I can’t tell from here…

I’ve just returned from the ophthalmologist where I have been ritually blinded. She put those stupid drops in my eyes despite my attempts to bargain out of it. I offered 4 visual fields tests during which I would silently and pleasantly co-operate ( if you have met me, then you know that she should have taken that one) in exchange for no drops, but she was unmoved. Offered cookies, she advanced anyway. I offered the fleece artist socks I was working on…
She didn’t care. She put in the drops. I hate the drops. I am immature about the drops. The drops make me hostile. If you are an opthomologist and you are thinking about sending me an email explaining how important the drops are, and that they are not stupid, and that I am being good about vision care by getting them and those kind of ophthalmologist sentiments….well, go ahead. I suppose you have a point. Still, I retaliated by spelling out my feelings when reading the eye chart. Every time I couldn’t see something (which is a lot of the time…or I wouldn’t need to be ritually blinded this freaking often.) I substituted a word that I felt best reflected the moment. For example: the I bet you didn’t know that the third line reads C -R -U – E – L or that the one below that (If I can’t read line three…why are you asking me to read the one below it? I get it. I can’t see. Your all powerful drops have rendered me blind and I am at your mercy. I give up. You may stop taunting me now.) reads D – U – M – B – A – S – S.
I think the ophthalmologist and I understand each other now.
(R – E – L – E – A – S – E – M – E.)
I returned home and took these photographs. They may be out of focus. There is no way to know. I wonder what it says about my personality that I would take pictures while I am blind? This is (I think…) the little baby Jacket… (has anybody noticed that everything I’m working on is sort of close in colour? You don’t really notice till it’s all a blur…) You can see (one of us should) that I didn’t entirely lick the colour pooling thing.
The pattern is from Morehouse Merino, for those of you who were asking. It’s called “Little Red Riding Hood”. It may or may not be on the page I linked to. I have no idea. I took the hood off and improvised a collar.
Since Tuesdays are for spinning, when I regain my sight I will be spinning one of the choice rovings I got at The Sheep Shed (site under development) in Rhinebeck. Pretty, pretty.
Perhaps a little over the top in the colour department, but I think they are going to be less wild when spun up,
The two fluffy looking ones on the left are a merino/tussah blend, and the slicker looking ones on the right are something I’ve never tried, merino/tencel. We’ll see. (or not…) I’m not bitter.

46 thoughts on “I can’t tell from here…

  1. I was going to lobby for the hood, but now that I see it without, I’m in favor of that too. (“favour,” I mean) Even sight-impaired, you make me laugh, girlfriend. I’m going to try your tips for pissing off the eye doctor on my appt. in November. I hate the drops, too.

  2. There, there. I think you can see clearly again as all the pics and links are spot-on. I for one don’t think the colours are overkill, they’re FAB! Love ’em! And those socks … mine are boring grey-blue. They don’t sell decent sock yarn in NYC.

  3. I can vouch for the sheep shed merino/tencel colors taming down a bit when spun up. They are absolutely gorgeous when finished.

  4. I’ve always wondered how eye professionals expect you to get home after giving you drops. Anyway, my last appointment I begged the doc for no drops and we finally settled on a retinal photograph. It is what it sounds like they put your head in some machine then put a camera lens as close to your eye as humanly possibleand ansp a photo. It completely blinds you for a few seconds, but then you are good to go. No drops.
    The baby cardi is adorable. I think it looks better with out the hood.

  5. I _loathe_ those dilation drops. My mother and a nurse once had to physically restrain me as a teenager in order to get them in; I’m more resigned to them now (a bout of iritis will do that to a person), but I still really, really hate them. So enormous, easy-to-see sympathies to you!
    (And a hint: see if your eye doctor is willing to examine your eyes in a darkened room; I’ve gotten lucky a few times and that worked well enough for them to forgo the Drops of Doom.)
    I’m looking forward to seeing how those rovings spin up — gorgeous stuff!

