One-Eyed Chuck and the Dolphins Cheerleader

There comes a point in every guy’s life to make a decision.

OK. This has nothing to do with mid-life crises or turning 50 or any of that shit. This has to do with facing down a whole different kind of fear. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My moment happened the other weekend when I swatted a gnat away from my head. I inadvertently hit my reading glasses (which I was wearing) and broke them.

An international crisis by no means, certainly. But when you’re in the reading and writing business it ain’t a good thing. So there I was, broken glasses hanging halfway off my nose.

In a sense, I didn’t mind so much. Because I really hate my glasses. I don’t mind that I can’t read without assistance anymore. Can’t do anything about that. The things I can manage, I do. I can do about 40 or so push-ups. About 11-1/2 pull-ups. My blood pressure is somewhere in the 118/77 range (YA HEAR THAT BLUE CROSS!!!!)

The things you can fix, ya do. The rest you deal with.

Thing is, I just hate my glasses.

Let’s see. I’ve got them on reading. Then I have to do something so I push them up on my head. Then I put them on my desk. Then I want to read something and pull them down from my head only to realize they’re my sunglasses. Now where the hell did I put them? Got to get up and go back to the kitchen.

Just too much fucking trouble.

The only alternative is the chain around the neck. A stylistic abomination. Some guys can pull that off. BUT I AIN’T GOING THERE!

Hanging my glasses around my neck would be crossing an invisible line for me. Like becoming Coleridge’s ancient mariner.

(Albatross! Albatross!!! Course you don’t get bloody wafers with it! It’s a bloody sea bird!!! Albatross!!!)

No, the neck chain is where I draw the line.

My options were limited.

For a while, though, I’d heard of this ocular miracle called the mono-vision contact lens. They correct each eye individually – long and short – and your brain simply adjusts. Wow. If I knew my brain could do that…

That means, since my distance vision is fine, I’d only need to deal with one contact lens.

The only problem with one contact lens is, few people are as big a wuss about their eyes as I am. I blink anticipating the flash on a camera.

No shit. Quick story…

There’s a test they do where they photograph the back of your eye. It involves looking into a dark field and then BLAM! Blinding light. I had this test 5 years ago during my last exam.

Got the first eye. Took about 20 takes for the second eye with all the blinking.

So I’m at the optometrist for this exam (5 years later) and something in the back of my brain remembers the other experience as I was looking into the viewing field — which, may I remind you, is DARK. The technician is looking through her end of the machine and says she could see my pupil actually CONTRACTING. In the dark. That’s how much of a wuss I am.

So sticking something like my finger with a piece of plastic on the end of it in my eye is not an appealing thought.

Still, I hated my glasses.

Anyway, I’m at a crossroads. It’s face my fears, or the albatross.

So I get on the interwebs and start looking up optometrists in the area. I find Dr. Stefani Martin. Let’s check the credentials.

Doctorate in Optometry from Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry. Check.

Fellowship, College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Check.

Member of the American Optometric Association, the Florida Optometric Association and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Check. Check. Check.

Former Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Che… Huh???

It’s true

No matter. My loathed glasses were broken. Time to man up.

I make an appointment, telling Cheryl, the office admin, I’m in the market for contacts.

D-day comes.  I suffer through the torment of the exam… flashing lights, drops, glaucoma tests… And then came the moment of truth.

The fitting.

Dr. Stefani informed her assistant my eyes would be dilated when we came out so she would have to be fast.


I sat down with Caitie who gave me preliminary instructions on how to open my eye lid. Then she peeled back the foil lid on my new eyeball.

“OK,” she says. “Stick your finger in and take it out.”

“Take what out?” I reply.

(There’s a strange absurdity about fixing a VISION problem with an INVISIBLE prosthetic lens that had been lost on me before…)

“You just hold your eye open and bring the lens toward your eye. It will stick itself on,” says Caitie to me.

Strike one… Strike two… Strike three… But wait!!! Fourth time’s a charm!!

“You got it!!!”

“I got it!!!”

I felt like the bike kid in the video!

Rock and Roll!!!

Now how do you get it out?

“Well you have to reach in your eye with two fingers and kind of squeeze it off.”

“WHAT? You mean there’s no magic way to have it pop off back on to my finger????”

Strike one… Strike two…

I think the fifteenth time was the charm.

Anyway, I passed the test and am on day three (up to 10 hours of wear time.)

I go back for a follow up fitting in two weeks.

So far so-so. We’ll see what the next two weeks holds.

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