Grab a snack and strap yourself in for this one folks! It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

I went to the eye doctor recently, as my drivers license was due to expire soon and I was worried I wouldn’t pass the eye test (they wouldn’t let me renew online this time). Plus, I do most of the driving (due to my Husbands health), so, I REALLY needed to get this taken care of a.s.a.p. for a good number of reasons.

Sounds like no big deal right? WRONG! Read on…

My appt. was at 10am on a Mon. (this was CLEARLY my first mistake :o)

I get there at 9:55 and the doors are locked. That was the first sign I SHOULD have turned around and went elsewhere. But, as my birthday had already come and gone a few days earlier, I NEEDED this appt. (and why I endured all that was about to unfold).

A few minutes later the receptionist shows up and apologizes for being late. No biggie, we all have those days and I had nowhere else I really needed to be.

I fill out the paperwork and WAIT.

At approx. 10:20 the doctor finally strolls in, obviously in no real hurry, ignoring the fact someone is sitting there waiting for her (ME,  just a few feet away, mind you). Then, commences to putting her carry-on luggage away (apparently she has a LOT to carry around with her).

She AGAIN strolls past the waiting area, STILL no sign or acknowledgment I even exist. And I AGAIN wait ANOTHER 10 minutes or so while she and the receptionist get caught up on the previous weekends events and lord knows what else.

Yes, it’s going great so far, right? But, I can (thankfully) put up with a lot and know not everyone was raised with the same “old school” morals and ethics some of us were. You know, common courtesy, professionalism, respect, etc… things that actually matter.

Plus, I REALLY NEEDED TO GET THROUGH THIS APPT. for obvious reasons or I would have to WAIT longer to get an appt. somewhere else.

FINALLY, she calls me into the exam room (STILL not apologizing for being late, mind you) and asks how long since my last appt.? Apparently, I waited to long to respond and/or paused too long in between the “I don’t know”, and the answer.

What ever it was, she barks something to the effect of… “Well, was it 2 years, 4 years, 10 years… WHAT!”. So, as I’m gathering my composure trying VERY HARD NOT to let HER poor attitude get the best of me… I calmly tell her about 2 years.

I then begin telling her exactly what I’m wanting to do…

I want DAILY wear BI-FOCAL CONTACTS, so I can easily read without having to chase down my readers (which my Granddaughter thinks are the greatest thing in the world, so not always easy to find after she’s been visiting).

Along with SINGLE VISION GLASSES for driving and other day to day things that didn’t require reading (remember these two things :o)

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, apparently not…

Now, NORMALLY it would be at THIS POINT, that any GOOD, NORMAL eye doctor (I’VE ever experienced anyway), would explain what can and can NOT be done… “If you want this, the only options are…” or “This is not available in…”, or something along those lines, right?

All I got was… “OK”. So, of course, I’m thinking… “Great, no problem!” WRONG!

She then starts the exam and when things really start going south.

She fly’s through a few of the tests so fast, there were times I wasn’t even completely sure WHAT I was picking from (which can you see better A, B, etc.). But, hey, she’s the doctor right? Maybe SHE’S keeping up! :o)

Yes, it was becoming increasingly obvious, I was apparently more of a bother to her than a PAYING CUSTOMER or worse, PATIENT.

I don’t know, maybe I didn’t seem worth her time for some reason, who knows.

So now the exam is over and ALL she says is something to the effect… “I know what I want to try”. NO explanation, NO expanding on that statement, NOTHING. At that point, I knew this was going to be one VERY interesting visit. I just didn’t know HOW interesting.

She then brings in a pair of contacts, at which point, I remembered and began telling her (as any good PATIENT SHOULD), I had to change the brand of contacts my last eye check up, as they fit better than those I’d been previously using over the years.

She then asked what kind and I told her… “Acuvue”. Well, I’m guessing this was something I should have also studied up on BEFORE MY “exam” :o)

Because she then asked… “which one’s?” Well, what do you mean, which one’s… (my previous brand was Bausch and Lomb and ALL I could tell you about those, too).

Needless to say, she looked a bit disgusted with the fact I couldn’t actually tell her “exactly which one”. Apparently they make more than one. Unfortunately, I DIDN’T STUDY FOR THIS EXAM!

So, she brought out two types of Acuvue contacts and again asked which one (using the same undertone, mind you)… So, I picked the COLOR I’D HOPED I was remembering correctly. I mean seriously, how much worse could this actually get? Well, I’ll tell you…

So, after picking the color (type), again, I’d HOPED was right, I put them in. Well, it didn’t take long and the strain on my left eye was so bad I could hardly stand it. So, that didn’t work (whatever THAT was).

She then brought in another contact and I replaced the left eye contact with a NEW one.

