You might remember that I wear contact lenses (and I didn't change this font. What just happened?)
I went today for my somewhat less than annual eye exam. I needed new contact lenses, and apparently, you have to have a current prescription. Sigh. I hate having an eye exam like I hate traffic court and finals (tomorrow, BTW, and look how hard I'm studying), but I'm down to one pair of lenses. And I can't see so good even when I'm wearing them, so it was time to see a doctor.
When I go to the eye doctor, I always warn the technician that she's going to have a hard time blowing the little puff of air in my eye for the glaucoma test. "Little puff of air." It's like someone trained a firehose right into my eyesocket. I flinch every time, multiple times. I can always see them losing patience at about puff three or so, and then they do what they should do from the very beginning: Do not warn me that it's coming, just blow.
Now that my eyes were properly aerated, the doctor took over.
Do you lie to your doctors? I do, all the time. I don't really don't know why, since I have practically no bad health habits except for the sweet tooth to which I freely admit. But every time a doctor asks me if I'm doing or not doing whatever, I feel compelled to lie. And I don't lie about anything else. At the doctor's, though, I want to both bask in medical professional approval AND avoid lectures. So I just tell them what they want to hear. I'm not doing myself any good, and really, I'm pretty sure that the doctors both A. know that I'm lying, and B. don't care. That said, it's very likely that I will continue to lie to the medical profession.
"Are you rubbing your lenses every night when you clean them?" the doctor asked. "I know that they sell this 'no-rub' solution, but there's no such thing--you should be cleaning the lenses manually every night."
"Oh yes, definitely," I said. Fat lie. Most nights, it's all I can do to get the silly things out of my eyes in one piece. Shiatsu massage for contact lenses is and will remain at the very bottom of my to-do list.
"Good," she said. "Do you ever sleep in your lenses?"
"No, not intentionally. Very rarely, I take a nap with them in, but I never actually wear them to bed." This is actually 100% true, on both counts: I hardly ever nap, and I never wear my contact lenses to bed.
"Very good," she beamed approvingly. "How often do you change your lenses?"
"Every two weeks; three at most," I said, with a straight face. This is a seriously overweight lie. I can make a two-week pair of soft lenses last for two months. If I ever do get around to administering the recommended daily contact lens spa treatment, I bet I can wear the same pair of lenses for an entire Congressional election cycle.
"Excellent," she said. I was her best patient today, probably all week. I fully expected to be invited to appear as a guest lecturer on the subject of contact lens hygiene, and I would have happily accepted. "Do as I say and not as I do" has worked very well as a child-rearing philosophy, and I see no reason why this approach shouldn't be an equally effective way of educating contact lens wearers who aren't as conscientious as I am (in my mind.)
As I suspected, I needed a new prescription, and I'll have to go back on Tuesday to try them, since she didn't have the new prescription in stock. Meanwhile, filed under the heading of "I was this close to getting out of here" was her final review of my chart. She looked up at me.
"When is the last time you had your eyes dilated? I noticed you didn't do that the last few times you were here, and you seem to have told the technician that you didn't want to do it today either."
"Oh gosh," I said. "I don't remember."
It's really impossible to overstate the grotesque obesity of this particular lie, since I remembered perfectly well when I had last had my eyes dilated. It was never. I'd never had my eyes dilated, not even one time, and if it weren't for officious chart-snooping optometrists and rat-fink sell-a-person-down-the-river technicians, I'd still hold that perfect record.
The kindly beam of approval disappeared. The steely clinical gaze appeared in its place. "It's very important to have a retinal exam every year. It's really the only way we can detect all kinds of bad shit that happens to people's eyes." I tried to look earnest and concerned, but I was busily working up my next lie, the one that was going to get me out of the office with my pupils beady and constricted. That's how I like them.
"OK, how about if I have it done when I come back to get my contact lenses?"
"Why not now?"
"Well, I have to drive."
"Well, just to pick my kids up from school." Dumbass. It was 11:30 in the morning, and as it turned out, the doctor also has children who are Montgomery County Public School students, so she knew perfectly well that I had at least three hours. "Perfect!" she said. "You have plenty of time!"
So ended the struggle. And except for the slight stinging (hurt like bloody hell on fire), minor delay (sucked up half of my day), and temporarily blurred vision (blind), it was not that bad.