Let me start with
That being said, here's....the rest of the story.
While I was on vacation Hippy decided that as I have not seen any form of Dr. in 8 years or so, that it might be time for me to get a few checkups and get a few things looked at.
Standard Dr Checkup: Everything is fine, none of my complaints other than my back are abnormal.
Chiropractor: My back is attempting to do calligraphy due to a fall I had back in the army (yes the mountain story). X-rays showed that I had actually fractured a vertebrae during the fall. Checkups are going well, I'm finding that the seats on the bus are not as uncomfortable as they seemed.
Dentist: Don't wanna talk about it other than it turns out that no matter how well you take care of your teeth, if you don't floss, the Dentist will find out about it. New face is on order, should be in stock in 7-10 weeks. That'll be fun.
Eye Dr: <<COUGH>>
Was tired of going to the optics center in Fred Meyer and decided to go check out Perl vision. Walked in, asked for an appointment, they told me next week sometime was open. Me being the lazy American that I am, I decided, I wanted my eyes looked at NOW. Walked out.
I call Hippy; "Who else does glasses?". She says "America's best". I had heard of them too, and figured what the hell, they have nice commercials, I'll give them a shot.
Walk into the place, looks harmless enough. Big place, too. Looks like they should serve my needs nicely. I ask for an appointment, lady tells me she has an opening in 45 minutes. Perfect, I go next door and get some Mongolian grill (delicious).
I come back, and still have about 15 minutes. So, I walk around looking at the different frames as I was planning to get new glasses along with contacts. I notice that they have a special, 2 sets of glasses for $70. I pick out two.
DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER!
This should have been my first sign that I should have gone to Michale Vic's puppy mill for eyeglasses. OK, I'm exaggerating a bit, but keep reading as I can at least be animated about my perceived issue....
The technician calls my name, I know she is a technician because she is wearing a lab coat and has prison tattoos. I go into the "cover your eye and read the magna carta" room. She asks me some questions and doesn't seem to be listening to the answers. I would make mention to something later that I thought had already been established and she would act as it was the first time she had heard it.
This long exhausting marathon of information was 5 minutes long. I can understand how the details could get sketchy after a while.
So, after the interview and the demonic Eye puffing machine. I am told to sit in the hall and wait for heir doctor to call me. I sit and wait, not an unreasonable amount of time, he then calls me in.
Now the Dr. is cool, does the standard stuff. "Is A better than B? Is C better than A or B? Is D better than C or A but not as good as b?". To the best of my ability I try and discern which settings I can see better with.
You know, I never understood the technique of making someone stare at something for a long period of time, in the dark, at something that is bright and try and judge if something is more or less blurry. Over time everything begins to get blurry! But this part of the rant goes for all optometrists not just this place.
He gets done with his testing, scribbles down some numbers, tells me I'll be able to use the same prescription for both eyes(which is nice if you wear contacts), and sends me out to the waiting area again for Matilda the wonder tech to talk to me again. No real complaints, nothing special either, he matched all of my expectations of an optometrist.
Matilda does not show.
In Matilda's place is someone with no lab coat and no tattoos. We sit down, and of course, business first, total charge for both glasses and contacts exam plus two sets of glasses $135. WHAT A BARGAIN!!!
DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER!
"Blanch the crazy canuk non-tech" then says that she needs to go to the back and get me some sample contacts. I wait, she has a discussion with the guy at the counter, a tech (lab coat, tattoos), and what appears to be a customer, says "OH, OK, that's where they are!", goes into the back, then finally comes back, proudly with two small contact lens packets.
She sets them down in front of me and begins to type. One finger at a time, one backspace for every 3 letters typed. This gives me plenty of time to examine my new contacts that I've been wishing for since Christmas. shiny package..Nice. Acuvue..Name brand, nice. Never been opened...perfect. One says +1.50..cool just like the little scribble the Dr. Wrote. The other says -1.50.......
