Things I have learned in the past couple of days:
1) There is only one ophthalmologist in this entire state who (hypothetically) accepts my insurance; that ophthalmologist is located approximately an eight-hour drive from the town in which I live.
2) Even though it is illegal to do so, even the optometrists (better than nothing, right?) who supposedly accept my insurance always ask ‘Is that through your employer or through Medicaid?’ before they decide if they’ll take a new patient. There’s not supposed to be a difference, because it’s all through the same provider. I find it interesting that they’ll have an opening for early next week… until they find out that the person wanting to make an appointment is one of “those people,” at which point there’s suddenly nothing available before late March.
I did manage to get in to see an optometrist Wednesday morning, because I found one who was willing to allow me to pay out-of-pocket. (Most of them — like most medical people of any kind, in my experience — have the unwritten policy of “We don’t accept your insurance, but we also don’t accept your cash, because you’re one of those people.”) As I said, an optometrist was better than nothing. I thought that at least they’d be able to determine whether there is something seriously wrong with my retina.
Well… no. I mean, the optometrist wasn’t able to determine whether or not there’s cause for concern. Couldn’t get a good look at the retinas even with my pupils dilated. So I still don’t know. I’m supposed to go back in a couple of weeks. What I do know is that 1) both of my corneas are foggy (the optometrist seems to think this is due to wearing contact lenses while sleeping, even though I told him repeatedly that I never do that), which is apparently why the optometrist was unable even to determine what strength I need my corrective lenses to be now, and 2) I don’t recover normally from having my pupils dilated. (The drops are supposed to wear off within two or three hours. At the twenty-four-hour mark, I still couldn’t see more than bright blurs. My twin made a movie-quote joke about this, but it could have been worse — he could have referenced written fiction instead, and then I’d have had to hit him.) Until my next appointment, I’m supposed to check my peripheral vision every day to make sure it isn’t getting narrower or developing gaps.
Something sort of funny happened while I was getting my eyes checked: The optometrist asked me if I’d ever been there before. I said that I had not. “You look really familiar,” he said. “Maybe you just have one of those faces.” Or maybe, I thought, you saw my identical twin sitting out in the waiting room. I didn’t say it, though. Occasionally, I have the sense to be embarrassed that I’m unable to get around on my own and need my younger brother (yes, younger… by all of forty-seven minutes) to take me to have my eyes examined.
(* If you’re wondering where the title of this post came from, think songs. Like what the blind orphans sing at the end of the animated movie Igor — which you really ought to see, by the way, if you haven’t already, because it is so funny, especially Steve Buscemi as the rabbit. Yes, I have a slightly twisted sense of humor. You already knew that, right?)