Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Doctor My Eyes

In  Britain I buy contact lenses on the internet. No questions asked.

I put in the prescription I half-remember from an eye test back in the 90s. At the time my optician said, in a no-nonsense British healthcare kind of way, 'your prescription probably won't change now till you hit your 40s.' So I went merrily on my way and just order lenses online every few months.

I now have to order them in the UK and get my mother to forward them on. This system has recently broken down.

First I ordered the exact opposite of my prescription - i.e. I asked for +3.25 instead of -3.25. It took me three tries to realise there was some reason why I could see with phenomenal clarity anything 2 inches from my nose and the rest of the world was a blur. The dangers of keying in a barely remembered prescription I guess. Then the re-order has got lost in the mail.

Thus, I'm stuck in sunny California with no lenses, which means I can't wear sunglasses and am squinting. Not a good look.

And in litigation-scared America, you can't  buy lenses without proof of a recent prescription. Scaredy cats. Talk about mollycoddling...

So TLOML recommended I took out his insurance policy where you pay $200 and get an eye test and a year's worth of lenses. But in a weirdly inflexible way, you can only start the policy on the 1st of the month. I just don't have the patience, plus I object to buying insurance. I'm British, goddamnit.

Hence my frenzied googling of 'cheapest eye test in San Francisco'. Which lead me here:
That's right, my new optician is inside Costco. Handy if you want to pick up a year's supply of Craisins or an enormous sack of cheese puffs on your way out.

Cheap, quick and slightly dirty. Now that's what I call healthcare.

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