My Incompetent/High Maintenance Eyeballs: Take 4, Part 2

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.

8 Jan Pro-Optix Exam

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):

In the language of the Old Ones...

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 took about three weeks, 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:

8 jan 2018 rx

“Is number one better?”

Pro-Optix Exam, Day ??, right side, in the notes section:

8 jan 2018 rx from notes column

“Or number two?”

Pro-Optix Printed Rx, Day One:

8 jan 2018 rx printout

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:

I just don't even know anymore

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:

pro-optix 2018 rx read from final issue by PNW EA

“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:

2015 Target Rx

Ummm…wut?

And what the PNW Eye Assoc tech read:

target 2015 rx read from PNW EA

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.

UGH. 😡

****

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…

My Incompetent/High Maintenance Eyeballs: Take 4, Part 1

I’m breaking my inadvertent year-and-a-quarter radio silence to bring you this ongoing gripe I have, which I now expect will be a thorn in my side forever. But maybe I’ll learn something. Who knows.

I hope you weren’t expecting meaningful content. I don’t have the energy for meaningful content anymore — not that I ever really provided meaningful content in this blog. I try to provide all that over at Seeking Aleithia — which I haven’t updated in a long time. But I want to. Just like I say every time I write a new post after not posting in forever. I’m sure it’s what my readership has come to expect from me.

But it’s pretty obvious I don’t care about readership, so I’m just gonna go ahead with my gripefest, because I’m annoyed and devastated and angry. Not necessarily in that order.

Since having children, it seems my eyes have been getting worse and worse — though not as much my prescription as my sensitivity to materials. Well, I take that back: My prescription is getting stronger year by year (I just renewed my driver’s license after turning 40, and I couldn’t see the line of letters in the light box that determines whether I can drive without my glasses). But it’s getting harder to get corrective lenses to work with my stupid eyes. Or maybe it’s just hard to find a doctor+optical shop combo that a) saves me money, b) tries to find solutions to my vision problems, and c) doesn’t make me feel like an ignoramus because I can’t articulate the problems I’m having.

It doesn’t help that I have difficulty trusting the medical community, in general. But I just had the most disappointing experience I’ve ever had when dealing with an optical business, and am, once again, back at Square One.

If you’re just stumbling onto this blog by chance (apologies in advance; I’m nothing if not tedious), here are Take 1, Take 2, and Take 3.

There have been SOOOOOOOOOOO many (non-glasses-related) things that have happened that were blog- or gripe-worthy between the last post and now (which I might eventually get to in retrospect), but I feel the need to follow up with Take 3 — because what had been such a triumphant experience waaaaaay back in 2012 has just flipped backwards on me and become a massively disappointing experience I really wish I could have avoided by being more relentless and/or organized about information I was getting in the process of trying to find glasses that worked — or getting an optical referral from my doctor, shopping around more, or trying to find something within ten or fifteen miles of home.

I’ve thought about leaving a review on Yelp and/or Google, but I’ve seen this shop reply to poor reviews and turn it back on the customer. Maybe part of the problems I’ve had with them are my fault (am I just too prissy about my vision?), but I’m pretty sure their customer service is what I don’t want to deal with anymore.

After my great experience with Pro-Optix in 2012, the shop grew and moved to a different part of the mall. They now have a lab in the back and manufacture their own lenses. The guy who helped me originally (“Mr. J” for anonymity; I believe he is the business owner, at least) is there infrequently, but his dad (we’ll call him “Mr. G”) is there most of the time and and they have a few very young employees (two of whom we’ll call “Ms. C” and “Mr. D”).

My Target glasses were getting a little old (I guess it’s been three years since my eyes were last checked), and my distance vision just a tad blurry. However, the most immediate signs I cannot ignore for long are frequent headaches and eye fatigue from squinting. I really suck at being proactive about that sort of thing, but having had so much trouble in the past with doctors and optics, it takes a lot of psyching-up (and pain) to get me to finally see to it.

I decided that I would revisit Pro-Optix, because I’d had such a great experience with them before. I walked in one afternoon, got in to see the optometrist right away (I don’t remember his name), and had a pleasant experience with him and the gal (Ms. C) who helped me pick out frames and price lenses. I thought I was going to be able to get a blue-light coating (which I’d heard was quite useful, especially if you’re sensitive to light and in front of a computer a lot), but I wasn’t going to be able to afford the slight magnification at the bottom of the lens that I’d gotten when I went there in 2012.

I should probably just get used to the reality that my glasses will never again be less than $350. They cost at least that much at Target (not including the exam), and I couldn’t get it any lower at Pro-Optix, either (though the exam was free if I bought glasses there). But at least I was getting a little more bang for my buck, with Trivex lenses and a blue-light coating. Right?

