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Monday, September 29, 2008

Seeing it all clearly now

I had one of those experiences today.

One of those experiences to which I don't like to admit, of which I am completely, totally, and utterly embarrassed. One of those experiences where you sit back later on, while sipping a cup of coffee or tea, and wonder, "was that ME?".

Oh, oh, oh. It was me, all right.

I have not felt as if my hormones were "raging" or "out of whack" now for a while. As a matter of fact, I had been thinking that things were finally chugging along pretty smoothly in the hormone department. For the most part, I feel pretty great every single day. I'm still nursing, so I recognize that inside of me swims a lovely little cocktail of various female hormones, leaving their imprints on me in the forms of excitement, stress, anxiety, sadness, and elation.

I had a horrible cold all weekend, and could barely get out of bed. I felt rotten, and the sinus infection of which I had worked diligently to rid myself seemed to be rearing it's ugly head again. I slowly felt myself slipping into that deep, dark hole of victim mode.

Why me? I'm a mom, I'm too busy to get sick. I don't get any days off. It's NOT FAIR.

Perhaps it was the exhaustion I felt from a long weekend of being sick, or maybe it was that unique mix of hormones raging through me, but something caused me to become a weepy, blithering idiot on the telephone this morning.

I called my optometrist's office because I was out of contacts. I buy the two week lenses, and then I wear them for a month or two. It saves me money and is better than the dailies I used to wear (due to the fact that I had a serious eye infection a number of years ago). When I run out, I call the office to order more and I have them in 48 hours.

Well, on the phone this morning the receptionist tells me she can not order me contacts because I am overdue for my latest eye check up. I realized this, told her I was sorry, and that I would come in sometime in the New Year when life settled down a bit. So could I please just order the contacts?

She wouldn't budge. She was not going to order me my contacts. I started to panic, because I am at the very end of the pair I am wearing and I need contacts in the next week or two or I'd have to . . . wear my glasses. Which I don't do. In public. Very often. If ever.

I've had glasses since I was a wee little thing in grade two or three. I couldn't see the board at school, the teacher told my mom, and I got myself a cute little pair of little girl frames. I got contacts at age 14, something I was able to convince my parents were *necessary* because I was very into figure skating and also did cross-country running. Sports + Glasses do not mix well. I've been wearing contacts ever since.

I remained calm as long as I could, but the thought of having no contacts soon became more than I could handle. She told me that I would need to come in for an appointment, but that they weren't booking times before November. NOVEMBER?

She said if I booked an appointment time for November, that she could order me a trial pair of contacts to use until I saw the doctor. She so kindly reminded me that "they are only for two weeks though, so you would need to wear your glasses for the remainder of that time".

Uh, yeah. Right.

I just wanted the contacts. I had tried to go to Costco last week to buy contacts, but being near-blind, they don't carry my prescription and they don't let you order if you don't have that little piece of paper with your prescription written on it.

I just want contacts. I explained to unfriendly lady X on the phone that I am a long time contact lens-wearer, that I know my eyes have not changed, that I am not having any problems and that I would come in for an appointment later. But for now, a four year old in kindergarten who takes the afternoon bus, an almost three year old in preschool two mornings a week, and a nursing baby who doesn't take a bottle are preventing me from coming to an appointment (their office happens to be very far from where I live, I can't just "pop" over for an appointment).

She still won't budge. And I just wanted the contacts. Badly. I started to imagine what a cocaine addict might feel like if they didn't know where their next stash would come from.

Then it happened. I started to cry. On the phone! With a total stranger.

I tell her, "I can see where this is going. You have no intention of giving me contact lenses and I'm totally screwed."

"If you book an appointment we can order you a trial pair, " she replies in a calm voice that tells me she has perhaps been through this before.

I say, "Fine. Book me an appointment in November and I'll see if I can make it". "And now I'd like to order the trial set of contacts."

My husband later explained to me that this was where the fateful phone conversation really went sour. Apparently, "I'll see if I can make it", probably made optometrist reception woman see red. Hindsight is 20/20. I can see what a bitch I was now that I'm calmer.

Dealing with hormonal nursing moms must not be the high point of this woman's day because she then tells me to "calm down and call back later after I find out if I can make the appointment or not".

Do you think that made me feel any better? No. She then explains that she can't talk about this anymore, she is alone in the office and very busy, and will phone me back later. Uh huh.

She does call back about 15 minutes later. She offers me an appointment on a day and time I know I cannot possibly make. Rather than even get into that, I calmly tell her, thank you, but no thank you, I will have to look elsewhere for my optometric needs. I'm stunned that she shows no compassion or even seems remotely concerned that I want a pair of contacts and she is ruining my day.

