Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Few things are more mysterious to me than the fact that the office sign outside my eye doctor is, without a doubt, the smallest sign imaginable. I am firmly persuaded that buildings for eye doctors should have neon signs and laser lights pointing the way.

Any amount of intelligence I feel I have, always gets shattered at the eye doctor. This happens without fail (yes, I am underscoring my use of the world 'always' here). I have but one skill and it is this: I can read faster than you. I know I can. (ask Chris. He lost). I can read fast and I can read well. I am a reader. Sit me in front of an eye chart and I can't tell the difference between an 'E' and an '8'. Which leads me to the eye-chart-reading-dialogue of today.

nurse (technician??): [glances at my chart] Well, I know you won't be able to, but can you see the big E?
karin: (no comment)

nurse/tech: Okay, I'm going to shine this bright light right in your eyes. Then you tell me when you can see the big E.
karin: Is this a joke?

And, my personal favorite.....

nurse/tech: All right. Now I'm going to dilate your eyes. This should only burn for a second. [editors note: nearly twelve hours later, my eyes are still burning]. [pause] Wow. I just missed both your eyes. I've never done that before. [at this point, my face is quite wet].

The end of the story is that this sixth in a series of doctors now believes I have conjunctival cataracts--in other words, I've been blessed with this condition since birth. My vision continues to decline with remarkable speed yet the cataracts remain unchanged. Pretty much, my glasses will continue to get thicker. Here's to hoping plastic frames never go out of style!


Joefish said...

Well, I'll join you in the club for those who'll probably be blind at some stage. In the mean time, thank God for eye doctors!

Jeremy said...

Is this something they could fix with surgery if you ever wanted to go that route? Until then, long live the soda bottle look!

karin said...

well, they don't want to do surgery on me. Something about my having very young and very healthy eyes (since when is terrible vision a sign of health?!?!)

Lindsey said...

1) you should write a book. i would buy it.

2)i'm sorry going to the eye doctor is so problematic for you

3)i think you have CONGENITAL cataracts (see defs below), not conjunctival cataracts

of or relating to the conjunctiva

the mucous membrane that lines the exposed portion of the eyeball and inner surface of the eyelids.

of or pertaining to a condition present at birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, esp. the uterine environment.

karin said...

Dear Lindsey,

Thanks for clearing everything up. Now I am acutely aware that I have hearing problems as well.

Lindsey said...

hahahahaha!!! sorry :-) i should have skipped the medical termonology lesson. forgive me?

karin said...

No, I love it! Actually, it was quite the wake-up call. Proof that new Grey's Anatomy episodes better come online soon because my medical skills are getting rusty.

drh said...

I really had hoped to leave a comment in a smaller font, but I suppose this will have to do.

Danielle said...

Classic - that nurse really knew what she was doing ;)

Anna said...


Long-time reader, first-time commenter (I think).

I share your pain. I have such bad vision that my eye doctor once said, "You can't see that? Whoa, you're blind!" I have such bad vision that I have to get a note from eye doctor to get a driver's license. I am not kidding. I think it's because my corrected vision still isn't 20/20 b/c I have optic nerve damage. Having to take the eye test at the DMV to renew my license next month is already making me lose sleep.

ruthie said...

I happened to go to the eye doctor yesterday-but my dr. is the BEST ...anyways I finally found out that my real vision is 20/2000-Officially blind. Thank God for contacts!

- john said...

have i entered into a support group for the visually impaired??

karin said...

Yes, John. You have. Mark this down for your hours.