ME VS. THE EYE EXAM
‘Mr. Coyle? This is Lafayette Hill Eye Care and we just wanted to inform you that you can’t order contact lenses until you get another eye exam. It’s been over a year since we last checked your eyes. You’re going to have to make an appointment.’
This is my first issue. I can still see fine with my current prescription. I’m not bumping into walls or mistaking rodents for house pets. Do I really need to come into the office again? It’s not like this year has been filled with ocular madness.
I have to wait over a month for an appointment, and I finally arrive on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The waiting room holds an old style Pac-Man arcade game, which has to be bad for your eyes. I’ve always wanted to step up and play, but why would I strain my peepers staring at a chomping Yellow circle evading ghosts minutes before sitting in that dreaded chair? So about 35 minutes later they call my name and I’m lead to a sterile room filled with ugly illustrated posters of eye infections.
A young woman comes in the room wearing scrubs and starts asking me the usual questions. Are you allergic? Do you have any diseases? Your thoughts on metaphysics? She then instructs me to hold a black plastic spoon looking thing over my left eye and hands me a card filled with random sentences. The card has fonts ranging from monster to mini. This card has been handed to me every fucking time I get my eyes checked. I practically know the last sentence. It’s about popcorn kernels containing a certain amount of water, which leads to them popping when heated. WHY? Because the water inside the kernel turns to steam, this causes the kernel to pop.
I start reading and she immediately tells me the card is too close to my face. I then place it on my lap, and she tells me it’s too far. She then decides to hold to card up for me. I have bad eyes, not bad hands. So I read the sentence about popcorn kernels and she looks at me and says, ‘You know…those are all true facts on that card.”
HOLY SHIT….YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!
Then the lights go down, no candle is light, but she holds a pen light in her hand. She gets so close to my face that our noses are about to touch and starts shining the light in my eyes. Then it hit me.
Her breath was fucking awful.
I make it a point to have gum or a mint in my mouth whenever I go there. I know they are going to be close, so I prepare. I’m just an ornery patient, but this is her job, her breath should smell amazing. It should remind me of the beach and the fresh air in the mountains. All it did was compliment the massive pictures of oozing sties hanging from the walls.
When that torture is over the Ophthalmologist comes in the room for the ever-so popular ‘Read that line of letters’ test. The eye chart appears on the wall via some archaic projection system and I’m asked to read the bottom line with my right eye covered.
Every time I get it right she responds like I’m a child who just learned to go potty. ‘WOW…THAT’S GREAT. YOU’RE DOING AMAZING!’
Then I am asked to cover my left eye and read some more letters.
It wasn’t hard because I said the same thing two seconds before. I could have covered both eyes and passed with flying colors. Why don’t they switch the charts when you switch eyes? Nobody wants to get it wrong, so even if they are struggling they’re still going to repeat the letters. How hasn’t this issue been raised yet? And has it led to people having wonky eyes?
Then my face is placed in some contraption that looks like something Egon wore in ‘Ghostbusters’ and once again the doctor nears my face. I try not the breath out my nose, but I can’t hold it anymore and get a whiff. She should have a never ending supply of Altoids in her lab coat. She’s the top dog in the office and has worse breath that the last woman.
She then puts drops in my eyes that burn like the sun and does some more tests. My prescription hasn’t changed (no shit) and I’m ready to step out into the world with some fresh lenses. However she forgot to tell me that the drops would make my eyes sensitive to light. As soon as I start driving, I start screaming. I can’t see the road, start swerving like a drunk idiot in the middle of the day and almost kill myself and other drivers. It took about ten minutes of writhing around car before I could see properly again.
So I was teased by a video game, forced to sit in an uncomfortable chair, showered with halitosis, and almost died in a car accident just to learn my prescription hadn’t changed in over a year. Amazing.