FALLING INTO DISGRACELAND 

FALLING INTO DISGRACELAND

THE EYES HAVE IT I was going to write about Ginger, that new eco-friendly scooter thing, and how its top speed is 12 mph and all I can think of when I hear “Ginger” is the Spice Girls and that stupid game on the Internet where you can slap them, but then it gave your computer a virus. Unfortunately, I can’t because at this very moment, I’m sitting in a dark cave that I imagine is not unlike Osama’s, except for the iMac and the telephone, the four red cube walls, the desk, the heat, and, of course, me (a female). Okay, actually, it’s my office and not a cave, but there seem to be some lightbulb issues, so my computer is backed into a darkened corner and glowering at me like a beast from hell. And like all my other encounters with beasts from hell, it’s making my eyes hurt. And that in turn is pissing me off. I only went to the eye doctor rather recently and thought after I finished with that whole ordeal, I’d have good eye health for at least a year. See, even while I was in college, I still went to our family eye doctor, a man my father plays golf with every Saturday. I’d come home for summer or Christmas and my mother would’ve already set up an appointment in time for me to order glasses or contacts before I needed to go back. Same thing with the dentist. Basically all I had to do was show up. Now, of course, I’m not on my parents’ insurance anymore. I have my own, and although I can’t say for sure I understand it all, I am interested in getting them to pay for whatever possible. So a little while ago, I realized that I couldn’t see out of my left eye. I mean, I sort of could, but had my right eye been suddenly knocked out, I wouldn’t have been able to drive at all, the vision in the left was so bad. I didn’t think the insurance paid for eye-related things, but I wasn’t sure, and really, I didn’t have any better plans, so I picked an optometrist out of my provider book. Just sort of opened the thing up, let my finger fall, and called and made an appointment. Easy enough. I get there and everything goes pretty well. There’s a little uneasiness when my eyeball is numbed and the interning doctor tells me he’s going to stick a little pointy thing right on it, but other than that, everything goes okay. Until they give me the tester contacts to see if the fit will be correct. They don’t have my exact prescription in stock, so they give me some that “are close” and tell me to wear them for a week. Then I’m set to come back and get my eyes dilated. You can call me an alarmist, but I was a little concerned about having contacts that “are close” to my prescription. My glasses are pretty thick -- think Porterhouse steak -- which means I’m as blind as a bat. So I ask, since my old contacts are closer to my prescription, could I take them back home with me, just in case the not-quite-right contacts give me problems. This causes some puzzlement on the part of the doctor, but he shrugs, says, No problem, and hands me a little case where my old contacts were being temporarily housed. Temporarily and quite casually housed, it turned out. A few days later, as I was getting ready to drive cross-country to my parents’ house, I thought it might be a good idea if I use my old contacts. Just to see on the open road and everything. I open the case and find ... two crusty old dried up pieces of blue plastic. The doctor hadn’t added any solution. I wore the other ones instead. Not to belabor this story, but while I’m at my parents’ house, one of the not-quite-right contacts rips into three tiny pieces. I manage to wrangle a temporary contact from my father’s golf buddy, which was helpful at the time but didn’t go over so well when I went back to the Memphis eye doctor for my second visit. They needed to check the contact’s fit, which I understand, but it wasn’t like I ripped it on purpose. They dilate my eyes anyway (I’m already there) and then I ask if I can get another set of temporary contacts to last me until the ones I ordered come in. The ones I had were getting old (that one had already ripped) and not only are my glasses as thick as steaks, as previously mentioned, but they’re not even close to being my current prescription (I plan to get new ones soon). Now, at the time, the eye doctor was very interested in a surgery going in the next room. So after he leaves to get me some contacts, he doesn’t return. Instead he goes to the next room and sends a nurse in with the contacts. “Put these in and the doctor will be with you shortly” I think were her exact words. Well, I sit there for 20 minutes. Nothing happens. And my eyes have been numbed and dilated so I can’t see anything up close, which means I can’t read or even look at the pictures in People magazine. I just sit. Finally I’m bored out of my mind and I walk to the front desk. “Are you sure the doctor’s coming back?” I think were my exact words. I got an emphatic “Oh, yes, ma’am,” so I go back to my chair to wait. Now this is toward the end of the day, so there aren’t many other patients there, perhaps only the one getting surgery in the next room. I wait another 10 or 15 minutes and I hear the nurses packing things up. And then another doctor comes out of surgery, sees me sitting in the room staring into space, and says to my doctor, “I thought you said you were done with all your patients.” From around the corner, I hear my doctor say, “I am.” At this point I’m feeling rather uncomfortable. The other doctor looks back at me and says, “Well, you still have one sitting here in Exam Three.” I left shortly thereafter, you know, after paying for the visit. It’s really too bad doctors don’t follow the lead of Pizza Hut. You know, your visit under an hour or it’s free. Something like that. But this is all to say I don’t want to have to go to the eye doctor again until at least six months have passed. I’d like 12 but I’m just not sure that’s possible. Especially since, I’m over here typing in the dark. I guess I’m just really impatient. Actually, this is my main problem with the Ginger scooter. It’s just too slow. I mean, a top speed of 12 mph? There are people who can run faster than that. I’m not one of them. But still. Besides, even without my glasses, I can see how dorky it looks.

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