Monday, August 03, 2009

My brother's peepers

Zak had an eye appointment today, as his three year old prescription needed to be revised! Most of the kids are pretty good with their glasses and make them last a long time, with occasional accidents. Zak's lenses had been scratched quite a bit, from the anti-reflective coating (which we no longer specify, as it peels off in tiny scratches and renders the glasses almost useless).

So, the doctor examined Zak's eyes, and then asked if he had any problems. Zak said that about a week ago, his glasses just started working poorly. He couldn't see the leaves on the trees. The doctor asked a strange question...does Zak have any other glasses at home, like his previous pair, that he might accidentally be wearing. No, the previous pair (over 3 years old) had been long retired, and besides, they were a completely different frame style and color.

Well, the reason he asked, the doctor said, was that the glasses Zak was wearing did not match this doctor's previous prescription. He was stumped. We were too. Was an error made three years ago, and all this time, Zak was wearing the wrong prescription?

When a clerk checked the computer, it showed Zak's 3 year old order had been filled for the correct prescription. Yet, the machine which tests eye glasses showed that Zak's glasses did not match that prescription. I was not buying it. They must have made an error.

Then a new detail emerged: on a lark, the clerk discovered that the glasses Zak was wearing were the same prescription as Benjamin's.

Well, at that point, I put two and two together, and though I didn't get four, I was pretty sure I did. I was convinced an error had been made on their part, and that the obvious remedy was for the optometrist's office to give us a free, correct, new pair of glasses for Zak. My suggestion baffled the clerk and the doctor, because,

Zak's prescription was over 3 years old.
Ben's was less than one year old.

Zak was wearing: his brother's peepers.

As Zak and I emitted some embarrassed guffaws, another piece of the puzzle clicked into place : Ben had been struggling for the last WEEK with his glasses. The anti-reflective coating, apparently just in the space of a week, was horribly scratched, and a screw was missing. Two days ago, he had taped the frame to keep his lens in, but it frequently popped out. We hadn't gotten around to finding a eyeglass kit. Since Ben has inherited his father's history of being "hard on glasses", we did not think too much of this. In fact, today I had obtained Ben's written prescription at Zak's appointment, so we could order some $8.00 glasses for him on the internet.

It was humbling.

So, as soon as we arrived home, the brothers met on the porch and hastily exchanged glasses. All at once, they both looked the same and yet saw differently.

We have discovered color-coding toothbrushes, but apparently we may need to apply the principle to other areas of life.


Anonymous said...

I am laughing here! Today, I took 10 yo dd to the eye doctor, and they tried to hand her glass frames to try on... i sent them back - they were the same ones another child had at home... and yep! We color code glasses here.
life in a big family.

Amanda in Iowa

Debbie said...

Hi Amanda. Wow, thanks for the testimony! You probably have the same problem as we do, to the max, locating enough distinctly colored toothbrushes for your family!

Love, Debbie