August 3, 2020
I went to the eye doctor last week to get a checkup. I had my temperature taken when I entered the locked door. She got a puzzled look and took it again. Then she said, “That cannot be right. It is way too low.” I told her my forehead was wet from the rain. She took it again, shrugged and wrote it down (96.6). I answered all the (now) normal questions and sat down to wait. The assistant came over and led me into a room where she asked the same set of questions again and had me sign waivers. She explained that part of my procedure would require me to have my eyes dilated. I agreed, signed another waiver, and then went through the preliminary exam.
When I was in Berkeley, I got an eye infection and had to switch from contacts to glasses for a while. I have never liked glasses since being told I needed them in Junior High. Somehow this pair became “lost” and I never had them replaced. Now I had no choice. I had my eyes dilated as part of the exam. After the exam was over, they told me I could select my new frames from any of the ones hanging on the wall. I looked them over and selected a pair I could live with. When I looked at the price, I could not read it because of the dilation. I choose several pair, just to be safe. It turns out every pair I selected were from the expensive section. When they showed me the cheap ones, I ended up buying the pair I liked.
The doctor told me I was fine and just in a normal aging process. I told the assistant I did not need the paper sunglasses she offered as I had my pair in the car. She gave them to me anyway. I purposefully left them in the exam room, but she brought them out saying I had “forgotten” them. After settling the bill, I said they could keep their sunglasses. They were skeptical but did not argue. As I went out the door I was told if I had trouble getting to the car to let them know. When I walked outside the sun was shining brightly and it nearly knocked me down. I squinted my eyes near closed and wobbled my way to the car. I donned my glasses and finally found some relief. Maybe I should have paid attention.
THOUGHTS: As we struggle through the pandemic we have been told (and shown) what it takes to get back to some semblance of normal. Many are taking the attitude that I took toward my dilation. We hear the warnings but seem to think those are for other people and not for me. After all, how bad can it be? I found out it can literally be blinding as I struggled to get to the car. America has found out it can be 4.6 million cases and 154,000 deaths. Perhaps they are called experts for a reason. Change is coming and it starts with you.