The doctor was friendly and chatted to make me feel comfortable, but all the "tests" to see how I see were quite nerve-racking. I felt like I would fail every question. I know that my eye sight has decreased minutely as I have aged, so identifying the smallest letters that I could see really freaked me out. As she continued to bombard me, I wondered How can I ace this test? I wanted my eyes to be perfect! But no test-taking strategies or studying would help me do better on the eye exam. Eew! What an awful feeling to know that nothing I could actively do would help me have better eye sight. And even worse, as I get older, my ability to perform on the test will definitely decrease.
After the mental stress of the question and answer portion of the test came the physical. First, electric yellow drops that made my eyelids feel like weights, then drops to dilate my pupils. The amicable doctor continued to make conversation with me as she flashed bright lights and searched my eyeballs for abnormalities.
"You have a very interesting nerve," she said.
Oh god! What if she is using interesting like I use interesting when a student says something that makes no sense?!
"Yes. It is very elongated. I'll show you a picture of it."
She showed me my eyeball pictures and my elongated optic nerve in my right eye. She also pointed out my maculas and their lack of white spots, which would indicate macular degeneration.
The exam was over, and I was glad for it. No bad news, just the discomfort and nausea of overly dilated eyes.
As I drove away from the office, my sunglasses on and my visor down, I relished in my ability to see distances clearly while still waiting for my vision of close objects to clear. I thought about the peace of mind that the visit brought to me. Macular degeneration runs in my family, so I know I need to regularly visit the eye doctor from now on to make sure my eyes are healthy. Still, it was good to be done with that experience.
As I stopped for a traffic light, I blew my nose, and though my vision was still blurry, I noticed Mt. Dew colored snot in my tissue! I hadn't realized that part of the exam would be take-home.