As I sat in the chair, the young lady doctor explained she would do the initial check up, then Dr G. (previous referred to as flakey lady) would meet me and talk me through the results.
It was a long hour of looking into machines, simple standard eye-tests to determine how bad my eyes really were ( “which one is clearer? Glass 1. or glass 2?” “glass 2” “3 or 4” “3”etc. ). Reading the letters on the opposite wall until I knew them of by heart. I still tried though to tell what I saw instead of what I remembered, but when I said ‘D-O-K-V’ the lady smiled and said: “That’s fine.” She took my glasses of to write down the prescription and continued: “Actually it is Y not V – but they look the same.” Erhm worrying… surely that is the whole point of the exercise?
For the next check she put some drops in my eyes and said: “I have now put local anaestetic on your eyes, I will bring this light on top of your eye but you won’t feel a thing.” I have to admit I did flinch in my mind for about two seconds but realised: in three days time you will have a laser beaming through your eye, so you better suck it up!
The fact that I indeed felt nothing was very reassuring. When she was done, the next set of drops would expand my pupils so Dr G would be able to look into my eyes. It transpired that Dr G actually wasn’t on call at all that day and that she would come in…just for me. Wow. She would come in a little later but the drops needed time to work anyway. The waiting room was empty and we even had the worried receptionist checking up on us. We did know Dr G wasn’t on call right? Yes we did – thank you.
Then it happened:
What can only be described as a very well-dressed force of nature Dr G comes in- six bags and an umbrella in hand. She shakes my hand, leads us into her office. She chats away about the weather, about how London was, about the notes she was given [insert three seconds of silence to read] about how strange it was that my right eye which was the dominant one, was undercorrected by at least 1 point (which means I have been walking around with a -6 contactlens, even though the reading said my eye needs a – 7.25: EEKS!). She does another reading just to make sure, yes they were right; does a quick look through my eyes – all good. She has a look at my cornea which needs to be thick enough to laser and…
The right one is a little thin. **SHOCK HORROR**
But before the panic can even register, she chats away that it should be fine; we should really just in case check with another machine which they didn’t have here, well they had, but obviously sod’s law not this week, not quite sure where it had gone; let us call my assistant Emma, she might be able to squeeze you in.
She rolls her deskchair back- into another chair, nearly knocking over a machine, she doesn’t seem to care and grabs the phone: “Hi Emma,listen, hi where are you? At home? Oh should I call you tomorrow? You are in the hospital tomorrow right? Yes well I have this girl and she’d like to come in Thursday, we are missing the machine here this week. Yes I know, but maybe she can see you at 4.30? I won’t be in til 6pm myself. I know, yes but I would really like you to fit her in. Can you? Shall I call you back tomorrow? Yes no that is fine 4.30 it is then. Great.Thanks Emm”. After she hangs up Dr G turns around: “Do you know where in Rotterdam you have to be on Thursday?” Like rabbits in headlights my mum and I can only shake our heads. We get a map, get speed talked through the directions ( Don’t forget to go right after the second bridge, which is white, the first is red; otherwise you will end up in The Hague, which is nice as well but really hard to turn back from…”) which are then all written on the map in bullet points.
Seemingly happy she has one more look at my file “Your cornea, should be fine. Well they might be a little thin. But they should be fine. But let’s make sure when we do another reading. It really should be fine. But we want to be sure it’s safe. But i don’t think it will be a problem really. We shall see on Thursday.” She closes the file: she’s done. This whole event that has lasted less than 15 minutes. She shakes my hand and says: “Great- see you next week…Oh god no Thursday, see you Thursday. Bye!”
I’m still a little stunned and not able to see clearly because of the pupil dilation. Whilst my mum leads me to the car, there is only one thought in my head: What was that?!
To be continued.