Posts Tagged ‘eye exam’

I Had Plans

March 16, 2016

You know what they say, God laughs at you when you make plans.

I can barely handle writing this.

It may become a complete and utterly futile example of a poorly written blog.

Ever been high and think you’re brilliant and then you just write ten, fifteen, twenty line of prose about being really, really high and then a sting of non-sensical laughter like words?


Sort of like that.


I’m not high.

But my fucking eyes are dilated.

I look like I just dropped some very, very good LSD or X.

I find this experience annoying as fuck.

God damn it.

I had things I wanted to do and I’ve been rendered pretty helpless.

I’m sort of writing this by touch.

And I’m all thumbs and I don’t know that I will be able to keep it up for very long, it’s too much on my eyes.


And I just dropped a retarded amount of money on my glasses.



Grad school how I do love thy reading ways.


I had to, and I suppose I could have said nope, thanks, I’ll just wear my regular glasses then get some readers, but I got progressives.

Which I think is a really nicely marketed way of saying.

Wait for it.


I’m OLD.

43 is not old, 43 is not old, 43 is not old.

Oh mother of God.

But after listening to my optometrist and having a really nice and rather fun time engaging with him, we talked about my job, school, his experience being an immigrant, working hard, getting ahead, I made the decision to do the progressives.

It just makes better sense.

I’m reading and writing all the time and I’m going to be in school for years to come and I might as well do the thing that is going to work best for my eyes.

$600 later.


I exaggerate.

$594.00 later.

I’ll have a “new” pair of glasses.

I am re-lensing the ones I had previous to my green frames.

I will be going back to old black frames in two weeks, then I’ll swap out my current pair and I’ll do it again.

Which won’t be $594.00 since the eye exam will have been taken out, but will still cost about $400 for my current frames.

Can you say I don’t have eye insurance coverage.


But I did know I was going to want to do this, two pairs is nice to have, I need to be wearing a pair and I’ll have the frames for a while.

And I won’t always be without eye insurance.

I also have the money from my student loan disbursement.

I did my spending plan yesterday and calculated $500 for the new glasses.

I didn’t know that I would be getting bi-focals, er, I mean “progressives” which are significantly more expensive, sigh.

Oh well.

Better to take good care of myself and know that I did not skimp on the things that will help make my life better and happier and will help me with my reading and so it costs a little bit more than I thought.

So it goes.

Grateful I have the money to spend.

Grateful that I didn’t cheap out and say no.

Grateful to be taking good care of myself.

Nobody else is going to.


I’m stuck inside for the rest of the night.

I can’t scooter anywhere and though I had some debate about where to do the deal, there’s no way I’m going back out there, not on scooter, not on my bicycle.

I want to live.

I will not be able to do any school reading and I certainly won’t be doing much more writing, just this little piece.

Maybe I’ll try and watch a video, with the lights down way low.

This would be a good time to chat on the phone with folks.

I made a few calls before attempting to get online.

I could go to bed early.

I mean, really early.

Although I’m not too tired.


My eyes are done.

See you tomorrow.




*Ps. ¬†I can totally write, but I can’t proof, so if there’s mistakes, well, fuck it. ūüôā

-Four eyes (or is it six?) signing off

That Was Unbearable

August 10, 2014

It was like getting fucked up.

Without getting the fucked up part.

I mean, I could not have predicted this morning that you would find me in a smoke shop on Divisadero and Haight this afternoon fumbling around the sunglasses looking for something to take the glare off my eyes.

I haven’t been that frantic for sunglasses since early morning raids made on the Shell Station across the street from the End Up years ago to shade my eyes from the suns rays and the moon’s philandering.

It was horrid.

I felt high, but I was not high.

There was too much light in the day and the day being overcast actually made it worse.

I found this out this evening when the light started to fail and it was getting easier for me to maneuver about.

I had my eyes dilated today.

I went into the optometrist appointment excited for the prospect of getting contact lenses for the playa.

Contact lenses, fyi, that did not end up happening.

It turns out that I have an astigmatism in both my eyes, slightly worse in my left eye than in my right, and that means that contact lenses are a challenge to fit to my eyes and when the doc found out that I was only getting them for Burning Man she actually advised me against them.

She told me that the kind of astigmatism I have is poorly treated with contact lenses.  That I would actually see less well with the contacts than with my glasses.

She ran all the tests and said she would see if she could find a proper prescription in stock, which there was not much of, also, apparently, I have an atypical astigmatism, I don’t think I was hearing a lot of the speak, just getting my brain wrapped around the idea that glasses are now truly it for me, that I was not going to be wearing contact lenses at Burning Man or ever again.

