Eye See You
October 23, 2012 by almostakiss
After barely passing my eye exam at the DMV before my birthday, I knew I needed new glasses. I had scheduled Mom and I for eye exams last Thursday (Oct. 18th) at 11 am. We’ve been going to Lens Crafters for over 20 years. Not out of loyalty as much as they have our records from all that time. Back when we lived in Wisconsin, I tried to go with Stein Optical and had such a bad experience I decided to stick with the devil I knew (Lens Crafters). Back then I was getting off work at 6 am and driving home 30 min. when all of a sudden FOR NO REASON, my left lens popped out of my glasses! As I was driving, I happened to catch it in my hand as it fell. As blind as I am, I had to hold the lens up to my eye as I drove one handed. It made my blood boil. I think I’d only had the glasses like a week or so. Later on, I had to get up early to go get it taken care of. The girl who “helped” me was so unhelpful. She didn’t believe me, that the lens could just fall out on its own. She kept asking me insulting things like “Are you sure you didn’t sleep in them?”. Uh, yeah, I’m sure!!! Way to lose the company business.
When I made the appointments 3 days before, I told them not to bother calling to remind us since it was only 3 days away and I wouldn’t forget. The woman on the phone said she made a note not to call and of course they called TWICE the day before. This used to be a big deal for me when I worked nights and slept during the day. Every time I told any business NOT to call and wake me, they said they wouldn’t and ALWAYS did. Now I ask not to be reminded but expect it anyway….
As Mom was going through her pre-exam screening with a technician, I was waiting in the room with her. Then we swapped places and went in together to see the doctor. It was from the questions the tech asked that I figured out that they didn’t have my records. Que?! They had my mom’s but not mine. They said there had been a flood last year where they stored the records and lost some of them. Even though her last name starts CU and mine BA, they were on different shelves. Sigh, so much for my reason for going there. They kept us waiting a long time even though there were no other customers. (I learned not to go in August when the kids are going back to school and everyone is in a rush to get checked.) Mom still has cataracts pretty bad and her vision was just a little worse. She hadn’t gotten new glasses for at least 4 years, possibly 6. She doesn’t want the cataract surgery and I’m not going to force her into it. If something were to happen, I’d never forgive myself!
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 11 years old. I still remember the feeling of wearing them for the first time. Everything was so sharp, in focus and crystal clear. All the time prior when things were blurry, I assumed that’s how everyone saw things. That if you were a certain distance away, you just couldn’t see clearly. The feeling doesn’t last as my vision seems to have been forever changing. A lot of people level off at some point but mine just keeps getting worse. The doctor says it’s hereditary which sucks. When I was 15, I had a paper route every morning for 7 months. I wanted to save up for a toboggan and contact lenses. In those days they said I was only a candidate for hard contact lenses. It just about killed me to get used to them. I added a half hour a day of wear until I was able to go 16 hrs. or a full day wearing them. They hurt and when I took them out, my eyes itched so badly I could have scratched my eyes out. I wore them for 5 years (the vain years 16-21) and didn’t intentionally stop using them. It was just one day at a time of liking the break of not putting them in. Then the thought of trying to get used to them again was daunting. I know I couldn’t stand them now. I am very squeamish about my eyes and don’t even like touching them to get an eyelash out.
You know how some people have 20/70 vision or even 20/200? I have 20/2400. I’m lucky they haven’t issued me a white cane. It’s kind of depressing. I was told I could do Lasiks surgery but would need glasses for driving at night and also for reading. They usually do one eyeball for close vision and one for distance. That would just make me loopy. I’m just a chicken and don’t want my eyes sliced into. Even if only 1% of people have problems, my luck I’d be part of the 1%. I don’t have anyone to rely on to help me if I were to lose my vision completely. Hubby came with and helped Mom and I pick out frames. She had hers picked already when I got out from talking with the doctor. 2 years ago when I last got glasses, I had Greg take pictures of me in different frames so I could choose between them. Yes, I’m THAT blind that I can’t see how I look with them on. This time Lens Crafters had it set up with a computer with a camera on it so they could compare 4 different photos of me in different frames at one time. It worked pretty swell considering all the problems.
