Monday, August 8, 2011

Eye yi yi yi...

I've learned that impulse buys are not just the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup you grab while you're waiting for the cashier to count the hundred pennies the customer in front of you just handed her. An impulse buy—if you're me—can be something as important as contact lenses.

Yes, I may have contact lenses to add to my list of things labeled "What Was I Thinking?" Here's how this took place.

At my annual checkup with the opthamologist, I found myself saying, "I think I'd like to try contacts again." This was probably a bad idea for so many reasons.

Although I wore contacts years ago, they were gas permeable (hard) lenses. Fewer companies are making those anymore because soft lenses, especially disposable ones, are so popular. I have no real experience with the soft ones. My only minor brush with soft lenses was an earlier attempt with a different eye doc, and it was a disaster. I wasn't able to put them in and gave up.

Gas permeables are not a good option for me because I plan to wear my new contacts only when going to a big party. Big as in a ballroom, like my high school reunion or the company holiday dinner dance. Occasional wear calls for soft contacts, especially for women of a certain age who, usually, have dry eyes.

They must be distance-only lenses, so the contacts would be useful only at places where I didn't plan to read or type anything.

Basically, this was not a logical decision. I just decided to try something new (or something from a long time ago that I wanted to resurrect). So we set up an appointment for the fitting.

As I sat down in the chair for the appointment, I was certain that soft contacts had improved, and I woudn't have the problems I experienced earlier. (That silly little watery disc seemed to disappear on my finger or fall into the sink, and by the time I got it into my eye, my mascara was dribbling down my cheeks.) No. That wasn't going to happen this time. Modern technology would save the day!

After a couple of attempts, I got them into my eyes. I was proud. Then it was time to remove them. I swear I grabbed and pinched and flexed my index finger until it ached. Eventually I got them out, but I was uneasy. What if I was at home and couldn't remove a lens? What if it was during the medical office's non-working hours? Would I have to go to the emergency room? Silly thought. Or was it? The nurse who was working with me told me she once had to call the doctor and have him meet her in the office on his day off because she couldn't remove one lens. Great. Then a good friend told me that, during her only experience with soft lenses, she was ready to go to the ER when she finally got one out.

Now I was spooked. And the lenses have been sitting in my cabinet since then, untouched. What was I thinking? I'm willing to try them again, but shouldn't I wait until I'm sure someone is in the office to help me if I need it?

On the day of my eye checkup, I was thinking vainly, not clearly. The proof? I also asked the doctor about getting my eyelids done, and he handed me a business card for a plastic surgeon. Fortunately, I misplaced the card and don't plan to make an impulsive phone call. I also concluded that I could take the money I would spend on contacts, and possibly elective surgery, and buy several pairs of youthful eyeglasses. And as a bonus, the frames would hide some of the crows feet and undereye bags. Now there's a plan.