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So I found an ophthalmologist, and I went today.

September 29, 2008, 10:22 PM

So I found an ophthalmologist, and I had my appointment today. I went to Rodman & Engelstein, and I’ll just say this – this was definitely a different procedure from when I went to Dr. Patel in Fishersville.

First of all, I took a half day off from work, and took Metro up to Silver Spring. First of all, one has to wonder who peed in the train operator’s cornflakes this morning. The train was a Silver Spring train, which meant that it ended its run at Silver Spring rather than going all the way to Glenmont. I usually hate those kinds of trains because they don’t go where I need to go, but this time, I was going to downtown Silver Spring, so I didn’t particularly care. It was there, and I caught it. This guy came down REALLY hard about the whole going-out-of-service thing. “ATTENTION CUSTOMERS ON THE PLATFORM, THIS TRAIN IS OUT OF SERVICE! DO NOT BOARD THIS TRAIN!” And he repeated this a few times before the train was completely berthed. And of course, despite being all like that, he didn’t even bother to change the sign to the “NO PASSENGERS” sign. He kept it on Red to Silver Spring.

Then getting there, I filled out the customary mound of paperwork for when you’re a new patient. After that, it was time to get started. First they checked the pressure in my eyes. Then they looked at my eyes with a microscope, checked my existing prescription, and tested my vision with glasses on. Then they dilated my pupils. This is where things changed. After this, they take you out of the exam room, and have you wait in another waiting room while the drops work. I played Tetris on my phone, and that certainly became a challenge as my pupils dilated. I ended up having to close one eye and hold the phone way far away to play. And the technicians would occasionally come by to check on how well the drops had worked. First time, they said I was almost ready but needed to ripen (my term) a little more. The second time, I was ripe, and was taken into a second exam room. There, they looked at my eyes with the microscope again, tested my vision without glasses, and then figured out what the new prescription would be using the phoropter.

One complaint here. They have you read lines off of a chart multiple times. However, it’s the same chart each time. One would think that they would have multiple charts in order to get a good reading because I admit, and I said so during the eye exam, I’d just about memorized the line they were having me read. They gave me a few letters that they had previously covered up, which did the trick.

Then afterwards, I got my new prescription, and I was all set. I did, however, forget to ask for the little sunglasses that they give you for going out in the real world after they dilate you. Let me tell you… it was sunny when I got out of the office, and going out to walk to the bus stop was like looking into the surface of the sun. It was SO bright outside that I was having trouble seeing where I was going. But I did manage to reach the bus stop at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Spring Street, and caught the Y7 all the way to my street. By then, two things worked to my advantage. First of all, the drops had some time to wear off while I was on the bus. Secondly, it had clouded up a little.

And just let me reaffirm my dislike of the Y bus. The bus driver at one point stopped in the middle of Georgia Avenue, got out of his seat, and said that the bus was not moving until everyone that was standing moved towards the back of the bus. Geeeeeeeeez… But the Y was closer to me than Silver Spring station, and it cost less than taking the Red Line and the 51 to get home.

Then after getting home, I went glasses shopping. I went to Lenscrafters in Wheaton Plaza, and started looking around. I tried a lot of them. Some of the ones I tried were serious I-might-get-these tests, while some of the ones I tried were more just curiosities.

I tried a number of frame styles. I tried a few styles similar to what I already have, I tried some with “heavier” plastic frames, I tried narrow styles, I tried different colors, I tried aviator-style glasses, rimless glasses, you name it.

The aviator-style glasses, with the double bar in the middle, were a non-serious curiosity. My father had glasses like those all while I was growing up, and they were okay at the time, but he switched to a more modern style in around 2001 or 2002 or so, and the new style looks so much better on him. All the plastic frames didn’t “do” it for me. The frames were either too thick, or didn’t look right on me. One particular style of plastic frames did, however, get a laugh out of me and the staff. They were dark, somewhat thick, and nearly round. I said that they looked like what Al Franken wore. Then I tried them on. I saw Drew Carey staring back at me. Take a look:

I think you'll agree - that's not the look for me.

I think you’ll agree – that’s not the look for me.

Eventually, I had four pairs of glasses in the “maybe pile”. All four had wire frames, and all were at least somewhat similar to what you’re used to seeing. Two had the rims going all the way around, and two had the rims only along the top (like these).

I expressed some reservations about the half-rim glasses, since I wondered how easy it was to accidentally knock a lens out. I have a history of accidentally knocking my glasses off when I’m doing stuff by getting them caught on things I’m handling, and once accidentally popped a lens out on my current glasses during a photo shoot last December when I got Big Mavica’s strap caught on my glasses. Off they went, and the lens popped out when my glasses hit the pavement. Thankfully, there was no damage to the glasses, and I had the lens put back in correctly the next day. I’d kind of wedged the lens in there so I could still use my glasses in the short term, but unless you were blind, you could tell something was wrong with them.

So with that in mind, after the lady who was helping me indicated that you had to be really careful with them, the half-rim glasses got eliminated. With that I was down to two, which meant I was settled on the style, and it was down to just the color. It was between a silver color and a brown color. I went with the brown, since it matched my hair, and I just didn’t like the silver. The winning pair is the Luxottica Memorize style, and is slightly more square than my current pair, and is a shade wider. They actually fit really well, and that’s somewhat difficult to do sometimes, since I have a big head.

And I pick up the new glasses tomorrow after work. You’ll get to see the new glasses eventually, as soon as I get someone to take a picture of me in them.

What’s kind of funny, though, is that when people are told that I’m planning on getting new glasses, they think they’re seeing a new pair even if they’re not. Case in point: Mom. When she came up last weekend, I greeted her, and she asked if the glasses I was wearing were new. I was like, “No, you’ve seen these before.”

Web site: A Guide for the New Glasses Wearer: How to Choose the Best Glasses for You

Song: Funny: The doctor was looking at my medical history that I filled in, and they had you list past surgeries on the form. So I of course had to list the pilonidal cyst surgery on there, and the doctor asked me, "Where's a pilonidal cyst?" I had to think a second about how to answer that one discreetly. It came out as, "Where the sun don't shine."

Quote: Meanwhile, I just hope that the break-in period on these new glasses is easier than the last time I got new glasses. I felt rather "off" my first few days wearing the new glasses, as I felt like I'd gotten about four inches taller in the new glasses. Seriously, even walking was a bit of a challenge at first, but somehow I managed.

Categories: Glasses, Health issues