“Eye-Eye, Doctor!”

posted in: Day In The Life 1
Optometrist appointment reminder postcard, c. 1935. Image: Wikipedia.
Optometrist appointment reminder postcard, c. 1935. Image: Wikipedia.

I got to go to the optometrist today. I love going to the optometrist. I always have — and I mean that in two ways: I have always loved going to the optometrist and I have always gone to the optometrist because since I was in second grade or so, I have required vision correction. Whenever I see a shorty with glasses, I get a pang. Kids under six look adorable in glasses but most of them don’t think so (I didn’t.)

The optometrist is great because there are so many interesting tools used to examine you but none of them are sharp or contain fluid. You sit down in a comfortable chair. You put your chin in a cup. The doctor comes close and shines a tiny light directly in your eye but for some reason this is not a problem. You look at letters on the wall and try to read them. Whether or not you read the letters correctly, the optometrist gives you praise: “Okay, great. Let’s look at the next one.” You don’t know if you’re right or wrong about the letters and you don’t care that much. You’re just in a quiet place with someone who cares about your eyes.

You’ll think I’m kidding, but I’m not: the sound of test lenses dropping into place as the doctor goes, “Is 1 better? Or 2? Is 3 better? Or 4? 5 better? or 4?” — that entire sequence is my favorite sound in the world. There’s something calming and drowsy about it, but it’s impossible to explain. (Probably an ASMR thing, if you’re familiar with that.) If you’ve never been to an eye doctor, you have no idea what I’m talking about. If you have been to the eye doctor, you do know, and I’ll bet you love that, too.

It took some time to tweak my slightly-changed prescription, so my optometrist and I got to chatting as I swapped out this and that contact. Did you know optometry school takes four years? It take four years after an undergrad degree. I don’t know why I was surprised; a person who works exclusively with the health of freaking eyeballs should probably study for awhile before they do that.

My right eye has felt tired, lately. I was hoping it was because I was straining to see out of it, that I needed a stronger prescription. As that is not the case, I am still mildly concerned about this. But it only happens when I wear my contacts; when I wear my glasses, I’m fine. I’m not excited about wearing my glasses all the time, so I hope this tiredness goes away. I’d like to have options, which is precisely how I felt when I was six.