Haha, apparently “soon” translates into “months later”. Did you really expect more from me? At least it’s not years later. And two months isn’t too bad, right? In my defense, we were just entering peak end-of-year Symphony craziness, and Camp NaNoWriMo started at the beginning of April. I have only recently come up for air and remembered I was still on a quest for new glasses. I also saw a new eye doctor recently. More on that later, though; let’s finish the story at hand.
Because I’m writing this gripe months after it happened — and trying to create some documentation so that I can have a more seamless, trouble-free glasses-buying experience in the future — I sat down and patched together the timeline of interactions with Pro-Optix. I wish I had done it the minute it happened, but alas that was Mistake #… What are we on now? 3? Sure, let’s go with 3. I am not a good records keeper until everything has turned into a gigantic cluster. But that’s another post for another time.
ANYway… I’m going to more accurately rehash the information from the last post, because, as I may have said before, I’m nothing if not tedious. 😉 But this one includes pictures! So you can FEEL MY PAIN.
8 January 2018:
I had an exam performed by the eye doctor at Pro-Optix. He was very nice and seemed to know what he was doing — but he has ridiculously horrible handwriting, which may or may not have contributed to the incorrect Rx in at least the first pair of glasses issued.
I mean, what even is this? Besides the fact that their copy machine/printer is terrible, how is any of this illegible handwriting useful to anyone?
Ms. C helped me pick out frames (while my eyes were dilated, heh — it’s a great time to pick something that will cost almost $200 before lenses, and be on my face for at least the next year). Then, after my exam, Ms. C and Mr. D (who I am going to henceforth call “Mr. J2”, because his name also starts with J and I have to keep looking up the arbitrary letter I gave him) attempted to navigate the complicated computer system to try to order what I needed within my budget. The receipt was supposed to say that I would receive a Trivex lens with a blue-block coating (the lens line contains a code I don’t recognize, but Ms. C had written “Trivex” next to it. The coating said “Anti-Reflective Oleophobic”, with “blue light” written next to it). The total would be $353.95 — and that included a $19.99 discount on the coating and no charge for sales tax.
However, I got a call that night to notify me that the girl who had helped me was new to the system, and the blue-light blocker would require a higher-index lens and another $250 in price — but they would change to standard polycarbonate with a standard AR coating for the same price. If I’m reading the following correctly, it took two more days to order them (I went in on a Monday):
I finally figured out this says “ordered”, but I’m afraid that if I stare at it too long I might lose sanity points.
Note: I did not know much about lens materials (and lens shapes — more on that later) other than what I had experienced in the past. I now know that I probably have a high-index lens in my Target glasses (because I didn’t know any better — but Target got them right on the second try and the lenses have held up well for the past three years, so I’m not really complaining). The glasses before that were a polycarb/plastic blend that Mr. J at Pro-Optix had ordered for me before they were making their own lenses. But, here’s the thing: I didn’t just make up the problems I’ve had in the past. I repeated things I was told by multiple people in multiple facilities, and it’s all I have to work on when glasses don’t work for me and I’m being treated like my eyesight through their lenses is my fault. On top of that, it’s very frustrating that opticians don’t offer more education about all the weird terms they use, and then work with you to explore all the options available when glasses are being a problem. I had to Google everything, and even then I can’t quite understand the numbers, especially when it comes to the mechanics of correcting for astigmatism.
Maybe I’m one of those people who knows just enough to get myself in trouble and be a PITA to customer service — but maybe communication would be facilitated if we were all on the same page, if I’m given the correct terminology to be able to articulate my problems.
(And before anyone is like, “Why didn’t you just ASK?” I could go on another rant about how I’m kind of gun shy where doctors and medical professionals are concerned, and then confess that I’m really not good at confrontation or pressing very busy doctors/nurses/technicians who give off the “we’re done here”, “I’m the expert and know more than you”, or “don’t question me” vibes. I always feel like I’m whining. I’m working on advocating and standing up for myself, but it’s hard. I’ve also only had about ten pairs of glasses (if that) in my life, with two or more years between each one. Lens technology is constantly changing, and I find the learning curve is still a little steep every time I go in.)
