A few days ago I had an eye check up at my local Costco Optometrist, we have money in my husbands FSA account that needs to be spent on medical related things, so this is one of many that will take place till the end of the year.
I remember the first time I went to an optometrist all alone as a adult, it was a bit nerve wracking, but I was determined to do it and I did. My motivation was to acquire a pair of very trendy, cool looking glasses that would be sure to make me look beautiful, cool, confident, smart and I'm sure many more thoughts like that were going through my young, vain brain.
Now when talking to people who do not know me or that I am hearing impaired, I don't usually tell them right away that I am deaf, I like to see how the conversation goes and if the need arises, I tell them. Talking to the receptionist was easy enough at first, she looked at me and talked straight at me, giving me a form to fill out, then she proceeded to look for my file behind this large bookshelf and I had a sinking feeling she was talking to me behind the bookshelf. Ever alert (as most deaf people need to be or least that is how I am) I was watching for her and sure enough she peeked from the side of the bookshelf and asked me what my first name was, it was then that I felt I should tell her about being deaf as she might continue talking to me behind the bookshelf. After I told her, I could see her face change from focused, determined to friendly and embarrassed, she apologized profusely and I told her it wasn't a problem, that I just needed to be able to read her lips when she talked to me. Relieved, she asked me the questions that she needed and proceeded to prepare my file for the optometrist. Now for the optometrist, he came out of his office, took my file and started walking back into his office and I could vaguely hear him talking, he turned around and was looking for someone (me) and then called my name, I sheepishly stood up and let him know I was hearing impaired and that I needed to read his lips, his face also changed, going from confused to smiling and reassuring which in turn reassured me and put my fears at ease. This is the difficult part...sitting down in the seat with this huge contraption in front of my face where he has to turn a series of lenses to get the right prescription and he says "One or two?" and his lips (or face for that matter) are not in my line of vision just a series of letters on the wall. Luckily I can hear and discern some speech using my hearing aid only ( my comprehension without the lip reading is a measly 13%) and I knew from previous experience that he was going to say one and two so I needed to focus on listening for those words. He spoke loud and clearly and I was able to hear the words without much problem, so the hardest part went pretty smoothly...whew! I received the good news that there was no change in my prescription and my eyes were healthy...yay! Now comes the fun part, I took the yellow paper with my prescription information next door where many stylish frames were on display and tried on different frames till I found one that I felt made me look beautiful, cool, confident...wait a minute...I'm not that deluded anymore :)