This is a long post because, well, it was a very long process...
Back on May 23rd I lost one of my contact lenses. I wear rigid gas permeable lenses and they last longer than soft lenses. This set has lasted about 10 years or so. I have worn contacts for so long that I can no longer see very well with glasses and get terrible headaches, so I was a little concerned about how long it would take me to get new contacts here.
So on Monday, May 25th I went into an optician's office and made an appointment. Two days later I went back for my exam.
I guess I should have known at that stage that this would be a long, drawn out affair. As I was waiting for my appointment (I had to wait nearly an hour! Very un-Swiss!), an older man came in to purchase plastic clip-on sunglasses for his prescription glasses.
Keep in mind, these are the plastic things you can purchase off a rack for about $5 at any Wal-Mart in the United States without the need for assistance from a sales clerk.
But the sales clerk first removed his glasses and studied them to make certain they were appropriate for plastic clip-ons. Then she went into the back and returned with some plastic clip-ons. Still holding the man's glasses in her hands, she put the plastic clip-ons on the glasses and studied them to make certain all was correct. She took them off and put them back on a few times. Then she flipped them up and down to verify all was in working condition.
She next placed the man's glasses, with the clip-ons, on his face and studied them. She removed the glasses and made some adjustments on fit, then put them back on. Now satisfied that the plastic clip-on lenses were acceptable, it was time to instruct the man in the use of the clip-ons. She showed him how to attach the clip-ons and then watched him do it himself a couple of times. Then she showed him how to flip the sunglasses up and again he had to prove he knew how to do it.
Finally she was done. She escorted him to the cash register and charged him, and I am not making this up, 49 chf (about $45 USD) for plastic clip-on sunglasses! And the entire transaction took about 30 minutes.
So I shouldn't be surprised that it is now July 8th, I have had 7 appointments for exams & fittings and I still don't have my contacts lenses.
Oh, I have contacts in my eyes. At first they gave me disposable soft lenses to use until the trial pair of rigid gas permeable lenses could arrive. Then I had to wear the trial pair for a week and come back to see how they fit. Even though the lenses felt fine and I had no problem with them, they determined the fit could be better. And so a second pair of trial lenses were ordered. I wore them for a week and this time the fit was deemed acceptable. So finally my permanent lenses have been ordered.
But don't think my appointments have ended. Oh no, not yet. I will need at least two more. The first to get the lenses and check the fit. And then another appointment a week later to make certain all is still ok.
You know, sometimes good enough is fine. I really don't have time to wait for perfection.
Especially not when I have to figure out child care for all these appointments. Each one takes at least 30-45 minutes and Global Baby does not have the patience to wait in his stroller next to me for all of that.
And I'm still trying not to think about the fact that the trial lenses have been worn by others before me and will be sent back to whomever to be worn by someone else after me. Yeech!