Now things felt just a bit off (strength wise, but, can’t elaborate on that, as I’m NOT A DOCTOR). But, as some of you may know whenever you change prescriptions, there can a bit of adjustment until your eyes get used to it.

Plus, the fact, I WAS trying BI-FOCALS for the first time (keep this in mind, now). Plus, standing in a doctors office can also be different than using ANY type of a new prescription in the real world. So, at the time, I didn’t think anything of it, as it did appear that I could see ok, at least better than I had been.

She then brings me enough for 3 days. Now, keep in mind, I THOUGHT I had bi-focals in at this point, as I wasn’t TOLD anything different. So, I’m ready to check out and THAT’S when I find out, I don’t even have bi-focals in… I have SINGLE VISION contacts in!

Which ALSO explained why I was so amazed I didn’t seem to be having that “bi-focal adjustment period” you always hear about.

And here I just thought my eyes were fast learners :o)

Her exact reply… “Well you said you wanted daily wear.” I almost fell over.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… “WHY is she putting up with all this?” Because I THOUGHT I was in the home stretch at this point. And I REALLY NEEDED to get through this, so, I could get the OTHER MORE IMPORTANT things I actually NEEDED to get done, taken care of. Well, it turned out… THAT wasn’t going to happen, either  (and you thought it couldn’t get any worse :o)

It was at THIS point (I kid you not), the doctor THEN decides it’s apparently the time to SHARE the fact, they don’t MAKE daily wear bi-focals. And I AM SUPPOSED TO KNOW THIS WHY!? Isn’t THAT why we go to the professionals? Apparently not how it works in THIS office :o)

So, I explain… “IF I had known, then I’ll do whatever is available. As MY main concern was in getting BI-FOCAL contacts and SINGLE vision glasses (for reasons stated earlier). If I have to deal with the hassles and expense of buying solutions, etc., that’s fine.”

It was at this point I was now 100% sure… I REALLY should have STUDIED for this “exam”! :o)

It was now painfully obvious, I WAS THE ONE who was supposed to know all the manufacture’s, brands, types, options, what-ever, that are available. NOT up to THIS DOCTOR to tell ME. Who knew? :o)

Ok, so now, we’re finally getting back on track with the BI-FOCAL CONTACT side of things, and I AGAIN, change contacts.

She then wants me to let them settle on my eyes for a bit. Well, things STILL feel a bit off and at this point my eyes are beginning to feel a bit strained (exam, changing contacts, trying to focus through out it all, etc.). But, I SEEM to be able to see ok, even read print.

So, she checks some things and tells me to give them a week and see how it goes. Ok, no problem. So, I make another appt., PAY for the visit (keep in mind bi-focals ADD to the exam cost) and at this point I’m thinking… “Whoo-hoo, I can FINALLY get the other things I need to take care of DONE and life will be good again!”

Not even close…

Remember, I said sometimes things are different in the doctors office, then in the real world?

Well, I kid you not, in ALL the years I’ve been wearing glasses and/or contacts, not ONCE have I ever walked out of an eye doctor appt. and NOT been able to see a SINGLE THING clearly! Well, that’s not exactly true…

Everything closer than 10 feet away or FARTHER than 10 feet away, was a haze. But, hey, anything approx. 10 feet away… I could see! AWESOME!

HOW I was able to actually see anything in the office…I honestly couldn’t tell you. But, in the real world… Everything was a blur.

So NOW, I have one pair of long-wearing BI-FOCALS AND 3 days worth of SINGLE vision contacts, NO prescription, I’ve spent over a $100 and my world is a haze… FANTASTIC!

But, I remind myself, these ARE bi-focals, so, the old eyes will adjust soon enough… I hope.

Because at this point, you can NOT even BEGIN to imagine my excitement at the prospect of coming back to THIS office, anyway. And having to do ANYTHING MORE than simply pick up my prescription to be filled… go figure.

So, over the next week, I TRY both. However, within only 2-3 hours of wearing EITHER the BI-FOCALS or SINGLE vision contacts, I would start to get a throbbing headache and have to take them out and revert back to my current subscription glasses. At one point I even had to take tylenol to get rid of the headache, as that was how strongly they would come on.

So, I tried, I mean I REALLY tried, as I was determined to make at least ONE of them work. But, it was obvious something was just NOT right with the ACTUAL prescription, as they should NOT cause me to get headaches. Wouldn’t you agree?

So, the following Monday (my 2nd appt.) comes around and I can not tell you how excited I am to do this all over again! But, hey, THIS visit HAS to go better, right? Well, think again…

I again get there around 9:55 and AGAIN wait the ADDTL. 20 or so minutes AFTER 10:00 for the doctor to decide she’s ready to come into the office. Well, we’re off to another winning start! :o)

Apparently, PATIENTS are the only one’s required to actually KEEP appts., in THIS office, anyway.

