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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

After three years I'm a little weary of squinting at the computer, taking my glasses off to read, and holding them about two inches away from my head to see what's going on across the room. Weary enough to make an appointment with the eye doctor and weary enough to keep it. Today was that appointed day, and I'm still squinting but for different reasons. I don't know what kind of drops he put in my eyes, but I felt all afternoon as if someone had overturned a goldfish bowl and plopped it on my head.

Mom drove me to my appointment because I let her insist on it. I didn't know exactly where I was going, and I wasn't sure how well I'd be able see coming out. As it turned out, I probably could see better than she could, but I didn't mind not driving, even though it took her three tries to get her car into the narrow parking space. That wasn't her fault at all, and I probably would have given up and paid for a spot in the city lot across the street.

The nature of the eye test is that it's designed to make you fail. They want to find out what you can't see, and I had to guess at most of the rows of letters on the tiny screen in the mirror across the room. Even the big letters in the top row were blurred, and by the time we got down to the third row I was thinking that if they threw in a Q, I wouldn't know it from an O. B, R and P? All pretty much the same.

Then you get the "which is better" test, and I could hardly tell the difference between 1 and 2, no matter how many times the doctor flipped the little lens thing back and forth. He was satisfied that he'd come up with the right combination for my new lenses, but I'm not so sure. I never did see anything clearly through his machine.

One test I passed with straight A's (I guess they were A's, I couldn't really see them) was the one for diseases and degenerative conditions. Since these things run in the family (Mom has had more than a dozen eye operations), I was happy to hear that my corneas and retinas are in good shape, and I don't have glaucoma.

What I do have, the doctor said, are good reflexes. By that he meant that he had such a hard time keeping me from blinking that he had to use his free hand to hold my eye open. I've never been able to put drops in my own eyes, or let anyone else get close enough to do it. I don't think it's a bad reflex to have.

every season in one day

We had all kinds of weather at once today: clouds and blue sky, rain and sun.

After the exam, I took my prescription to the in-house lensmaker. I'm going to keep using the frames I paid a small fortune for three years ago. When I go back next week I'll have to wait while they pop out the old lenses and pop in the new ones.

My insurance covers the examination, but not the glasses, so I had to write a hefty check. It'll be worth it if I can see the subtitles better the next time I go to a French movie. It'll really be worth it if I can sit and read a book for more than fifteen minutes at a time. I've missed that.

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