Regular readers of TON might have seen my comment to this article https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/06/11/people-in-orkney-encouraged-to-take-things-at-their-own-pace/ , in which I expressed my trepidation about going for an eye test – going among people again – dealing with what has become an unusual situation for me.
I needn’t have worried!
Monday morning, I caught myself ‘jittering’. I sat down, made a conscious connection with LIFE, asked for help. Did some steady breathing.
In the car, I said to Mike “In about an hour’s time, it will have happened, and be over. The thing which I’ve allowed to worrit me, will be in the past.”
We parked at the old Balfour hospital. There was a man by the door with a hi-viz jacket clearly letting us know that he was an official marshalling person, who came across and checked if we were for vaccinations or eye tests, then asked us to wait in the car until called, which, in a couple of minutes I was.
Specsavers had asked folk to attend their appointment alone unless they need to be accompanied, so off went Mike to take advantage of the opportunity of shopping at Shearers for nice things – we don’t go into Kirkwall much these days.
A very pleasant, friendly lass wearing a mask and full plastic apron, provided me with a surgical mask – better suited to what was needed for the eye test than my own would have been – and asked me to use the hand sanitizer by the door.
Then down the corridor and a seat in an armchair to wait to see the Optician.
It was odd being in the old Balfour again, the scene of many appointments when my eye problem was really bad. I was looking about me, as I do, and noticed that the door in front of me had the number ‘666’ on it! The Mark of the Beast!!! I thought – good thing I’m not superstitious, or, not in that way anyway!
I told myself “Turn it upside down and it’s 999 – Emergency Services who help people.” Then told myself to stop looking at it and thinking about it!
I was called in to see the Optician, who was also wearing a mask and full plastic apron. He was very thorough and precise about all the tests. I very much felt that I was in safe hands, in a safe situation. It was all just fiiiiiine.
He told me one thing I was sorry to hear though. For years, Mike and I have taken our old specs – when the prescription is no longer strong enough – back to Specsavers, who would then donate them to a charity which distributed them to places where folk have trouble getting spectacles – or can’t afford them. I had taken my two-prescriptions-back glasses with me, and went to hand them over, but Mr Morris told me that the charity has had to close. Due to Covid, the cost of cleansing all those specs before distribution, and the logistics of re-distribution, meant that the charity could no longer afford to do so. This is a great shame, and another of the unseen victims of Covid.
I’m going to keep my old glasses anyway, for when the world is different, and maybe Specsavers will find another use for them. For a person with a tendency to depressive states of mind, I can be annoyingly positive and hope-full!
I was then handed back to the lass for me to choose my new frames. I need a slightly stronger prescription, so that means new specs – and I’ll keep my last ones as ‘back up’ for now. She was also very efficient and professional, while also being friendly and chatty.
The whole experience was efficient, safe and friendly. What more can you ask for?
I now look forward to my new specs arriving so that I can see a bit better, and I very much look forward to Specsavers opening a branch in Orkney one day!
I remembered the motto on a wall plaque I gave to my sister – who was a worriter – years ago, which said ‘Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.’
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