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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eye Caramba

I've got an issue about which I would like to rant. It's been bugging me for some time, but I haven't found the time or the proper inspiration to do justice to the extent of my outrage, so I've abstained. I've now given up hopes of finding the time and wherewithal to appropriately address the topic and its potential broader implications, so I'm just gonna give you the quick and dirty.

I need new eyeglasses because my lenses are all scratched. I've been putting this off for many months, waiting for the time and money to get them. The year is almost over and I recently realized I haven't spent any of the money I allocated to my "flexible spending account" for medical expenses in 2007. I can use that money to get glasses, so one day several weeks ago when T and I were at the mall, I hustled us into LensCrafters, where I was determined to pick out a new pair of specs.

The woman who offered to help us immediately asked if I had my prescription with me. No, I informed her, but LensCrafters should have my prescription in their records. Well, she smarmed, perhaps they did, but if it was over 2 years old they would require a new prescription. Guess what? It was over 2 years old. I ranted. I raved. And she lectured me that some organization or another is trying to pass a law saying that optome... opthamol... eye doctors can't fill prescriptions more than one year old.

Ridiculous. Inconceivable. My prescription has not changed in well over a dozen years and I am tired of paying for an eye exam when all I need is new glasses. But, but, but, eye exams assess more than just corrective prescription needs, she protested. She had the gall to claim the AOA or whoever is simply worried about my eye health.

Bullshit. Anyone see a little conflict of interest in eye doctors, who pocket profit when they perform eye exams, lobbying for corrective lens prescriptions to expire after just one year? I was thrown for a loop earlier this year when I could not find a dentist to just clean T's teeth (we were both long overdue for a cleaning; I still am) without forcing her to submit to a "full workup." I took it in stride, after joining a new dentist, and shelled out the big bucks.

But this is too much. Prescriptions for drugs that expire? Yes. But the government (federal? state?) telling me I should have an eye exam every year in order to purchase glasses??? Too damn much. Seriously, is eyeglass prescription abuse a problem that needed to be addressed? Is it rampant? Ruining lives? Reaching epic proportions? Some decisions should be left up to the individual. If I want to cavalierly purchase glasses without an eye exam, that should be my prerogative - I know that's really living on the edge, but let an old lady live a little.

Sigh. I give. I've promised T we'll get eye exams before the year is out, perhaps this weekend if the weather isn't prohibitive. I've got to spend that dough in the flexible spending account, anyway. Eye doctors, 1; Me, 0.

So much for quick and dirty.


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