Well, I've done a really stupid thing. Actually, a couple of stupid things, and the net result is I'm going to have to live without glasses for ten days.
Last night, I broke my only pair (yeah, I know I should have had a spare, but I didn't).
Because I only need my glasses for distance, I take them off for close work - which means they spend a lot of time on top of my head when I'm not needing them.
Last night - not for the first time - they got tangled in my thick, unruly hair. Instead of carefully unravelling it, I got in a temper, and just tugged. The hair was fine - the glasses weren't. The frames didn't snap, but the actual lens - clearly beyond repair.
Then the second mistake. I haven't had my eyes tested since being diagnosed with MS. I've also had an intermittent problem with an inflamed eye, which might or might not be related, but nobody seems to be able to get to the bottom of.
Rememering past discussions here, I thought: "Aha. My eyecare needs are getting more complex. Maybe I need to see a more traditional optician, who takes a bit more time and trouble, and not go back to Vision Express, who are not really interested in 'non-mainstream' sight problems."
So, I went to a small local optician. Explained I broke my glasses, but also about the MS and the recurrent sore eye problem, to see if he had any words of wisdom about that.
Well, to be fair, he was a nice, personable young chap, but his knowledge of MS seemed to be zero. All he said was: "We can't do anything about it".
"Well yes, I know, but I thought I'd tell you, in case you could detect anything unusual during the examination. I thought you might need to know I had MS?"
Then he embarked on a complex description of symptoms I didn't feel I could relate to. Evidently he had at least grasped MS is a variable condition, but he seemed to expect my eyesight would be better and worse on different days, which I haven't found to be the case - probably because I've never had optic neuritis, that I know of - and still haven't today, according to his examination.
I'm not sure if this "expecting" my vision to fluctuate, when I can't really say it's been my experience, was just misguided, or an attempt to sell me more (or more expensive) glasses.
He tried to make out (well, that's my interpretation, anyway) that although I'd not been experiencing any problems reading, because I have MS, I ought to have reading glasses or varifocals, because my eyes would get tired more easily. WHAT? My preferred way of reading is without glasses at all - I don't want damn varifocals or separate reading glasses, when the only problems I have are with distance, and I can see better than most, at close quarters. Why the heck would I want glasses for activities that don't currently require them, just because I have MS?
So I refused reading glasses, and definitely refused the varifocals. I've heard they can be quite tricky to get used to, and why bother, when you're perfectly comfortable without?
Anyway, all that aside, a much more rudimentary test than at Vision Express, and he just shrugged when asked about the bouts of inflammation, and said he'd no idea what that's all about (in common with everyone else!)
Then the real killer: after spending an age in the shop, trying every conceivable frame, and eventually settling on a main AND a spare, this time, I was told: "That will take about ten days then. I'll mark it as urgent, and they might be through a bit quicker."
So, ten days without glasses. During the Olympics.
I can't watch them (or anything) on TV at all. I can just about watch on streaming video, on a tablet, because you can hold it a lot closer. But worse than that, in ten days' time, I'm expecting to set off for the real Olympics, for the closing ceremony. So it's touch-and-go whether I'll get my new glasses in time, and if not, it will be a complete waste of time, as I won't be able to see a thing.
So annoyed, as I knew it wasn't an "express" service, and I knew I wasn't obliged to buy glasses at the same outfit that did the prescription. I could have taken my 'scrip and gone back to Vision Express, who would have done it in two hours. I just thought that as I was in a bit of a spot, it would most sensible to go ahead and get the whole lot done at once. I knew they wouldn't have anything for me the same day, but I didn't expect them to say 10 days!
I nearly fell over! Not that that's difficult, these days. I still could have walked out of the shop, and said: "I'll take it elsewhere, thank you, if you can't do it any quicker than that.". VE would have had a much bigger choice of frames, too. But stupidly, I just said, sadly: "Oh, OK then", and paid half the money up-front. Which means I can't now ring up and cancel the order, and go to VE instead. I did tell them I'm setting off for the Olympics in 10 days, which won't be much fun without glasses, so hopefully something will turn up before then.
In the meantime, I'm blind as far as any distance work is concerned, and totally peed off. 10 days is an awfully long time to be stuck with no glasses at all - not even an old pair. I don't always wear them around the house anyway, but not to be able to watch telly at all is a nightmare, especially as I was laid off only last week, and had particularly wanted to relax and enjoy the Olympics.
Anyway, the only good news is that apart from my vision being pretty cr@p, which I always knew anyway (mine is cr@p, my father's was cr@p, my brother's and sister's are both cr@p) there are no signs of any problems specific to MS. I wish I'd never even mentioned it now, as it just seems to have been used as an excuse to try to flog me reading glasses I didn't really need, on the assumption I'd get "more tired". At least I stood firm on that one!