  6. I guess maybe this is just mean to bring up, but there hasn’t been any mention of Joe’s guernsey in a couple of months on “spinning Tuesdays” . . . perhaps he is on probation after the ice cream incident???

  7. I feel your pain. I am super-sensitive to dilation drops (as well as many other drugs, with less funny effects), so I have to either make eye Dr. appointments for later in the day, when I’ve nowhere to go but home, or I have to make an entirely seperate appointment to have my eyes dilated (this happened last time, as I had to get the source of eyestrain checked out ASAP, but has to go be scholarly for the rest of the day). My friends and family then have about twelve hours of “woo, Cj has no depth perception” fun. It’s joyous. For them.
    I hope you do not have my sensitivities, and that the $(%*$#& drops wear off soon. I can’t wait to see how your lovely rovings spin up.

  8. Anyone else notice that Stephanie was on the Thrillers poll for who we want to be our President? Steph, no offense, because I totally would have voted for you, but Kerry needs all the help he can get….

  9. EVIL!!!! i hate those drops. the last time i got them done was a beautiful sunny day in spring. there were still little bits of not-quite-melted snow on the sidewalks and i was catching such a bright reflection that i had tears pouring down my face. at least it hasn’t snowed yet!

  10. GAH…the DROPS *cue suspensful music*…
    I mostly hate the sitting there in the dark for, like an hour, until you’re dilated. Last time I brought a chunky scarf to knit since I knew I could knit that without having to look at it and that way I wouldn’t go insane with boredom.
    Ok, there’s ONE cool thing about the dilation thing…sometimes only one eye un-dilates first and then you can pretend you’re David Bowie… 😉

  11. You were lucky to get the eye appointment under the wire ( for those south of the border, eye exams have been delisted from OHIP as of Nov.1st)
    I once staggered the whole way home with a drunken-like swagger after the drops – the streetcar never came! – though I stopped and pretended to look in shops every now and then . If I got any strange looks – I never knew, I couldn’t see them!

  12. I’m putting off seeing my eye doctor even though my reading glasses don’t seem to be working quite as well as they did when I got them. Why? you ask. Because, while my eye doctor does not use the dreaded dilation drops, he does use these drops that make you stop blinking. As they start to wear off your eyes feel thick and sticky. Has to be one of the nastiest feelings I’ve ever experienced. Closing your lids goes slowly, then there’s a moment where it feels like your eye lids have stuck together. *gah* And it takes an hour to go away.
    Hopefully, things will come back into focus soon. 🙂

  13. I do think the mother of the baby should get those socks so they have a matching outfit. And I’m with Erika, what happened to Joe’s gansey? Poor Joe.

  14. I kept (involuntarily) closing my eyes every time the doctor would approach with the eye drops. He finally gave up, laughing at me, and gave me the drops to put in myself. It worked out much better that way.

  15. I’m going to be heading down to Florida from Toronto next week. Travelling down the I-75. Does anyone know any “must stop” yarn places along the way?

  16. Yes, the drops are wicked, but they are necessary. (No, I’m not an opthamologist.) I’ve been darn-near-blind since I was 6 (really, I’m something like 20/1000 without my contacts), and even after 28 years of frequent eye exams I still get loopy after the drops. Needless to say, you definitely have my sympathies, and I’m glad you’re taking care of your eye health–a very important thing for a Yarn Harlot! (By the way, if you are really thrown off by the dilation, they do have reversal drops that take the dilation away quickly.)
    Amazing knitting, BTW! I can’t wait to see that roving spun up!

  17. Kristen beat me to it…. there are reversal drops. You have to ask (beg) for them. I think the medicine in the drops has a short shelf life so eye doctors don’t like to use them (in general). Looking forward to seeing how all of that fiber spins up.

  18. I laughed when I read about the despised drops because I feel the same way. But reading all the comments about drops started to make me feel like I do at the eye-doctor–icky, faint and bleh.
    I’m such a wimp I don’t even like talking about the drops. The only I’ve gotten out of them was when I was pregnant–she felt they might not be safe or I might have trouble moving after since I wouldn’t be able to see right and I was waddling!
    Maybe I’ll put a pillow in my shirt for next month’s exam.
    Love the kiddie coat–I like the collar, hoods just get in the way of kid fun I think.

