See Saw

Monday started out like any other typical Monday, or at least what has passed for a typical Monday since last fall. Monday for me means my Mother’s weekly grocery run for those items that aren’t supplied by her assisted living facility. You know, the various household toidy papers, chocolate, those types of things.

I didn’t think the fine folks at the Safeway would care whether my hair was done er clean or not so I went semi-as-is, throwing a little make-up on my face as a gentle bow to the social graces and headed out the door. Tom happened to have the day off and came along, in fact he was doing the driving. As we were heading towards the store it suddenly occurred to me that I should have thought to book my eye exam for today, I never know if they are going to dilate my eyes so having someone else be my driver is prudent yanno?  So Tom says “why not call and see if they can take you today?” Huh.. good point. I mean I have that there smart-phone, why not use it for something other than checking Facebook and Twitter!? I called and as it turns out, they could indeed take me that afternoon. We delivered the groceries and headed to the mall where we had a little time to kill which was spent entirely in Bed Bath and Beyond. One hundred dollars later it was appointment time, Tom took the household goodies to the car (touchless soap dispenser, grocery bag holder/dispenser, a 4-pack of frames and… and…damn I think something else that doesn’t come to mind at the moment.

I checked in and took a seat in the waiting room and not long after I was called to do the initials tests, like the photographs of the inside of your eyes, some other test where you look through and see what to me looks like a small farmhouse in the distance with a white picket fence leading up to it (not exactly sure what it does)… and then my favourite the puff of air.  That one always makes me jump. I have gotten better though, I used to pull my head back just before they puffed and/or close my eyes for many years. Now I just squint and hold onto the chair handles for dear life. After those first tests they sent me back into the waiting room to wait for the doctor.  Tom and said he was going to wander around for a bit in the mall and we arranged to meet back up either in the optical store attached or in the waiting area.  My exams always take a little longer than the typical exam because years ago my eye doctor discovered that the shape of the back of my eyes is an indicator that I could possibly develop glaucoma at some point in the future, so other than the typical tests I also have to take a visual field test to check any degradation in my peripheral vision.

After I’m done I get called back into the room with the doc who studies the test results and says “we need to discuss a few things” which are words that never mean good news when strung together. Turns out my left eye failed the field test, I had missed some of the wiggly lines which indicated a possible blind spot.. or I just missed the wiggly lines somehow. I was surprised to hear it was my left eye that failed considering my right eye is my bad eye. The good news is that the photos of my eyes showed no change which indicates to the doc that there isn’t any nerve damage so it may just have been I missed some of the wiggly lines somehow. In any case this means I retake the tests in 6 months just to be safe.

The OTHER bit of news is that I am now officially old enough to need progressive lenses, that is three different focal planes baby.  The doc had asked if I had been using my glasses full-time but I explained that I used them primarily for reading computer and TV. I also mentioned that I could no longer read tiny print on things like pill bottles and I couldn’t use my glasses to drive with because everything on my right hand side looked like it was coming AT ME when it moved which is a bad thing while driving if I am constantly thinking the person to my right is trying to side-swipe me. Also? I can’t walk and wear my current glasses for the same reason (the curve thing) because it made me nauseated. Sometimes I forget and start to walk around my house while wearing them, feel weird and leave them on some random surface then when I need them again I can’t find them.

So while it turns out I need a stronger prescription for close-up and mid-line he dialed the number back a bit on the distance for my progressives which he believes will help with the curving problem and encourage me to wear them more often.  I am not “required” to wear them to drive, I can see but this will help me with things like street signs at a distance I’m hoping and avoid some of the eyestrain headaches.

I also found out that due to the three different focal points this limits your choice of frames, they have to be high enough vertically to accommodate them. Fortunately for me I am not big on the skinny frames anyway so I really don’t think I would have chosen anything that didn’t “qualify” in the first place.  Tom was waiting for me in the outside waiting room and with new prescription in hand we went to the adjoining optical store to check out some frames. The sales lady was really helpful and patient (as was Tom) because I am THE worst at picking out glasses. I will try on just about half the store before I narrow them down to a half-dozen or so contenders that I don’t HATE (I hate how I look in glasses period) and a pair that was suggested by the sales lady. All of these require a picture to be taken so I can see the frames from a more objective angle. I swear everything looks different when you’re gazing at yourself in the mirror as opposed to what you see in a picture. The bad news is I wasn’t exactly looking my best (the whole dirty hair, slobby appearance and the tiny bit of mascara which was the only bit of make-up I was wearing. Ah well.

Tom had offered to take the pictures but I turned him down because almost every picture Tom takes of me I end up with some kind of weird expression on my face and though it wasn’t going to be a beauty shot (lord no!) I would get distracted by my weird expression instead of what the glasses look like. Our sales lady said the same thing happens with her husband, she always ends up with a Chandler smile (exactly!) maybe it is a husband/wife thing? After taking a few arms length pictures on my tiny pocket camera and screwing up my face at the results,  the sales lady offered to take the pictures for me. I still ended up with a stupid expression on my face for most of the shots but I didn’t feel the same need to try to smile so they probably weren’t as bad as they could have been.

It was not that easy to see the pictures on the tiny LCD screen but between that and looking in the mirror trying each of them on several times…and slowly whittling them down to three, then two.. finally getting another objective opinion from another person who worked there I hallelujah  finally picked my regular and sunglasses pairs.

Here are the terrifying  pictures…. shows personal growth that I’m showing just how horrible I can look  right?

Frame #1 (the plastic frames that the saleslady suggested) – one of the first to be ruled out.

The Great Progressive lens glasses search-o-rama

Frame #2 – Maybe TOO angular with a disconcerting space between where the glass ends and the frames? I think the others disliked this frame more than I did.

The Great Progressive lens glasses search-o-rama

Frame #3 – Too plain and boxy?

The Great Progressive lens glasses search-o-rama

Frame #4 – these were the runner-ups because they were different with the kind of lacy appearance on the edge, but would probably become dated too quickly and they were a touch too pale.

The Great Progressive lens glasses search-o-rama

The eventual winner is this one:

The Great Progressive lens glasses search-o-rama

I know they all kind of have a similar appearance but the slightly coppery colour and the wider and slightly angled rectangle which to me helps to narrow my round face won all of us over in the end. I was saying to Tom I will still hate them (I simply am not the kind of person that looks good in glasses period) but I won’t hate them as MUCH as I would other pairs so in the end it is a win.

Oh yeah, and here are the sunglasses I got. I know I know, but they have TONS of coverage and will be great for driving (assuming I *can* drive with them on) and walking around and they block light from all angles.

The Great Progressive lens glasses search-o-rama - sunglass version

In another ten days give or take I will be learning to point my nose in the direction I want to look (which I understand is the secret to successfully seeing through progressives.) Apparently the transition is different for everyone, some find it easy and some can take weeks, I’m hoping I fall into the former category but we shall see!

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