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2003-07-31 | 4:40 p.m.

Went to see my optometrist yesterday. I said, "I haven't been wearing my glasses. I think my eyes have gotten better." He gave me that condescending chuckle that means, You are so naive.

"Prescriptions can change, but they don't get better," he said.

Hmmph, thought I.

I read all the lines and then he shut off the light and leaned back in his chair. He sighed and rubbed his eyes and said, "I'm concerned."

"Okay," I said.

"It's not normal for a prescription to go from..." he shuffled through my file, "-175 down to almost zero," he said.

"So my eyes did get better," I said.

He sighed.

"What?" I said, half-smiling. It was as if he was going to tell me I had three months to live, which struck me funny somehow, even in the midst of my fear. Do optometrists get to give that speech often?

He explained that the likely cause of such a dramatic change was a fluid buildup, probably due to diabetes.

Diabetes I can handle, I thought. At least he didn't say I'm going blind.

"See, I told you my prescription had improved," I said.

"You're funny," he said.

He told me to get a fasting blood glucose test and if I couldn't get it scheduled soon enough, to get some strips at the drugstore and test my own urine.

Then he told me not to wear my glasses but to keep them. We agreed that I don't need to wear my glasses while driving, which is kind of neat.


I was pretty bummed about the diabetes thing for the rest of the afternoon. Even though I knew I could probably get things under control with dietary changes, it just felt big and heavy. I started thinking about the phrase "diabetic coma," and trying to remember what brings on a diabetic coma. Then I went home and, since I was not yet technically a diabetic, I ate a bunch of cookies and felt nauseous afterward and then wondered if I could send myself into a diabetic coma.


In the morning I thought about buying some ordinary sunglasses to replace my old prescription sunglasses, since I can. Then I called the doctor's office and asked them if I had had a fasting blood glucose test recently. I knew I'd had a bunch of tests within the past year, because I went in for a physical.

They told me I'd had one in October and my blood glucose level was 92, which is, according to the front-desk lady, a little on the high side of normal but by no means a red flag. Especially since I think I cheated and had a Pepsi before I went in.

So now, as usual, I don't know what my problem is. I will get another blood glucose test. I promise not to drink a Pepsi beforehand. Other than that, all I know to do is feel slightly disconcerted about having near-perfect vision.

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