I have something in my eye…

So, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about how much I hate having my eyes tested because I don’t believe the eye test is very thorough, I don’t like how close the optometrist gets to my face whilst looking in my eyes, and generally, all health professionals (and also, hairdressers) find some way to lecture me about my inability to look after myself properly.

My actual eye test, you’ll be pleased to hear, went the exact way I expected it to (in that I was unable to tell which circles looked darker – the red or the green, and most of the time it was neither clearer with or without the additional lens). Aside from the fact everyone at the Opticians kept referring to me as ‘we’ (e.g. we’re getting some headaches, so we think we might need a new prescription, we’re also thinking about contact lenses…) it generally went okay and I decided to give contact lenses ago.

This, admittedly, was a slightly odd choice for me because I absolutely cannot cope with the idea of someone poking around in their eye – it makes me feel both uncomfortable and sick. Furthermore, I don’t trust myself to poke around in my own eye with any degree of accuracy. With all this in mind, the logical conclusion would be to not get contact lenses. But… I don’t overly love wearing glasses. It’s not a vanity thing, because anything that masks some proportion of my face is a good thing, I just feel overly aware that there’s something on my face (i.e. a pair of glasses) when people talk to me. It’s not so much of a problem at the moment, seeing as I spend about 900% of my time sitting alone at a computer with only smoking guy* for company, but when I go to Uni or to meetings and other such stuff, I am constantly taking my glasses off to speak to people and then, feeling weird about not being able to see them, putting them on again.

*a neighbour who also spends 900% of his time at home, in pyjamas, who frequently stands outside (directly below my office window) to smoke, wearing  flip-flops (whatever the weather).

I also hate wearing my glasses to drive. I don’t have any prescription sunglasses, so when the sun is low in the sky, my weak eyes pretty much wither and die in the glare, and I cannot see a thing. To rectify this problem, I once attempted to wear sunglasses over the top of my regular glasses. This was every bit as disastrous as you might imagine.


So, this is why contact lenses seem like a viable option. I reasoned that the whole not-wanting-to-touch-my-eye, thing, was something I’ll just have to get over.

The contact lens appointment didn’t go well. It wasn’t something I was prepared for. I mean, the whole eye test scenario was a bit of a nightmare, but at least then I knew what to expect. The contact lens thing was a communicational debacle on a whole new scale. After the initial discussion over why I wanted to wear contact lenses,  another question followed, which I was completely unable to answer: What type of contact lenses do you want?

For a moment, I considered potential answers and came up with the following:

abc of contact lenses

After these had whirled through my mind a number of times, I realised that I couldn’t really use any of them to respond and found myself, instead, asking: What types of contact lenses are there?

She pretty much looked at me with disbelief, yet I couldn’t help but reassure myself that as I, the customer, knew nothing about contact lenses, and she, the contact lens specialist, knew everything there was to know about contact lenses, that frankly, she should be filling me in on all the options. Which she then did, and afterwards, I still didn’t know which contact lenses I wanted.

So, after a while, she decided on monthly lenses. I don’t know why, but they’re the most suitable. Apparently. According to the contact lens specialist. She disappeared, and returned with some lenses… Contact lenses… Ones that go in your eyes.

Specialist: Okay, so, just lie back and look to the right. I know this is weird having someone put something in your eye.

and then she pinned my eyelids apart and put a contact lens in my eye, and I tried very hard not to resist her, or scream, or seem like I was trying hard not to resist the thing going into my eye, and so I gripped very tightly onto the arms of the chair and shrieked THAT DOESN’T FEEL SO BAD! several times, just to make sure.

Once the other lens had been installed (and I had almost ripped the arms off the chair), the specialist returned to her desk, and I was thankful she was a good distance away from my eyes.

Specialist: Okay, so how does that feel?

Me: Like there’s something in my eye!

