Friday, June 12, 2009

Contact trouble

Living in the US, we are used to lots of things being much easier than in Norway.  Medications, for example.  In Norway, you can hardly buy anything else than Tylenol over the counter, and even then you can only buy a box of 10 at a time...  Doctor's appointment for everything, and they are reluctant to prescribe mostly all of it. 
So, when I realized I was almost out of (disposable) contact lenses, I figured I would just go ahead and pick up a box at the drugstore this weekend.  In Norway you need an optician's prescription, but if you are travelling, you can always just tell them what kind you need, and you'll be able to buy a few.
I don't usually wear my contacts all the time, but my glasses broke (they can still be used, but are really incomfortable, because one of the nose thingies are missing, and I want to buy new ones at home, because of warranty and such), and with using contacts every day, I suddenly realized,  "oops, only a couple of days left ".  
Well, I didn't stress, just looked up an optical place in Wallingford, planned to go there after walking around Green Lake with Jonatan.  
Luckily I called first, because not only did they NOT sell contacts there, but they also told me I wouldn't be able to buy ANY lenses without an eye doctor's prescription.  But, since this was kind of an emergency, I could try and call some of the larger optical clinics in town.  
So I did, but they said exactly the same everywhere I called,  and they all also said it would take 7-10 business days to GET the contacts once the prescription was made. At last I found a place in University Street where they would accept a fax from my optical center in Norway instead of an eye doctor here, and they had only a two day wait after that.  Great!  I asked them kindly if they could just go ahead and order the contacts, and then, on Monday, I could have the fax sent over.  It is Friday, after all, and with the time difference, it is already weekend in Norway...  
Absolutely not.  First they see the fax, then they order the contacts.  
But, I have only two days left, and with them not getting the fax before Monday, I will be a half-blind mole with glasses that need to be held in place for, let's see, at least three days!

While these phone calls were taking place, Jontan emptied a box of Corn Flakes all over the living room floor, and walked happily around in it, making small crushing sounds all over.

Suddenly I remembered something.  There is a branch of my optical center that is located at my home town mall, and they close at 8pm.  It was five minutes to eleven, SEA time, so I threw myself on the computer, searching for their number.  And, yes, of course they would fax over my prescription.

Two minutes later I call the University Street clinic back, and they have the fax and everybody is happy.  Somebody named Michael will call me in a few minutes.  
Well, Michael didn't call until I was in the parking garage at Trader Joe's, and I couldn't hear  a thing.  "Excuse me a minute!" I shreeked, while snatching Jonatan from his car seat, running like crazy out of the garage until I could hear the tiny voice in the cell phone.  It turned out Michael didn't know my particular brand of contacts, and even if I told him that any brand would do, since it was only for a few weeks, he insisted I came in for a fitting.  Would next week suit you?  

They miraculously fit me in at 4:15 pm, so loaded with sweaty kids I arrived at the center, talked to Michael, and walked out with three pairs of trial contacts while waiting for the real ones arriving on Tuesday.

Mac'n cheese for dinner.  Kids happy.

1 comment:

  1. What a pain! They are very picky here about seeing you first before giving contact lenses, it's that lawsuit happy mentality that this nation is in the grips of. I still wait until the 11th hour to order my contacts because I forget and then wind up paying express delivery to have them delivered to my house!


I appreciate your comments!