Monday, November 21, 2011

Eye Crisis

I have been wearing contacts for years.  I think I started in High School so that makes it almost 20 years now.  I know how to put them in and take them out and can do it without a mirror and in the dark if I have to.  Point being – it’s a routine, no big deal thing.

So….when I woke up on the morning of the 21st and put my contacts in and everything was STILL blurry – I was NOT initially concerned.  I blinked a few times, took them out and rinsed them again, reinserted them, blinked a few times and thought – what the heck???  I have back-up glasses that I usually wear at night and first thing in the morning with the same prescription as my contact lenses and they were fine so what is going on??

I figured that the lenses must be dirty (they are the throw them out every two weeks kind, that I usually leave in for about 3-4 weeks or until they feel yucky).  So – I thought it was probably time for a new pair.  I threw out the “bad” ones and took out a new pair (being VERY careful to put the right contact into the right eye and the left contact into the left eye since they are two different prescriptions).  I got them in and things were STILL blurry.  I blinked, I squinted, I blinked.  STILL blurry!  What the heck?  Now I started getting panicky.  I figured I must’ve developed a degenerative eye disease that came on while I was sleeping and is only affecting my eyes with contacts in.  Perhaps the temperature has affected my eyeballs or my contacts?  Maybe my corneas are changing shape rapidly?  Maybe the lenses were bad?  I threw them out and tried another pair.  SAME thing!  I threw THEM out and tried another pair.  SAME thing!  That’s it – something is wrong with me. 

I put my glasses on and was thankful that I was able to see fine with them.  I located my list of embassy-recommended doctors and called the ophthalmologist.  I got an appointment for the next day.  I hoped my eyes wouldn’t worsen anymore.

I brought along my contact boxes and contact case and of course wore my glasses.  I waited forever before entering the “investigation room”.  Turns out it was just the “exam” room.  (They have different words for stuff here that can throw you for a loop – I was curious why they had an “investigation room” in the eye doctor office.  What do they investigate?  Apparently, you and your eyes.)

So…they checked out my eyes and did the routine eye chart stuff and had me put my eye against the machine while they flipped around dials.  Everything was okay so far.  Then I went back to wait and wait and wait.  Eventually I saw another doctor.  He asked some questions about my general eye health and then sent me to another waiting room around the corner to wait some more.  Eventually, I saw ANOTHER doctor.  He asked me more questions and eventually determined that I needed to see a Contact Lens Specialist.  So after 2+ hours there (with Cameron in tow), I had to make ANOTHER appointment for the next day.

I went home confused, frustrated and concerned.

But, the next day I went back with my contact boxes, contact case and glasses on.

I waited not so long this time until I saw a NEW doctor.  He asked me some questions and examined my eyes.  He determined the prescription I should be wearing for my contacts and asked to see my boxes.  Turns out my prescription was the same.  Huh??

Then – he showed me the little “L” on one of the boxes and said that I needed to make sure that I put the “L” contacts in my left eye.

Ummmm – excuse me??  I KNOW that I wear a stronger one in my left eye than in my right eye because my left eye is worse than my right eye so I don’t bother to check for the little “L” anymore.  I know I didn’t just switch my contacts.  I mean ….come on – that should be an obvious thing to check right?  right???

You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

I sat like an idiot and laughed for at least 3 minutes in his chair. 

Yeah – I totally just switched my contacts.  One of the earlier doctors asked if I did and I told him that I KNEW what contacts go in which eye.  (duh – I’ve been wearing contacts for 20 years)

So…3+ hours of my time and $100+ of my money to find out that I put my contacts in the wrong eyes.

Well – thank goodness there’s nothing REALLY wrong with me.

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