Posts Tagged 'visual field test'

The Power Of Suggestion

“Have you had a Visual Field test before?” said Sahid the cheery optometrist, as he carefully placed my giant handbag out of harm’s way. I’d ended up in his chair clutching an ophthalmology referral letter, after a conversation with a very quietly spoken young doctor about migraine aura earlier in the day seemed to have got out of hand.

“Erm, yes…I think so…is the visual field test the one with the flashing lights and you stick your head in a booth?”

“Aye, that’s the one”, said Sahid. I must warn you, though, it’s really boring…REALLY boring. Isn’t it Tracey?”

“Uh huh. It’s boring”, replied Tracey as she handed me a fetching black eye patch to cover one eye for the test. I had a fleeting impulse to say “Ah haar, shiver me timbers”, in my best pirate voice to liven things up, but I reckoned they’d have heard that one before. I concentrated instead on trying not to catapult the hearing aid at Tracey as I stretched the elastic of the pirate patch over my ears.

Next, Tracey gave the chin rest on the booth such a good going over with a disinfectant wipe, that I began to wonder who had been in previously. I placed my outstretched chin on the damp patch and we were off.

“Here’s your clicker, just press it when you see a light” said Tracey. Clicker? Ah, I was in my element now. I set about clicking with great vigour. After about twenty clicks, I realised I hadn’t had this particular test before and it seemed to be going on for a long time. I kept myself amused by aiming for the fastest response time they’d ever seen in a Visual Field test. After about forty clicks, a slight touch of boredom began to creep in right enough, and I was getting trigger happy with the clicker on the bits with no lights. I hoped this wouldn’t affect the results. I could hear Tracey sipping a cup of tea behind me and reckoned I’d be needing a tea break soon myself. Finally, the first eye was done. How LONG did that take, I thought, my train ticket home was going to be out of date if it kept up like this. I pulled the eye patch round on to the other eye and began again.

Flash. Click. Flash. Click. Flash. Click…………Click. Flash. God this WAS boring. My mind was beginning to wander to my Moussaka For One portion in the fridge at home, and the last Mr Kipling’s French Fancy (a pink one) in the cake tin. Yum. All washed down with a nice chilled glass of wine in front of MasterChef on the telly. I was losing the battle to stay in the here and now with the Visual Field test machine.

“It’s trying to wear me down”, I said to Tracey through clenched teeth, forgetting my chin had no room for manoeuvre on the chinrest. Please let it finish soon, I mouthed silently into the void. Suddenly, three loud beeps announced that my wish had been granted.

“All done”, said Tracey, “Sahid will give you the results in a minute. How did you find that?”

“Boring, really boring”, I said, thankful that it was.


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