I am a miracle of modern science

So last week I went to get my eyes tested, since it’s been three years since the last time. I’ve had glasses since approximately age 4 (this is what happens when you start teaching your children to read before they can talk) and I’ve always loved getting my eyes tested. I want to go to an optometrist’s closing down sale and get an eye testing machine of my own, or at least one of those cool boxes full of lenses. (If you’ve never had your eyes tested you are seriously missing out.)

The optometrist’s assistant sat me down in front of this machine that looked a bit like a printer and made lovely futuristic noises, and balloons suddenly appeared before my eyes as I peered through the viewfinder.

“Is that it?” I thought, disappointed. But it was just a preliminary thing to give the optometrist an idea of what my eyes were like. Of course she could have just looked at my prescription, but that’s not nearly as futuristic and involves many fewer balloons.

I went into the room with all the cool machines and sat down in the comfy chair and read various lines on the eye chart (and might I say they could do with a better font, it was hard enough to distinguish P and F even when I could see the line clearly), and went over to the other machine so I could have air blown in my eyes (twice, because I’m a flincher), and then came my very favourite part of the eye test – the bit where you have to look at the optometrist’s ear while she shines a bright light in your face and you can see all the little veins in your cornea.

This time the optometrist looked worried.

“You have a big ulcer on your cornea,” she said. I’d had an optometrist notice this before so it wasn’t a shock.

“The cornea has the largest concentration of nerve endings in the body,” she continued.

This is also good information to have.

“You really ought to be screaming in agony right now.”

I guess I could try?

So some incident in the past that I can’t recall has given me an active ulcerated scar on my cornea, about 5-7mm across, a sort of oval shape, just below the pigmentation line and out of my field of vision. You can see it if you look closely, and if I could get my macro lens to cooperate, I could take a decent picture. And the size of it means I should be in extreme agony. The words “vomiting from pain” and “verge of hospitalisation” were used. Sadly this has not got me out of a single night’s washing up duty.

On the bright side (well, semi-bright side, since it’s going to cost) my weaker eye has improved to the point where it’s on par with my good eye, although there’s a bit of astigmatism so it’s still my less good eye. I’ve been getting around without my glasses on quite frequently (when I don’t need to drive a car, anyway; I’m short-sighted so I don’t need them for reading, and my camera has auto-focus) and my inner 14-year-old wants all the cheap $2-store sunglasses that I could never wear when I was an outer 14-year-old. Enormous polarised mirror wraparound cat’s-eye sunnies, here I come!

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