But, first, I have to share this with you, as it was MY ONLY high point of this entire event…

Shortly after I arrived, two hispanic gentlemen arrived hoping to also get an appt. that day. One being the interpreter for the other actually needing the exam.

So, they’re sitting there filling out their paperwork and about the time they finish, the english speaking gentleman looks over at me and asks if I had an appt.? I say… “yes, it was at 10:00”. He then looks up at the clock (now showing well after 10:00), then back at me and knowing full well what he’s thinking, I simply state… “it was the same last week, too.”

He immediately stood up, looked at his friend and said… “Hell no! We’re out of here! We pay good money for a service and the doctor should have the common courtesy to honor that service!” I couldn’t help but laugh and agree with him.

As they’re heading out the door, the receptionist tries to stop them repeatedly saying “she’s here, it’s ok, etc., etc.”. He responds back with more or less… “he really didn’t care”, passing the doctor in the doorway on the way out.

The receptionist then tells the doctor “they just left”. Now hold onto your boot straps for this one ladies and gentlemen…

The doctor actually replies back with (I kid you not)… “That’s OK, we don’t need to deal with people like THAT anyway!”

Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up! :o)

Ok, so it’s now MY turn again… Whoo-hoo! And I’m now pretty sure, I MAY have been wrong about THIS visit going better than the first one :o)

But, I REALLY NEED to finish this (for reasons stated earlier) AND I’ve already PAID. So, I’m doing my best to remain positive (as everyone has bad days, right?).

So, I go into the exam room and begin explaining to the doctor…  “I THINK you have the prescription too strong”.

And FURTHER EXPLAIN IN DETAIL about the headaches and the fact I simply couldn’t wear EITHER the SINGLE nor the bi-focals over 2-3 hours. Note, I CLEARLY STATED, I had the SAME PROBLEM WITH BOTH.

I had also told her, that it appeared I had to look at something for a couple seconds before it would come into focus (even with the SINGLE vision contacts). Which I thought a bit odd and don’t recall THAT ever happening before, either. Not bad, but, after a bit, it got more noticeable.

Now, I’m not an eye doctor (in case that wasn’t obvious by now), but, one SHOULD be able to safely ASSUME that at THIS point, IF ALL OPTIONS didn’t appear to be working, it MIGHT, just MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME TO SEE IF MAYBE, JUST MAYBE YOU (the doctor) MADE A MISTAKE somewhere! But, nope, apparently not even a fleeting thought for this doctor (you’ll see why I say that in a minute).

She then apparently decides it’s NOW the right time to share with me… HOW bi-focals are made and some do better with one type over the other, as well as, HOW exactly they function. Yes, I was surprised at this sudden change in attitude and information sharing, too! :o)

So basically, IF you want bi-focals or tri-focals, you WILL sacrifice ONE of your visions. Meaning, either far away, close up or in between WILL be slightly “off” (blurred).

Now, I should also point out, that IF she had actually taken the TIME to explain ANY of this during MY FIRST VISIT, it would have probably SAVED  time, money, gas, wasted contacts that ended up being tossed AND don’t forget the headaches (literally).

Because I don’t know about YOU, but, I’M not willing to sacrifice ANY of my vision, if it can at all be avoided. And I know for me, it would only cause more headaches, as I get them rather easy whenever my vision changes and/or ANYTHING is out of focus too much. Which I THOUGHT we had already covered. Apparently not :o)

She did also point out at some point during THIS visit, that my prescription was actually one strength better than my current prescription. So, maybe THAT was why “my headache issue” was not considered an ACTUAL problem in her mind?  Or maybe SHE was just too focused on the BI-FOCAL side of things. I don’t know and at this point, I don’t really care.

So, after hearing that, I of course, decide… “To stick with the SINGLE vision and simply deal with using readers over them when/if needed”.

So, she says we can try the “other kind of bi-focals”, as they are after all, “free-trial pairs”. And I AGAIN tell her I really don’t want to keep wasting things (by this point I’ve said that more than once, mind you), if they (bi-focals) aren’t going to work (yes, I’m funny that way).

Now, to be perfectly honest, I really don’t remember IF we actually tried the other kind of bi-focals, as it seemed ALL I did, by this point, was constantly put in and take out contacts.

Also note, I had NOT gone there actually wearing ANY of my new contacts. So, you would THINK, that, in and of itself, would say SOMETHING. Obviously not…

So, now I have yet ANOTHER pair of contacts in (and back to SINGLE vision by this time).

Only, THIS time, she tells me I have a slight astigmatism in my right eye (THIS was the FIRST I’m hearing about it, mind you!), and wants me to change that one to the corrective one. So, she hands me yet, a DIFFERENT contact for my right eye and I change that one.

