Friday, March 30, 2012

3-30-12 the one about the eye doctor

Sammi and I had eye doctor appointments yesterday afternoon. I knew, having put them off for the past two years, I was going to have to give in and have my eyes dilated, which kills the ability to work for several hours afterwards as you can't see a thing up close. It wasn't the best timing, since it's month end and the craziest week of the month and I had to work until 10:00 last night to catch up. But Sam is on Spring Break and has been getting headaches behind her right eye, and I'd rather get us both in at the same time, so away we went.

The nice thing about co-appointments is they take you back together, put you in the same room, and generally get through a bit faster toggling between the two of you doing tests and waiting for the drops to work, etc. They have these fancy super imaging machines that get great interior pictures of your eyes for early warning signs of all kinds of eye issues. Of course, it's new technology so insurance doesn't cover it, but for $39 you can pay out of pocket to see much more than the older tests. Since I kind of like to see, we sprang for the tests.

One thing they always do is the numbing agent, which makes me feel like I've got a chia pet growing on the front of my eyeballs. Or, as I call them, furry eyes. The doctor laughed and said, "No one has ever quite described it like that!" to which Sammi replied, "You really should have become a writer" Wow. No time like the middle of an eye-numbing procedure in a dimly lit room to have an existential crisis foisted upon you by your sixteen year old daughter. At least I could dab my eyes without drawing attention.

I also got to see Sammi's cataracts, which was pretty cool. When she was two weeks old, our pediatrician was doing his typical exam and stopped with the lights in her eyes and said, "Huh!" Now, she's all of 5 pounds, so I don't want to hear "huh!" It appears he's seeing cataracts right in the center of her vision and wants us to see a specialist. I spend the next two weeks wondering if my baby will go blind. And then I'm at the pediatric ophthalmologist in Temple who examines my month old and says "Huh!"  But as it turns out, it's one of those things every eye doctor she's ever seen says "huh!"  because it's just really rare. They don't grow, they don't affect her vision, they just formed there when she was forming and are good fodder for eye doctor conversation. So the doc set up the magnification viewer for me yesterday when Sam's eyes were wide open dilated and I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. It just felt right to say, "Huh!" It looks like a snowflake, crystallized and tiny in the center of a sea of black.

The other plus about a co-appointment is that you can laugh at one another while the other one is in the chair and check each others answers about whether you got every line letter right. Sam did pretty well with her right eye on the first test, but once they were dilated and the muscles couldn't overcompensate, it was much weaker at seeing things up close. While we both agreed she could totally bring the monocle back into style, they don't seem to stock a lot of cute monocles for sale.

So, in the end, she went with these, which you can't see very well, because I couldn't see very well and took a crappy picture, but they're purple with rhinestones on the sides and are about as hipster as you can get. I still want to see what a hipster monocle design would look like.

After I had the helpful lady read everything to me because I could see a thing, they let us go and we marveled that people are routinely released functionally blind to drive home. We didn't even get cardboard sunglasses! So I actually put my car sunglasses on, kept for extreme sunlight emergencies, and this definitely qualified. At one stop light we started giggling, both of us with one eye completely closed, the other just a slit. If anyone had bothered to glance over, they've have been sure we were high.

Nope, just our eyes, which makes us look like Homer Simpson licking toads.


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