Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Can You See Me Now?

Without my contacts I cannot see. I am, according to the law, blind. I have tried many methods to improve my vision in times of contact-less-ness. I have tried, like a bat, to make high-pitched squealing sounds and have them bounce off of objects, but since my hearing is also bad, I cannot hear the sounds bounce back and just walk into walls and chairs anyway. I would wear glasses but I have a depth-perception problem . . . objects may be closer than they appear . . . or further away. I cannot tell the difference. I offer the bumper of my car as evidence.

I have worn Gas Permeable contacts for 20 years or so, and am mostly used to the troubles that come with using them. They slide up onto the top of my eyeball and get lost. I try and maneuver them back into position but while they are floating all around in my eye they are like little evil plastic shards trying to slice through my cornea. When the wind blows the tiniest bit of dust feels like barbed wire rubbing against my retina.

Not being able to see well is a problem. People will often wave to me on the street and I have no idea who they are, or what they are doing. They could be having a seizure for all I know, I can’t see them. People smile at me across a room as a greeting, I can’t see them either. Somebody will make foul gestures at me in traffic, ha ha the jokes on them; I can’t see ‘em.

People will ask me, “Are you near-sighted or far-sighted?” The answer is ‘I don’t know.’ I am confused, is it near-sighted that can see near or can see far? That is the eye doctor’s job to remember those kinds of details. He is always trying to tell me stuff about my eyes, things that are supposedly important but have no meaning to me. He tells me I have rounded corneas and astigmatism with myopia and for that little bit of info he would like $400 please.

Everyone keeps trying to convince me to have laser surgery. You know the one where they take a claw-like apparatus to hold open your eyelids so that a laser can burn a flap around the eye and shape your retina by burning it off? Then they send you home, more blind than when you came in, armed with nothing more than a little bottle of eye-drops so that the little flap doesn’t shrivel up and fall off completely. What I want to know is what if the laser is bumped during surgery? Like because the doctor sneezes or something? I guess I have always had that one eyebrow that requires a lot of tweezing—maybe they could take care of that while they are burning off other parts of my body.

Now there are all these price wars for Lasik surgery. How low is too low to go before you are having your eye surgery done in the back room of a dimly lit 7-11 located just off the freeway by some guy named Rhubarb; who performs the entire operation with a magnifying glass and a flash-light? I say if the price is so low that you can pay in rolls of quarters then it is probably not the place to go. Also, if they answer the phone “Bubba’s Gas and Go, Exotic Tattoo Parlor and Lasik Surgery Center” then that is also a potential red flag. One more tip, if your “nurse” has a wallet on a chain, wears a dog collar, a Metallica t-shirt, combat boots and is named Mike-the-Spike, then just back right out the door. Trust me.

No matter where you go, you should expect a certain level of professionalism too. When I went in for my surgery the only thing Rhubarb said to me was, “Hold still. I am almost out of batteries.” Other than that little bit of conversation, my “doctor” was all business and told me it would take 7-10 weeks to see the results. Well, it has been 10 weeks and I can see that my checkbook is $200 lighter and I have almost fully recovered from my fear of Mag lights. I can’t say that I can actually see better, but I have stopped complaining about my contacts and the costs associated with licensed physicians.

I guess if I ever want better vision I will just have to squint more. Otherwise, it is back to the drawing board, or should I say . . . the cutting board.

1 comment:

  1. Sonia, you particularly want to avoid a Lasik center where they *want* rolls of quarters in payment.

    The slot machines in the lobby are a dead giveaway...