Monday, April 05, 2010

One more eye-doctor story...

...before I forget to tell you:

It had been more than five years since I'd had my vision checked, so when my daughter said she needed to get her eyes examined, I went with her.

The beginning of the exam was fairly typical of what I’d experienced in the past. I pushed my face into the giant-goggle machine and rested my chin on the cold metal bar. First, the doctor darkened the room. She looked at the inside of my eyes while I looked first in one direction, then another. She caused little puffs of air to blow onto my eyeballs. Then she asked me to read several rows of letters on the light box on the far wall. That went fairly well.

While the room light was still off, the doctor went to the far end of the room and fiddled with something I couldn’t see. (My face was still pressed into the machine.) When she turned back to me, the following conversation took place:

Doc:     “Can you see this?”

Me:      “Yes.”

What I saw was a large, dark area that almost totally obscured the light box.  On the dark area I could see a red rectangle and a neon-green rectangle, both kind of shadowy, and both with something written on them in a large, unfamiliar script.

Doc:     “Okay, read what you see.”

Me:      “Well, I can see it, but I don't know if I can read it.”

Doc:     “Just try to read whatever you can.”

Me:      “Okay. ‘You. Are. Something something something. To God.’”

Doc:     “Uhhhh, okay, wait a minute.”

She leaned in to the machine and made some adjustments.

Doc:     “Okay, let's see if this is better.”

Me:      “It’s still not very clear, but I’ll try: ‘You are. Never. Something something to God.’”

At that point the doctor shook her head as if she were totally confused, then turned around to get another look at what I was reading. That’s when she burst out laughing and announced that she’d inadvertently left a cabinet door open. The large, dark shape I saw was the inside of the cabinet door, which opened directly in front of the light box. The red and green rectangles were brightly colored sheets of paper taped to the inside of the door, each one bearing a handwritten affirmation.

Apparently, when I was saying, “You are something something something to God,” the doctor was hearing, “U-R-something-something-something-2-God.” To her, it sounded like letters and numbers. She said later she had thought I must be “blind as a bat,” and she couldn’t imagine why I kept saying “God” after I messed up.

The rest of the exam proceeded normally, except that neither of us could restrain an occasional fit of giggles.


  1. "A fit of giggles" - That's what you've given me! Thanks! I really needed that!

  2. When my son was having his physical prior to enrolling in kindergarten, the nurse during the eye exam handed him a cup and told him to cover his right eye. When she asked him to identify each little picture, he did it perfectly. She then said, "Cover your other eye." He looked up a a look of puzzlement on his face and said to me, "If I cover the other eye, too, I won't be able to see anything." The nurse said she would change her instructions to all 4-year-olds.

  3. Loved the posts....loved the baby....

  4. Holly, happy to oblige.

    Lucylocket, that's funny. Leave it to a child to point out the obvious.

    4th Sister, thank you.

  5. Oh what a cute story to pass down over the years! Glad everything went well after that. LOL

  6. What a great story! I'm glad you didn't need Coke-bottle lenses on your glasses!

  7. Val, this story works well from both ends: Before I left her office, the optometrist had already shared it with the rest of her staff.

    Janet, after all that confusion and all that elapsed time, my prescription hadn't changed one bit. Bummer. I kind of wanted new glasses, but now that would be "wasteful."

  8. What a great, hilarious story to tell in future years. I'm still giggling...

    I have put off getting my eyes've inspired me to do so. I don't think my eyes have changed either...but I really need new frames...

  9. Marion, I'll let you get new frames before I do. Every time I buy new ones, the style changes drastically almost overnight.


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