20/20 vision? don't even start.

5:57 PM

I have a morbid fear of the eye doctor.


No, I'm not joking.

I've probably been to the eye doctor somewhere between ten and twenty times.  It never gets better.  I hate it.  I hate it more than the dentist.  But (as my mother always reminds me) I've never had more mouth-related pain inflicted on me than having some teeth taken out, so that's not a terribly fair comparison.  Someday when (if) I get a root canal, I may be whistling a different tune.

For a normal check up, the (nice) doctors and assistants don't even do anything that bad.  First, they take you to a room with lots of microscope machines.  You get to entrap your face in some spoon-like plastic surfaces while they scan your eyes.  It's really no big deal, right?  WRONG.  That bright orange pinwheel thing that you're looking at might actually shoot you with a torpedo.  They say that they're only looking... but what if they're not telling the truth?  There's no way I'm keeping my lids open for longer than half a second... just in case.  Just ignore the (nice) lady telling you that you need to stop blinking, you're a survivor.

After that, you get to wait for an hour* in a different room... by yourself in a big chair.  Then the (nice) doctor comes and pleasantly invites you to remove your contacts.  All nerves multiply tenfold as you handicap yourself irreparably.  Your blurred vision will no longer alert you when the doctor goes to pull out a flashlight from his pocket, but pulls out a knife instead.  Usually you're in luck, and the (nice) doctor doesn't gouge your eyes out.  But you've got to be prepared for the worst, man.

Next, you are subjected to a series of tests for your potential prescription renewal.  This part has always puzzled me.  Like I said earlier, I've been to the eye doctor a few times before.  Never once have they changed the "test."  They put some letters up on the screen and the (nice) doctor asks, "now, honey, what is the smallest line that you can read?"  It's KAZB.  Same as last time, and the time before.  Now, doc, I don't think this is a terribly accurate description on how well I can or can't see.  I know it's going to be KAZB, so psychologically my brain will "read" the bottom line.  Even if I can't really read it.  But maybe, doc, your dazzling intellect can see something that I can't, because my prescription still changes every time.  So I guess what I see as a flawed system, perhaps possesses some sort of deeper insight to my ocular well-being, and that's why they pay you the big bucks.

After waiting for another hour*, the assistant takes you back to the room of the microscopes.  Still being blind, you resist the temptation to grab onto her hand for guidance down the hallway.  Life is scary in the dark, okay?  They do a few more orange-pinwheel-scanning tests (still nerve-wracking), and then the (nice) assistant happily informs you that it's time for your glaucoma test.

No greater (wo)man than myself could POSSIBLY say that this isn't terrifying.  I mean, I'm a pansy at the eye doctor's though, kinda like Rachel.


Okay, so I'm exactly like Rachel.  But this test would bring Bruce Lee to tears.  They shoot your eye with, like, four thousand needles to check the pressure or whatever.  And by four thousand needles, I mean a puff of air zooming INTOYOUREYE at four million mph.  Seriously doc, I DON'T HAVE GLAUCOMA!  How many times do I need to be tested for it?!?!

This stupid test always haunts me weeks prior to my eye appointment.  It scares the living daylights out of me.  So last time I went to the docs, I said (trying to conceal my quivering lip), "Can we, like, not do the wind puffer thing?  I, like, hate it.  A lot."  And to my surprise, the assistant said with a slight chuckle, "Sure.  There's another test we can do."

Heart soars, unfocused eyes light up and, consequently, open slightly larger even though I'm still scared of the pelicans that might come in and eat my eyes out (whutt?), and I'm trying REALLY hard not to hug the lady-assistant right now.

But guys, either way being tested for glaucoma kinda sucks.

The alternative isn't much better.

Brief overview?

But not so hasty, I almost skipped over the other best part.  Getting your eyes DILATED.  Also like Rachel, I am incapable of giving myself eye drops.  If someone else gives them to me, I'll maybe offer them a .45 second window for them to slip some liquid into my sclera.  Dilation stings like a mofo, but I can handle it better than that wind puffer thing.  But who doesn't love having cat eyes for a spell?


Moving on.  Back to that overview for alternatives to being shot at.

After waiting another hour* in the dark/claustrophobic/cold/limitedlegspace room, the doc comes in and
1. Applies numbing drops to the eyes.  You heard me correctly.  Numbing drops.  You know how when your mouth goes numb your lip feels super tingly and fat?  Same sensation.  But in your eye.  INYOUREYE.  Also, the doc didn't exactly explain in detail what was going down until after it was all over with.  #badnewsbears.
2. Um, so your eye is numb.
3. Positions your head into another spoon-surfacey entrapment machine
4. Tells you to look straight forward while a little lightsaber stick... probes you.  And by you, I mean your eye.
5. Lauren asks: "Why does my eye feel funny?"
6. Doc says, "Oh, it's numb.  And I was shoving the lightsaber stick thing down your pupil.  Checking the pressure.  It's, like, NBD."
7. "Also, your eye is kind of yellow right now."

[before the whole eye was yellow, there are still remnants in the corner though]

My initial reaction was: OMFG, that is reeeeeeeally scary - can't believe I survived that.

My second reaction was: Dude, that is sooooo preferable to the wind puffer thing.

Then.

8. Doc leaves you alone in the closet for five hours**.
9. This is the part where you don't judge the namby-pamby that I am.  I'm light headed.  My palms are moist.  My ENTIRE body is perspiring.  My eyes go dark.  I am HOT like nobody's biznatch.  I... think I'm going to faint.  I cling desperately to the armchair, and pray that I don't collapse and crack my head open.  And I'm alone.

Oh, I survived, or whatever.  But it was scarryyyy, and really uncomfy.

Perhaps next time I'll man up and just take the blast.

Lastly, the doc returns and performs more eye tests.  "Is this KAZB clearer than this KAZB?"  [Jeez, Doc, I can never tell the difference.  But, yet again, you amaze me with your unfaltering insight.]  Then they send you on your merry little way with your new prescription in hand.  If you're twelve, you'll get to wear awesome paper sunglasses, but if you're hip and hawt like me, then you can rock the Audrey Hepburn shades.

[don't worry, parents.  I took this at a stop light. I'm totes a safe driver.]

I don't know how I'll ever manage to get Lasik... but too bad I really want it...

*hour=usually less than five minutes.
**five hours=somewhere between a half hour and an hour.

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