Now wait a minute! I don't have a lab coat, but I do have a tattoo, and I damn sure know someone high up at Holiday Inn Express, so perhaps I can help Blanch out. I wait for her to finish typing and ask "Umm, aren't these supposed to be the same?". She picks them up and examines each in turn, as if she had unearthed a fossilized tooth and needed to determine, age, diet, species and most importantly, genus.
Once the carbon dating sequence was done, she mentions casually "oh, yea, thanks for catching that". Gets up and walks back to the trio of soothsayers who know the secret passage to the trial contacts. Eventually comes back with two new packages. Under casual examination (again, no lab coat here, don't wanna tell her how to do her job) I see that they are in fact the same prescription and they do in fact match the scribbles and what she has sent via teletype to her monitor.
Now she tells me the following:
1. My glasses will be done in two to three weeks.
2. I need to come back for a follow up on how the contacts are doing or it will violate my warranty "or something"
Now we are back full circle to why I had decided not to do the Fred Meyer Optical shop any more. I want my junk now, not in the time span it takes for the 49ers to solidify their chances in a first round draft pick!
Oh well, life goes on, I have my (matching) trial pair, I'll come back for my follow up and life will go back to normal.
Well the next two weeks, I find that these are not my favorite contact lenses. Not by a long shot. I wear them for more than about 8 hours and my eyes are itchy, burning, red, and doing their best to make it look like I went on a weekend bender with Robert Down Jr.
So, I go back in today. Hoping they will make good. Hell, that's what the follow up is for right? I also locate a box for my old contacts and bring them, they didn't bother me at all, hopefully this will be the missing piece of the puzzle.
Lab Coat? Check
Matilda is there again, she calls me back to the Abu Graib public relations office, then asks me some questions:
Her: So, how are you doing?
Her: What brings you in today?
Me: uhhh, I was told I needed to come in for a follow up. Plus, the contacts are fitting me weird and irritating me.
Her: OH! Ok. So, How long are you wearing them?
Me: Umm, usually about 12 hours a day. My old ones I could wear for almost 18 hours. My old ones I would take out just before bed, but these seem to be bothering me enough that I usually take them out once I get home from work.
Her: Huh. What kind of problems are you having?
Me: Well, lots of irritation, redness, itchiness. I tell ya, they almost feel like they don't fit right.
Her: Don't fit right? That's weird.
She then has me read the magna carta again.
Her: so, have you been sleeping with them in?
Me: No, If I sleep with them in, my vision is blurry and my eyes get irritated.
Me: Yes. That's why I don't sleep with them in. I usually take them out just before bed. However, these ones, I've needed to take out much earlier in the evening.
Her: So, you're having problems with blurriness? Can you cover your left eye and read the smallest type on the wall please?
Me: OMGWTFBBQ (<- Yea like I really remember what it said)
Her: Now the right
Her: so, you're having some blurriness problems with the left eye?
Me: No, not really, more of an irritation, itchiness, and general discomfort. It almost feels like they don't fit me right. Like they are too small.
Her: Uh huh. Please follow me.
She then guides me to the Dr's office, sits me down and instructs me to wait until Heir Dr arrives.
Dr comes in, asks me whats up. I tell him, he looks at my eyes with the microscope thingie, looks at my old contacts and says:
Yup, looks like your old ones were a bit bigger. Your prescription has changed but we'll put you in the same brand and size as the old ones and you should do fine.
He sends me out to the waiting area.
Blanch is back. She calls my name, I go sit in front of her.
She asks me if I am ordering contacts today. I tell her, no, that I am here for a follow up and the Dr. has given me a new prescription. She looks down at the paper in her hand. At the top is my name, at the bottom it says something vague like "New Trial Prescription" and a scribble that my expert eye discerns to be a prescription. (I'm buying a lab coat dammit).
She goes and has a seance with they who know where the trials are, comes back with a set of trial contacts, sets them on the counter, and begins typing. This gives me time to practice my amature technician skills. Yup, everything matches.
