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!”
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
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.