I, a sixteen year old girl, grew up in a school system where we were screened for our vision once a year, every year for as long as I can remember. It’s called a ‘physical’ if you could really consider it that. Especially when the school nurse does it, it isn’t exactly thorough, but can you blame her? I mean, the poor lady has to see at least 800 kids in one week (I go to a relatively small school).
However, due to this routine screening and also regular visits to the doctor, I had NO reason to believe there was anything wrong with my vision. Me, the girl who had done vision screenings for at least TEN YEARS.
Well, one day I went to my doctor and, low and behold, I’ve got pretty awful vision in one eye. I’m not angry about this, but honestly if my right eye was ever below-par and you neglected to tell my parents I should see an optometrist then I’m going to hold a bit of a grudge.
I wouldn’t have, if it weren’t for the fact that the nurse was such a snob when I was being tested. With her snide little “Can you read the line above that? How about the next one up? Above that one?” No, lady. I can’t. It’s too blurry. Is that a C, G, or an O? Can anyone even read these things?
Then she proceeds to say “You’ll be driving soon?” in that stupid little condescending tone. Sorry that you never told me I needed glasses, woman. Since it wasn’t corrected, it got worse. Your fault.
Even this wouldn’t have forced me to hold a grudge. But no, when I saw the optometrist (sweetest guy on the planet), he asked in disbelief “You’re school screens your vision every year and they never said anything?” No, they didn’t. Because they really don’t care.
After the doctor’s little “Which one is better, 1 or 2?” session (is there even a difference for 50% of the options because I’m pretty sure there isn’t) he put in eye drops with the line “Now these are going to numb your eye.”
Yeah, now there’s trouble.
Here is the part where I explain that I am a mess. Just an absolute wreck that can be very hard to understand at times which is why I will probably never have a successful relationship. Some of the things that makes me a mess is my anxiety/insane fears/ panic attacks. One of these insane fears is people touching/things touching/any contact with my eyes whatsoever.
Naturally, when goopy stuff is put in my eye along with the announcement that it is for the purpose of numbing my eyes so that I won’t feel what he’s about to do to my eye. . . yeah, trouble.
I basically started to have a panic attack. Hyperventilating, shaking, sweating, went white in the face panic attack. I can look back on it and laugh and also say “what in the world is wrong with me.”
The purpose of the drops, for anyone who has been to the optometrist, is so that he could test the pressure in my eyes. Depending on the doctor, I know a lot of them use the ‘poof test’ where they have a machine blow a puff of air into your eye. My doctor has a little instrument instead that he uses to just touch your eye, though you never really feel it. It just looks like it’s coming really close to your eye. This, for obvious reasons, terrified me. Made me cringe. Then the doctor said the famous line that stuck in my memory and will never leave. . . “Are you hyperventilating?” Yeah, I am, doc. Thanks for noticing.
God I hope he doesn’t peruse the blogosphere in his free time because he would totally know this is me.
Anyway, then they did the little “these are for dilating your eye” which meant more eye drops which we all know are so popular with me. They sent me out into the waiting room until I was all dilated where the receptionist expressed her concern for me.
“Are you okay? You look really pale. Are you going to pass out? Would you like something to drink? I’m going to get you something to drink.” I didn’t want anything to drink. She brought me pepsi. I hate soda. They made me drink it anyway.
Now, about a month later, I have my glasses and I’m using them right now. You’d be so proud. No, you wouldn’t, but I need to feel some sense of pride that I survived that experience.
And now the end. I never know how to end these things.
So uhm. . .
See you next Monday,
If you follow me.