Admittedly, it was a fairly stupid thing to reply with, but what other answers are there?

abcd of contact lenses

Once my eyes got used to having something in them (namely, contact lenses) it actually felt pretty good that I could see clearly, and wasn’t peering through glasses with a wonky prescription. I then had a further awkward half hour interaction with a poor guy who had to show me how to put them in and take them out myself. I felt truly sorry for him as he watched my shaky, juddering fingers hover near my eyes without actually making any attempt to remove the lenses, time and time again. He patiently coaxed me through the process several times, each time thinking of something encouraging to say.

I left with smudgy mascara rings around my eyes, and instructions to wear my contact lenses for several hours a day.

Two days later, I went out for dinner and decided to wear the contact lenses – thus eliminating the whole glasses on/off problem. But I encountered a new problem, in that the right contact lens wasn’t sitting right. This meant that my right eye continued to water uncontrollably, throughout the evening and also that I had to put my hand over my right eye in order to read the specials board.

After two weeks, I am disillusioned with contact lenses.

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Comments: 10

  1. Steven Chapman February 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm Reply

    Eww, you’re description of being force fed (figuratively speaking) contact lenses made me squirm. I remember the feeling of something hideously foreign invading your eye socket and its making me cry…of course I did it all voluntary (not sure if that makes it better or worse).

    You will get used to them…honest! Just think of the alternative – bears with lasers shooting randomly at your face until your brain surrenders and forces itself to allow you to see better (I think that’s what happens anyway).

    • Jo and the Novelist February 23, 2012 at 8:58 am Reply

      You wore zombie contact lenses… for funsies. You have no place in this discussion.

      Although, I appreciate the heads up re bears with lasers. Bears have big, crazy hands. What kind of a clumsy fool thought it was a good idea to provide them with lasers?

  2. The Suniverse (@TheSuniverse) February 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm Reply

    I took the girl to get her contacts even though I am adamantly opposed to such disgustingness and I was and continue to be horrified by the entire process. That you even did it at all shows that you are a super hero.

    • Jo and the Novelist February 23, 2012 at 9:00 am Reply

      That horror doesn’t cease. Even when it’s you’re own eye. I feel that the word ‘brave’ has taken on a whole new meaning since I started this contact lens stuff…

      PS. As a super hero, do I get my own cape??

  3. WilyGuy February 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm Reply

    I so would have talked about myself in the third person, possibly the third person old English, maybe even adding pig Latin. Seriously though it creeps me out when the “we” isn’t me and the mouse in my pocket, I mean, I’m still me, so does that mean you want to be in my pocket?

    So if they’re soft contacts, sometimes they will invert themselves while out of your eye and they are cranky if out in backwards. Try carefully flipping one inside out so you can tell the difference.

    And if you add a drop of saline to them on your fingertip, they almost jump into your eye. I’ve always hated getting them out.

    Get yourself some rad sunglasses so you “want” to wear the contacts so you can wear the shades.

    I think I am done with wit and wisdom here.

    • Jo and the Novelist February 23, 2012 at 9:01 am Reply

      The idea of owning anything that could be described as ‘rad’ immediately makes me feel awesome. I shall take you up on the advice – thanks :)

  4. alonewithcats February 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm Reply

    I started wearing contacts in high school, mostly because I hated the glasses that my mom would pick out for me. But then I went off to college and realized I could sleep a few minutes extra in the morning if I spared myself the sometimes excruciating contacts ritual. That was more than a decade ago. I never went back to contacts. I still value my sleep more than my eyesight. Some things never change.

    • Jo and the Novelist February 23, 2012 at 9:03 am Reply

      Yeah, I think I’m with you on that. Yesterday I woke up late, and realised I didn’t have time to go through the whole process of putting the damn things into my eyes. This is going to be a regular problem, I fear. Plus, I value sleep over and above pretty much everything else…

  5. kyknoord February 23, 2012 at 11:13 am Reply

    This is why it’s useful to have an eye patch. Then you only have to deal with one contact lens at a time. Also, you get to say “Aaaaaarrr!”

    • Jo and the Novelist March 14, 2012 at 9:42 am Reply

      And drink rum all the time… Sounds pretty good.. y’argh….

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