As further proof that God has a sense of humor, in addition to gracing me with inability to walk over flat surfaces without tripping and skin that bursts into flame upon contact with sunlight, I was also given eyes that decided many years ago that “seeing” wasn’t really their thing.
This aversion to sight led to glasses and the inevitable playground teasing (which I never really understood…you’re making fun of me because I can see? Is this like an Nihilist thing?), but despite my optometrist’s transparent promise that glasses would improve my eyesight (honestly, that’s like telling someone with a sprained ankle that using a wheelchair for a year will make them a faster runner), I was declared legally blind at age 10 after I got hit in the eye with a lacrosse stick. The lacrosse stick was actually completely unrelated to the blindness thing, the doctor just happened to tell me I was blind whilst diagnosing my scratched cornea. Dramatic as it may seem, basically the only real restrictions of being blind is that I’m not licensed to drive a car without corrective lenses, and without corrective lenses, anything that’s farther than six inches from my face is reduced to a blur of colors and rudimentary shapes.
Clearly I don’t go wandering around without contacts or glasses, which brings me to my current issue. Returning to school in the fall I had to stretch my vision across classrooms to see the board, and realized that my contact prescription was woefully outdated. That’s right, my eyes are still getting worse. I knew I would be going home for a long weekend in October for Loras’ fall break, so I acted like the responsible adult I think I’m supposed to become, and called the eye clinic to make an appointment. It didn’t go well.
Receptionist: How may I help you, Lindsay?
Me: I’d like to make an appointment to update my contact prescription please.
Receptionist: Well, we have it in our records that you haven’t been in since 2009.
Me: Really? Well…that explains why my prescription is so bad, I guess.
Receptionist: We need you to come in for a full examination as well as your contact appointment which will include getting your eyes dilated, so you won’t be able to drive. Will that be a problem?
Me: I…I don’t think so, um it will probably depend on when–
Receptionist: Alright, I have an opening for both appointments on the morning of November 8th. Will that work?
Me: Uh no, I won’t be home then. I go to school in Iowa, but I’ll be home in two weeks for a long weekend…do you have any openings on the 13th or 14th of October?
Receptionist: No, I’m sorry. How about November 7th?
Me: No, I’ll be in a different state. What about near Thanksgiving? I’ll be home for the 23rd.
Receptionist: I’m sorry, there aren’t any double appointments available that day.
Me: OK, what if I came in on separate dates? Like, could I get a contact appointment in October and have the full check-up at Thanksgiving?
Receptionist: I’m sorry?
Me: Could I break up the appointments?
Receptionist: We typically schedule them together.
Me: Right, but I really need to get my prescription updated as soon as possible.
Receptionist: Are your contacts affecting your driving?
Me: Um, I don’t know. I don’t drive at school.
Receptionist: You don’t drive?
Me: At school. I don’t have a car at school.
Receptionist: So it’s not affecting your driving?
Me: I don’t know. If I had to guess, I’d say I wouldn’t be able to read street signs very well.
Receptionist: Alright. Well I can schedule both appointments in December. It’s much easier for us to do them together.
Me: I mean, if that’s really the best you can do I’ll make it work. I’ll be home in December from–
Receptionist: There’s an opening December 13th in the afternoon.
Me: –the 16th until January 2nd.
Receptionist: How about January 9th?
Me: …You know what, I will be home the entire last week of January. How does that look for you?
Receptionist: I can get you in January 24th at 9am.
Me: That’s perfect. I’ll take it. Thank you.
Receptionist: Have a nice day!
After I hung up and was ten minutes late to choir because the entire phone call took over twenty minutes, it registered that I had made an appointment for the 24th of January on the 29th of September. Because I was trying to be a responsible adult and call two weeks in advance of my break.
I don’t know why eye appointments have become as elusive as dermatology appointments or DMV appointments, but if you’re planning on making one last minute, try telling the receptionist that you’re pretty sure the people you just hit were actually a grizzly bear, or possibly several chipmunks, which makes sense since you’re driving through a heavily wooded section of Minneapolis. That might get your appointment moved up a good month or two.