Keeping Me Humble
July 27, 2011
Today I had an experience that reminded me of my utter humility in this world.
I went to the optometrist, because after almost 36 years of perfect vision, I have been starting to experience difficulty in focusing my eyes when reading.
Dave decided to work from home and accompany me to my appointment, and boy, was that a good thing.
All was going well as they measured things, flipped through lenses, and made me track things with my eyes. Then came the glaucoma test.
The doctor put bright yellow drops in my eyes and handed me a tissue on which to dab any excess. That was the first freaky thing, looking down and seeing those neon yellow splotches on my tissue. The doctor explained that these drops would simply numb the eyeball for the next procedure. Numb the eyeball?! That was the second freaky thing.
The third was my inability to hold my eye open as the doctor approached me with this machine that emitted an eerie blue light. My lashes kept slamming shut, despite my best efforts to keep them open. Freakiness. The doc had to pry the eye open and hold it there while he pushed the creepy light directly up to my eyeball.
And then the other eye. Same deal. And his breath was hot and stinky. I suddenly felt so nauseous and claustrophobic, with this complete stranger so close to me, holding open my eye and looking at it through a weird machine.
He finished up the exam and sent me to the frames lady, declaring I simply needed some reading glasses to help with focusing problems. As I thanked him and stumbled toward the frames lady, a loud ringing sound began in my ears and I felt shaky and like the world had suddenly become surreal. Uh, oh.
Freaky thing number four, or are we at five? I had to confess to the woman that I felt quite sick, indeed. She graciously told me to put my head down and rest. I was mortified and embarrassed, but managed to choke out that my husband was in the waiting room and could she please fetch him?
Dave came in, took one look at me and said, “Whoa. You’re awfully pale! You okay?” “Can I lay down somewhere?” I inquired desperately. Mrs. Frames-Lady answered in the affirmative and Dave took my arm as I staggered, nearly collapsing in a dead faint, to a nearby exam room.
Ten minutes or so later, with a cup of cranberry juice in my hand and much fussing over me by the sweet frames woman, I felt much better. And very humbled. Never mind that I’ve given birth three times and am generally a tough cookie. Numbing eyedrops, glaucoma testing machines, optometrists with halitosis… put them together, and you’ve got a scenario to remind me of my frailty and humility. And you’ve also got a story that I laughed about for the rest of the day, for the sheer ridiculousness of it.