Nope. I got a call from Pro-Optix while I was on my way home. Apparently, Ms. C messed up when ordering my lenses (quote: “She’s new and doesn’t know the system”), and the blue-light coating was only available on a higher-index lens, which would add another $250 to my cost (I think — or the total cost of the lens would go up and add whatever the difference was. Whatever it was, he didn’t explain it). But I could have plain polycarbonate with an anti-reflective (AR) coating for the same price as I’d already paid. Um, okay. It seemed steep, but I guessed that must have been the price of going to a larger, independently owned boutique.

This was Mistake #1: I did not fully research the added costs at Pro-Optix vs. what I normally got for free almost everywhere else. Mistake #2 was not keeping the guy on the phone and getting a full breakdown, and warning him thoroughly that I have had problems with polycarb in the past, and I will most likely be darkening their doorstep to let them know something is wrong shortly after receiving my glasses and trying them for at least a week.

Which I very well did.

They were done nearly three weeks later, and I picked them up whenever I managed to make it back there (Mistake #0.5 was going to an optical shop 30 miles away from home). I guess their lab was not functioning at the time, or they sent lenses out to get coated — I don’t remember, I just know they had sent out for a new left lens because there was a flaw in the AR coating. It wasn’t somewhere that obscured my vision, so I could still wear the glasses; they would just replace the lens when it came in. I believe sometime in that time-frame I went in for a pressure follow-up, because it was elevated in my first exam (probably due to sinus pressure that day; I’d had cluster headaches at near-migraine levels the day before, and was still fighting the tension in my neck). But the doctor did not recheck my prescription.

I wore the new glasses for several days. At first they seemed clear. There was a little distortion that threw off my depth perception, but not as much as problem lenses I’d had in the past. My right eye hurt some (that’s the diva eye, though I believe the astigmatism is actually worse in my left), and lights were extra bright with starbursts around them (which, if I’d recalled correctly, the AR coating should have reduced). But I didn’t have the wacky, looking-through-aquarium-glass rainbow effects I had the last time I’d dealt with polycarb, so maybe I just needed to adjust. I stuck it out for a few days, but soon had trouble focusing and was becoming fatigued much earlier than before the new lenses. I knew something had to be off. The clincher was when I was trying to read something I should have been able to see from about six feet away, and it was blurry. I took off the new glasses and put on my old ones, and could see clearly.

Sure enough, the new glasses were goin’ back — the first of several times.

* * * *

I’m trying a new thing, where I break up super-long posts into parts, so I don’t take days to write one, and you don’t have to take an hour to read it. I really need to go do something else now, so at least I can post something before I abandon yet another draft for a year or more. Blogging used to be so easy! But, then, I didn’t have kids or as much distraction as I do now. Since I was actively keeping up an online journal in 2004, blogging has become synonymous with meaningful content. I’ve already told you how I’m managing with meaningful content. So maybe I’ll just go back to my old blather, and not care what people think about it — but I have to cut it into chunks, or it will never get done.

Anyway.

Part 2 should be done soonish.

Why Do I DO This to Myself??

My blog title and theme have everything to do with today’s post (“momsomnia” and “I Could Really Use a Nap”). You know how some nights, especially after a little too much caffeine consumption the day before, you just don’t feel like going to sleep? That you could happily sail through the midnight hours, watching Netflix episodes and reading until the wee hours before dawn?

I hate when that happens. 😛

I love it at the time, but the morning after is brutal. Last night, I thought I might try to go to bed as close to before-midnight as I could. Preferably still within the ten o’clock hour. Perhaps the eleven. I’ve been sleeping in a lot, which probably doesn’t help, but I thought that I could at least make an effort to get up before 6:30am.

Not so! First, I watched the last episode of season two of Sherlock on Netflix. It was frustrating and touching, all at the same time. I want to watch it again. Maybe the whole series again. (Hurry it up, BBC! Season three needs to come out SOON! Not that I’d be able to see it till it comes out on DVD, but whatever. The sooner the better!) Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are my new favorite British male actors. I was delighted to see that Katherine Parkinson, one of my favorite female British actors, had a role in this last episode, though she was not an endearing character by any stretch. But I digress. If you haven’t seen Sherlock yet, YOU NEED TO.

