A Moment in My Life – Thursday, March 4, 2021
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have waited so long to make an appointment at Costco Optical. The last time I had an eye exam was in 2017, right before Cobra ended. My optometrist was expensive, even with my insurance coverage. These multifocal contacts with my high prescription were hard to come by and kept me returning to my optometrist. Initially, I figured I would order my contacts from Costco, but they didn’t carry my C-Vue multifocal disposable lenses. Eventually, 1-800-Contacts did until they didn’t. Good thing I ordered an extra year’s supply of contacts then. I stretched out my stash until I was down to the last contacts, and I had to take action begrudgingly.
I don’t know why I think the way I do, but I do. For whatever reason, I feared going to a new optometrist. Maybe it was a simple fact that I don’t like change. I had the same optometrist for decades. I can’t say that she was the best since I had nobody else to compare to, but she was familiar. We became friends. Not good enough friends to continue a business relationship just because we were friends. I had some reservations, but while I had insurance, I continued to see her. You know how it is. When you become friends, it gets harder to leave even if you’re not getting the kind of service that you expect or would like.
My biggest pet peeve was that I was constantly semi-blind. Her explanation was logical. I trusted she knew better than I and that she had my best interest at heart. The culprit was my high prescription. For years, I heard her say, “According to this, you are considered legally blind.” Interestingly, the legally blind range kept going upwards, which was good since my nearsightedness got worse each year. To correct my nearsightedness, I had to sacrifice reading up close. She decided to lessen my ability to see in the distance to increase my ability to read up close, making me always slightly blind. I couldn’t read the street signs or see faces yards away from me. I disliked twilight immensely because that’s the hardest time of day for me to see. Everything blended into each other. It was all a hue of opaque shapes. Then, to add salt to injury, I needed glasses on top of my contacts to clearly see the distance at night or when I wanted to see clearly. And, there’s more, I need reading glasses at times when my eyes got tired. When will my suffering end? All of this added to my fear of seeing a new optometrist.
I held off as long as I could. There was a deal in the Costco February coupon book for $40 off two pairs of frames. Perfect. I’d need a pair of frames at night when I remove my contacts and a pair for distance driving. That deal got me into the Costco Optical Department. Their exam revealed my vision hadn’t changed. Nice. They still don’t carry C-Vue, but this doctor wanted me to try a new contact, Bausch & Lomb multifocal, instead. As soon as I put those contacts on, it was like the curtains lifted, and someone opened up the aperture letting in all the light. Suddenly, everything was sharp and clear, even the blurry bottom line on the eye chart. I could see the people and things from across the warehouse, including reading the big signs on the walls that once I ignored because it was too exhausting to make out. It turned out that I no longer need the distance glasses foiling the $40 off two pairs of glasses deal. The doctor said, “You don’t need distance glasses. You can see perfectly fine now.” Wow! How did that happen? Technology? I don’t know, but I’m thrilled.
After I left the Optical Department, I felt like a blind person seeing for the first time. I gawked at everything. I read every word on signs left and right. I saw faces coming towards me clearly. On the drive home, I read street names just to be reading them. I read billboards. I read gas prices effortlessly at the service stations. I was in awe of so much that I basically ignored all these years because everything was a shade of blurry. Not anymore. I also can read up close just fine now.
I’ve been kicking myself since I got these new contacts. Why did I take so long to make that appointment at Costco Optical? I could’ve been enjoying seeing this wonderful world for years. No point beating myself up. I’ve suffered enough for decades. All that is behind me now. The important thing is that I learned my lesson. Don’t let fear cripple me. Do what I need to do and do it when I need to do it. I’m glad I see clearly now, and I mean I can see clearly now, literally!