Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sometimes life gives you a little push...

My trendy new glasses
I am a procrastinator. Not about everything, just about things I don't really want to do or can't quite figure out how to do. Which covers quite a lot, I must admit. Sometimes when I delay making a choice, fate intervenes and does it for me, and most of the time things work out for the best. Or at least it feels that way.

Case in point, I was overdue for an eye exam. My doctor has been monitoring me for potential macular degeneration and potential glaucoma. Once a year he puts me through a lot of tests and says my sight hasn't changed enough for new glasses. This guy is very popular; it takes months to get an appointment with him. So I have wanted to believe I was getting the best care, but something was bugging me.

As I was leaving my appointment last year, I mentioned to the tech that I wasn't given a new prescription for eyeglasses, but I was certain my vision was a little worse. The tech said, "Well, that won't change until you have surgery." Huh? At the time, I didn't even want to know what that meant. My eyes were dilated and I needed to manage to drive home, and I decided I'd think about it "later."

To tell the truth I avoided thinking about it. But I noticed last spring that I couldn't read road signs until I was right upon them...something I'd have taken for granted except that Peter could read them from much farther away. And at the ballpark, he would point out an ad on the outfield fence and I couldn't read it.

I was due for my usual exam in September--a visual field test on one day followed by a dilated exam by The Doctor Himself a few days later. Around that time my clinic sent a letter announcing that they would be adding another doctor in January and I could feel free to set up an appointment with him. I wasn't sure...would he be any good? Should I leave My Doctor? I never got around to deciding.

One morning a couple of weeks ago I got out of the car in the Perkins parking lot, tripped, and fell. On my face. Again. I wasn't badly damaged this time, but my glasses were scratched enough to impair my vision--which, as we know, wasn't that good to begin with. So after breakfast Peter drove me to Lenscrafters. I had never used them, but he has been very impressed with their service and speed, both of which appealed to me at the moment. They couldn't repair the old glasses, but they could get me in the very next day for an eye exam with an eye practice located right there in their shop. I said okay. I thought I'd let them test my vision and get some glasses, and then probably see my regular guy about the bigger problems.

To his credit, the optometrist I saw the next day did a very thorough exam. Moreover, he was using more modern equipment than my regular doctor has, and he was able to show me pictures of a very slight spot in the macula, and slight narrowing of the ocular nerve, sometimes associated with glaucoma. He wants me back in a couple of months to see whether there are changes.

Meanwhile, though, he asked whether my regular doctor had ever mentioned cataracts. And there it was. No, I said, he never mentioned them but his tech said something about surgery.

"I recommend you get at least your left eye done within a couple of months. I'm referring you to a surgeon; her office will call you."

He wasn't even going to prescribe new glasses, since the scrip will change after surgery. But I needed them, and I already had learned that Lenscrafters will replace your lenses free if your prescription changes within three months. So I'm sporting new glasses (which marginally improve my vision and aren't all scratched up and besides, I like them) and I'll be having cataract surgery before long. Friends tell me it's not a big deal, though I will be nervous about the chance of something going wrong. On the other hand, there is a big chance that my vision will be a whole lot better!

This new doctor said the macular degeneration shouldn't be an issue, at least for a long time yet. And if glaucoma seems to be a threat, he'll start medication.

Maybe if I had seen my regular eye doctor I'd have learned all this and be in the same situation I'm in now. But I've made the change and I'm not looking back. The new doctor and the surgeon are both covered under my health insurance plan, I'm moving forward, and with any luck I'll see even better one of these days. I thank the universe for pushing me into this, but I'd rather not fall again for a while, if you don't mind.

One more thing...Lenscrafters employees are unusually helpful and personable, but that's not why I wrote this. They were just a supporting cast in this particular little drama. Still, they could teach all businesses a few things about customer relations. :)


31 comments:

joeh said...

The cataract problem sneaks up on you, so with new lenses you will be very pleased...remember color?

It is not covered by most insurance, but they can put in corrective lenses. I did that and now only need glasses for driving and watching TV and can do without them at all better than before with glasses. A bit expensive but at least tax deductible. The actual surgery was a snap...in...sleep...wake up 1/2 hour later and no pain. A bit of maintenance and lots of drops for a couple of weeks but really not bad.
Good luck, and enjoy seeing again!

Far Side of Fifty said...

You will be surprised how much your vision improves after the cataracts are gone. I had mine done about four years ago..in January I think of 2010 I blogged all about it. I have a pair of glasses for driving at night and my reading glasses which I really need for reading but other than that I am glasses free..and I was blind as a bat since childhood.
Let us know how it goes...I did have some pain afterward in the first eye they did...the second one not much for pain...and it was so worth it!
So why are you falling? Tripping..not seeing well...klutzy..or all three?:(

Far Side of Fifty said...

I do like your new glasses:)

Stephen Hayes said...

Your new glasses frame your face really nicely.

Miss Dazey said...

I like the new glasses. Getting my cataracts removed was a huge blessing! I'm surprised your first doctor didn't explain cataracts.

DJan said...

I have a cataract in my left eye, and the vision deteriorated quite a lot in a year. But I got a new prescription, and when I saw him a year later, there was little change. I know I will need surgery in awhile, but not right this moment. I think it makes a difference if they can't correct your vision with glasses.

Hubby got cataract surgery a few years back and couldn't see without pop-bottle glasses before. Now he only needs glasses for driving. Doesn't even need them for close work or the computer! :-)

Pauline Persing said...

Cataract surgery is in my future, too. Glad to hear that Lenscrafters was a good place to go. i like your new frames.

Jeanie said...

