I’m someone who strives for high scores and enjoys any that come my way. For example, I like getting an A on tests, even if I’m taking a class for my own pleasure or if it’s a course I don’t like.
Somewhere during my formative past, my parents must have impressed me with the benefits of good performance and honor rolls. As a result, receiving an A in anything still makes me feel all shiny and new.
While I haven’t been to school for the past few years, I did recently take an exam. An eye exam.
Luckily, I didn’t have to cram for this one although I did rest my peepers, keeping them closed in the waiting room. I wanted to hear three simple words: “Everything. Is. Fine.” A healthy diagnosis is like an A on a math test.
Now math I can live without, except when I’m scanning my bank account or taking inventory of the chicken nuggets in my Happy Meal, but I am concerned about my vision.
Before meeting with the optometrist, I badgered the assistant during my pretest: What does this machine do? Should I be seeing those squiggly lines? Has my prescription changed? Did I pass?
The woman smiled, trying to keep up: It checks for glaucoma, yes, no, and yes, with flying colors.
Now give the girl a lollipop or better yet, a red pepper. I read that peppers are the stuff of good eye health.
And give that optometric assistant a raise, for being so patient.
When the doctor invited me into his office to conduct further tests, I immediately started babbling a nervous shtick as he went through the “better or worse?” drill.
Perhaps it was the physical closeness or the dimmed lighting but while he examined me, I felt the need to share self-deprecating anecdotes, as if fishing for a compliment or trying to get a laugh.
The doctor likely thought, Too much information, I’m only interested in your corneas!
By the time I finished my stand-up (in this case sit-down) routine and he completed the exam, I realized I hadn’t asked a single thing about him. I left the office knowing exactly what I already knew about myself – how boring.
I didn’t mind handing over my credit card to pay the bill, not only because of the efficient treatment and high-tech equipment that put my mind – and eyes – at ease, but because these friendly professionals were forced to spend 30 minutes with high score-seeking me.
For the record, I did get an A – no prescription change and no deterioration. Unless you include my nervous banter during the exam, which needs some improvement.
Next month, I’ll be shooting for an A with my family physician. That gives me a few weeks to brush up my routine. In a small room with stirrups and cold instruments, you know there’s going to be plenty of nervous chatter in the opening act.
At least from my end.
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