Are your eyes irritated yet? Join the crowd :o)

Now, understand, with ALL the information I was giving HER, I could only assume SHE was adjusting SOMETHING with each new contact (strength or what ever else, if anything that COULD be changed, as again I DIDN’T STUDY FOR THIS “exam”!). Which would better help ME with my headache problem. I was wrong…

But, at the TIME, it AGAIN appeared as if I could at least see ok (still felt a bit “off”, and my eyes were now feeling pretty strained at this point, all things considered, so AGAIN didn’t think much of it). Plus, I didn’t have ANY pair in long enough WHILE IN THE OFFICE to KNOW something may STILL not be right with the prescription itself.

So she hands me my prescription (to be filled) and says try those and if they work, here’s the prescription.

And I bet you’re thinking this story ends here… well, guess again :o)

The headaches continued whenever I tried to wear ANY of the now THREE sets of contacts I had (single vision, bi-focal, and a set w/corrective astigmatism). I tried everything. I kid you not, as I was so desperate NOT to go back there. But, obviously NOTHING in the prescription itself had been changed/corrected in ANY of them, other than ADDING a astigmatism to the list. OUTSTANDING!

Plus, I had already resigned myself to taking my chances at the DMV, as I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of driving around illegally, either… go figure. And passed the eye test, by the way with my OLD prescription glasses… Had I only known earlier :o)

Besides, it was now PAINFULLY obvious (literally for me), she didn’t actually care if the prescription was right or not, as she obviously didn’t pay ANY attention to ANYTHING I had said about the headaches.

So, I PAID for a bi-focal exam (costs more), ended up walking out with SINGLE vision contacts I can’t (obviously) use and here’s the REAL kicker that topped it all off…

A couple days later I asked my Husband if he still had my prescription in his wallet (I had given it to him for safe keeping). He pulls it out and are you ready for this…

She wrote out a prescription for Glasses and Contacts, BOTH w/BI-FOCALS, w/astigmatism (of course)! Which I THOUGHT we had CLEARLY determined bi-focals were NOT a good choice for me!

Feeling a bit like the twilight zone yet? Imagine how I’M feeling! :o)

Of course, MAYBE, IF the PRESCRIPTION had been RIGHT, bi-focals MIGHT have worked out great!

Unfortunately, I may never know, as the thought of going through ANY of that again, REALLY doesn’t appeal to me at all…I wonder why :o)

And to say I was not seeing red at that point… is a serious understatement! It took everything I had NOT to stop what we were doing and immediately drive all the way over there and UNLEASH my German side and throttle her! :o)

And here’s one final note to leave you with a smile :o)

I also tried switching the contact that’s supposed to correct the “slight astigmatism” she said I had in my right eye with one of the other (non-astigmatism) contacts, as I now had SO many to choose from :o)

Well, I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever seen WITH or noticed a astigmatism before, but, when I used the “corrective” contact lens… NOW I do!

I DID go back a few days after that to RETURN the useless prescription I CLEARLY COULD NOT USE and get a refund. As we really can’t afford another appt. somewhere else. AND I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SEE CLEARLY AGAIN! Go figure.

Because I was definitely NOT going back there (lord only knows how many more times it would take to get it RIGHT, if EVER), to someone who has that kind of an attitude towards people, CLEARLY poor at her job and obviously did NOT have her PATIENTS best interest at heart! Call me crazy.

However, the doctor wasn’t there that day and the receptionist simply stated, they don’t give refunds because I had gotten the “free trial pair”.

Not to mention, IF I HAD KNOWN all I do NOW, the FIRST visit… I most likely would NOT have even TRIED bi-focals in the FIRST PLACE!

I just don’t know how something so simple… Can go SO horribly wrong.

So, YOU be the judge…

I PAID for a service which ended with a prescription for BOTH glasses AND contacts, I CLEARLY can NOT USE!

And picture this.. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m wearing my original prescription glasses, WITH READERS on top of them sitting on the END of my nose, just so I can SEE the keyboard and monitor CLEARLY to write this! Sad, but, oh so true story :o)

So, my question to YOU is…

Do YOU think I received the SERVICE I paid for?

Should she give me a FULL REFUND?

I’d love to hear what YOU think.

P.S. If you live in the Austin/Buda, Texas area and would like to know WHICH doctor and office I went to…

Tamatha Tomeff
Hill Country Eye Care PC
(located in the Wal-mart building)

And of course, feel free to share my story. Maybe something in it will help someone else know WHAT to STUDY for before their “exam” :o)

P.P.S. And YES, I will sending a formal copy of this to the Texas Optometry Board and any/all other related agencies I can find. As well as, the other doctors in that office (as they should know who they are associating themselves with). As well as, any/ALL other health related online communities I’m involved in and/or I can find…go figure.

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