Monday, December 14, 2009

The Eye Appointment

“I don’t get why you’re putting on makeup for an eye appointment,” Tom said, making a face.

“Because the eye doctor is usually inches away from your face when he’s examining your eyes. I don’t want him to think, ‘Ew, clogged pores!’” I explained simply as I swiped on some blush.

Yes. I had an eye appointment. I was past due. The last time I went it was 2007 and the world barely paid attention to the Gosselin family. It was a beautiful time, really.

Anyhow, when I got to the eye clinic I was called back to do some eye tests. The one I dread the most is when a puff of air goes into your eye. I was so busy dreading this that whenever the woman told me to move to my left, I went to my right.

“Your other left!” she’d giggle.

I wanted to say, “Lady, I know right from left, I’m just nervous because of the puff of air.”

When it came time for the dreaded puff test, she said, “Here comes everyone’s favorite part!” and brought out this white handheld thing. I think she was joking. I hope she was joking. She was joking, right?

“Now, I’ll come to you….no, please don’t lean back, you must stay still. Please stop leaning back!” She still sounded cheerful but her voice had a strain to it. It was the same tone I use with Tom when he humps me from behind the second I bend over. (“Tom, please don’t do that. You’re 27. It’s no longer cute. All I’m trying to do is unload the dishwasher. There is nothing sexy about this.”)

I hadn’t realized I was leaning back by the way. But, you see, that machine thing was kind of scary looking. It was white with this tip thing that sort of reminded me of a pistol barrel. I knew it was going to put a puff of air into my eye. So I was instinctively moving back. (Ahhh, scary machine! Ahhh, puff of air!)

“Sorry,” I said, forcing myself to hold still as she came at me.

“Now, look at the line inside,” she said. She actually wanted me to put my eye against the pistol barrel.

Puff of air, when is the puff of air going to happen, I don’t LIKE the puff of air...

“You’re moving away from me again.”

I was? Oh.

“Sorry,” I said and gripped the sides of the chair. I can do this. It’s just a little puff of air. I gave birth twice for craps sake. I can deal with a tiny puff in the—

“AHHHH!” I said as the puff of air went into my eye.

I made the woman jump too.

“Are you okay?” she said, putting a hand to her heart.

“Yes. I’m sorry. Are you okay?” I felt obliged to ask. She looked freaked.

“I’m great,” she said, but she didn’t sound convincing.

Okay, I can’t yelp this time, I nearly gave the poor woman a heart attack, it’s just a puff of air, just a tiny one, calm down, it’ll be okay, it’ll be--


Yeah. Second puff of air.

The woman giggled nervously. “You’re a jumpy one,” she observed.

Yeah. I am.

“Sorry,” I said for the millionth time. I was tempted to offer her something from my purse. A mint? A chocolate? A coupon for twenty five cents off juice? But then I was whisked into another room.

I was given other eye tests. (Yay, I’m not color blind!)

Then the actual doctor came in and did the famous, “Which is clearer for you? One or two? Three or four?” test.

I always feel like I’m in French class and the teacher has just called on me and I have no idea what the answer is. Because sometimes I’m really not sure which is better. One? Or wait, maybe it was two, can you go back to one? I think three is better but…wait, four looks clearer so four.

Then I got the giggles because I remembered an episode of Family Guy where Jafar from Aladdin needed glasses.

When the doctor held up a light in front of my eyes, he asked where we lived.

It’s a little strange to speak when someone’s face is right next to yours, I must say. Then I kept wondering if my breath smelled. I should have asked if I could pop a Tic Tac in my mouth before he started.

“It looks like your retina is stretched,” the doctor said casually.

What does that mean?

“Am I going to go blind?” I shrieked. I mean, it didn’t sound good. A stretched retina? You don’t just calmly tell someone that their retina is stretched. Using the words ‘retina’ and ‘stretched’ in the same sentence is going to cause panic. Did he forget his bedside manner that he learned in medical school? Well, ophthalmology school I guess. And technically I wasn’t in a bed, I was in a chair but still…don’t they have chair side manner classes for the eye students?

“You’ll be fine. We’ll keep an eye on it. It’s just like that because of your high prescription.” The doctor was still acting like this was no big deal. He scribbled something down in my chart like it was an everyday thing.

Hi, I’m Amber and I have a stretched retina. How about you?

My eyesight sucks though. I guess I’m not surprised that my retina is enlarged. When you’re eyesight is something like -7.00/-7.00 nothing is surprising. I mean, I’m no longer in the positive numbers anymore. I’m in the negatives. That can’t be good. What am I going to be when I’m old? -1000/-1000? I wonder if I can convince people who do Lasik surgery to give it to me for free. To Lasik doctors: I’ll write about my experience in my blog and make you sound amazing.

