Or have we?
So as yo might recall, I am severely myopic. I also have quite a bit of astigmatism. As you may know, I rather dislike bright lights... with a passion. So Summer time is often uncomfortable for me. Granted, shades come in to save the day, to some degree, at least. The thing is, when you're so severely myopic as I am, shades don't come in so ample a supply as you may find at an optician's shop. If you'd like a pair of curved sunglasses that still fits your sight impairment, adequate lens must be cut and assembled at the manufacturer. This usually isn't a problem, until your myopia becomes in excess of about 3,5 diopters. You see, if your lens needs to be quite vergent, the edges must become rather thick. If you'd like your lens to be curved, the edge must become much thicker. My flat (as opposed to curved) uncut lenses vaguely resemble throwing weapons, so thick that they are (my miopia is in excess of 7 diopters, further aggravated by the astigmatism). A curved lens befitting me would be unreasonable to assemble. Of course, I have little trouble, if any, arranging for a pair of flat prescription sunglasses. In fact, that's not my point entirely. What really bothers me is that whenever I go out I must carry my regular glasses with me, or be plunged into darkness whenever I go indoors for some reason. And when I do go indoors I have to swap my glasses and again when I leave. Is it worth the trouble, not being blinded by sunlight and not finding myself running for shelter with bloodshot, aching eyes? Defenitely, but isn't there an easier way around the ordeal?
Certainly. Radial keratomy to the rescue!
OK, let's back down a little here, shall we? Forgive me if I'm just a smidgeon reluctant to start cutting up my corneas in order to reduce their curvature. Let's hear alternatives, if you please...
I hear contacts. I like what I hear. So I slap them on in the morning (morning is a relative term... shortly after I'm up, then) and whenever I go out I put on my (stylishly bent around my face) shades. If I happen to pop indoors for a cup of tea or whatnot, I can just hold them for a while. Sounds good? Must be.
And this is how the cookie crumbles.
So what are the steps to salvation? Step one, we need to get an appointment with an oftalmologist. Sure, no sweat. Not so fast, lads. Would you like a timely appointment or an eventual appointment? For the latter, go on, talk to the receptionist, schedule something to about St. Patrick's day. For the former, and this you won't find in the rulebook, approach the receptionist, proceed exactly as per an eventual appointment, and after she tells you "you're not seeing any doctor any time soon", whine a little and - OK, this really is the crucial step, here, listen up - slip her €5,00. Yeah, she's not working for free, here. She gets paid by the boss, she works for the boss. You need to pay her yourself if you want some service. Oh, and if you'd like to have her not squeeze any geezers in front of you just beacuse something or another, well, you're screwed. Let me know if you find a way. I just know what I know the hard way, i.e., skipping the step when I slip her the bill and being told what I should have doon all too late. But don't worry, she'll illuminate you on how to proceed correctly by schedulling several appointments for "tomorrow" as you wait for your appointment.
Step two, we need to find an optician to order a pair of trial contacts. Again, timely v.s. eventual come to play. I haven't found a surefire way around this problem, but stick with me. I might manage. First, find an optician. Any optician. Tell them what you want. They'll put you through yet another full battery of oftalmological exams. Don't worry, it won't hurt a bit. It's just like going to the oftalmologist. In fact, it's exactly like going to the oftalmologist. Yes, I know, we've already done that, we even showed the optician the prescription the good doctor went to college for 5 or 6 years to write. Why can't they trust him, I'll never know. Then thay'll blabber on something you've already know about semi-rigid contacts v.s. disposable contacts and tell you to return in three weeks. Um, news flash, sweethart, in trhee weeks time I expect to be sipping mai-tais under a palm tree in a tropical beach. Well, not really on a beach. And not mai-tais. And the whole idea of going to a tropical spot seems rather unlikely. But you get the point.
Step three, we need to find an optician who can really come through for us. So flounder about for a bit until you find one. A standard battery of tests ensues, suck it up. Don't moan about how it's the thrid time you've had it in two days, don't flinch at the burning light they all but jam up your eyes to check your retina, just go through it. If you're lucky enough, they might do a full cornea topography. This might mean you're on the right track. It doesn't hurt, but it does make you see concentric white circles for a while after you've done it, rather like a bullseye. Resist the urge to utter "Headshot!". Just listen through the brief lecture and they just might annonouce that your otherwise 3 to 4 weeks long awaiting time just might be cut down to about six working days.
Step four, we need to remember this is still only a pair of trial lenses we're getting, and there is no guarantee that the contacts will suit you perfectly or at all... but, hey, chin up, they just might!
So now I'm almost all set up. I've got the really nice shades (which I just couldn't fully strip of the manufacturer's brand. You know, they don't pay me to advertise for them. At least I removed the name from the lenses themselves), I'm waiting for the trial contacts, and I'm hoping - hoping! - everything will turn out great. This Summer, with any luck, I'll be done fumbling with two pairs of glasses and a gigantic bulge on my pocket. "Yes, it's a rocket, I'm not that happy to see you."
Pax vobiscum atque vale.
ArabianShark wishes Good Luck upon all who must still labour for those courses that didn't make the grade along the last two semesters and those who will labour for the courses that didn't make enough of a grade to suit you. Carry on, fellows!