Abusing the Contacts

Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long. It’s kinda weird not to write here a few times a week. I know not too many people really care, but I care. I’ve just been working on a lot of projects, which have been eating up the very small amount of spare time I have on hand before and after work. I could sacrifice sleep like the geniuses of the world and masters of their craft, but I haven’t gotten to that point of passion about not sleeping. I’ll def make sure to share once my projects are completed and if they are successful. Hahaha.

Not much has been happening on my end of the world recently. I finally made it to the eye doctor this week. Last time I went was back when we first moved to Georgia. I was almost out of contact lenses, though, so I made the appointment to get my eyes rechecked.

When I got there, they took my current lens prescription and my glasses to run some tests on them. I did all those really uncomfortable tests where they blow air in your eyes, blind you with bright lights, and then ask you to find very faintly displayed dots and wiggly lines. The last one was a macular degeneration test, and I kept over-anticipating the appearance of the wiggly lines and pushing the button before I even saw anything. Whoops!

They sat me down in a waiting room without my contacts or glasses. I have terrible vision, so I was just sitting there almost completely blind. People kept passing by, and I didn’t know if they were smiling at me or even looking my way. I didn’t want to be rude, so I just smiled at everyone who passed. But for some reason when I have no concept of vision, smiling also seems weird and fake. It’s not like I can see my own face when I smile and can see. But I felt like, without being able to see the people, I forgot how to smile genuinely. So I was just sitting there fake smiling at people who may or may not be looking at me.

I finally got my glasses back, and went to see the doctor. He was nice enough, but seemed really detached. Almost like he didn’t want to be there. Go figure. Me either. We did the typical eye doctor thing, “Ok, read these letters. Tell which is better, 1… or 2… 1… or 2…” That went on for a while.

Until! Until he told me the the vision in my left eye had gotten a little worse, and that he could see from the “shine a very bright light in your eye” picture that I had been “abusing my contacts.” He kept saying that phrase over and over, “abusing your contacts.”

Apparently, the contacts that I like, and the ones my eyes had gotten used to, were an older type that didn’t let as much oxygen into the eye. That, coupled with the fact that I “abuse the contacts” (meaning I wear them LONG past their expiration date) means that my eyes aren’t getting enough oxygen. So to compensate, blood vessels are starting to encroach into my cornea.

After that long explanation, he showed me all these pictures that I think were supposed to scare me, but I’m not an eye doctor so they just looked like blue-tinted photos of up-close eyeballs. So I pretended to be concerned with my actual eyeballs instead of how much this new “development” was going to cost me.

The eye man said he didn’t really want to prescribe me the same kind of contacts again, and asked me to try daily contacts. The whole concept of daily contacts seems SO WASTEFUL to me, but I’m not an adult yet, and don’t know how to stand up for myself in medical situations. So I accepted in hopes that my eyeballs would fix themselves, and I won’t be completely blind by 30.

I did ask how expensive they were, and he said, “These are a little more expensive than your current contact lenses, but you won’t be buying cases or solutions, so it should even out in the end.” Ok, cool. Thanks bro.

He told me to try the daily contacts out for a few days and then call to order if they are ok, and come in if they don’t work. When I checked out, the lady said, “Oh, a 90-day supply is $80 with your insurance.” Cool story. That’s not too bad.

My eyes adjusted to the lenses, so I called to order, and THAT lady informed me that a 90-day supply was indeed $80… per box, per eye, per month. I’m not sure you’re aware, but “per something” means multiply. So, a 90-day supply was actually, in fact, closer to $500 than to $80. Excuse me while I try to pick my jaw up off the floor.

I don’t know what world eye doctor man lives in, but contact solution and cases and supplies and whatever else, does not equate to almost $500 in 90 days. This means that I will probably be keeping my old glasses (since I don’t wear them super often) and asking for a contribution for contact lenses for my birthday from Sean. That is just the best birthday present I could think of. Except for maybe a vacuum… Le sigh.

One day I’ll be a real adult and stick up for myself with medical professionals. There needs to be a college class in THAT. And basic financial management. If there’s anything the last 12 months has taught me, it’s that medical professionals rarely actually care about you. They care more about pushing you through the system as fast as possible, getting the most money from you in as short a time, and making sure you spend the most money on products that your insurance may or may not cover.

Am I missing anything? Any tips on how to be an adult at the doctor?

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