After hearing the shocking news of my enlarged retina, I had to have pictures taken of my eye. I opted for that instead of dilatation. I cannot stand drops in my eye which means I’ll most likely freak out a little bit during the Lasik surgery. But in that case I’ll remind myself that my eyesight will be in the POSTIVES and not in the negatives so I’ll relax. Or try to. I’ll probably just think about John Krasinski knocking on my door and asking me if I want to hang out. Wait, why am I even talking about the Lasik surgery as though I’m going to have it? In order to have it, I have to fork over 3500 dollars. Where am I going to get 3500 dollars? Maybe John Krasinski can loan me 3500 dollars and in return I can do his dry cleaning. Well, not me personally, I’d just take it to the dry cleaners. And I’d totally pay for it myself. Then I’d bring it back to him because surely he has better things to do than pick up his dry cleaning?

Anyhow, the doctor checked out my eye pictures and showed me what he was talking about with my retina.

I think the technical term was myopic degeneration? I’m not sure, I don’t speak eye. Isn’t that a scary word though? Degeneration?

“So I’m not going blind?” I said nervously. If I were going blind, I’d want to know now so I can appreciate things. Like instead of yelling at antelope when they stand stupidly in front of my car, I can be all, “What beautiful creatures!” When Tom leaves his socks on the floor I could be all, “Aww, I’ll probably miss these when I can no longer see!” Actually, it’s good that I’m not going blind, I imagine I’d get on everyone’s nerves. They’d be all, “Amber, yes, the roads do look sparkly after it rains but no one else CARES!”

“You’re not going blind,” the doctor assured me, chuckling. “In fact, you eye looks really healthy right now.”


Then I was done. I decided I was going to get new glasses, because the ones I have now aren’t flattering. Plus they’ve been stretched, thanks to my daughter, so they sort of hang down my nose. I imagine I look like an old schoolmarm.

The doctor showed me the Optical shop. How’s that for service? I could have found it myself but he insisted.

“So here we are,” he said, sweeping his hand around the room. A bunch of glasses were set up in different display cases. “Our glasses range in prices from sixteen hundred dollars to one hundred.”

I nearly fell over.

Did he just say SIXTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS for a pair of glasses?

“Sixteen hundred dollars?” I breathed out. “What, are they made out of gold?” I was totally joking but the doctor stroked his chin as though he were thinking about.

“Hmm, actually...perhaps one pair is...” he mumbled.

Oh. Well. Who wants to walk around wearing glasses with gold in them? I’d be worried someone would swipe them off my face and be all, “Yay, gold! It’s gone up in price!”

“So, Claudia here will help you find something. I have another patient. You have a wonderful day,” the doctor said before walking off.

“Thank you,” I said to his back. Thanks for telling me about my enlarged retina. It was a pleasure, really.

Claudia was this stick thin woman with piercing blue eyes. It’s not fair. Why can’t I have piercing blue eyes? I love blue eyes. Maybe they were contacts. They looked almost too blue.

“Um? Are you okay?” Claudia asked.

I hadn’t realized I was peering intently at her. Oops.

Then I started to try a bunch of different glasses on. It took forever.

I’ll write more about that when I finally get my glasses in.

Because yes, I finally settled on a pair.

They should be ready in about two weeks.

Hopefully I can get Tom to take flattering pictures of me in them. Usually when he snaps pictures of me I look like I have a double chin and a huge nose.

Or maybe that’s just how I look in general.



  1. Who buys the $1600 frames? Kanye West?

  2. If her eyes were almost too blue and she works in a eye doc's office, it's safe to assume they're fake. And that's not just me being mean because I'm jealous, either. OK, yes it is. No, it's not. Yeah, it is.

  3. I need to go in for an eye appt. If he tries to sell me $1600 glasses, I will punch him in the face!

  4. Hmmm. I need to go to the eye doctor too except I'm scared to. I haven't been since my Lasik (love, love that!) in 2002 and am afraid that they will tell me I'm leaning towards needing glasses again. I see fine but I don't want to risk it!

  5. $1600 glasses? Seriously? Wow. I guess I'm glad my vision is okay. Plus that puff test sounds miserable.

  6. That puff of air drives me crazy, feels like a laser going right through my eyeball to my brain. It's the reason I am putting off my appointment that should have been made last September. Promise, I'll get to it by next September!

  7. Can't wait to see you with the new specs!

    What would you wear with $1600 glasses? I mean - seriously? that million dollar diamond bra from Victoria's Secret?

  8. You know what else gets me? Those glasses with NO frames? Just plain lenses with a bridge of metal and the hooks for the ears? THOSE are like $500!!!! I am wondering WHY they are $500 when there are no frames for it. They're just LENSES. I wanted a pair like that until I saw the price.

