It was a Tuesday evening, September 22nd. Over the last year or so, I had been starting to notice my distance reading to be a little blurry, such as reading words on the tv or reading those menus on the wall behind the registers. I started thinking that I may need to get my vision checked. That Tuesday night, I was watching tv with my husband. He was searching through things to watch. I was having to squint to read things. My husband’s glasses were sitting next to me and I thought that I’d try them. I put them on and I could read the words on the screen clearly. It was at that point that I decided that I should really go to the optometrist. I was feeling a little apprehensive about the whole thing. The logistics of calling and making an appointment is a little scary, but that is mostly because I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone. I would have to admit that there could be something wrong with me, which is anxiety provoking. I’m also not a big fan of doctors. But as I started to realize that I could see better, if I went, I decided it was probably for the best.
I started checking my benefits, since I had just signed up for vision insurance in June through my job. I found out that the exam would be completely covered, but the rest of the benefits were hard to find. But I knew I had an HSA account, so I checked my balance and discovered that I could get whatever I wanted to get in terms of glasses with no problem. It realeaved some stress as I realized that I wouldn’t have to pay for anything, considering we are strapped for cash.
I then got on my insurance app and had it search for optometrists in my area. There were 3 about a 10 minute drive from my apartment. Two of them were in the same office and that is the office I decided to choose and I was drawn to one of their names for some reason. So that is what I went with. It was too late to call now, so I would have to plan to do that tomorrow.
The next day, September 23rd, I clocked into work and did my job. I was feeling nervous about the phone call. At first break, I made the call to the doctor. I asked if they might have an appointment for Oct 1st or 2nd, since I had already scheduled PTO for those days. The woman who answered the phone stated that there were appointments available on the 1st. I asked what the latest ones were. She told me 5:20 or 5:40. I opted for 5:20. I wanted it to be possible for my husband to drive me, in case they were to dialate my eyes. I didn’t want to risk driving myself after that. So the appointment was set. I finished giving her my information and then ended the call. Another step done. Yes.
Later that evening I checked my email. They had sent me an email, so I could do the paperwork ahead of time. So I went ahead and did that. I called my mom and spoke with her for a while, while asking about some of the family history that I couldn’t remember exactly. I finished the paperwork and was set for a while.
Over the next few days, I got on pinterest and searched glasses to kind of get an idea for what is out there. It helped me get used to the idea of having glasses again. I had glasses as a child, but that was about 35 years ago. I also started thinking it would be fun to shop for new accessories.
A text message was sent on September 28th to let me know that they moved my appointment to 5:15, which is only a 5 minute change, so no big deal. Then on September 29th, I confirmed my appointment via email.
On September 30th, I called in and checked my benefits. I found out that I had an allowance towards frames and lenses. So that was great. That is less of the HSA that I would have to spend. That was a quick conversation, a little nervous, but not to bad.
Then came Oct 1st. The day of the appointment. That day I was really nervous. I had periodically been renewing my mind with the Word of God over the last week and I was praying that day. So I was in an ok frame of mind when I went, though I could feel the tension building all day. That is kind of how it works, I can be ok for several days, but the day of the event is when the nerves really pop up.
Upon entering the building, I found a stand, much like a hostess stand at a restaurant. There was a woman there that took my temprature (97.7) and asked me questions about if I had been in contact with anyone with COVID, to which I said not to my knowledge. I signed a paper and they sent me back to the optometrist. There were mens glasses on the right and womens glasses on the left, with desks in the middle. And in the back was the optometrists office. I walked into the reception area, which was surrounded by clear glass. I became the second person in line. After the receptionist got off the phone, she took care of the gentleman in front of me. Then I walked up, she took the paper I had, gave me a clipboard with 3 pages to sign. I sat down and signed the papers giving them permission to do the testing that was needed. I walked back up and gave her the paperwork.
I had only sat back down for about 5 minutes or so, when she called me back. We went into a room, where she asked me some questions about my sight. Then I had to look into a machine and watch a house come into focus and get blurry again, so she could take pictures. Then another machine that blew puffs of air into my eyes to check for glaucoma, which made me jump with each puff, even though I was expecting it.
After we were done in that room, she directed me into the exam room next door and I sat in the chair until the optometrist came in, which didn’t take long. When the doctor came in, she was very kind, as everyone was. She spoke to me for a few moments, then she looked at my eyes and tested my reading letters on the wall and on a small card that she brought close up. Then she talked to me about what is going on. She said I have relatively healthy eyes. I have 20/40 vision, but that corrected lenses were helping when she put them on. So it was probably time for a pair of glasses with a small prescription. She said it is really just normal aging that has happened. People usually start coming in around their mid 30’s to mid 40’s, but because I’m nearsighted, I didn’t come in until my mid 40’s.
Next she led me out to the lens specialist, who discussed with me my options for glasses. Since I needed a different prescription for distance and a different one for reading, I ended up with bifocals. The top is for distance and the bottom for close up reading. I also got a pair of sunglasses with just the distance, since I don’t need the close up reading outside much. So, he directed me over to the frames to choose which ones I would like. He gave me a shoebox size tote. I was to put any glasses I tried on or touched in it, so they could sanitize them before putting them back on the shelf.