Out of curiosity, I pull out my old contacts from my pocket. Just to see how much my prescription has changed. Not much (not that I really know what the numbers mean). I ask her "Is it OK if I throw these in your waste basket? These are my old prescription, pretty old contacts too, and I don't want to put in the wrong prescription by mistake. She says yes and takes them from me. She turns towards the waste basket, looks at the unopened contacts that I just pulled from my pocket, turns back and sets them to the side of her desk.
Her: "I'm not sure, but I think we stock these"
Me: They're pretty old
Her: looks like they don't expire for a couple.
I mull this statement over as she completes her message on the computer, that the Japanese have just bombed Perl harbor and that all able bodied Americans should go to their local recruiting office and join the fight.
I can't stand it anymore.
ME: "So, do you make it a habit to take a pair of contacts that a customer brings in to the store and re-stock them?"
Me: "I know I'm a trustworthy lookin' guy, but, I don't expect you to trust me. I'm just some guy that came in off the street and handed you a pair of contacts"
New Lab coat lady comes up from behind Blanch. "Oh, no sir, we would of course discard them. Even if a customer returns an unused package, we have to send it back to the lab"
She then walks away, as blanch is tossing my old eyes in the waste basket.
Her: "Oh, I thought you got those here."
Me: "Nah, I got those earlier this year from another shop"
Her: "Oh, sorry about that"
After everything is complete, I take my new trials, put them in my pocket, and leave. Suffice it to say, if the new prescription works out, I'll be ordering them from Costco, or online, or from Michael Vick. I won't be returning to America's Best. Not that anything that happened was outrageously bad, but way to many warning signs of bigger problems to come. Sure It's my fault for continuing this far, but I wanted to at least complete this transaction.
Side note, The glasses work just fine. So perhaps contacts are not their thing.
After waiting for 8 years, what's a few more minutes?
Should have stayed in the Army. Can you say Free Lasik Surgery?
Now here comes the fragging for all of the bad things about Uncle Sugar.
I'm sure with a Microshaft benefits package, he can get lasik.
Why he doesn't is beyond me....
Next time, go to the Tacoma Mall and see -
Heil, Mike OD - Pearl Eye Care Center
(253) 472-1188 2505 S 38th St # A108
He's a great guy and while you're there, check out the 3 part picture of Mt. Rainier hanging on the wall. Its one of my dads (assuming its still there, I too haven't been to see the eye doc in too long).
I always love the
Doc: "Which is better A or B?"
Doc: "B or C"
Doc: "A or C"
Doc: "Are you sure?"
Doc: Lets try it again....."A or C"
Me: uhhhh A
Doc: one more time..... A or C
Me: uhhhhhh.... C
Doc: Excellent (as he starts writing on his notepad)
I’ve got an awesome eye doc. He’s in Bellevue, just down road from Wade’s; takes MS insurance; and is a shooter so he’s a great resource for shooting related optics/eyewear questions. Let me know if you (or anyone else) wants his contact info.
Since everyone else is putting references up....
Costco has worked very well for me in terms of eye doctors, contacts, and glasses.
use ur lettrs. u can du it
Covers $500 of the procedure... Now take your high horse and feed him some water for chrissakes! He's thirsty!
Still seems cheaper than replacing glasses and contacts every so often.
My horse is fine.
PCR doesn't go to doctors (like most guys), decided to do the entire round up in
one week so he doesn't have to for another 8 years...
Here are the Highlights:
* Decided to get his prostate examined by some dude with jailhouse tats.
* Total cheap ass when it comes to his vision care
* Got his eyes poked, ordered some contacts.
* The baby is indeed his.
* Tests came back, it's positive (probably itches too)
* MSFT doesn't pay completely for Lasik.
There ya' go!
