Monica gives me the spoon to hold over my left eye, dims the lights and tells me to read the first line.
I am in my optometrist's office for my first contact lens fitting. As much as I like my cute black with sparkle glasses, I have decided it may be time for contacts. And so here I sit, across from Monica, about to read the chart, when it happens.
My heart starts racing. My palms get sweaty. The room closes in.
I start to have a freak-out.
A vision test. This happens to me every time I have a vision test. I hate vision tests. There is a right answer, a letter, right up there on that chart a mere twenty feet away. All I have to do is read the letter. So simple. What could be easier? I just have to tell her the letter.
Except I can't. I can't tell her the letter because I am in full panic mode and not only can I not see out of my left eye because of the spoon, for some reason I can't see out of my right eye either. I am now blind. It's totally black. (Sidebar: I am fully aware that I bring this weird freak-out factor on myself. It's happened before. Once when a church in my town organized a blood drive I decided to donate blood. Everything was going great. No problems at all. Donated the blood easy peasey. Oh, yay! We get cookies and juice. Walk over to the food table. Sit down next to the nice little volunteer gentleman. Start sipping my juice. More people come and sit at the table. The nice little old man is saying if anyone at the table feels faint to let him know and he will ring his little bell. I look around. Does anyone look like they feel faint? No. Do I feel faint? No, I'm fine. I don't feel faint. I'm fine. I was fine. I was fine until this nice little old man said faint and now I think I feel faint. Wait. Do I feel faint? No. And then...it happens...racing heart, sweaty palms. Please don't ring the bell, please don't ring the bell. Oh, @#$%, I said that out loud. He's ringing the bell. People come flying from every direction and swarm me. I am surrounded by people in white coats who think I am about to faint when, in actuality, I am perfectly fine, never did feel faint, just had a little freak out. All those faces, all those concerned eyes looking at me. I look up sheepishly......and shove a cookie in my mouth).
And so it is with my vision test. I have gotten myself so worked up that I now can't see. I will fail this test. I will never get violet colored contacts. Ok, I was never actually going to get violet colored contacts but I liked thinking that I could have the Elizabeth Taylor option. I will fail and be forever stuck with glasses as my only eye accessory (cute as they may be).
Ok, breathe. Take a nice big breath. It's ok. It's all ok. You are not blind. You are fine. You are in a room with a nice woman who wants to help you see. And you are going to try these fun little things called contacts.
I fail my vision test. At least, I think I failed. I have no idea. E? F? T? I don't know. I say E then hear a sigh and know it's wrong. Or maybe Monica just breathes heavy. I try again. F? Another sigh. T? What?? Is it wrong or are you just asthmatic??
Monica hates me. I am convinced of this.
We are talking about my contact options. They are very limited. I can have contacts that let me see near. I can have contacts that let me see far. But because of the weird things going on with my eyes I can't have contacts that let me see both near AND far. Huh?? Isn't the point of having contacts the ability to, oh, I don't know, SEE??
This is not going well. Monica cannot find one pair of contacts that works for me. I am getting frustrated. Monica is getting frustrated. Monica sits quietly for a few minutes. I start to fidget. Monica makes me nervous. She's one of those people who doesn't smile. Ever. She is all business. No small talk. Not one of those gushing "oh-my-gosh-i-just-love-your-shoes-where-did-you-ever-find-them?" kind of gals. Nope. Not Monica. And now no-nonsense Monica is sitting there staring at me with her arms crossed. My fidgeting goes into overdrive.
"All right," she says at last, "You are a challenge. But I have one last thing we can try."
Whew. Maybe Monica doesn't hate me after all.
Monica tells me about these new, space-agey contacts made out of this oxygen breathing super conductible polymer isotope that was developed by NASA engineers. Ok, she didn't really say any of that but that's how I heard it. She did say that the contacts were made specifically for my eyes. She had to take exact measurements of each eye a thousand different ways. She went over the cost (a million dollars) and how I could try them for a while and if I didn't like them I could return them. She reassured me that I would love them, though, because they would be made to order for my very own eyes. She would send my measurements to NASA and my contacts would be ready in two weeks.
To be continued.....