At my age any kind of doctor’s appointment can bring on anxiety. Everyone is so serious and concerned that I can’t help but think that maybe there is a pull-date stamped on my fourth-point-of-contact or that I shouldn’t be buying green bananas. However, as I was going to see the eye-doctor I didn’t imagine there to be too much stress involved1 but because my last visit had been in 2008 this session was going to be a little more involved than usual.
First: They’d remodeled /reorganized the place, a fact I found out when I ended up in a supply closet while trying to find the restroom. The second thing I noticed? Other than the doctor the entire staff was female, blonde and had an “eee” name (as in Kristie, Melanie, Lacey etc.). They were all very professional and courteous, but it was a bit unnerving to be surrounded by a small army of petite tow-headed cheerleaders.
As it had been a while since I’ve had my eyes checked I had to go through a whole battery of semi-exotic tests – some of which I’d never had and some I’d never even heard of. The little blond “eee’s” would patiently explain the name of the test and what it was supposed to detect/measure but unfortunately when you factor the “geezer element” into the equation it became one of those “in-one-ear-out-the-other” type of situations.
As best as I can remember the tests included:
1) Looking through an aperture at a circular glowing grid that would turn red, blue or green depending on how I lined my eye up. When the grid turned green there was an incredibly bright flash. A Jimi Hendrix soundtrack would have been most appropriate.
2) Looking into another aperture at a tiny laser-like red dot while a very faint white circle would periodically appear just below. I was to press a button every time the light came on but as the test progressed the circles got more and more faint. At one point I thought the lights had stopped but then a very faint green circle reappeared, so I started pressing the button at what I thought were the correct intervals.
3) After they took away the button-remote from that last test they had me look into yet another aperture while they flashed a really, REALLY bright light, so they could take a photograph of the inside of my eye. As I would be driving myself home I’d earlier declined getting my eyes dilated but after than photo flash I had just as much trouble driving as I would have had they used the drops.
4) The >PfftT< test – a puff of air shot at my eye to detect for glaucoma, which came close to triggering the same response I’d have to a drink thrown in my face…but I managed a smile instead.
With all those tests I was sure some sort of terrible malady was lurking behind my retinas, but it turned out I am doing pretty good for an old guy2 – no major defects, no “conditions” waiting to pounce. I’m a little nearsighted but inasmuch as there are only three situations3 when I need help with my vision they recommended single-vision (least expensive) lenses which took only three days to make.
I could do with more doctor’s visits like that.
- ….until I started to obsess about glaucoma, cataracts, detached retinas and tropical parasites living inside my eyeball.
- I toyed with this vague idea for an eye-pushup joke and Patti McGuire’s Miss November 1976 Playmate fold-out, but it just didn’t work out.
- To be precise: Watching movies, driving and shooting at the firing range