31 January 2018:
I went in to pick up the new glasses (which had taken about three weeks to come in), and get my pressure checked (it was fine). At first the lenses seemed great. There was a little distortion around the edges, but I thought that was probably something I needed to get used to. Lights were really bright, but then maybe I was just being sensitive that day (and I had to have those weird numbing drops for the glaucoma test). I tried really hard to adjust to them for the next five days, but light was still too bright, I was getting headaches and feeling horribly fatigued by evening, and I had to keep blinking and concentrating on focus to see things that should have been clear. Then, sitting about seven or eight feet away from our 36” TV that we use more often as a computer monitor, I realized I was having trouble reading words on the screen. I closed one eye, then the other, and the right eye was blurry. I put on my old glasses, and could read clearly from the same distance.
That was a no-go. So I took them back.
(Now we’re caught up. I feel a little like George R. R. Martin releasing book five after six years of making his readers wait. “Most of this book takes place at the same time as events in the fourth book that you waited eight years for. You can finally move on when I catch up with myself!”)
5 February 2018:
The only person at the store when I had a chance to go in was Ms. C. This was a good and bad thing: If she couldn’t navigate their computer system even with help, it probably wasn’t likely I was going to get answers that day if she was working the shop alone. However, she was nice and the only person I’d talked to the most when I ordered my glasses originally, so it was likely to be an easier conversation.
I told her what was wrong, and that I honestly wasn’t 100% sure what exactly was ordered, since at least three people had a hand in ordering them, and I only had the old receipt. She nodded and said she told them I would be back, because I’d said I was non-adaptive to polycarbonate and (Red Flag #1) they had put in the wrong prescription, anyway.
Okay, you know how it’s a well-known joke that the more illegible someone’s handwriting, the more likely they are to be a doctor? And how a percentage of medical mistakes are caused by transcription errors? And how computers are now available to kind of take the guesswork out of a medical professional’s unreadable documentation? I’ve had it happen before with medicine prescriptions (like, a decade and a half ago, when doctors still wrote out prescriptions), and now it’s happened with vision correction — in an era when computer transcription is far more ubiquitous and actually saves lives and time by standardizing what everyone sees.
So let’s play a game. Which of these prescriptions is the correct one?
Pro-Optix Exam, Day One, left side of the page:
“Is number one better?”
Pro-Optix Exam, Day ??, right side, in the notes section:
“Or number two?”
Pro-Optix Printed Rx, Day One:
Ignore the “ADD”. I think it was supposed to be a mild magnification at the bottom to combat fatigue, but the cost was prohibitive, so I canceled it.
Pro-Optix 3rd try, as written at the top of their copy of the receipt, and dated 3-3-18:
It’s ever so slightly sharper than this before I took a picture and then a screenshot. But only slightly.
Rx read by PNW Eye Associates, from 3rd set of lenses from Pro-Optix:
“BC” is “Base Curve” — the actual key to this whole stupid issue. Also, the optical tech left out the decimals.
For contrast, here is what he wrote down for my three-year-old prescription in the glasses I was there to replace, at the top of the exam sheet:
And what the PNW Eye Assoc tech read:
Well, now they don’t seem far off, do they? There must be some other way to read an eye. And that BC is just over half of what is in the distorted lenses. This is foreshadowing, but also the past coming around to bite me, because I didn’t remember the problems I had before, other than materials. But I get ahead of myself…
If I were to try to type out that old, handwritten Rx, it would look like this:
OD: -0.25 -1.00 x 096
OS: +0.25 -1.20 x 034
(First number is Spherical, second is Cylindrical, and third is Axis)
As written, it appears my old Rx was farsighted in my left eye, because there is a plus sign in front of the first OS value instead of a minus. That bottom axis value I’m pretty sure should be an 8, but looks an awful lot like a 3. Also, where are the ones in front of the decimals, which should have indicated just how nearsighted I was?
Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about the relationship between the Cylindrical and Axis measurements to know whether those negative Cylindrical numbers paired with larger Axis numbers (95, 85) translate into positive Cylindrical paired with smaller Axis (005, 006), just measured from a different side of the angle (and I had to do an extensive internet search just to figure that out). This makes reading results by the layman, who doesn’t have their instruments or the knowledge, nearly impossible. How can I tell if my prescription is wrong or mistranscribed? Especially if someone doesn’t explain it to me? I can’t.
This post took me nearly a week to write. Granted, it was a very busy week, and I don’t organize my time well. So I’m going to stop here, then finish the rest shortly. Yes, for real this time. More complications may be coming down the pipe as I try to order glasses from somewhere else, and have a Vision Field Test on 8 June. I don’t know what that is, but it should be interesting! Back soon…
If you want to continue reading, here is the saga so far: