requirements. :)