  19. The drops suck. Big time. But at least you don’t pay for the punishment. I get to suffer and pay for the privilage. MSI doesn’t cover eye exams! Many a time while waiting for the drops to do their tormenting job, I would seriously try to talk myself into one of those laser operations. surely it would be worth it, I say to myself. I’d just have to stop buying yarn, say, for the next billion years. And then the chicken sh*t in me rears its ugly head and says, nah, I think not… I will be the only case it history of laser surgery to end up blind… nope, not doing it… So if you are brave enough, since bribes don’t work on your eyeball dr., consider surgery. I hear people are quite happy once all is crystal clear in their world again. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration to try lace. Last night I finished my very first lace scarf – dayflower pattern – and I love it, it was relatively easy going (until I started messing up because I was too tired and then the ‘frogs’ were singing). So now how do I block this darned thing? It’s kind of long and with kids and bunch of animals in the house… And suggestions? Think it will work if I pin it to a towel and hang it over the curtain rod over the tub?

  20. My son, who is very squeamish found a wayout of the dreaded drops. When they do the air puff test for glaucoma, he gets very shocky and looks like he’s going to pass out. That scares the ophth. enough to ask him to sign a release saying he was offered the drops but declined.
    I can knit without vision, but I can’t spin without seeing what I’m doing….go figure. You’re blind photography is pretty good!

  21. I also hate the drops. What’s even worse are the yellow ones, did you get the yellow ones too? Thay make me nuts. I love your idea for the letter charts. I don’t know if I have the guts to do it though lol. Hope you recover in time for your spinning, I really need to get into that…

  22. Oh, man, why didn’t anyone tell me about reversal drops BEFORE I went to the eye doctor on Saturday? They would have been particularly useful since I had (oh so wisely) planned to run a couple of errands after my appt., being kid-free at all. I’m sure the women in the craft store are still talking about the woman with dilated pupils who was running into things while holding multiple packs of beads at arms’ length and muttering to herself. Sigh.
    The fleece artist socks are gorgeous. It almost makes me wish that I liked to knit socks.

  23. I’m another one who hates the dialation drops, and, like Crystal, always seem to get them on a bright sunny day. Last time I had to spend my time at work and in two classes sitting indoors with sunglasses on. Very stylish.
    Your opthamologist must be nuts to turn down a pair of Fleece Artist socks (knit by the Harlot, no less). Or maybe a sadist. Yeah, I bet that’s it.

  24. See, I don’t mind the drops so much. Really. I wear hard contact lenses and by this stage I’m pretty blase about random drops and whatnot.
    The part *I* mind is when they shine that nice, bright light RIGHT in your Highly Light-Sensitive eye and have you squint off to the side and up and down and then finally, RIGHT INTO THE FRICKIN’ LIGHT. Yeah. I hate that bit.
    That’ll be me Thursday afternoon. Big Fun. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be heading back to work after my eye exam.. Just a hunch…

  25. Well, if you lived (like a sane person) south of the border, you wouldn’t have to deal with eye drops anymore. I just went two weeks ago and they now have this new-fangled machine that you look into and — presto — your inner eyeball appears on a computer screen. No drops necessary. Plus they can file the pic for future reference (kind of like a baseline for the eyes).
    I’ll be watching your slick spinning experience. I bought some of the merino/tencel last year and have yet to spin it up. If you succeed, I’ll officially rename you Slick Chick.

  26. Ick, those drops! First they half blinded me then they sent me to order new contacts from the Wandering Eye Receptionist. My mother (who was nice enough to drive me) kicked me everytime I turned around – trying to figure out what the Receptionist was looking at – duh.
    Looking forward to the spinning updates.

