A very long eye appointment

One of the medications I take for my arthritis can cause changes in the retina and color vision, so I need yearly eye exams. We recently switched our Medicaid provider to one that covers eye exams every other year, but unfortunately our preferred eye doctor doesn’t take them. So I had to go to a new eye doctor that did take our insurance.

I decided to take Felix because I figured it’d be a quick half hour appointment. I told Brad I didn’t need him to come because I would just refuse dilation so I could drive myself home.

Felix didn’t do so great at heeling across the parking lot with me. I think it was because the ground was hot. Once we got inside the office, he was much better. He did a pretty good job of not sniffing around while I was waiting in line and while I was checking in. Not perfect, but OK for his age and level of training.

We sat in the waiting room for a very short period of time, then they called me back. Felix heeled well to walk over to the machines, and then I started eye testing. I had to have eye testing done on two different machines. I held Felix to my side for these because he couldn’t fit on my lap with the equipment they had. He was really good for these first two machines.

Then we went back to the eye exam room, and did a third test which was fine and talked about all my medical history.

This all took probably 15 minutes. Then the doctor came in. He was very very nice! He talked with me about my eye health, and then started doing the machine where they turn dials and change your vision from blurry to in focus and have you read letters etc. We spent a very long time on that machine, probably 15 minutes total just on that machine alone, plus 15 minutes talking to me and doing lights and other things to look in my eyes. Felix was starting to get antsy, and started squirming. He squirmed more the longer we were there. After about 45 minutes, I was thinking this appointment was taking a very long time!

Then the doctor said that due to the medication I was on, I had to do a peripheral vision test. That test took FOREVER!!!! I had to sit awkwardly with Felix held out to my side and look at fuzzy dots for probably 5–10 minutes.

When they had checked me in, they asked me if I wanted to get dilated and I said no because I had to drive myself home. Two people there reassured me that you can still drive after dilation, and they were insistent that because of the medication I was on, I really really needed to get dilated. So I agreed. By then I’d been there over an hour.

So they put eye drops in and had me sit in the waiting room for about 15 minutes. At first I was like oh it’s fine, I’ll definitely be able to drive. But then as time went on I was like um no, I am seeing what looks like vaseline smeared all over my eyes. There’s no way this is safe for me to drive!

Then they took me back for the last part of the exam with my eyes dilated. When everything was said and done, I had been there almost an hour and a half!!!! I never would have brought Felix if I had known it would be such a long appointment!

He was really a champ, though. Aside from squirming more the longer we were there (the seats were all angled so my lap was angled downwards and he kept almost sliding off, so he was just trying to get comfortable), he really was stellar. When I was waiting for my eyes to dilate, other people in the exam room were telling me how well behaved and calm he was. He really did a very good job, though we didn’t actually get to work on our heeling much at all which I really wanted to do.

The eye doctor said my eyes look good. There are no changes from the medication, but I need to come back every year for sure. My prescription hasn’t changed much. I’m now -9.25 in each eye (that means I can’t even read the big E with my glasses off!).

So after the appointment was over, I called Brad’s aunt Nancy and cousin Tamara and asked if they could help me get home. They were super nice and rushed over to pick me up and the van, too. Tamara drove me home in the van, while Nancy followed in her car. Tamara was very good at driving the van, and we didn’t get into any crashes LOL. I am very glad we have Brad’s family nearby that we can rely on!

I only got one photo because I was busy almost the whole time I was at the eye doctor (except when I was letting my eyes dilate, and I couldn’t really use my phone then)! I was able to take a selfie of Felix and me when I had given them my glasses to check the prescription I currently have. I have messy brown hair and am wearing a purple mask, and Felix is a sable and white Japanese Chin looking directly into the camera. I have no idea how I got such a good picture as I couldn’t see at all what I was taking a picture of without my glasses on LOL! Muscle memory I guess!

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