I perused the frames for a while and found two frames that were perfect. For the sunglasses I chose dark purple and black plastic frames. Then for the bifocals, I chose a pair of purple wire/metal frame with the design name of “cupcake purple”. I thought that was fun. No there are no cupcake designs on the glasses, but they are very pretty. So I will be all decked out in purple and I will be able to see more clearly now.
Once I picked out my frames, I sat back down, waiting on someone to be able to finish my transaction. I waited for a while, because they were a bit busy. The gentleman that was in the optometrist office before me, came out and picked out his frames, then sat down near me. We talked for a few minutes, while we both waited. He was from the northwest, Washington state, I believe. If Penn from Penn & Teller had blonde hair, that is what he would look like. His voice even sounded like Penn. He told me about his recent experience of trying to get new glasses back in Washington and that he thought while he was in Phoenix he would try again. I had already heard half this story, while he was telling the optometrist’s receptionist, but I decided to practice being interested, instead of feeling like I had to be interesting in order to have a conversation. Our pastor had recently been talking about that in a leadership meeting. Then the gentleman was called to do the next step of getting his glasses, so that ended our conversation.
I was called up about 5 minutes later. A nice lady helped me get things figured out. She measured the distance between my pupils and marked the lenses for the bifocals. She got the whole order ready, applied my insurance, and gave me the ending total after insurance, which was only $263. And I had my HSA card to pay for the balance, so I didn’t have to pay a dime. The HSA account is technically my money taken out of my paycheck, but it was set aside for such a time as this. That was such a blessing. Everything went through. I was a little worried that it wouldn’t, since I hadn’t used it before. She then gave me my receipt and told me the glasses would be here in 10-15 days. They would contact me when they arrived, but to call back if I hadn’t heard anything in 15 days. So I texted my husband to let him know that I was done. Then I sat in a chair close to the front door and waited for my husband to come get me. He had dropped me off, since we didn’t know whether or not they were going to dialate my eyes or not. They did not dialate my eyes, but it’s good to take precautions.
I sat there for about 10 minutes or so waiting on him. I noticed a small tote on the front desk with pens in it. The sign said “dirty pens”. Now I know they probably have to sanitize the pens before the next person can use it, but the sign struck me as funny. I took a picture to show my husband.
When my husband arrived, I exited the building and got in the car. We discussed the appointment on the way home. After we got home, I showed him the pen picture, which he also found amusing.
Now we wait for the glasses. I hope they come soon. I know I could really use them. Patience, I know. I’ve gone this long, what’s a few more days.
On October 10th, I made a call to see if my glasses had arrived. It was Saturday and would have been a perfect day to go in. However, the person on the phone stated that they weren’t in yet. She said that they had been shipped and they should be in by Monday or Tuesday. I was really hoping they were in, but a couple more days would be ok. It hasn’t been 15 days yet.
I didn’t get a call by Tuesday and I got a little nervous that day, but I got to thinking that it could have been delayed or maybe they didn’t come until late and they didn’t have a chance to call before leaving for the day. I also felt like God was telling me that He was taking care of it, so I don’t need to worry.
October 15th started out as a normal Wednesday morning. I got up, got my day started with the Lord. Then started my work day. I work from home, so there is no commute time, just sign into my computer and start.
While I was on break, I got an automated call letting me know my glasses were in. Then I made a call to determine if I needed an appointment to pick them up. The person who answered assured me that I didn’t. So I finished my work day. I was starting to get both nervous and excited. As the work day came to a close, the nerves and excitement were building. I was excited to get glasses to see and I was nervous about going somewhere by myself. But the excitement was more than the nerves at this point.
I felt like I should read a short devotion before driving down there. I did. Just reading Scripture helped me calm down. I felt God telling me He is with me every step of the way and that He has prepared everything for me.
Now that I felt calmer, I gathered my things, kissed my husband on the way out the door, and went down to the car. The drive down there was quick. It was just down the road, so I didn’t have to go far. I got out of the car and headed in.
When I got in the building, I had to stand at the check in desk and wait for a person to come check me in. There was a lady sitting nearby and we chatted about our purple masks and purple in general. Then she was being helped by someone. After a few minutes they came and took my temperature, which apparantly was fine, since he asked me to have a seat.
Not long after, he called me to the counter and I tried on the bifocals first. He had me read a card, which had words going from bigger font at the top to smaller font at the bottom. Then he adjusted them a little by tightening them, which helped a lot. I was so excited to be able to read. Then I tried on the sunglasses. He adjusted these in the same way also. He was very nice and helpful.
He then asked if I would be wearing a pair out of the store. I opted to wear the sunglasses out, since I would be driving. He then got me 2 cases and put the bifocals in one and each case had a cleaning cloth in it. I tried to put my non prescription sunglasses in the other one, but they were too big. He told me I was good to go, since I had already paid for everything.
So I gathered my things and went out to the car. After I started the car, I just looked around and read signs for a few minutes. It was amazing that I could read signs far off.
I then drove back home. As I got out of the car, I noticed that the ground seemed closer with the glasses on, so it would take a little getting used to in certain areas.
After coming in the house, I showed my husband my new glasses. He liked them.
It is going to take some time to get used to wearing glasses, but they are such a blessing.
I have gained improved physical vision this year along with some spiritual vision and wisdom. I don’t know what is coming next, but I know God is with me and will take care of me.
And without further ado, I will include some pictures.