  27. I LOVE the drops. My eyes are sensitive to light (my husband makes fun of me for wearing sunglasses when it’s overcast outside), so I totally loathe the bright freakin’ light that some opthamologists/optometrists use. I also dislike anticipating the puff of air when they test for glaucoma.
    At my most recent eye exam, they used the drops on me for the first time. Loved it! No more teary, blinky eyes during the light. No more anticipation of the dreaded puff of air. I also wear contact lenses, so I’m used to things like eye drops.
    Your baby jacket puts my current project to shame. Love it!

  28. Try the drops *with* the retinal photos. It’s like looking in the sun repeatedly. And then they said my optic nerves were narrowed. Yeah, well, that was the only part of my eyes that could squint at that point.
    I guffawed over your chart reading. I once had my toddler on my lap while they were trying to get an older child to read off the letters she couldn’t see. John, blankie in one hand, finally took his thumb out of his mouth, and in disgust pronounced, “It’s a O,” and stuck his thumb back in while the opthalmologist’s assistant was just totally losing it. A dozen+ years later, she still laughs over it.

  29. Hey Harlot! How many balls of GGH Soft Kid am I holding up?
    heh heh
    **drops all 5 balls of Soft Kid and runs like hell**

  30. What an adorable colorful baby jacket. What a lucky baby!
    I have a dentist and an eye doctor apt. back to back this Thursday. Uck! Wish me luck!!!

  31. Y’know, I’ve worn glasses since I was 3 1/2 (I’m 37) and now… I just flatly refuse the drops. I told my eye dr that if he ever sees anything suspicious, or if I have weird symptoms, I’ll let him do it, but otherwise… nyet.
    Anything that a) touches my eyes and b) renders it difficult to drive, walk, read, knit, or spin… ugh!

  32. I hate those damn drops–I had optic neuritis 6 years ago and two years later the drops were so painful I almost broke a sweat. The only way out of them is the only advantage I have ever discovered of having no health insurance: I go to an optometrist who offers minimal testing, just enough to see if I need new reading glasses, and determines this without drops.
    I don’t think this option is available to you however. Oh Canada…
    On a brighter note your baby sweater was gorgeous. I use a lot of handpaint, and most pooling can be avoided by alternating between 3 (not the usually recommended) two balls of yarn. It’s a little fiddly but beats breaking off yarn all the time.

  33. I’ve never had those drops, but I have had the yellow ones and they’re pretty nasty.
    The last time we went to the eye doctor (I made us appointments the day after the budget announcement, to beat the October rush) the scariest thing was the glaucoma test–where they make you look into an instrument and without warning it blasts a big poot of air right into your eye. Pete was in the waiting room and heard me scream and had to wait until his own turn to find out what had made me yelp like that! I think I’d prefer to try those drops rather than have that again.

  34. Firstly, I must vent that the photo shop LOST the roll of film with my pictures of the thrummed- along mittens, and they have already been sent to someone who lives in an actual climate. So trust me, they were cool- I used roving that I spun into matching yarn for the cuffs, a purple and green heather, and black for the body, and yes, I’m bitter.
    Secondly, I read that Gertrude Jekell, a Victorian era garden designer known for her inovative and stunning use of drifts of color, was very nearsighted. Almost blind- it was probabaly how she developed her love of swaths of strong color. So, you color choices are perfect, I think.

  35. Thank you for the pattern link! The colors are terrific, and how clever you were to photograph the sweater on a bed of ivy and kalanchoe!!?!! I didn’t really notice any awful pooling of colors, either. Hope your eyes are good soon. Considering how lated I’ve just managed to stay up, mine will be bleary bleary bleary in the morning.

  36. The eye doctors in Texas are not allowed to give you drops unless you sign a release… so they have to do the begging. If you don’t sign it they spend the whole time trying to convince you that you need your eyes dilated.
    I usually go for it, the thing I really hate is the puff of air in the eye thing. I would do anything to get out of that, but it never appears to be optional, like the drops.
    Nice roving.

