I got my eyes checked the other day. They say you’re supposed to undergo an appointment every two years to make sure everything in the optical front is working properly. I remember not minding eye appointments; nothing beats the torture of sitting in a dentist’s chair with your mouth wide open while someone with latex gloves pokes around at your gums and withdraws blood by way of floss. No matter what I do I can never seem to satisfy the dentists – no matter how hard, frequent, or meticulous I am with dental care they always ask me how often I’m flossing.
Eye appointments aren’t so bad. You just look through a variety of different lenses and choose the best one. There’s never a wrong answer and whenever I tell them whether “1 or 2” is better, my optometrist always makes me feel like I’ve made a good choice. It feels good when another person affirms my ability to see through a piece of glass.
There was one test that I forgot about until this last visit, though. One where you prop your chin onto a machine and look through what seems to be a giant pair of white binoculars. I looked through it this time (and I don’t know if it’s something that happens every appointment or if they manage to change it every once in awhile) but when I opened my eyes I found myself looking down a long lane marked by a pure white picket fence, where on the horizon I could see the most idyllic looking red house. The fence ran down the immediate centre of the image and on either side of the fence was the most vibrant green grass. It actually looked like a dream. My doctor kept moving the image in and out of focus, part of the examination for sure, but it was so calming. The sun was shining bright but I couldn’t see it in the image and sky was a bright blue with no clouds in the sky. It looked like it was about 25 degrees out and I kept imagining myself running down that fenced pathway into the lone house wondering who lived there – was it even occupied or did it act as a place of refuge, and inn perhaps.
Ironically, later on in the appointment things got a little uncomfortable as I was subject to first two yellow eyedrops, one in each eye that stung like expired Visine followed by dialating drops which dialated my pupils making me look strung out and exceptionally sensitive to bright light. A severely contrasting experience where only thirty minutes ago the bright light of the red house image calmed me, entranced me, and made me feel like I could dream about it forever even with pupils dialated to the size of dimes whilst being unable to look at the sun. The results of my exam were satisfactory – the doctor even told me I had nice, low pressure in my eyes and a thick cornea making me eligible for Lasik surgery. I thought it sounded like an off-kilt pick up line and considered telling her I was taken but she is quick and efficient and I didn’t want to compromise a good optometrist.
I left the eye doctor in good spirits, save for the extreme bright light sensitivity and blurry vision. I’d take the optometrist over bleeding gums at the dentist any day.