Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Eye Exam

On Monday I up and went to the eye doctor. Up until about last year, I was basically an eagle when it came to sight. Then something started to happen. I turned into an old man.

I knew I had a problem because I couldn't read road signs very well anymore unless I was directly under them on the freeway. And something about squinting up at a road sign while going 45 mph on the freeway (my maximum speed--see prior paragraph where I mention that I turned into an old man) didn't seem super safe.

So finally, on Monday, I moseyed on over to the eye doctor.

Before that could happen though, I had to learn, for the 100 millionth time, what health insurance is. I submit to you that health insurance is the single most complicated facet of any person's life, no matter what else might be happening in that person's life. And before you go on screaming about how your version of health care reform would solve that problem, let me just say, unless your plan is to eliminate all health problems and the popular television program Glee (for good measure), health insurance will still be prohibitively complicated.


I currently have somewhere around 94 different cards that all serve different purposes, given to me by my health insurance company which is owned by, and itself owns, 94 other health insurance companies. Each of these cards does a completely different thing. As I understand it, depending on my health need at a particular moment, I am supposed to decipher which combination of these cards to provide. If successful, I am granted the capacity to continue to live. And I once heard that there is one combination of these cards that, if accidentally used, will cause my house to burn down and will automatically renew Glee for another five seasons. As you can imagine, every time I'm asked to provide health insurance information, I become a bit apprehensive.

For the above stated reasons, no matter how smart I think I am or how experienced in the ways of life, I, 100% of the time, feel like a 6 year old on Jeopardy whenever I am asked any questions by healthcare providers about my health insurance. I usually just pretend to be slightly distracted by more important things while handing them the stack of cards in my possession, hoping that they can figure out what my situation is without me having to answer any more questions.

So that all happened on Monday. And they seemed satisfied by the information I provided them. So I didn't question it.

Ms. Thang then took me to a dark room and performed all sorts of eye tests on me. These tests brought out the competitive side in me and I felt strongly like I needed to prove something. I think this is somehow related to my feelings of inadequacy in any sport that requires coordination. In any event, when Ms. Thang asked me to follow her ball-point pen with my eyes, I followed the hell out of that thing. That ball point pen has practically obtained a restraining order against me.

Then Dr. Highpants had me read the letters on the wall. Normally I'm pretty good at reading letters. Yes, I frequently misspell simple words. Yes, I don't understand health insurance. But I'm pretty darn good at recognizing letters. The problem this time was that I apparently CAN'T SEE. Thank heavens I'm just a boring lawyer and not a surgeon. Or somebody else who, like, helps people and stuff.

Toward the end of the exam, Dr. Highpants asked me if I was going back to work for the day as he wanted to pour acid from hell into my eye sockets to dilate my pupils. He was sure that such a procedure would put me out of commission for several hours. But, believing I had supernatural ability to resist the laws of biology, and not wanting to come back on a different day for said test, I lied. I pretended to have the day off so he would just proceed.

I know. I know. It's probably illegal to lie to a doctor. But he was just an optometrist. It's not like I lied to the airport. Plus, calm down. I didn't drive to this appointment.

And it's not like I lied to get drugs. Because, like, he probably didn't even have any.

Right? Whatever. I don't care if he did.

Then, with my pupils now dilated so wide that I looked exactly like the girl from The Exorcist, I crab walked was plopped into a seat to choose a pair of glasses from among 9 trillion available options. I tried all 9 trillion on while eyeglass man repeated on every pair, "I actually kind of like those" in the voice of Kip Dynamite.

While eyeglass man's constant flood of affirmations were great for my self-esteem, they were terrible for decision-making.

Ultimately I chose a pair that I couldn't really see anymore since the devil had taken possession of my body my pupils were dilated so much that my eyeballs actually disappeared for a time.

Then they sent me into the lone and dreary world, with nothing but a trashy pair of paper sunglasses to call my own.

I couldn't see a darn thing. Not a darn thing.

2 hours later I ended up on the Salt Flats, 75 miles west of Salt Lake City.

~It Just Gets Stranger

18 comments:

  1. I, myself, am just this side of Legally Blind, so me and the eye doctor go way back. I'm still not sure eye dilation should be legal-- you're a lawyer, maybe you should look into that? I usually try to wear the trashy paper sunglasses as a Fashion Statement-- remember, it's all about Attitude! ;-)

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  2. you are so funny! love how you described the voice of the eyeglass man helped you choose. Have you ever thought of writting a book, you know like fiction, I bet it would be amazing.

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    1. yes, write a book.
      no, not fiction.

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  3. Now imagine having that done TWICE A YEAR, and instead of just flashing their little pen light at your eye they take a picture with a flash that has all of the power of a thousand suns. They call that a fundus exam. I call it torture that I had to pay for. Because apparently I hate myself.
    I've had to do this for about ten years, and JUST LAST YEAR found out that they have a SECOND drop that undoes the dilation. You can imagine the blackout rage I felt at the time. So next time tell them you want the other drop too.

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  4. Dude, you kill me.

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  5. I was giggling like a fool while I read this. My roommates didn't think it was so funny which makes me think they may be robots. Or aliens from another planet. I am undecided as of yet. Also. I feel the same way when I go to the eye doctor. I hate not being able to read the letters. It makes me feel like an idiot.

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  6. I always sit in the chair and say "E" whenever my doc asks me to read the letters. My vision is horrible. I haven't had my eyes dilated in years, but I'm not pointing that out to my doctor any time soon. Welcome to the club for people who can't see! We bump into each other a lot..

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  7. Hilarious! You are dramatic and funny! Love it!
    Signed, Your #1 Fan, Mom. xo

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  8. I've been wearing glasses for 14 or so years, so I see the eye doctor at least annually. They actually have a procedure where they can photograph the back of your eye instead of dilating with drops. It does involve a sucky bright light, but it's much shorter-lived torment and no need for paper sunglasses afterword. But just wait until you get the god-awful puffs of air into your eye! God know what purpose that serves, unless optometrists just enjoy watching you squirm as you know it's coming soon...

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  9. I've been wearing glasses for 14 or so years, so I see the eye doctor at least annually. They actually have a procedure where they can photograph the back of your eye instead of dilating with drops. It does involve a sucky bright light, but it's much shorter-lived torment and no need for paper sunglasses afterword. But just wait until you get the god-awful puffs of air into your eye! God know what purpose that serves, unless optometrists just enjoy watching you squirm as you know it's coming soon...

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  10. Just be glad they didn't shoot your eyeballs with that air rifle thing. They say it's a "glaucoma test" but I know what it really is. Target practice.

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  11. This is one of your best posts. I did laugh out loud. Lots. Thanks for makings friday commute that much more enjoyable

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  12. This is one of your best posts. I did laugh out loud. Lots. Thanks for makings friday commute that much more enjoyable

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  13. Could not stop laughing on this one. Thanks!

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  14. I do not usually have vision problems. However, I have very recently noticed that I have an exceedingly difficult time reading letters when I'm laughing so hard that it feels like my eyeballs are going to pop out!
    (ditto on the book request. non-fiction. your truth is stranger (and much more hilarious) than fiction.)

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  15. As an optometric technician this cracks me up!

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  16. OMG! This is hilarious!

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  17. It's been a year since I stopped wearing eyeglasses. Now I feel dizzy sometimes and experience headache because of my eyes. I think I have to minimize my reading and sample essay writing time.

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