It had been several years since I had been to the eye doctor. Even then, the last time I went I got contacts, and wasn’t given my new prescription for glasses. I was due for a new prescription, yet I am on a disability pension (federal, not provincial, which doesn’t have any benefits, and pays much less at that) and have no coverage, so couldn’t bring myself to go.
The last time I went, it was $150 just to see the eye doctor, and that didn’t include the cost of glasses. I can’t afford that.
So I have been putting it off, and putting it off, and meanwhile I have been getting more and more disoriented as I go out. My prescription wasn’t working for me anymore, and I had to do something.
That is when my friend told me about the vision clinic in the mall – there I could either buy glasses from them, and get the prescription free, or buy the prescription from them for $45, and get my glasses somewhere else.
I fully intended, when I went in to that appointment, on either buying the glasses there (ready in a hour – very convenient) or buying the prescription, and getting my glasses at the online store I have been using for years. Fully intended as in those were the only two options I had in my head going in – and I don’t change my thoughts quickly, especially when I am in a situation (such as going to an appointment and talking to some strange person) that causes me anxiety.
It happened just before Christmas, and my husband drove me down to the appointment. At least I didn’t have to deal with that!
She took me in right away, and said she had forgotten the appointment, and had put on some Eucalyptus essential oils or something – and asked if it bothered me. Not at all. I have sensory issues, but I actually like most scented products like that. If she smelled like smoke… or even unscented products (those are some of the worst for me) it would have been a problem, but not the eucalyptus.
Then she started with the vision test.
I might have been in there 5 minutes total, but…
The way vision tests are done is very hard for me. I can’t remember in between the lenses which one is better, and anyway, they pretty much all looked blurry.
I tried. I tried really hard. I even told her I was struggling, and that they all seemed blurry.
We got to the end of the test, and she showed me the old and new prescriptions. They were both blurry, and I told her that – so she got frustrated and said it was the best she could do, and I should go to a proper eye doctor if I wanted something better. I couldn’t explain my struggle.
She had the prescription on the screen – both the old and the new. I was looking at it as I wondered how to solve the issue – could she try again? I couldn’t afford to go to a proper eye doctor. I stared at the screen as I tried to process this complication – but she sent me out without any options.
When I got home, I decided to order glasses with the new prescription anyway. I felt bad for not paying for that prescription, but she had said that I only had to pay for it if she printed it out for me – she didn’t even give me that option.
My old prescription was still in the system online, and my astigmatism hadn’t changes (she said that while I was in the appointment.) So I put in the new numbers, and ordered the glasses.
Meanwhile all the numbers I had seen were running through my head, and I realized I made a mistake – I put in both numbers for my left eye (old and new) and not the correct one for my right eye. I emailed them right away, and tried to have it corrected – but it was Christmas, and no one got that email.
Just before New Years I got the email saying my new glasses had been shipped – ‘great,’ I wrote back, ‘only I emailed saying I had the wrong prescription and asked to have that changed.’ They got that email, and said it wasn’t a problem, they would make my glasses in the proper prescription and I could send the ‘wrong’ ones back.
And then they came in…
I was just going to send them back unopened, but I wanted to see how bad they felt to wear – this prescription was -0.50 stronger than I was supposed to have for my right eye. I put them on and…
It was the best I have been able to see in years!!!
They were perfect. Comfortable. Didn’t make me dizzy at all. In fact, it was the first time since I started wearing glasses that I didn’t want to take them off. So wonderful!
I wrote again to say I wanted to keep this mistake. It was too late to cancel the proper ones, but they did give me a large discount. Since it was my mistake (and a very happy one at that) my husband and I agreed that I should pay for them.
The ‘proper’ prescription is good for using at my computer, which is pretty close to me. For everything else, I use the mistake glasses.
A better mistake I have never made.