Today’s just for fun–and to let you know that we all have bad days. For example: last Thursday, I decided–against my better judgment–that I should go into the eye doctor. I’d been dealing with a goopy right eye for a couple weeks and I was sick of it. I’d talk to people in the store and they would see the tears running out of that one eye and they’d always be patting me on my arm and asking me if I was alright and stuff like that. So, sick of everybody thinking I was crying all the time, I decided I should probably go to the eye doctor.
And so we made an appointment and learned that RepcoLite’s insurance plan has a $15 co-pay for trips to the eye doctor. So, for $15, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Shows what I know.
See, I made an appointment for Thursday and drove down there. I got into the room and they did all the preliminary stuff including that horrible dilating of my eyes. Then the doctor came in and started doing a full eye exam. I stopped him and said I was just here to figure out why I had goop eye. He didn’t understand, so I showed him my gooey, drippy eye and after literally recoiling with disgust, he leaned in and looked at it. He then asked if I would like a full eye exam.
Once again, I said no. I think he asked me three more times if I’d like a full eye exam and finally, eventually, I convinced him that I was only here to have my infected (or whatever) eye looked at. Persuaded, finally, he leaned back in and gave my eye a serious looking-at. For a long time. Back and forth. Flashing lights and peering in with all sorts of equipment. Finally, he was satisfied and leaned back in his chair. He folded his arms and looked at me. And then he asked me this question in this way:
“Do you ever wash your eyelid with soap?”
Now, the way he said it made me realize that he had discovered something and that it was going to be embarrassing for me–potentially. So my brain started spinning and I started trying to figure out exactly what answer he wanted. At this point, I was less concerned with telling him exactly how things work and more interested in not looking stupid. I tossed all the possibilities in my head: If I say I wash my eyelids regularly with soap, I figured he’d say, “there’s your problem–soap irritation–everybody knows not to put soap by their eye, what’s wrong with you?” However, I also figured that if I said, “nope, soap never gets within 10 feet of my eyelid”, I assumed he’d say” well what’s wrong with you, you pig? You’re filthy. A little hygiene never killed anybody. Just leave through the back door and go straight home and scrub.”
Do you see the dilemma? I didn’t want to look dumb–I needed to figure out what he wanted me to say, but I didn’t know. So we just sat there, looking at each other. My gooey eye made squishy sounds as it blinked repeatedly. Finally, I said, “Nope. I don’t let soap get near my eye.”
And of course, that was the wrong answer.
He said–and I quote–”it wouldn’t hurt to use a little baby soap around your eye–it’s dirty.” He then wrote that on my paperwork–which will now be with me forever: “Patient has dirty eye and displays profound inability to clean himself adequately–use latex gloves when handling.” He wrote that all down, I’m sure, and sent me out to the desk.
At the desk, the next blow came when I discovered the visit wouldn’t cost me $15 dollars, but $45. When I asked why, they explained it was because I didn’t have an eye exam. (Imagine palm slap to forehead).
Now, you’d think that was the end, right? Nope. They gave me those great big horrible sun glass things and sent me on my way. I felt like I was 94 years old driving out of that parking lot and pulling onto the highway. My eye was tearing up, my crazily dilated pupils were sucking in so much sunlight I could barely see and then, at a stop light, I pressed on my brakes and noticed that my foot went straight to the floor.
I though that was odd–unusual–not the way things normally worked–but then the light changed and I started going again. I tested my breaks as best I could and realized that they weren’t working very well at all. Something had gone wrong and now I had extremely limited breaks.
Think about that for a moment: my eyes were dilated to the breaking point, I was wearing those huge sunglasses that shrouded the world in deep and profound darkness, my goopy eye was tearing up and blurring my already limited field of vision and, to top it all off, I was driving down the road in a car that had almost no breaks. If I hadn’t spent most of that drive just trying to stay alive and keep other people alive, I think it would have been hilarious.
In the end, I made it to the repair shop, parked my car, took off my big dumb sunglasses (because I didn’t want to look stupid) and then staggered blindly into the building, waving my arms out in front of me to make sure I didn’t bang into the siding or another person.
When I finally made it to the counter, I dropped my key there and the guy at the computer looked at me. He saw my big goopy, drippy eye and said, in a very conciliatory tone: “Bad day, huh? Well, it’ll be ok. Just tell us what’s wrong and we’ll get it fixed.”
Yeah, I’d been humiliated at the Dr’s office, dropped $45 bucks, lost the breaks on my car, was almost killed at least 5 times all in the hopes of fixing my eye and in the end, people talking to me still thought I was crying.