Friday, September 25, 2009

Ai Ai Eyes

Warning: this post contains details of an eye exam, and profanity. LL Cool Joe, I'll see you later. Anyone else who finds eyes disgusting, leave now.

Relatively speaking, I'm cool as a cucumber at the eye doctor. He tells me that some people faint during the exam. My brave husband Ken screamed when Dr. Eye shone a bright light in his eyes. "It was SO bright!" Wow. I may faint at the sight of blood, and cry when I get a needle, but at the eye doctor, I am solid as a rock. I get to pretend I'm a toughie.

My least favourite procedure is the one that tests the pressure in your eye. You put your head into a frame to hold it steady. Then they position a little air nozzle aiming directly into your pupil. You wait for what seems like an eternity, until suddenly a strong, sharp burst of air blasts your eyeball. This elicits an irrepressible startle reflex. Your whole body jerks spastically. Then they want to do the other eye. It's all kinds of fun.

The rest of it's usually no biggie. I don't mind having bright lights shone in my face. If Dr. Eye feels the need to peel back my eyelids and search around underneath them, he's welcome to do so. I take eyedrops like a champ - no flinching. Or always have done. The ones he gives to dilate my pupils so he can examine the retinas usually sting a little, but I can deal.

Well, this time, he gave me the drops. Instructed me to keep my eyes closed for a full minute. We chatted about his summer vacation. Then he said "OK, open your eyes." And...

You know that horrible feeling that sends shivers all down your body when you drag your fingernails down a blackboard?

Imagine feeling that in your eyes, multiplied by 1,000, times Massive Stinging Pain.

An appropriate response would have been to holler "MOTHERF*CK!" and then go on a mad rampage around the examining room, roaring like an angry bull and trashing all the expensive equipment.

Instead, I lowered my head, sucked air in through my teeth, and then uttered quietly, through a clenched jaw: "Ow." Tears poured into my lap from my poor, suffering eyes, as they tried to wash out the corrosive poison.

"Come on, you can take it. I do this every year," said Dr. Eye.

"This is worse than usual," I said.

"Oh well, I'm using the phenol-blah-blah instead of the other-something drops. I want to make sure I can see all the way in. You have long eyes."

Just what every woman wants to hear. I don't have long hair, long legs, or long eyelashes. I have long eyes. So sexy.

Truly, Dr. Eye has told me before that my eyes are shaped like footballs instead of spheres. This is the cause of my near-sightedness. It puts a lot of strain on the retinas at the rear, because they are stretched to their breaking point.

Fortunately the sting wore off in a minute or so, for the most part. Then Dr. Eye was able to do his exam, during which he jovially told me that my retinas were thinning a little more this year, and if that little spot started to tear we'd have to laser it around the edges to make sure it doesn't spread, but not to worry because there are no pain receptors in the retina, so it won't hurt. Jolly good. Thank God for modern technology.

He finally let me out of there, with my pupils dilated to the max and pink, puffy eyelids. So attractive, I'm sure. That, and the squinting.

Then I went home and sat in the dark, because my eyes wouldn't focus at all and every light was painful. The double-strong drops really did their work. I had my annual Pity Party about the fact that I am at high risk for a detached retina and may very well go blind when I'm old, like my grandfather. I'm allowed to cry about that once a year, because it sucks.

The rest of the time, I try to just be grateful for every day that I can see.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

I get to go in for one of those exams soon! I like to get my eyes all dialated and then run around in a dark room like I'm a vampire and every once in a while I'll run into the sunlight and proclaim "I'm Burning"!!!!! Totally a fun time for all.

darcknyt said...

Wow. Nothing like NO WARNING on the new-eyedrops-are-gonna-burn-like-hell factor. How thoughtful.

Well, it's over for a year. Now you have the next one to look forward to.

Good job on not swearing. I would've.

wigsf said...

It could be worse. After you get your eyes checked out and new glasses prescribed, you could have to look at me with clear, unobstructed sight. Sheesh. Not a pretty sight. Now there's a stinging pain that never goes away.

Logan said...

I'm thankful for an eye doctor sufficiently attractive such that I didn't require drops last time. "Your eyes are actually pretty dilated today, I can see the back clearly."
"unh huh... I have no idea why that might be..."

DarcsFalcon said...

Ouch! He could at least have given you a head's up on the new eye stuff.

I hope you're feeling better. At least you're good to go for another year, right?

Claire said...

Oweweweweweweee! Bless you, honey!


Sparkling Red said...

Ron: I was thinking of changing my last name to "Daywalker".

Darcknyt: I doubt that Dr. Eye has ever tried those drops on himself. I think he should. I should've pinned him down and forced them into his eyes, right then and there. That'd larn'm.

wigsf: I shudder at the thought.

Logan: That's classic. Dr. Eye has dropped a few hints over the years that he finds me attractive, but it does me no good to be on the other side of the equation. Too bad.

Darcsfalcon: Yep, I'm free and clear until next September. :-)

Claire: I appreciate your empathy.

Jenski said...

The first time my eyes were dilated it was cloudy and rainy.

The second time, I didn't think to bring sunglasses in with me because the first time was fine...only it was sunny out and I almost couldn't make it to my car because I couldn't see anything but light.

Scarlet said...

I don't mind anyone working on my teeth or nose, but the, no, no! I'm terrified...I tear up just thinking about it.

I stopped reading midway through the third paragraph and skipped to the bottom.

PS - My old boss had a detached retina (old football injury aggravated by domestic violence) and he's as good as new now. I wonder what procedure he had done, but it worked its magic.

Good luck to you, Chica!! I'll say a prayer.

powdergirl said...

I mostly heeded the warning, but I dared to read the last paragraph(oh yeah, I'm squeamish). Detached retina, jeez, that sucks! I understand it burns like hell.

You may cry as often as you like about this.

G said...

I actually got dumped by my previous eye doctor and shipped to another within the practice, simply because I wouldn't let him dilate my eyes that day.

I have to drive myself to my doctor appts, and I where my doctor is located, I'm driving home directly into the sun.

Dianne said...

Ow!!!! my eyes are tearing in sympathy

I hate the little air thing but the drops sound awful

and I don't like his attitude about you can take it

I don't even have long eyes, I think they're fat also

Sparkling Red said...

Jenski: I had to walk home in the sun too. I wore my glasses to the appointment, so I couldn't wear my (non-prescription) sunglasses. I was very, very squinty.

Scarlet: Yeah, they can do amazing things with surgery these days. I'm always hoping that the technology will stay one step ahead of what I need. Eye surgery would suck, but going blind would be worse.

powdergirl: Thanks. :-) Hopefully in 20 years they'll have invented bionic robot eyes so if I run into problems I can just get myself an eye replacement.

G: Really? Seriously? That's terrible! My eye doctor always asks my permission before he dilates my eyes, in case I forgot to accomodate the consequences. If I said "no" he'd just make me come back another time.

Dianne: Fat eyes? And here I thought I'd heard it all. ;-)

Jameil said...

i'm sorry did you say long eyes? lolol! he could've given you a warning tho, really!!