I am essentially blind without my contacts in or glasses on. And by essentially, I mean if you put me in a foreign room without my glasses on it would be like watching a drunk three year old in a china shop. Hilarious, but kind of sad. I blame my parents for this. My eyesight I mean, not the fact that I think watching a drunk three year old in a china shop would be funny.
Because of my constantly fading eye sight, I try to get my eyes checked every year. Since moving to Sweden though, I have failed horribly. Not because my eyesight has suddenly stabilized, but because I have been horribly nervous about doing this in Swedish. I always question my fluency when it comes to official things. I can get by, maybe even trick someone into thinking I am Swedish in an everyday conversation, but doctors are different.
Suddenly I need to explain that I have horrible astigmatisms. In both eyes. In Swedish. Astigmatism is not a word I commonly use in Swedish. Turns out though that the word for astigmatism in Swedish is… astigmatism. Of course.
This only compounded the fact that that eye doctors are probably the most judgmental people in the medical profession. Can you read the last line? Hmmmm. How about this? Hmmmm. Is this better? Or Worse? Hmmmm. Do you wear your contacts more than your glasses? Hmmmm. The judgmental hmmmm stresses me out. Did I give the right answer? Was that a D or an O? Is it better? Yes. Wait. No. Wait. Maybe?
It’s an emotional roller coaster really. It doesn’t help when the eye doctor decides to taunt me. I took my contacts out to test my glasses. She asked me to take my glasses off for further tests. She told me to put them on the table. I did. She finished her tests. I politely looked her direction at the flesh-colored blob that I assumed was her face. She began speaking. I aimed my eyes at where I assumed her eyes would have been situated in the aforementioned flesh-colored blob. Then she picked up a chart and began pointing to it expecting me to follow. Taunting me really. It was at this point I had to stop her. I need my glasses. I can’t see what you are pointing at. An embarrassed chuckle and an oh yeah, you can’t see. No. No I can’t. Thank you.
And it only gets worse when the news is handed down. Your eyesight has deteriorated. Again. Awesome. Now I get to go back and pick up a trial pair of contacts a few days from now. They don’t have my strength in stock. In fact, I don’t think they’ve had my strength in stock since I was about 16.
Welcome to Sweden. And fading to black.
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