madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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The Eyes Have It

Or will have, after we pick up the new eyeglasses today. We took a look at this month being a three-paycheck month, and what we need, and decided new eyeglasses are the primary thing. It's been two years since we got new ones made. Our exam last year indicated neither of our prescriptions changed sufficiently to require new lenses.

The past few months I'd been getting mild headaches which initially I attributed to sinusitis and allergies. Until, that is, in the past couple weeks noticing that when I took my glasses off and looked at a blurry world for a while, the headaches went away. Right. New glasses time.

So we hied ourselves off to the local Eyeglass Express after work yesterday. The two years previous, we'd been going to see a specific optometrist because his practice was listed with my BCBS as a preferred provider. And just for the eye exams, for two people, I was paying out of pocket nearly $400 US. This included nothing invasive, eye drops, and the puff-of-air-at-the-eye annoyance of a glaucoma exam. Annoyance, perhaps, yet necessary. Still, even after providing my BCBS number, and talking with the clerk at the desk there, I'm paying out of pocket nearly $400?

And (here's the kicker) never receiving a notice from BCBS about a billing? Hello, my insurance is not being billed for this. I will leave this for a later date; it's not like I'm being billed for more on top of what the insurance should cover, it's that my insurance is not being billed at all. I don't think we'll put off the exam including glaucoma for two years more; next year we'll go somewhere for that part as well. I'll simply look a bit harder for someone who is actually going to deal with my insurance, rather than just charge me and make it sound like they're also dealing with my insurance. Which is rather a curious problem to experience, I admit.

So we went back to Eyeglass Express for the optometrist this time as well. I will allow, no dilation, no glaucoma test. I will also allow, out of pocket $96 US for two exams. On top of this, the optometrist himself is an Old Friend of the Family, Herself's first ever optometrist back when her vision first got diagnosed as Not Normal. He comes up here (his primary practice is still down near the Old Homestead in Deltona) every other week on Friday. His daughter is now one of the optometrists at the particular Eyeglass Express, so he comes in and gives her a Friday off for time with her children. Closes his practice for the Friday, and the Monday because he stays part of the weekend and visits his family before heading home.

That provided a pleasant visit, as well as a quality professional exam.

Now, I knew the new eyeglasses would be the big expense, and the price tag brought me no surprises. Well, possibly a small one, as I over-estimated what I'd be spending. Just under one grand, for eyeglasses for two. And that even with Eyeglass Express' Buy One, Get One Free. Which, of course, is another example of TANSTAAFL, because what really happened is the price of the first pair is a bit higher to help cover that second pair.

So we put off the grocery store visit until this afternoon, as that's when the new eyeglasses will be ready. After using clip-on sunglasses for four years, I'm getting my second (free) pair done as sunglasses. I'm waiting a bit to see if I'll want new computer glasses; I switch off my 'regular' when working with a PC because that way I don't need to rock my neck to put the screen into the proper focal distance. Also, my PC glasses are working fairly well so far; there's a big scratch in one lens which it may be nice to do without, but it's not a huge distraction. So I'll wait on the new PC glasses a bit.

I debated briefly about the 'Progressives' which is the photo-tinting which darkens on exposure to sunlight. However, that added $75 more to the tab and, well, they don't darken while inside a car. A good portion of my sunglass time is while driving, and if they won't help me then it's not worth the expense. So no progressive tinting for me; such a luddite. I did spring for the flexible titanium frames for both of us as we've both had glassed knocked off our faces by goats reluctant to stand for health exams or other reasons. Herself needed a pair replaced for that reason a couple years back.

Thus, with the first paycheck of the month covering all but the cell phone bill (and some grocery shopping), and the second paycheck of the month covering the cell bill and new eyeglasses (and some grocery shopping), and various denizens of Teh Ranch covering some of the grocery shopping, we headed home after the eye exams and such and enjoyed a pleasant dinner of beef short ribs over rice and mixed veggies with 'shrooms.

Not exactly a romantic date, I know, but Herself seems happy about it.
Tags: economy, eyes, life the universe and everything
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