Monday, February 13, 2006

My Eyes! My Eyes!
This morning I woke up and went to the bathroom to get ready for work as I always do. I put in my contacts and was suddenly met with searing eyeball pain.

After I was finally able to get the contact back out of my eye, I noticed a large chunk of the contact missing that was not previously missing say... before it went into my eyeball.

At first I was just annoyed that I broke a contact, I would have to wear my glasses to work all day, and I would have to either go visit my eye doctor or at least order a new contact. Neither of which I want to do because neither of these things are free.

Then later (about halfway through my day) I realized that my contact had broken in my eye, and I never actually found that large missing shard of contact. I began to believe that it was still lodged in my eyeball, noticing that my eyeball did feel weird, but did not necessarily hurt.

Clearly my eyeball was in shock due to having a plastic contact shard lodged in it.

I try never to go to my doctors because once I start going, it never stops. Lately I've been trying to use up extra Flex Spending money (which I have since used up) by going to the doctor and whatnot. I've now seen every doctor I've ever known. And I now need to stop spending Flex Spending money.

So naturally it's the perfect time for my eyeball to get contact shards lodged in it. Just when I need to stop going to doctors and stop spending money on doctors.

I went to work and started making phone calls. My usual eye doctor is no longer on my insurance so I can't go to see him cheaply. To buy just the one new contact is $110. But I can get most of that reimbursed if I do something ... but maybe I want to try soft contacts... yada yada... insurance mumbo jumbo...


Finally I made an appointment to see a new doctor (recommended by a co-worker) and I went on about my day.

Can you believe that my coworkers actually called me four-eyes? I don't wear my glasses to work. They are fabulous, trendy glasses, mind you. But, I don't see as well out of them and they are super thick. I am far less productive with the glasses on, as opposed to my more businessy contacts.

Four-eyes? Really? Are we 12 years old?

I finally got to the new doctor, who was seriously more devoid of personality than my coworker warned me that he was. But he was quick. I like that.

Stare at the thingy in the distance... check. Puff of air thingy THAT I HATE... check. Read that chart... check. Can you see anything with your glasses off? No. Check.

The one thing that I didn't like was that he didn't ask me why I was there. He just started examining me as though I was there for fun, or for a regular appointment that I crammed in at the end of my day. I had to volunteer to him that in addition to this fun eye exam, I think I have a shard of contact lens still stuck in my eyeball. Could you check on that???


Fortunately, the shard was not there. Which means it either fell out of my eyeball this morning. Or it's lodged back in my brain somewhere. I guess we'll find out one day.

I asked about trying soft lenses. I felt like an idiot. As though these "new-fangled soft lenses" were a brand new futuristic contraption that people are trying these days.

Every time I tell people that I still wear gas permeable lenses (ie: NOT soft and NOT disposable) they react like it's some ancient form of torturous eyewear that no one uses anymore. Friend C once watched me actually cleaning my lenses and she had no idea what I was doing, since apparently you don't have to clean soft disposable lenses.

I've always had gas perm lenses. I was told soft lenses would never be good enough for my severely blind eyeballs. So I never figured they were an option for me. But, my hope is that soft lenses have come a long way since I was in the 5th grade.

See, with gas perm lenses, if you lose one or it breaks, you have to go through the whole ordeal of ordering a new lens, it's expensive, it takes awhile. It is a gas perm lens wearer's greatest fear to lose a lens. I had that fear put into me at a very young age: do not lose or break a lens! Apparently it's the end of the world when this happens, and it almost has been the few times I've broken or lost a lens.

But with the soft disposable lenses you are literally supposed to throw them away! It's genius! Lose a lens, you've already got another box of them in your medicine cabinet! No big deal!

I like the sound of this. And he thought soft disposable lenses would be a good idea for me. So, Mr. New Eye Doc ran to fetch a pair of soft lenses so that I could try them. Which meant he would have to show me how to put them in, since it is different than putting in gas perm lenses.

Almost entirely different. The only thing that is the same is that with either lens you do end up with a lense on your eyeball. Otherwise, it's a completely different finger-poking-in-your-eyeball experience.

See, I don't really so much like to touch my eyeball. Much like Rachel of Friends. Although not quite that bad.

The first time I was ever shown how to put in my contact lenses was a horrificly traumatic experience for me. I was in the 5th grade. No one else my age had contacts. The whole idea was very scary.

This nurse woman at the eye doctor's office sat me in a chair and pretty much lunged at me from across the room with a contact on the end of her finger, aiming for my eyeball. It took many, MANY tries to get the contact into my eyeball, and even more tries to get me to do it myself. And then I thought I would never recover from the pain and discomfort. My mom watched the whole thing in horror. It was terrible.

But, the good thing about the gas perm lenses is that if you get them ANYWHERE near your eyeball, your eyeball will pretty much suck the lense into place. This is good since I never learned how to put the lens on correctly (I was too frightened by the experience of learning), and I always have to scoot it around my eyeball to get it into place.

I hate that woman.

So today, Mr. New Eye Doc got to show me how to put in a soft lens, which involves a lot of touching my eyeball. But, I picked it up after a few tries. It was weird, and I felt like an idiot (again), but I got them in there. So far, so good. I can see and it's strangly more comfortable than I thought they would be, given my eyeballs are supposed to take three weeks to adjust to the different lens.

I do greatly fear trying to get the lenses OUT of my eyeballs tonight, since this will involve quite a bit more eyeball touching. That should be fun.

But, I walked out of the doctor's office able to see without my glasses, and this was a surprise. I expected to have to order new lenses that would take a week or so to be ready, being forced to wear my glasses until then. Stumbling about, not able to see well. Folly sure to follow me around for the week.

What will they think of next?? Contact lenses you can wear the same day of your eye exam?? Genius.

This post is way more contact lens detail than anyone wants to know. But, welcome to my life.

I'm just glad I could see well enough to type for so long. What with the shard lodged in my eyeball and all.


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