Friday, June 8, 2012

Things My Optometrist Told Me

FYI:  I also contemplated naming this post "Bodily Function Friday" but I thought that would give people the wrong idea.

Anyway - on to things my optometrist told me yesterday:

"Your eyes are a toxic wasteland and you should put those contacts in a museum."

"I haven't seen protein build-up on lenses that bad since before disposable contacts were invented."

Sweet nothings whispered by a doctor I hate seeing more than ... Well, I will give you 3 guesses.

Even though I see Dr. Arnold Miller only about once a year, I like to think he remembers me fondly as the girl who refuses to take out her contacts.  It's true - and it's gross - but I can make 6 months worth of contact lenses work for 18, and not wear my glasses once in the medium.  Since I started seeing Dr. Miller 4 years ago I've actually asked him to custom design a regimen for me so that I never have to remove my contacts ever again.  He has begrudgingly compromised and obliged, prescribing lenses that allow more oxygen flow through my eyes and which require less maintenance.  Gross...but cool.  I in turn promised him I would take said lenses out once a week - which I obviously don't do.

Talk to me about my teeth and I'm a total basket case - I have a too-frequent-to-be-healthy dream of them falling out.  I brush, I floss, I rinse and my dentist is so impressed with these pearly gems that he only has me come to one appointment a year instead of two.

Apparently, as far as my vision is concerned, I lack the same conviction.  Which brings me to yesterday.  Dr. Miller prescribed new lenses for me in November which, for the first time in a decade corrected my slight astigmatism. It was life-changing - but that's another story for another time.  But in January, I started to notice that the lenses really bothered me - burning, cloudy vision, dryness, etc.  I attributed this to my poor habits and actually started removing my lenses like, once a week - sometimes going entire three day stretches removing them every night, and even changing my lenses every 4 to 6 weeks.  Crazy, I know.

When I told Dr. Miller this, he looked at me shocked and said, "You've been having this problem since January and you're just now coming here?"  Well Arnold, since you asked...I'm a girl on a budget, work doesn't provide optical insurance coverage, and i figured it was my own fault for sleeping in my contacts every day for the last 17 years.  You know, the usual.

Arnold then dropped some knowledge on me, which we can read into the deeper meanings of over a bottle or four of wine later if you so should desire, but he said: "Kathryn, your contacts haven't changed - you have."

Chew on that for a minute.  I did.

But but but, I attested, for the first time EVER I have a quasi-regimen for cleaning these bad boys, and providing oxygen to my eyeballs and all that STUFF like hygiene you've been guilting me about for the last 4 years!

After further inspection and some rather hurtful comments about the poor condition of my lenses, which were, quite literally, choking the life from my eyes, Arnold also deduced that after almost 2 decades of refusing to take out, clean, and routinely dispose of my lenses, my eyes are rejecting contact solution. So by trying to take my lenses out, soak them and then stick them back in my eyes, I was further irritating the situation.  I believe the word "secretion" was thrown around but like, ew, gross.

Told you so, Arnold!  I'm a rogue lens-wearer and I'm blazing my own dirty trail, tossing aside modern-day conveniences like contact solution.  I'll just say it: Contact solution is for wimps!

Ultimately, Dr. M did what some optometrist should have done 10 years ago (and I'm not talking about giving me toric lenses - because that is a beef I have with any optometrist I've ever been to who claimed to correct my vision but was only giving the cheapest solution, I digress...) Ahem - Arnold did what an optometrist should have done 10 years ago, and that is give me daily disposable lenses.  Its the solution requiring no solution. Get it?

I'm going to have to adjust to the added time in the morning - I've always thought it daunting and time consuming to put in contacts every day - which is why I never did.  But you win, Arnold.  There's an Earth Day style effort to clean up the wasteland of my eyeballs and I'm bringing my reusable bag, or whatever.   

But seriously, if anyone knows of a contact museum - I have some lenses for sale.

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