+1 to the rant. My last two pair of glasses came from Americas Best. I'll go back to Lencrafters next time. Saved a little money at AB, but the service was pretty much the bare minimum to get me out the door with the two pairs of glasses. At least at Lenscrafters the made me feel like I was getting service and the glasses are ready in an hour too. <shrug>
My eye doctor story is a little different.. A real clinical scam..
I get my eyes tested every couple of years, since my vision is so bad.. Anyway we got this new eye "clinic" in Lacey - Claris. They just built a huge new building/complex for it.. I decided what the heck, lets try this place..
Get the usual exam that went much like PCRs, tats and all.. Except I got to wait much longer for the actual doctor..
I watched some dick (in a lab coat) screwing around with the barista chick - they got a stand in the lobby - and I just knew he was the doc I was waiting for.. I ended up waiting 40 minutes for him.. Pretty much POd by this time..
So I finally get in and he tells me that I got something going on in my right eye with the retina.. "You gotta see a retina specialist", so I make the appointment and go back a couple weeks later.. More $$
She tells me I have "Lattice degeneration" or something like that.. "You need laser surgey right away..!", I ask how this could be so bad in such a short amount of time.. "It happens.." is all she could really say.. They kinda pushed me to make the appointment for the surgery, right then - I declined.. Get this- I had a message on my home phone, before I got home, urging me to get the surgery.. More $$
I went to 2 other eye doctors for 2nd and 3rd opinions - BOTH of them thought I had been pushed for more $$ than was necessary.. I didn't tell them where - just what the other doctors had said..
BOTH of the other docs, recommended just taking a look again in a year to see how it was progressing..
I've gotten probably 7 or 8 phone messages from Claris since then, one of them even tried to scare me into calling them.. "I don't mean to scare you, but we had this other guy..."
kinda F'd up..!
That's a part that I didn't even think to mention that made the place fishy for me. It was like being at a shady car dealership. They kept offering me various extra Protection plans, subscriptions, extra tests that would diagnose very serious problems....etc. I must have said "NO" to 10 different extras that I'd never been offered at other eye places.
I'm all for capitalism, but, It works best if it's something I actually want to spend my money on. Let them make their money on some other fool. This fool knows better.
I just go to group health for everything...iti's so nice to finally have some decent insurance
[Tin man] If I only had a relyable car. [Tin man]
My last eye exam went like this:
Please read the smallest line you can.
She has to lean in the see what line Im reading and says your fine.
I learned years ago not to get the exam and contacts at the same place. Just seems like the people eye doctors hire can't do both parts of the business without srewing up one part.
Sometimes, I'll openly tell them: "Just give me a new prescription and I'll get my contacts elsewhere." They seem to understand, and all goes well. Then I go elsewhere and have the prescription filled.
Likewise, I'll walk into a vision place and ask for X Brand and prescription contacts (they have a sign advertising that model of contacts in the window) and they'll insist on an exam. I tell them I don't need an exam, I know the prescription. They insist that my eyes may VERY LIKELY have changed since my eye exam and tell me that they won't sell me contacts without a written copy. I hand them a week old prescription and they get the contacts.
Someplaces have started to get smart about this, and require an exam if my prescription is over 6 months old. I tell them I'll get an exam elsewhere, and I leave if they won't sell me contacts right then. Afterall, I think eye exams are recommended every 12 months, not every 6, and I don't like being pressured into paying for something I don't really want anyways.
The next time I back go to them, with a 5 month old prescription, and ask for a set of contacts and hear the "prescription too old" speech. I remind them a newer prescription is not REQUIRED (by them) until 6 months. At this point, the gal usually goes in the back and gets the contacts for me. However, I'm getting the "used car dealer" feeling and when I'm annoyed, I make sure people know it...
I wait until she gets the contacts, and is a couple steps from being back at the counter, then say: "On second thought, can you go in the back and get a few more boxes, so when I use these up in two months, I won't hafta get a new prescription just to have fresh contacts."
So far, they've always given me however many I want at one time, as long as I'm JUST inside the prescription renewal date.
<-- Non-prescription sunglasses