“Well, we do have the prescription, but it may not feel very good, I’m going to have you try it out and run some more tests,” she said as I followed her out to wash my hands and insert the contacts in my eyes.

I was surprised at how easily it all came back to me.

I haven’t worn contacts in over twelve years since I had the laser surgery in 2002, but it was like riding a bike, I remembered where to pull down on my lid and intuitively knew that the lenses were right side up and not upside down.

I got both in quite fast and saw immediately what she meant.

The contact couldn’t fully correct my vision, in fact my vision became worse wearing the contacts then with my glasses on. ¬†It turned out that my eyesight was as good with the contacts as they were without.

Meaning that the correction was so negligible that I would have as much sight as if I was just without my glasses, therefore idiotic to bother getting contacts if they couldn’t correct up to my glasses prescription.

It was too much and I said so and no point in getting the contacts.


The doctor said, well as long as you’re here let’s do a full exam and see how your eye health is in general since you haven’t been in for two years.


That means dilating your eyes she said.


Had I known.

I would have said, fuck no.

I did not notice it at first, I mean I was busy getting lights flashed in my eyes and following light beams with my eyes and staring at small letters and numbers and what not.

But I noticed it as soon as I walked outside.

It was like getting walloped in the face.

I couldn’t stand the glare of the light, just day light, and that made no sense to me, as it wasn’t even bright out, it was overcast all day long and foggy and grey.

But it was horror in my head.

I had to literally shade my eyes with my hand and look down.

I stumbled to the 71 Noriega bus stop and scrambled to find a seat.

I sat down and out of habit took out my notebook to write down what I had spent at the doctor’s office and found I could not focus my eyes enough to see my check book.

I started to panic a little.

How long was this going to last?

I got off the bus at Divisadero and Haight Street to catch the 24 up to Noe Valley.

I couldn’t read what the NextBus app was saying on my phone, I realized I couldn’t read the texts on my phone either or see the number of the calls that had come in while I was looking at tiny letters on an off white screen in a darkened room.


I looked up at the monitor on the bus stop and saw that I had a half an hour to wait.

I couldn’t handle it.

I tried to sit.

I tried to stand.

I couldn’t see for shit.

I looked across the street, squinted, and saw sunglasses in the window of a smoke shop.

I made my way over to the store and for the first time in nine years set foot in a smoke shop.

I spun the racks and pulled out a pair of aviator glasses.

I tried them on.

The immediate relief was so profound I almost cried out, “thank you God.”

I paid for them and I am sure I was not the first person in the store that day to buy a pair of sunglasses as the dude rang me up and took a look at my dilated eyes.

I pulled the weird shaped paper sunglasses out of my purse as I reached for my wallet,  the optometrist had given me them saying I may want them, and asked the clerk to chuck them for me.

I am not sure why I had to tell him that I had just been at the eye doctor, but I had to.

It was the truth.

But, man, it just made me sound like I was high, high, high.

I chuckled and actually did enjoy some of the afternoon walking up Divisadero waiting for the bus, ducking into a few shops and not taking off my sunglasses.

I felt momentarily fabulous and cool.

Although it was bizarre to shop at Whole Foods later on when I did make it up to Noe Valley, I couldn’t read the labels of things and stood in front of a cold case trying to make out the price on a package of organic chicken breasts, I tried to read the label with the sunglasses on, then off, then on again, then I laughed and just put the fucking chicken in my basket.

I was getting stared at.

Crazy lady in the chicken aisle.


Just one with an irregular astigmatism in both eyes and a cheap pair of drugstore sunglasses to hide those pupils.

I swear.


I am not high.

So the next time I think someone’s tweaking in the grocery store or riding the bus.

I am just going to tell myself.

They just got out of an eye doctor’s appointment.

That’s all.


I See You

July 27, 2014

Or I would like to see you.

Without the aid of my glasses.

I have decided that I am all ready for Burning Man–wet wipes, Sigg water bottle, Mason jar with handle and sealed top with straw in extra-large size, socks, boots, homemade (like I made it) fascinators, hand salve (for gifting hand rubs, I give a good one, come look me up), sunblock, coconut body lotion, crinoline in my playa box, playa cruiser (American Cyclery has her and she should be ready this week for pick up), makeup, tank tops, bras, underpants, tights, fuzzy pink sweater for cold nights, bandanas, utility belt read, goggles ready–I mean, I really got it all.

