I’ve been noticing that my vision isn’t what it used to be. This started in 2008 or 2009 when a buddy and I were on a business deal at the Orlando Auto Auction. The person we were to meet was running late, so we decided to do lunch. During lunch my friend received a phone call from the auction and needed some info off of a form he had. Well he couldn’t read it and handed it to me to read to him. I couldn’t read it either! I finally was able to see the VIN number he needed and recited it back to him. As he continued on the phone call, I took the form I had and held it at arms length with my right arm and covered my left eye and tried to read the form. Then I covered my right eye and did the same. I could tell my right eye was worse then my left and proceeded to get some ‘readers,’ those glasses some call granny glasses. Well they helped somewhat. They did seem to help my right eye, but made my left eye hurt, so I eventually stopped using them.
I kind of put my vision on a back burner for several years, then in 2012 when I had to renew my license, I almost didn’t get it issued because of the eye exam. The employee had asked me to read the first 5 lines. I didn’t see 5 lines, I saw 4 so I read them and stood up again. The person then said ‘sir, the last line?’ and I said ‘last line?’ forgetting there was another. I finally was able to read it by tilting my head and the employee said that’s fine and let me go. lol Last week I was doing my seasonal job driving a 15 passenger Van, transporting a softball team to and from the fields where their competitions were being held and the homes they’d rented to stay in. I put in 50 hours in 4 days, and drove nearly 1000 miles in that time. I realized I couldn’t read the road signs, and thankfully the Coach who rode shotgun kept me up on what and where my turns were. This also pointed out to me that my vision was worse then it had been and that I needed to do something soon to correct this.
I finally decided to make an appointment with the Wal-Mart Vision Center, thinking it would be cost effective to go there. I’m on disability and on Medicare and I was surprised to find the doctor did not accept Medicare payments, though Medicare only pays $25 towards an eye exam. (The exam was near $60) So my good friend comes up from Viera, about 22 miles south of my location and we hang out and she takes me to the eye doctor.
Once at the Dr’s office in Wally World, my wait was short. An assistant took me in a room and had me go through three ‘pre’ tests on these machines; one even blew air on my eyeball, very weird. I did those tests and sat back down in the waiting area. Shortly a young man poked his head out from a doorway and called my name. He was the Optometrist and we proceeded with the testing. Well I was slowly seeing the truth; that my vision all the way around was bad. I couldn’t see far very well, and sure can’t see close up well either. The Doctor asked if I wanted 2 pairs of glasses or one and then started explaining about bifocals. I interrupted him asking ‘are you saying I’m going to have to wear these glasses all the time?” and his response was ‘Well you’ll certainly see things better if you do!” So wow, I was slightly blindsided by this. I figured all I needed was prescription glasses to read with, not to see Life in general. We did many tests with both eyes, the right only, and the left only. It was painfully obvious I couldn’t focus on most of it. He dilated my pupils and then sent me back out with a special pair of shades for my eyes since they’d been dilated.
i found a few pairs I liked and that my friend liked too. She pointed out a very cool pair to me, but the frame cost was $136, and after they added my bifocals and coating to cut the glare, they price shot to $275! I kind of stuttered and said let’s find something else. So I went back to the first pair I’d picked up and liked and that my friend had liked too. The frames were $$28 and after the bifocals and coating, that price went to $167. That I could live with, albeit uneasily. The doctor then called me back into the office and checked my eyes for something else, that he’d dilated them for and said my ‘whatever it was’ looked good, and I thanked him lol He then explained what he was looking for in the back of my eye and said things looked good. I went back out to pay the assistant for the eye exam which was $57, and then pay for the frames and lenses which was $167.
I had worn glasses in the 3rd or 4th grade, but after a year of wearing them, the Doctor said my eyes had corrected themselves and I didn’t need the glasses anymore. My last eye exam was in 1974 when I was 12 years old and we’d just moved to Florida. The state required the exam before I could start school. All was good then. So as per my usual, I realize I have some medical issues, but because of insurance/Medicare, and costs, many of these issues go untreated, until I have no other choice, but to get help. I am glad I got this done and it will be nice to see “Life” again clearly since apparently I have not been for many years now.