As an Optometrist, part of what gets me through the day is humor. Not just seeking the humor out, but having it jump right into my lap through examining patients. Some of the highlights of my career so far include:
A 45 year-old patient walked in for his first ever eye exam. I asked him if he was having problems reading. His response, “I know how to read, if only I could see the letters.” Classic.
A new patient came in to renew his contact lens prescription, so I asked what contacts he was wearing. He replied, “The regular ones.” I asked if he could be more specific, since there are hundreds of different kinds. He said, “You know, the ones in the box with the lenses.” I was speechless.
Then there was the young girl who seemed pretty normal. She was looking at the chart and I was flipping the lenses asking, “Which is better, 1 or 2?” I guess I put the perfect lens up because she sang “There’s the party, ah-huh.” I’ve heard of 20/20 but never 20/singing.
I once saw a patient who asked if I really had to dilate him since he just smoked marijuana on his way over. The most ironic part of that exam– he may have had glaucoma and needed to find a legal way to lower his eye pressure.
And I’ve had a 9-year-old complaining that he can’t see “small documents” and an 11-year-old answering his cell phone in the middle of the exam. Kids…
I asked a lady about a family history of glaucoma, she said she had none, then paused and said “Well yeah, but in Cuba. Does that count?” Then I asked her if she had trouble seeing up close and she said “no, only when I try to read.” Then I flipped a lens and asked if the new one was better, she said “NO WAY! The other one was worse.”
That goes along with my patient from last week. I of course asked the question,”which is better , 1 or 2 ?” She replied “1 is better but 2 is also better.” So I told her they can’t both be better, but choose one or tell me they’re the same. Again, the answer was, “they’re both better.” Glad to know all my choices are perfect. I guess I can go home for the day.
These stories are just the tip of the iceberg– you wouldn’t believe the things that come out of my patients’ mouths during an exam. Most of my patients are perfectly happy and normal, but every now and then my day gets a little interesting with the infusion of one of these stories. Never a dull moment!