My special eyes versus my frugal husband

People, I am pretty sure poor Wayne had about thirty-seven tiny heart attacks yesterday.

With my infrequent blogging, I am sure you remember the post where I discussed the freaky stuff happening with my vision. Well, it started happening more often, and one day I actually caught myself driving when my vision was blurry and my eyes refused to focus. In the manner that such things normally happen, I was driving to a doctor’s appointment. I asked her about it, thinking it might be a reaction to my medication. I was told to go to the eye doctor.

I called the good eye doctor (not the guy behind the glasses place in the mall) and they had a cancellation in two days, so I snatched it up. And then…

There are a few things that I might need to clear up before I go forward. My eyes are really bad. I was told by one optometrist that I am the “second most near-sighted person” she had ever met, and I was really close to first. I have astigmatisms in both eyes, and I recently developed a need for bifocals. What’s funny is that I needed bifocals as a kid but outgrew them, and spent a good twenty years without them. There was a time when I could not go over a year without new glasses because my eyes were getting worse so quickly. I learned how eye charts work when I was in high school (that’s a story for another day). I know what it’s like when my prescription changes, in other words. I am very aware of what’s going on with my eyes because they are so crappy… I mean special.

Now Wayne is blessed with excellent vision, better than 20/20. He’s had one eye exam in his life. Most of his daughters are nearsighted, but in the way of normal people. They can do things without their glasses, even driving. The only thing I can do without my glasses is call Wayne to help me find my glasses, because without them my world is some sort of weird modern art-like place of two-dimensional, blurry blobs of colors that bleed into each other.

So I am sure that you can imagine my “pshaw” when the eye doctor told me it was probably that my prescription needed to be changed. I offered my best arguments: my eyes haven’t gotten worse in years (barring the bifocal thing of course), I would certainly know if it was that because I’ve dealt with this nonsense for most of my life. Yeah. She was right. And I was fooled because I am now less near-sighted! Yay for my forties! I am less tall and less near-sighted! Now if I could only figure out how to be less tired, less in love with cotton candy, less a fan of high-calorie beers…. I could go on forever.

I decided that with the prescription change and all of the problems I’ve been having, I needed to order my glasses at the eye doctor’s little optical store. I called Wayne and told him I couldn’t drive myself home and I wanted to get glasses there. He said he would help me pick frames when he came to pick me up and take me home on his lunch break. And then, I tried to kill him.

I have to have the thinnest, most light-weight plastic they make lenses out of. Back when they only had glass and normal plastic lenses, the sides of my lenses were more then half an inch thick and they were so heavy that they bruised my nose (yes, even plastic lenses). It’s not vanity, it’s need. I have to have bifocals. Add those together and you come up with the most expensive lenses in the universe. Because they are so expensive, I need to pay a little extra for scratch and smudge-proof coatings. And I really need anti-glare, because one of my problems (and the reason I can’t do anything after getting my eyes dilated at the eye doctor) is that my eyes react slowly to changes in light levels. Glare is a demon to me. I was once told that if I had lived before plastic lenses were invented, I would be legally blind. That’s how special my eyes are.

I am crippled, dysfunctional without glasses.They are a necessity.

Add all of this up and you come up with thousand dollar glasses that I cannot live without. Insurance covers $120 on one pair of glasses a year. That’s barely a dent in the cost of my glasses. And I totally forgot to warn Wayne. I could order them online for a little less, but with these changes and the eye doctor not being 100% sure that she’d gotten everything right because I was already dilated when she checked, I needed to do it locally, and in a place where I would have real and fast assistance if I needed it. I forgot to warn poor Wayne, and the price tag punched him in the gut with a giant fist.

Later, he told me that he finds the whole thing wrong. I need them. If I needed a walker, would insurance make me pay almost $900 to get one? How about a cast? Or surgery? He sees my glasses in the same light, and the more I need them, the more they cost. The system is broken.

I think it would be excellent (and the right thing to do) for insurance to cover the full cost of my lenses and I pay for the frames. That way if I want to be vain and shi-shi, it’s on me. But the part that I have to have just to make it to the bathroom without giant bruises? That part should be covered.


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