Ramblings on Lupus, Health, Life and UVA1 Phototherapy


An ongoing discussion on lupus, UVA1 Phototherapy for lupus and other disease, and life in general. Some posts are specific to lupus, some to lupus and UVA1, and some others will just be ramblings...enjoy!

Dilation, Driving, Darning and Dust

I am not in love with going to the dentist. I am pretty sure that not many people are. I appreciate a good teeth cleaning but definitely do not count the days until I see them again. I do really like my dentist and his staff, don't get me wrong, and they give me coffee and cookies and play Pandora while they drill and polish away. 

My annual eye exam, however, is the routine maintenance appointment that I find myself dreading the most. I often delay it for months if I can. This week I was reminded again of why I have learned to dread these innocuous visits. 


Alas, the dilation...I tried to get out of it but since I had used the same excuses for two years running it was time. I knew it would screw up the rest of my day but I agreed to proceed. My eyes twitched in protest as each drop slowly dripped from the bottle and landed on their intended target. Before long as I had predicted I couldn't see and everything had a rather pleasant although very bright haze around it. 

All was well in the back of my eye and before I knew it they had escorted me up to pay.

Hold on...let me just find my debit card. I rustled around in my baggage swearing to myself that I would go get the new purse I have had on my to do list for years now. A smaller purse. For sure!

"Would you like to look at glasses today?" She asks with what looked to me to be a smile. But I couldn't really see her face so it may have been more of a grin. I am guessing that they see this every 5 minutes and if I worked there, I would come to enjoy the spectacle I'm sure. I would probably even participate in the wagers on who gets the ugliest glasses or takes the longest to find the right card. Cruel, but a good way to get through the monotony of a work day I am sure. I finally found the card and slapped on the counter as I squinted in her general direction. 

Back to the glasses.

You are KIDDING me, right?? I'm not falling for this again (I said to myself). Last time my glasses were horrible. Once I could see them-after they had been ordered, picked up, and exchanged that is. Not even close to the shape that fits my challenging facial physique. 

How many people come back the day after picking up their new specs and demand to exchange them because at the time of purchase they could not in fact SEE what they were choosing. I mean, it is so ironic that this whole affair is about seeing...yet, when you pick out the most expensive (and that does tend to happen when you can't see the price tag) item of the day's ordeal there is no warning from these eye defenders, these eye doctors who are there to 'help' and guard your vision. They don't tell you the price until you are sure that you have picked the right pair. After you try them on, compare them to 5 other pairs, and try to "see" which looks best hours have passed and it is just time to go. The price announcement just doesn't seem to be as effective as it might have 2 hours ago in regard to stopping power. You just don't want to go through the try on thing all over again.

I am also pretty sure that they are not always being honest when you ask them which pair looks better.  Maybe they are. Maybe they aren't. 

Then there was the driving.

Is it legal to dilate and drive?? Should eye doctors across the country really be dilating patient's eyes and sending them out to drive home with their, "Have a nice day" and a smile? This isn't funny. It is treacherous! Maybe I was just younger and more carefree before but I don't recall being so nervous driving home. Not since last year's reign-of-tornado-terror-storms anyway...let alone after a doctor appointment. 

But I made it. I sighed with relief as I put on my sweats and fumbled around for a pair of socks. Found them...yay, comfy clothes!

Then THIS:

I could feel the coolness of the wood floors mocking me and my sock. I don't know how to darn! What the sock?? I just bought these...!! What do you do with one perfectly good sock and one of these? How does this even happen?! I was so disappointed. And now I had to fumble around looking (er, feeling) for a clean pair of comfy socks. 

As predicted, not much else was accomplished after the dilation.

I got up the next morning and with a renewed sense of possibility I put in the new sample contacts I had gotten the day before. I was excited - it had been a while since I tried contacts and my glasses were always in the way, dirty, and I just wanted another option when I wanted to clean up. 

Then I saw...the dust.

What I thought was clean before inserting these seeing aids was now clearly NOT clean. On one hand, it was nice to know my updated prescription was worth the dilating and driving. On the other hand, I am seriously contemplating not wearing the new contacts. I didn't want to see this so clearly. Dust everywhere! I just cleaned the whole house but I had done it in a blind sort of bliss I guess. Explains why it was a quick clean. That Swiffer was NOT doing an adequate job and I didn't realize this until I could actually see. Oh the long had my house been like this? How many people had come through and seen 'the dust'?


I am not one of those people who won't let anyone in until the coffee table is perfect and I have a plate of made-from-scratch (this morning) cookies out, but I do like to project an illusion that we clean on a regular basis. Was the blurriness I was experiencing before the dilation actually a vision decline or was it just all of this dust? It was everywhere, surrounding me, overwhelming my senses and mocking me just as the sock hole had done a few minutes ago.

So I dusted. And dusted...

Now way off schedule I again tried to sit down at my computer and get something accomplished. This is when my day of D came full circle. After 24 hours of dilating, driving, not darning and now dusting I couldn't SEE a thing! Not one little word on the computer jumped out at me as recognizable. Just more blurry. Blurry words, blurry pictures. The new contacts helped me see dust but they were no good at close range. From one blind to another. I called my eye people and asked them why I couldn't see if this was in fact my new and corrected prescription. They were patient and gentle in their reply.

Come to find out, I am at 'that age' where it is time to consider bifocals. Gasp.

So are you telling me that now I have to put on a different pair of glasses for everything I do?? This won't be complicated at all by the fact that I am already constantly losing my glasses. Not at all. 

I decided that I had endured enough 'seeing' for the year. I thanked them for the tip (you can get cheap readers and wear them over your contacts to adjust). The bifocals would have to wait. And this is why I dread the eye doctor, more now than ever.  

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