I'm not ready for it yet, but my last exam noted early cataracts. I love your new frames and it's a great photo! I'm glad you're back in business -- and right before the holiday where you will want to see everything!

Anita said...

Pushing 56, I might be one of the babies in this group of commenters so far. Coincidentally, I just made an appointment for a vision test. Maybe this time, I'll actually buy some readers from a "real" eye glasses store instead of pulling them off the rack for $10-$15. My far sighted vision is still good, but I'll bet he recommends bifocals.

Anyway, enough about me. I'm glad you didn't injure yourself in the fall. And good for you that you're willing to do what you have to do to keep your vision and your eyes healthy.

Thanks for mentioning Lens Crafters. I always wonder if stores like theirs make good glasses. Why pay $300 or more if I don't have to.

Nice glasses and I like your short hair, too.

Jenny Short said...

I've had both surgeries, glaucoma and cataracts. Not bad and my vision greatly improved, especially the color. Everything had looked amber before the cataract surgery and I hadn't noticed. What sent me to the eye specialist M.D. was the double vision that comes with cataracts. Don't wait that long. The glaucoma was so painful I went to the glalucoma specialist to have that treatment and it relieved the pressure in both eyes. See a medicaldoctor and take care of your eyes. You can't replace them. Not a good thing to procrastinate about. My medical insurance covered both. I'll never have cataracts again and my vision improved greatly. xo Jenny

troutbirder said...

Mmmmmm. Interesting. I need to take all of this to heart. And have bee tripping quite a bit lately. Hmmm......

Thom Brown said...

Good luck. Please let us know when it's all done, but in the meantime - NO more falling.

Jeanie said...

I know a couple of people who have had cataract surgery recently and both of them are very glad they did it. I'm glad you weren't badly damaged in the fall. You did get a great looking new pair of glasses out of all the bother.

Ms Sparrow said...

I'm glad things are going well for you while you work through these issues. Having a doctor who's on top of things is very comforting. I like the photo of your new glasses. I sometimes think that sooner or later I'm probably going to see you at Rainbow Foods and wonder if I'd recognize you. The photo helps!

Linda Myers said...

There's nothing better than competence and very good customer service.

Cataract surgery is easy and makes a big difference!

Grandmother (Mary) said...

My father had the cataract surgery and still sees well at 97. I like the new glasses and your cute hair style- great combo. I went to Lens Crafters in FL 2 years ago and was amazed at the friendly, competent service I got, in fact I'll go again in February when I run in the half marathon. Good luck with your surgery- wait till you see the colors in D'Vale!

Kc W said...

Sometimes things happen for a reason and I wouldn't be going back to the old doctor either! I had a really bad experience with my eye doctor of over 15 years who kept telling me it was just floaters and just age. I had a partially detached retina that the second opinion doctor found in time! I never went back to my old doctor either.

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Wow! Things happen for a reason, I believe, and this turned out so well for you. Unfortunate it had to begin with a face plant and broken glasses, but glad you're doing better, seeing better, enjoying a far better customer service experience.

Jan said...

I've used Lenscrafters and been very satisfied with them. The ophthalmologist I see every few years has said that I'll need cataract surgery eventually and I would love to give up glasses. They're just such a part of me that I can't imagine not having them on my face! Keep us posted on the surgery. -- Jan

Granny-Guru said...

So, that fall was a gift to give you a second pair of eyes to look at yours. Congratulations. My brother had an experience like that when his newborn son was not recovering from what his pediatrician said was a cold. Finally, my brother just didn't believe him anymore and took him to another doctor who diagnosed the new, rare Reyes' syndrome. He said, "I'll meet you at the hospital" He said my nephew was hours away from slipping into a coma. Now he's fine, all grown up and a Daddy to two.

Kc W said...

PS I do love the new glasses! Glad you survived the fall!

Red Shoes said...

For what these clownns charge for visits and such, one would think that they would do a far better job with their patients. I can't understand his logic for not telling you that you needed surgery...

The bum!

I like the new glasses as well!!

~shoes~

Kaye Swain said...

The glasses look grand! And I bet the surgery goes wonderfully. My senior mom had both eyes done a few years ago and it wasn't bad for her at all. Home the same day, and she saw much better after that. Didn't even need glasses except for store-bought reading glasses.

Jayne Martin said...

So glad to hear that the Universe stepped in to lead you to a better doctor. The new glasses are quite sophisticated. I like them!

Nanette Stearns said...

I've been on drops for elevated pressure (a sign of glaucoma) for about 4 years and my doctor has mentioned cataracts too though not surgery yet. I get checked every 4-6 months and have noticed my vision changing more than it used to. Ah, aging! Anyway, your new glasses look great!

Bohemian Babushka said...

Here from the Grand Social and I think I've found a kindred spirit. BB also waits too long for follow throughs... in post writing and in self health issues- especially her rosecolored glasses. ; ) You'll be fine w/the operation. La Tata, my 92 yr old grandmother had hers done over 30 yrs ago and still has great vision. BB2U

Deb Shucka said...

I really like your new look! And I love this story on so many levels. So glad you're being taken care of. I think the cataract surgery is pretty easy. My mom came through hers with no issues at all. Sending prayers for a good outcome and new stories to tell.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Cataracts are very sneaky -- your vision just gets worse so gradually. I had both mine done two years ago and am delighted. I'm sure you will be as well.

dkzody said...

Your new glasses look smashing with your hair. Hope all the other stuff works out and you will be seeing clearly for a long time.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Good to know. Glad your fall wasn't much worse. And, I'm a terrible procrastinator also. Out of site, out of mind. Hmmm, maybe I need to get to the eye doctor.

The Loerzels said...

You look great! And my dad just had his cataract surgery in December. And will be looking for new glasses too.

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