  37. Wait…what about the G4 project? The gansey for Joe? The only yarn he’s ever wanted? Think…that sexy man, surrounded by your knitted love, kept warm in the cold…fortified against the cruel Canadian winter…it’s heavy stuff. You gotta love it.
    I mean, you haven’t blogged about working on that in FOREVER. And he didn’t burn down the house or sell the children to gypsies when you were away bringing EVEN MORE WOOL into the house. I mean, you knit yourself a sweater in two weeks. How hard must it be to knit him one? That man deserves a sweater, far, far more than my yarn-discuraging (but otherwise wonderful) guy.
    Which is good, because Ed ain’t getting a sweater. This is a man who is uncomfortably hot in a 72 degree room. It’s not that temperature outside right now, before dawn, in October. Oh, I wish I wish I wish we had a climate…

  38. I went to the eye doctor for the first time in 14 years or so, right before heading to Rhinebeck! For the first hour after arrival I was bumping into people left and right. (My husband kindly drove me up there.) Very disconcerting, and I feel your pain.
    I’ve used the Morehouse Merino a lot, and found that it doesn’t really pill up, even after lots of use. So I think it’s safe to jump in and make yourself a sweater. I finally finished one two weeks ago that I started last December, and love it!

  39. I usually go to the opthalmologist in Iowa when I am visiting my mother there, as you can’t even get in to see one without a referral from your doctor here in Norway (meaning that your doctor has to think something might be wrong). Last time, I even planned for the dreaded drops, and they never came. When I asked, they explained that now that I am over 50, the drops are no longer necessary. One of the few real advantages I’ve noticed in being over 50.

  40. So what kind of harlot-y favours did you do to get a frikkin’ eye appointment before the deadline? Have been trying to get one for over 3 weeks and no luck. Maybe I need a bit of homespun bribery to get my way in the door…?
    Stunning baby jacket, photographed beautifully.
    PS Way to go Jodi, what foreSIGHT

  41. Oh you’ll love spinning the tencel, its just so incredibly soft!
    On an eye note, there is no real reason you have to have the drops, thats complete BS. I have worked in retinal research for 20 years and have not ever agreed to have the drops for an eye exam. No doctor can EVER do ANYthing to you that you don’t agree to or not want. Its as easy as that, just say no!!!!
    I know it takes a long while and experience to get a grip on the power that we have as patients, but we do and we should exercise it. I also once walked out of a dental office because I considered it too filthy for my taste…. so there, nothing happened, I just had to find a better dentist.

  42. ooo! I HATE HATE those drops. I think they’re cruel and unusual punishment. Especially for those of us w/vision issues and have to get the drops every visit, not every other visit.

  43. Now I’m really worried. I thought I had every painful symptom and test a myopic person could have, but dilating drops is news to me. Does this mean I have naturally loopy, dilating eyes? (Or is it because my eye doctor shuts off all the lights for the exam?) The little puff of air is a relatively new test, isn’t it? What horrible test for glaucoma predated that one? oooh. The worst part is picking out new eyeglasses that * YOU CANNOT SEE.* Don’t ask the receptionist or technician what they look like, they are BIASED.
    Luv Kathen

  44. I got out of the drops once. I went to Lenscrafters on my lunch break from a retail job in the local mall. I didn’t know what drops would do before I went in — I’ve had glasses since I was three and I only remember kicking and screaming about drops…not WHY I kicked and screamed.
    Long story short, I worked in an accessory store that was later swallowed by Claire’s, and I had people coming in for ear-piercing appointments after my lunch. They made me sign a paper saying I wouldn’t hold them responsible if I had an eye disease, and I went merrily back to the parentally enforced misery of small children.
    I’ve never since been able to get out of drops, even when I had to drive myself home. How is a lopsided earring a better reason that road safety, I ask you?

  45. Lovely jacket – no hood, plus a little hat, is always more versatile, IMO.
    I had the drops a couple of months ago for the second time. I’m so sensitive to them, that it actually hurts when I’m walking home (three blocks). I wear sunglasses, and keep my head down.
    BUT, speaking of filthy, get a load of that black nailpolish on the finger in your “stupid drops” link. I wouldn’t let that finger near my eyes.

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