After some panic and a number of frazzled phone calls, I did find an optometrist who would see me in two weeks from today. With an office within five minutes of my home, instead of twenty-five. I booked an appointment, and I will have my new contacts by mid-October. What I am most regretful of in this whole situation is the fact that I truly liked my optometrist. I was one of her first patients, as she opened her office across the street from a company for which I used to work. We hit it off as we were roughly the same age and had a number of similar interests. I thought she was a fantastic eye doctor.

The worst part is how much this inane conversation actually upset me. There are multiple things that go wrong for me in any given day, things out of my control that just happen and cause a chain reaction of mixed-up things that require me to make alternate arrangements and fix and rework things. It just seemed ridiculous to me that a person wanting a pair of contact lenses cannot purchase them without a prescription.


amanda said...

i sooo feel your pain on this one honey. minus the needing of contacts and being the mom of three. my eyes are good and i only have one.


the hormones are beyond crazy. last week was rough. and i flipped. who knew nursing could make a girl feel so crazy?

hang in there friend :)

Simply Shannon said...

Sorry that things went so poorly for you.
Might I offer a suggestion though? Next time you should just agree to make the appointment so she orders you your trial pair of contacts...and then cancel the appointment after you get them. Or at least reschedule it for a time that works better for you.
I hope that things start looking up!

Anonymous said...

That blind rage that totally ruins your day? I get that.

Regarding the contacts, you might want to ask about hard lens. I know they are old fashion and all but I love mine. The best part is that they last years. Seriously. I have had the same pair about six years.

Kristen said...

Oh I am so sorry!!

If it was me, I would write a letter to the doctors office to tell them how awful this girl was to you.

So sorry, but glad to hear that you are going to be getting new contacts soon!

Landerson said...

Ugh......not fun:( Glad there was a happy ending though!

dougnlarry said...

I'm so sorry Shannon. I'm sorry you've been sick too. I hope you're feeling better soon. And I'm glad you can get in to the doc in a couple weeks so you'll have contacts again.

Hang in there.

Anti-Supermom said...

You are too funny, though I am sorry that you had to go through all of that for a pair of stinkin' contacts.

Good luck with the trial pair.

~Hindsight 20/20 was my favorite line :)

Jen said...

I agree with Kristen. I would write a letter to the optometrist explaining what happened and how sorry you are to have to switch practices. Something could come out of it.

Hope you feel better soon! :)

Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I saw your twitter yesterday about this... I'm glad you put me out of my misery! I was wondering and wondering what the heck happened!!

I think the whole contact/prescription approach needs to be re-visited. I have had my troubles in this area too. And it is so FRUSTRATING! A girl's got to see, ya know.
And I can second the whole not wanting to wear your glasses thing...!

Laural Out Loud said...

I hate calling anywhere anymore, because if something doesn't go my way, my patience is immediately shot. I used to be so calm and collected- I don't know what's happened to me!

But November? That's ridiculous. I hope your new eye dr is great (are you planning to tell your old one why you left?).

Kelli @ writing the waves said... That was like reading a story about me. From the glasses in the 2nd grade, contacts when I was 15, not wearing glasses in public barely ever since, wearing my 4 week lenses way longer than I should and then the HOOPS they make you JUMP through if your prescription is more than a year old. AHHHHH!

And what's crazier than that is that they'll probably tell you your new prescription might not be as accurate anyway because you are nursing & give you the exact same one you've always had. (That's what happened with me.)

I'm so sorry that lady was so apathetic. I hate getting upset on the phone too. I blame it on sleep deprivation & hormones...definitely. I bet you will like the new place though. It's nice to have an office so close by since it's hard enough to find the time to even go to the appointment.

Sorry for the long comment...this kinda struck a chord with me. haha

Unknown said...

I was nodding my head frantically as you were explaining how long you've worn glasses or contacts. I got glasses in 2nd grade and contacts Freshman year! Same as you, I am guessing. Although I still wear "hard" lenses (gas-permeable) and only replace them every 1-2 years.

I also got myself a pair of glasses that I actually like and wear them about 2 - 3 times a week.

Sorry you had to change optometrists, that's a bummer. And sorry she wasn't willing to work with you!

Unknown said...

Aw, hon, I know how you feel...and I have nursed since Feb!

But I still have those hormonal outbreaks. I always pity the person that it is heading towards....

I am glad you found someone closer to you and that can get you in sooner!

Anonymous said...

Well that totally blows! I know how you feel... it's very frustrating to deal with someone so stupidly stubborn for no apparent reason, especially when you're feeling emotional.
Here's some contact lens advice: Order from 1-800 contacts! They do custom lenses if yours are hard to find. All you do is given them the prescription, which is ON THE BOX of your contacts! And your dr's office number to confirm. They almost ALWAYS put the order through because most dr's offices are too frakking lazy to take the confirmation calls in the first place. And rarely if ever call back them and reject the script. Plus they offer good discounts. Win-win!
Good luck!

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