I’ve always said it’s crazy that a big place like Lens Crafters only has ONE set of each glasses frame and it’s out on the shelves for every idiot and his brother to try on and mishandle?! That should be the “demo” pair and once picked, they’d go in the back and retrieve a pristine NEW pair that no one else has worn (some of the shelf models are even returns!). They told me they don’t have room to keep any extra in stock. I can understand this but what if someone comes in and buys the pair that would look the best on you just hours before you get there?! You’re just out of luck. I’ve seen different systems come and go where they mark the lenses on the plain glass frames where your pupils are while you’re wearing them. They also used to measure how wide your face was and only let you pick frames that had certain numbers on them referencing the width of the frames.
Currently, you can pick whatever you want. EXCEPT WHAT YOU WANT. Confusing? Indeed. I am both picky and not picky, depending on how you look at it. I’m PICKY because 1) I wear them every waking second and I want to look cool in them & b) They cost a freaking fortune!! Even with a 50% off lenses coupon, mine were over $400. I’m NOT picky because 1) I don’t like being a difficult customer. I hate “bothering” anyone & b) I’m not that vain!! I LOVED 4 different frames, they were in different colors or had fancy “arms” like with a jeweled flower pattern, etc. They weren’t my dream glasses, I didn’t put them on and suddenly I loved myself or was transformed into a Goddess. But they were what I was looking for. You know where this story is going, don’t you? Unfortunately, NONE were acceptable due to the size of the lens surface. Since I wear BIF-ocals (pronounced thus) now, they need to be X size to transition from far, to intermediate to close up. I had him show me the difference in the size of the lenses since to my naked eye, I couldn’t see any difference. They were maybe 1/4 of an inch bigger. So I had to scrap all my picks and the guy helping kept grabbing very bland/generic looking glasses that could be men’s or just sunglass looking type (tortoiseshell) for me to try. I told him I had “a burning hatred” for them. I don’t know if he’s just not good helping people choose glasses or he just doesn’t care. I explained exactly what I wanted and ended up having to settle for a pair that was “ok”. I’m not unhappy with them but they don’t rock my world. If they weren’t a necessity, I would’ve walked away. They are metal with a purple tint. Anne Klein brand with a stupid lion on the sides. I would’ve kept my last frames which were Elizabeth Arden but the paint had worn away on the inside of the temple on one side. Is it wrong of me to want to love what I get? I hate having to settle. Buying eyeglasses is just like shopping for clothes when you’re fat. All the cutest stuff is only in junior sizes and what they make for the fatties is (generally) ugly. There are exceptions but you have to know where to go. I was almost in tears at the frustration of it all. Which makes me sound crazy. I tried on so many pairs and felt like a bitch for rejecting them. By the time we paid for our glasses and got out of the place, it was almost 2 pm. In the past due to my prescription, they had to send them out for 10 days to 2 weeks to get them made. Now they have some big fancy machine where they can manufacture the lenses in house. We were able to come back at 7 pm that night to get them. That was probably the best part of the whole thing. That the entire “ordeal” could be completed in a single day.
I envy anyone who doesn’t need glasses. That they can completely eliminate the need to go through what I went through last week. When I heard recently of people who just buy frames (but don’t need a prescription) and wear them for the looks with plain glass in them, I had to wonder, whose crazy now?!
I used to have a “friend” who loved to hear about my daily escapades. She used to delight at the trials I had in my life because it made her feel better about her own life. She would laugh and laugh at anything I had a hard time with. No, I don’t miss her. Except for the fact that I had someone who took a interest in me (for the wrong reasons). She would’ve gotten a kick out of my latest eyeglass saga. Not to mention the doctor cautioning me that I already have the start of cataracts. She said it was very slight and would probably take 30-40 years to affect me. She also told me to avoid getting hit in the eye as that would speed the cataracts along. Good call. I’ll make sure I cut back on that since getting hit in the eye is my very favorite. (insert sarcastic tone here) Then she proceeded to warn me that due to my extreme nearsightedness, I’m more prone to getting a detached retina. (cue visual of horror movie eyeball dangling out of socket) If people knew how worried I get, I wonder if they’d say these things to me?!
On that note, good to SEE you back at my blog! We’ve covered the eyes, I bet you can’t wait to hear about my teeth next. I’d love to hear any comments about your vision or anything glasses or eye related that you’ve dealt with.