“I wear my sunglasses at night so I can see the light that’s right before my eyes…”
Yep, I bet you started singing the tune…This is my theme song…not the rest of the song, just this line. I have had my eyes dilated twice in my lifetime. I’ve got to say it’s not my favorite thing in the world to have done. This past week I had it done for the second time, I put this time off for two years! My eye doctor wasn’t happy with me, and so I finally had to give in and have her dilate my eyes.
I mean, who could blame me for wanting to put this off for so long! The last time I had it done was in the hospital with a specialist whos focus was on eyes. His assistant with a shaky hand, was only supposed to put a couple of drops of one of the highest percentages of dilation in my eyes and she put 6 in each eye.
They dilated quickly and the doctor was able to see what he needed to, and then he let me go home. I walked out of the dark room to the light of the hallway, and made my way quickly back into the dark room where I rummaged through my purse for my sunglasses. My mom was with me, thank God, and took me by the hand and led me through the hospital to the doors leading outside. I walked through the doors, and then moved my arms up over my eyes so fast I think people walking by must have thought I was a vampire! I ran back inside. My mom followed and grabbed my arm (after telling me it was going to be ok, and that my grandma had this same issue with dilation and telling me to close my eyes) and led me through the parking lot to the car. I had to keep my eyes closed and an arm over my sunglasses the whole way to my apartment.
Once there I had to close the blinds, the curtains, and put a blanket over the curtains to be able to see without my sunglasses on. Good news: I was able to open my eyes and see around my room just fine, like a nightlight was on was how it looked, though it was completely pitch black! My roommate helped me out a lot that evening. Bad news: I had homework I had to do, on the computer that was due in two days. So this eye predicament held me back a full days work on the assignment. I sat in my room, in the dark, doing nothing, the rest of the day.
The next morning, I woke up, expecting to be able to see in the light. I opened my bedroom door, and quickly put my hand back up to my eyes. It was like I had died and this was the white light…it was SO bright! I had one more day until my assignment had to be due. I had to turn my computer screen down to the lightest I could get it and then put two pairs of sunglasses on, one on with another on top of that one, to be able to see the screen without the light hurting my eyes. I finished my paper and went to bed.
I hoped the next day, I would be able to stand the light. This whole hope I had, went down the toilet after waking up and experiencing the same thing again. It wasn’t as bad as it had been, and there was no way this stupid little thing would keep me from class. So I emailed my professor, took a shower in the dark, did my hair in the dark, got dressed in the dark, and then headed to class, being lead across campus by my wonderful roommate, Serina. In class the sunglasses had to stay on, and I had to close my eyes when I wasn’t taking notes. This was crazy! In class a fellow student put on his sunglasses, and the professor got after him, I had to explain to the whole class, who had been staring at me the whole class period anyway, why I was wearing the sunglasses in the class. It was embarrassing, but I made it through the class, and with the help of Serina back to the apartment.
That evening some friends came over, and we joked about the song and how it was now my song. We danced and sang and played board games by the light of very dim lights.
This whole thing went on for one more day, and finally on the fifth day I woke up, tentatively left my room (at this point, I really thought this thing was permanent, and I was getting really depressed by the constant darkness) and I opened my eyes and I didn’t feel like a vampire anymore. The light didn’t hurt my eyes…I could see in the light!!!! I did a little celebratory dance in my pjs and enjoyed the sun the rest of the day!
SO you can see why getting my eyes dilated again was a huge thing on my “Don’t ever do again, even if you would die if you didn’t do it, who cares, at least you could enjoy the sun the last few days of your life” list. But, this doctor was persistent and kept saying that I was so “NEAR- SIGHTED” (think really nasally tone and high pitched) that it needed to be done so she could make sure the back of my eyes were healthy, so Greg went with me and I got it done.
The doctor reassured me many times it wasn’t that potent and the lowest percentage of dilation would be done and only one drop per eye. She dropped the drops in, turned down the lights, and left. I sat there, and in less than 5 minutes the room looked like the lights had been turned back on.
When she opened the door 15 minutes later to look into my eyes, the lights from the hallway made me shrink back behind my arm in front of my eyes. She did her thing, and then sent me on my way, telling me that it would wear off in 4-5 hours.
This dilation wasn’t as bad as the time I had it done in college, but still not my favorite thing to do on a Wednesday evening. Greg and I went out to eat with this parents in a really dark restaurant and through my sunglasses it looked really bright in the room, but I knew it was dark. I had to have my mother-in-law read the menu to me because I couldn’t read anything up close (another part of dilation). And apparently seeing someone with sunglasses on at night in a resturant, that is dark, isn’t something people see all the time, and so I got a lot of stares and weird looks. Eh, when you’re me, these things happen…
Once home, I put on my pjs in a darkened room, only one light on, and laid in bed listening to the debates in the living room. My sunglasses on and my eyes closed. The weird look of things under dilation and the pain the light causes my eyes gave me a headache. So I made this a very early evening.
The next morning I tentatively opened my eyes without the sunglasses on. Praying that I would be able to see ok in the light. Hallelujah! I could see! No problems for me! YES!
Moral of the story, if you want weird looks, but a really cool song that you could sing (well at least the chorus line) just put your sunglasses on and wear them with pride…at night!