If you don’t see food, water, the ticket to the event itself, transportation to and from, it’s because, thankfully, those things are a part of my ask for working the event.

But what I have flirted with before and think I am going to do after just checking a few sites online in a quick search, is contact lenses.

I wear glasses.

My sight is not too bad.

The glasses are because, in the parlance of the ophthalmologist, “you’re getting old.”

Thanks man.

I had laser surgery on my eyes back in 2002.

I had been legally blind and I went to having perfect 20/20 vision in both eyes within a matter of minutes.

In fact, they told me later that one of my eyes may have been corrected to better than 20/20.

The world lit up.

I was blown away by how clear and concise everything was.

When I was first diagnosed with needing glasses I was in the 5th grade.  I had needed them before, absolutely know it, I had problems seeing what was on the chalk board in school, so I always sat up front.

I think most of my classmates thought I was a brown noser, teacher’s pet, by the time I was in third grade.

Not so much.

Although I often did get along quite well with my teachers.

It was because I couldn’t see what was on the board.

I did not know that this was not normal.

I faked the eye exam in elementary school.

I never once had a school nurse figure it out, until after I was in the fifth grade.

It should have gotten red flagged when I was in fourth grade, but it slipped by my teacher, who couldn’t understand at the time what was happening to me.

I had failed my team at a math competition at a school tournament in a neighboring district. ¬†I couldn’t read the questions, they weren’t on paper in front of my face, where I could peer down at them, my nose literally to the paper (my nose was always in a book–buried, not because I was trying to escape, although there is truth to that as well, but because I couldn’t see the letters on the page if held at a normal distance), no, those questions were on overheads on screens in a gym auditorium.

I cried the entire time in frustration, little leaky tears of anger.

I remember writing down the answer to the questions as follows: “I can’t see the questions on the board.”

No one thought to ask me if that was true.

I just got back a test with all red marks on it.

I lost the meet for my team because I got them all wrong.


No wonder I am not a fan of math.

Too much pressure.

My mom tells the story that I was found out when I got hit by a car on my bicycle as I was crossing through an intersection, I said, to explain the car hitting me, that I hadn’t seen it coming.

There is some truth to that, I thought it was making a turn and it was not.

I overestimated how fast it was going and the direction and in a way, sure, I didn’t see it coming.

This did not prompt the eye exam.

My mom did not hurry out and send me to the eye doctor.

Although I won’t soon forget my mom running, bare foot, in grey sweatpants and a green short sleeve t-shirt, her arms pumping as she sprinted down the sidewalk, to me in the cross walk to make sure I was ok.

I don’t think I had a scratch and was horribly embarrassed and thought the whole thing my fault but was afraid to say anything.

No, it was a smart new nurse at Lake View Elementary school that caught me in a lie about the exam.

She was administering the standard test and I don’t know what it was or why, but I hadn’t memorized it fast enough.

I would listen to the answers of the children in front of me while the bored nurse pointed out the letters descending on the eye chart and then wave through the next child.

This nurse saw me stumble or pause, or I don’t know, maybe she figured out I was repeating back verbatim what I had just heard.

Whatever the case, she stopped the exam and pulled out a new card, one I had never seen before, literally and figuratively, and I failed with shining colors.

She immediately contacted my family and told my mom I had to go get an eye exam immediately.

I don’t remember much except the dialating ¬†of my eyes feeling really weird.

I also remember the doctor telling me I was going to get to wear glasses.

The other thing I remember, ugh, my soon to be stepfather helping to pick out the frames, the cheapest ones they had, big oversized plastic clear frames with bits of colored confetti floating in the stems.


But I was so happy to see.

I was amazed.

I had been missing so much!

I vowed when I was old enough and had enough money I would get contacts.

And I did, sophomore year of high school.

I never looked back, never wore my glasses again, except right in the morning to go to the bathroom and put in my contacts and last thing at night when I took out my contacts.

Then the laser surgery when I was 29.

Then when I was 39 I had to get glasses.

It was just after Burning Man and I had no idea what I had been missing.

But I was missing a bit, and last year was my first year on playa wearing regular glasses.

Regular glasses sort of suck, is the experience I had.

They get dusty and sweaty and smeary.

So, perhaps there is one more thing I can do before I head out.

Grab a quick eye exam, get a few weeks worth of disposable contacts and the only glasses I will need for the playa will be sunglasses.

I like to be seen.

But I also like to see.

And you know, there’s usually some good stuff to see out there in Black Rock City.

I’ll be there in three weeks.

Can’t wait to see you there!

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