    The puff of air makes no sense to me-- you're always supposed to keep your eyes moist... and that puff of air just dries it out. So it makes me wonder if the drs are damaging our eyes on purpose for business.

    Okay, I'm not bitter. Not really.

  9. I hate hate hate to wait for lenses.

  10. jut your chin out like a turtle, no double chin. its a great trick.

    i hate it when its new glasses time. i stress out because the eye doc always wants to increase my prescription and im farsighted which means my lenses magnify my eyeballs. its horrible! i always argue and say, ill be back and i wont wear them if you increase the prescription, i know those numbers, my husband used to run an eyeglass lab. so i go to the same doc all the time, because i know i can intimidate him into getting what i want. i even make him stutter. im horrible.

  11. Um, it's been close to 14-15 years since I had my eyes examined. Wow. I suck. Anyway, my son wears glasses and we just got him new ones. They were $250 give or take. Jon gets new ones every 2-3 years. Jesse had her eyes checked and she is good for a while. I may need to make an appointment. Thanks for the reminder. :S What I'm trying to say is I cannot comment on your experience since I have no idea what they do at eye appointments unless you are under 5 years old.

  12. I hate that puff of air test too but the anticipation I think is worse. Last time the lady doing it took forever before firing it and of course she told me not to blink. Well, when you think of not blinking for 10 seconds or more, guess what, it's hard not to!

  13. You are a riot and a delight and I love reading your blog. You always make me laugh.

  14. I loved reading this post - it really made me laugh. Especially the 'puff of air' bit!!

  15. Your post is exactly why I have never been to the eye doctor! I hate things anywhere near my eye and I couldn't even imagine someone blowing air into my little eyeball; I think I'd rather go blind that allow that to happen to me!

  16. I hate the puff of air too...I blink like crazy and then they have to redo it...but I cant make myself stop blinking when I know its coming!

  17. This was so reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who freaks out about the puff! Last time I went they told me they don't do the puff anymore. They used some kind of weird yellow dye and then peered at me from within kissing range.

  18. I've only been to the eye doctor once and I don't remember a puff of air...but your description of it is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh today!

    I look forward to your picture with your new glasses!

  19. OMG . . . My eyes were closing and watering just reading about the damn glaucoma test! Argh! YUCK! I hate that stupid test.

  20. Was checking out other "winners" from In the Trenches and your post cracked me up!

    I'm -8.0/-7.5 and I have this fear my kids will figure that out one day and hide all my contacts and glasses and torture me for all the times I told them they couldn't have any more candy as a child.

  21. I have never had an eye exam. But I can't wait to see your new glasses.

  22. You crack me up!! The puff of air scares everyone I think.

  23. This makes me think of a Friends episode where Rachel is terrified of the eye doctor.

    Please enjoy:

  24. Oh, Amber, what you could have done with the story of my husband's eye-doctor visit last Friday! For some reason, he goes to a hoity-toity optical boutique in a shopping center that should have signs on the door For The Rich Only. Plus we had to drive 90 minutes in rush hour traffic. He got the exam, and hoped that I had picked out the perfect frames while waiting. Except they only carry trendy Euro-style things favored by trendy young artists and advertising and fashion industry people. He'll be getting his frames at Lens Crafters. But really, you could have told it so much better than I!

  25. I love going to the eye doctor...Im a freak. I hate going to all other docs, but for some reason I love the eye exam.

    Im glad your not going blind.

  26. I love going to the eye doctor...Im a freak. I hate going to all other docs, but for some reason I love the eye exam.

    Im glad your not going blind.

  27. I can so relate to this post, I am badly in need of an eye exam and new glasses, and I have to admit I'm not a fan of the "air puff" either! (Nor the humping part either)!!

  28. And how do you do at the dentist?

    My daughter has a -8 or 9 I can never remember.

    Cant wait to see the new you. :)

  29. I hate going to the eye doctor too. I am very indecisive. Which is better - 1 or 2? 3 or 4? I don't know! And I hate picking out frames. I usually end up asking everyone who works there for their opinion. I lucked out this last time because I've gotten a lot of compliments on these frames.

    $1600 for frames? They must have the bullet proof lenses. I laughed when I heard that in sunglasses. As if you'd be so lucky to have a bullet hit you in that small space of the lens. Whew! THank GOd it was bullet proof! LOL!

  30. I hate having eye exams too especially the puff. $1600 glasses wow.

  31. I swear you just crack me up! All i can think about is how you said your husband came up behind you while you were putting the dishes in the dish washer... I swear all men are like that lmbo My fiance does that every chance he gets!

