I am Dilated and Displeased

I hate getting my eyes dilated. In my family we refer to it as ” kitten eyes” —I know you’re shocked –because the pupils look like those of some deranged alien kitten who just heard something scary:

“The vacuum cleaner….again…run !”

 Or who has found something fascinating to attack:

” I’m going to show all the bra straps on mom’s drying rack who’s the boss!” (This is how Sookie Cat ends up wearing my bras into the living room.)


On a kitten, even an alien kitten, huge dilated eyes are adorable and elicit squeaky, “OMG, what a baby yum yum” reactions from humans. Hugely dilated eyes on an adult human illicit official requests for a urine sample from suspicious police officers.


As much as I dislike having my eyes dilated, my optometrist seems thrilled to get to pull out all her favorite eye drops and gadgets, including head-gear. Yes, please shine the light that looks like a miniature sun into my eyes so you can see the back of my brain. It is the same reaction with my dermatologist when I show up with a wart that she can zap with her nitro canister that she carries everywhere with her just in case. She was over the moon when I asked her to cut off a protruding bump on my arm: “Get the scalpel! Sign these surgery papers! Let’s go!” I can only assume that my gyno is equally thrilled at my yearly appointment: “I saw the most fascinating cervix today. And then I jabbed it repeatedly with a q-tip and some metal salad tongs!”

11 a.m. I can pretty much see everything in your soul.

11 a.m. I can pretty much see everything in your soul.

I knew in my heart that dilating my eyes would be on my doctor’s to-do list today. I was so certain of it that I ran additional errands before dinner last night knowing that I would not be able to do them today because the direct sunlight would make me wither like Nosferatu and because I knew that I would not be able to read a single fucking thing for several hours after the dilation!!!! I once decided to go to Filene’s after an eye appointment, but quickly discovered that I could not read any of the price tags. It didn’t matter how close or far I held the tags to my eyes, nothing worked. I attempted calling friends to meet me there to

1 p.m.  Two hours later, the only difference is that I left my glasses on and I'm completely bored with everything in your soul. Lame.

1 p.m. Two hours later, the only difference is that I left my glasses on and I’m completely bored with everything in your soul. Lame.

interpret price tags, but no one was sympathetic to my fashion plight.

One of my favorite activities is sitting, reading a book and petting a cat. Sure incapacitate me as long as I can read. Dilating my eyes guarantees that for at least 3 hours sometimes longer, I won’t be able to read anything. Plus I will get a massive headache just from generally existing and trying to function. The tension of driving home from the eye doctor ,clip on sunglasses layered under a pair of regular sunglasses, usually kick starts the throbbing in my temples.

Why am I even allowed to drive after this procedure? Sure, I can see the big picture. I’m on a road. There’s another car. That’s probably a stop sign. But I can’t read road signs or street names and I can’t see my dashboard well enough to tell how fast I’m going.

I could take a 3 hour nap and hope that the world was properly focused when I awoke, but good naps are generally started by lying around reading a chapter or two while cats accumulate on top of me. Plus I had this fantasy of actually accomplishing something today besides napping.

In the end, I spent the afternoon painting a bench that I could only sorta see and gave in to the nap to relieve my throbbing head. By 4 p.m. my eyes looked normal–I had irises!– but sunlight was still painful. I feel like 5 hours of dilation is not normal unfortunately, I’ll never remember to tell my doctor that by next year’s appointment. Plus she just gets so excited.

It looks better on Bella.

It looks better on Bella.

3 thoughts on “I am Dilated and Displeased

  1. This is exactly what happens to me. When I went to my ophthamologist a couple of months ago, his assistant put THREE types of drops in my eyes, including the dilating ones. This time I was smart and took the afternoon off because I can’t see worth doing anything, especially on my computer. Luckily I don’t drive but it was a bright sunny winter day so I just kept my eyes mostly closed until I got home. Yeah, the not being able to read is always a downer. I just napped.


  2. Pingback: Yes, They Are Quite Large. | possumscatsthingsgnawingatme

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