mardi 11 juillet 2006
I recently went to an Opthamologist a few blocks away to get a new prescription. Also, I had to know what my eyesight was in meters, and I had no clue.
The first time I went, several weeks ago, I had a regular eye exam (quite an exercise in remembering the names of letters. F! No, E! I can see the letter, I just can't remember what it is called in French! Give me a minute!
He sent me home with a set of trial contacts, a bottle of solution, and some scary words sounding like Bifocals and muscular degeneration.
I came home, opened one of the contact lens packs, rinsed it off with the solution that he gave me (figuring it was a saline solution) and popped it into my eye.

And immediately screamed in pain. It was burning unbelievably. The eye's natural defense seems to be to close up as tight as possible and water like crazy so I had a heck of a time trying to get the Contact O' Fire out of my poor, red, squinty, watery eye. I finally managed to peel it out and rinsed out my eye with water and real saline solution as much as possible. I was supposed to go to class in half an hour but decided to skip it until my eye forgave me. I read the package of the solution- yep, just as I figured, for cleaning the lens, not rinsing. Ouch. Well, I learned my lesson about that one I guess- always double check medical stuff, especially in another language. Don't assume because it is in the same packaging and shape that it is the same stuff.

Yesterday I went back and had a follow up that was even more fun. It took about two and a half hours- they rechecked my prescription did some funny things with depth perception and stuff, though no bifocals thankfully, dilated my eyes (which I detest) and then the best part of all- he stuck a clear piece of plastic round and about two inches long directly onto my eyeball to see the insides or something.

I can just picture the scene now....
Doctor approaching patient's eyeball with a long sharp stick....
American Patient (in French): Ahh! What are you doing? Get that long pointy stick away from my eyeball!
Doctor (in French): Don't worry, it is part of the exam. I am going to take this long pointy stick and blah blah blah blah blah.
Patient (in French, panicking): What? I don't understand?!!!
Doctor (in French): There is nothing to be afraid of, it won't hurt a bit unless you blah blah blah blah blah. It is essential that you blah blah blah blah or else I will poke your eye out. Understand?
Patient (in French, hysterical by now): No! I don't understand! All I got was it is essential that I do something otherwise you will poke my eye out!
Doctor (in French, calmly, approaching closer): Yes, very good, now relax.
Patient (in French): Ahhh!! Nooo!!! Aaaaalllllaaaaiiiiinnnnnn!!!!!
(fade to black, curtain lowers)

Well, luckily I still have both eyes, and it was super fun stumbling home on a bright sunny day with my eyes dilated to let in as much light as possible and without my contacts. Miraculously managed to not step in any dog turds or get runover by a motorcycle. Thankfully, did not have to negociate the Metro. Apparently, I have to go back all of September, twice a week, to get my eyes Re-educated. I don't want my eyes to be re-educated. Granted, they didn't learn well the first time, but still. I don't look at myself every morning and think "Eyes, I have decided I am going to send you back for some higher education."

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