    I so would never spend 1600 on glasses thats all kind of crazy right there! I am supposed to wear glasses but can't stand them on my nose! I Haven't had the puff test done either so thanks for letting me know what i got to look forward to one day !!!

  32. You totally need a sponsor to give you free Lasik! I can't believe how expensive glasses have gotten!

  33. Wow! Dennis hates me because I have better then perfect vision - ha ha ha ha... ahh.. hummm... probably shouldn't have mentioned that.

    So... I know that I haven't seen a single award on your blog that you've been given, however... I thought that I wanted to give you this one anyway!

    Just to show you how much you are loved :D

  34. I read this post while wearing my once attractive and now horribly not so much attractive five year old reading glasses. Yep. That was the last time I had an eye exam. I think it's time I rectify that, but I'm like you. That puff of air freaks me the heck out and I haven't talked myself into enduring it again yet!

    Also, I'm afraid to tell you that the humping thing pretty much never ends. Just once I'd like to lean over the counter and eat my morning toast while browsing through the day's headlines in peace...

  35. Oh my gosh, you are a trip!

    I hate that puff test! Hate Hate Hate!

    Wow, -700? Dang girl, I thought I was bad at -500....

  36. I can totally relate. I hate that puff in the eye too, and the test where they keep switching back and forth between A&B is maddening. I really enjoyed your writing and am so glad I came by. Annissa Rae at A Page in My Book gave you an award that I created, and I'm excited about having the opportunity to meet new talented bloggers by visiting everyone who gets the award. Congrats. She had so many glowing things to say about you! I look forward to poking around and enjoying my stay here at your blog.

  37. Oh my goodness! I totally shuddered during your whole post! I hate, H.A.T.E, the eye doctor...the puff of air...being blind afterward and never knowing which the right answer is 1,3,4, or was it 2? Ha ha ha. Thanks for brightening my night :) I hope you have a good Tuesday!
    xo, KA

  38. You feel the same way about the eye doctor that I do about the dentist. I would honestly rather give birth again than to have my teeth cleaned. Hate it! I've got no issues with the eye Dr, but do think that I am giving the wrong answer most of the time!!!

  39. I hate going to the eye dr. I always get dilated and naseous.

  40. PUFF OF AIR is my archnenemy. Screw cataracts, no puff of freaking air!!! Is anyone not "a jumpy one" at this?

  41. The price of glasses is ridiculous. Although I don't actually know what sixteen hundred dollars is in pounds but it sounds a lot! I think I paid about £400 for mine a couple of years ago and I need more now. I can't bear to part with the money! xx

  42. that puff of air...I still have to do that even with Lasik. UGH.

    But stretched have me beat there.

  43. I have always ALWAYS hated the air puff machine.

    I'm not a fan of the eye doctor either. My last visit I was told I have enlarged optic nerves but not to worry. Yeah, thanks doc.

  44. I HATE the puff of air, too.

    PS Do I have typos? I can't see my typoing. I'ts weird.

  45. OH MY GOODNESS. I have no idea how you found me the other day and left me a comment...but I am SO glad you did. THat was so funny!!!! THank you!!!

  46. $1600 frames? Ouch. And thanks for that memory of the eye puff. My eyes spazzed just reading about it.

  47. as a nurse I have to say you jumpy people drive me crazy. I always warn people before I do something and I've had them scream so loud and jump so high that I've jumped. Chill woman. $1600 wow, that's a lot of money for glasses. Do they come with a cruise?

  48. I havent been to the eye doc in 10+ years....I hate it that much!! But I need to go - seeing things is becoming an issue. :(

    Wanna go with me???

    Hallie :)

  49. i HATE HATE that puff of air too.. did you ever see that episode of friends when rachel had to go to the eye doc... it was HI-LAR-IOUS!!!!

  50. Who speaks eye except for creepy gold carrying opthamologists?

    You are FUNNY!

    popped in from SITS!


  51. Hee-Hee Amber, don't hate me beccauses I hae perfect vision and have never been to the eye doctor.

    You make it sound so appealing, perhaps I should work on stretching out my retinas more ;)

    So funny~

  52. Eww the air puff machine! I hate it too. I've had glasses since I was 7 or so and gosh, those eye appointments every year bug me!

  53. I HAVE to go in every year. Not by choice mind you. It's just that when you become deaf, your eyes are doing double time and they like to keep an 'eye' on you. I hate anything close to my eyes. This year I opted for bifocal contact lenses. I won't ever go that route again. They don't exactly work and I get a headache. I'll do regular lenses and reading glasses in the future.

    $1600? Seriously? I can think of a lot of things I would prefer to spend that kind of dough on than glasses. (Hugs)Indigo

  54. The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing.. The Yaldo Eye Center


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