Ratzin', fratzin', stupid glasses!

Of course this would happen after Erin leaves her job and her extended medical insurance: I break my glasses -- my only pair of glasses.

I was just changing after a session at my Gym when the glasses slip out of my locker and smack on the tile floor. I hear a definite "crack!" and I know that it isn't a good sound. Sure enough, when I pick up my glasses, my right lens has cracked straight through the middle. Glass has stuck in my finger. So Dan and I head over to Lenscrafters to get a replacement.

(As an aside: "am I lucky enough to need glasses" my ass! I appreciate Lenscrafters' attempt to combat the stigma of glasses, and I admit that my glasses are an integral part of my appearance, now, but if I could have perfect vision, I'd jump at the chance. Just as soon as laser eye surgery is (a) cheap, (b) funded by OHIP and (c) proven to be safe, I'm going!)

Note that it's been four years since my last visit to the optometrist. I realize that OHIP pays for a visit every two years, but two years ago, there just wasn't time. So, I don't know my prescription. Fortunately, Lenscrafters is able to figure it out from the lenses, but they have bad news: my prescription is complex. So complex that they have to send the request out to a lab. We're looking at two weeks before I receive new glasses. I decide that, if I'm going to wait that long, I might as well visit an optometrist, so I can have my eyes checked properly and an up-to-date prescription provided. Fortunately, optometrists aren't nearly as in short supply as family doctors in Kitchener, so Erin is able to crazy glue my right lens back together, and I'm able to get my eyes checked the next day.

How bad are my eyes? I'm sure that, without my glasses, I'm legally blind. I'm certainly wouldn't be allowed to drive. Back in high school, my fellow students would try on my glasses just to get the head-rush. Although I can see shapes (as blobs), I have no hope of discerning details unless an item is about four inches in front of my face. I'm also horribly astigmatic.

When they test you for astigmatism, they shine a light in your eyes, and they cover your right eye with a red lens that transforms the yellow spot of light into a red line. Astigmatics, whose lenses are deformed such that one eye sees an image off kilter from the other, see the line hovering above and to the right of the dot. A piece of plastic is held over your left eye, with frames that progressively correct for this astigmatism. This frame is moved up and down until the light lines up with the line.

My conversation went as follows: "Keep going... Keep going... Keep going... Keep going... Keep going-- Give me that!" And I physically move the Optometrist's hand until the line and the light line up. And the optometrist says, "Oh, God!"

Not exactly comforting words. I asked her what my vision was compared to 20/20 and she said "off the scale." The scale only goes up to 20/400.

But the good news is, although my prescription matches up with like 0.1% of people who require corrective lenses, my vision can be corrected to 20/20. It just takes a while to get the lenses made. So, I put in an order with the optometrist (who was very congenial, and also tested Erin's eyes and set her up for a new pair of glasses), and should have my new glasses in eight business days (four, if the lab listens to the request to rush things; Erin gets hers in four). And, frankly, my current glasses are rather old, and I'm looking forward to having a new, more stylish pair.

Until then, I have to cope with a massive streak of crazy glue hovering over my right eye.

At least I can see.

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