In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Bigotry against the head endowed

I've been receiving notices from my insurance company for a while now, reminding me that I had vision coverage and that I could take advantage of it. It all started after the pre-diabetes tipped over the line at some point last year and I finally decided to go and get it over with, especially since I would be making the drive to Origins soon. What I discovered is that my vision from the laser eye surgery I had done back in Chicago around a decade and change ago hadn't actually slipped as far as I thought it had. I knew at the time of the original surgery that they couldn't quite get me to 20/20 due to a heavy astigmatism in my eyes and the recent eye exam showed that even now things were only down to 20/40 or so. That's pretty impressive considering that's still within the realm of not needing glasses to legally drive. Even so, I figured that since I had gone through all the bother of getting the exam, I might as well get the prescription filled. Insurance should cover the entire thing so there was no downside.

The optometrist I went to recommended an eye glass store in Menlo Park Mall, Sterling Optical, and I knew things were going to go well the minute they led me to the rack of 'free frames'. These things were _tiny_. There was no way I would be able to get a pair there without it looking absolutely ridiculous, and that's assuming I could get the glasses to actually fit on my head in the first place. Eventually I found a set of frames which would cost an extra $45 that weren't terrible and that's when the saleswoman started dropping all these other fees and charges out of the blue. The total was $115 by the time she was done and I was almost certain she was trying to rip me off. I can understand why the frame upgrade was a necessary cost but everything else should have been covered by insurance. I ended up giving her some excuse and spent a couple days trying to find another place that would take my insurance. It turned out that one of Shelley's pharmacy techs had the same HMO and had gotten glasses for her kids for free at a store near where Connie lives. So today, since mom had to go up there to prep Will for his Chinese school final exams, I tagged along.

It took a bit to find the store and when I gave the woman at the counter my prescription and insurance information, she confirmed there would be no cost to me as long as I chose from the limited number of frames offered by my HMO. She then proceeded to grab a ratty shoebox filled with frames that looked like the reject pile from some sort .99 cent store at a tourist trap. The only way I could have gotten some of those glasses on my giant noggin is if I duct taped it place and even then I'm not sure if I could have looked out both eyes at the same time. She offered to show me some more premium frames and the first one that seemed big enough to fit my melon head had an upcharge of $199. In the end I went through frame after frame after frame and found something for $59 that didn't seem terrible. At least she didn't try to gouge me with any other made up fees and add-ons.

It's not bad, especially considering some of the truly terrible options I was faced with. The only real downside is they're not sure the glasses will be ready within a week and I leave for Origins next Wednesday. It's not a desperate necessity or anything, but it seems a shame not to have them for the trip when that's part of the reason I went through this whole obnoxious process in the first place.
Tags: glasses, origins, vision

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