This is one to file under “only in New York.”
I grew up wearing glasses and contacts. Eight years ago I had corrective laser surgery. This was a life changing moment. Suddenly I could see after the surgery I still went in for my yearly eye exam. Everything was great. Then I moved to New York, almost 1,000 miles away from my eye doctor who I had been seeing since I was 10. So I did what anyone in my situation would do – I kept seeing him, scheduling appointments when I was home to visit my family. Then my parents moved out of the town I grew up in and I got married and it became a pain to go to appointments.
Because seeing a doctor in Indiana when you live in New York isn’t a pain at all – it’s only when your parents move… But at the last appointment in 2009 I asked my eye doctor if I really needed to get my eyes checked every year. He told me that every two years was fine, but to see someone sooner if I had any problems.
So I’ve been here in New York, missing my eye doctor in Indiana and last year when I was due for an appointment I had a new baby so I put it off. Then I put it off again. And now here we are three years out, and I just didn’t have the motivation to find a new eye doctor that was in our Insurance Network. Because oh yeah, we have vision insurance.
So yesterday I was at lunch with some people and they were blurry. Everything in the room was suddenly blurry. This was the second day in a row this had happened and I was a little concerned. I figured it was probably eye strain, damn the spreadsheets, but I wanted to get checked out. So I called the doctor listed in our neighborhood to make an appointment and they said I could just walk in, the doctor was there until 7. Great.
When I got there this is what I see.
[you will have to use your imagination because I forgot my camera when I went back today]
There is a sign out front advertising eye services. There are display racks of glasses on the walls. And in the window there is a sewing machine. And a pile of pants. And clearly, this is an eye doctor / tailor. So I went in. Had I been in Indiana I would have turned around and found a new doctor. But in New York, this just ins’t that odd, rents are high and you make do. It appears to be a family run business, Dad is the optometrist, mom a seamstress, and the son runs the office.
So I get my eyes checked.
For the first time since I was eight, I couldn’t read the bottom line on the chart. We do the rest of the exam. Then the doctor needs to use the air puff machine and tells me to lean forward. And I do, and he tells me to keep leaning, and I say I am falling off they chair, and he tells me well, yeah, you need to stand up. So I stand up leaning over at a very awkward angle because the table doesn’t swivel all the way to the chair. My eyes are fine. I need to wear reading glasses. I’m getting old.
The bedside manner leaves something to be desired, but it makes a good story, so I think I quite like my eye doctor / tailor. Next time I think I’ll bring in my clothes.