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. :)


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