It finished around 11:30-ish, and I was not yet tired. And my foreign-accent fix had not been sated. I decided to peruse my queue to see what I had available that wouldn’t take long, require much concentration (I love Psych and Eureka, but I really have to pay attention while watching), and had foreign accents. I’d already watched all The IT Crowd episodes available (starring the aforementioned Katherine Parkinson). And then my attention landed on McLeod’s Daughters, which I’d tried to watch once while feeding Beanie in the middle of the night, and couldn’t quite get into. It had been since recommended by someone as a great show, so I decided to give it another shot. 45-minute episodes meant I could get to sleep around midnight and still get enough hours to not feel like a total zombie when I woke up this morning.

THREE EPISODES LATER . . . Beanie had come running into my room around 1:30 (I think), very clingy. I couldn’t tell if he’d gotten up because he’d had a bad dream or because he was cold, but I couldn’t very well put him back to bed when he was being such an adorable snuggle bug, so I held him and finished watching the third episode. When that was over, I shut my computer, put it alongside the bed, and laid Beanie on Sweetie’s side of the bed (it’s empty while Sweetie is out of town 😦 ). I still didn’t feel tired, so I picked up a short Christian romance novel I’d started a couple days ago, intending to read a chapter or two and go to sleep.

TWO HOURS LATER . . . Beanie was taking his half of the bed out of the middle, kicking me in the kidneys, and I was finishing my book. I realized that birdsong had started up outside the window, so I looked at the sky was just beginning to get light, around 3:55.

I finished my book, got up, used the bathroom, repositioned Beanie so I could have more room on my side of the bed (especially since the cat takes up a quarter of my half, too), turned off my alarm, and fell asleep. Three and a half hours later, Pie came into the room and laid down at the foot of Sweetie’s side of the bed, thankfully quiet for a while. Then Beanie woke up. Then I got up to start making breakfast for everyone and COOOOFFFFFEEEEEEEEEEE for me. 🙂

I don’t feel too badly — right now, anyway — for having gotten so little sleep, but I’m sure tonight might be a different story. Maybe I’ll try to go to sleep right after the boys go to bed tonight. Maybe without another episode of McLeod’s Daughers and the closing chapters of the next Christian novel I picked up today . . .

Good luck with that, right? 😉

Testing…sorta*. :) Making Fun of the L.A. Times [Blog]

This seemed redundant to me:

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson expressed shock at the New Year’s Eve slayings of two people in the crowded Old Sacramento area.

“I was shocked and saddened by the news of last night’s shooting in Old Sacramento,” he said in a statement.

Duh? (Story here. I know it’s just a blog, but it still strikes me as merely padding a word count. Sheesh, they let just ANYBODY have a blog these days! 😉 )

*I’m posting this from my phone on the WordPress app, after copying text from the browser — mostly just to see if I could. Fun times! Also, I’m procrastinating on other things I should be doing, so this isn’t a “real” post. 🙂

JetPens Review!!!

JetPens.com — a great site for finding unique writing utensils, stationery, and office supplies from Japan, Korea, Germany, and even the U.S. — recently had a request on their Facebook page for people to sign up for the opportunity to review products on their blogs, and, naturally, being the lover of writing utensils that I am, I signed up!

I know my blog isn’t exactly a high-traffic area, and I really didn’t think that I’d be one of the people selected, but it sure sounded like fun! Honestly, I didn’t even know the pool size or how they were going to do it — I just wanted to write about [free] pens! What did I have to lose?

So imagine my surprise when I got TWO packages from JetPens.com, one being my order of Pilot FriXion 0.4mm and Uniball Style Fit refills (which I will review later). I thought that maybe they came in two shipments, or something, but when I opened one and got a pen that I was pretty sure I didn’t order, I worried a little. Oh my goodness! There’s been a mixup somewhere! I thought I’d gotten someone else’s pen!

But NO, when I read the paper accompanying it, I realized that my request to review products had been fulfilled! They sent me a lovely Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner Marker Pen!

It's what's on the inside that counts...

This juicy felt pen probably wouldn’t have been something I would have considered for myself (mostly because I’m afraid to draw in anything that isn’t erasable), but it’s kind of like JetPens.com read my mind regarding my desire to try out more felt-tip pens just for writing purposes. And how did they know that orange is one of my favorite colors? 🙂

I played around with it a bit:

The alphabet and 'the quick brown fox...' are my normal tests

Proving indelibly the reason erasable drawing medium is a better choice for me:

Let's get a close-up on that boo-boo!

It’s a fun pen, and it’s going into my “favorite pens” box for future fun uses! I might even consider buying a couple more to play with. I like having good, strong pens for writing.

As for JetPens.com, itself: I LOVE that website! There are so many pens! I find myself drooling over something new every time I visit there!

I’ll tell you about the FriXion pens later, when I take more pictures. For now, go check out JetPens.com, and “Like” their Facebook page!