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  • Writer's pictureLFaits

The Better to See You, My Dear!

mydriatic pupils

My post-dilation mydriatic pupils

So during first year, we’re required to get an eye exam at the IEI and reflect on our experience as a patient in the clinic. This was my first dilated fundus exam, and was also the lengthiest, most thorough eye exam I have ever had. My pupils have never been that big! We were all warned that for four to six hours after being dilated, we’d experience photophobia, or light sensitivity, and would have blurry near vision. I recorded moderate-high light sensitivity, however, I did not experience blur at near. It was certainly an interesting experience.

After my exam, I of course received a copy of my new prescription–my prescription has changed slightly since being here, with an increase of -0.25 diopters of sphere in the left eye and an increase of -0.25 in the cylinder power in the right eye. I spent some time at the IEI’s dispensary, the Fait Family Eyewear Center, and was pleasantly surprised by the excellent selection of frames. Designer lines like Fendi, Tiffany and Boss were all represented, as were a variety of price points. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in stock, they’re willing to bring in specific frames upon request. I chose to put my new prescription in a pair of Dolce & Gabbanas, and I can’t wait to get them!

We’re in our fifth week of the quarter and at this point I’m getting very comfortable writing exams almost every other day. Unlike undergrad, most days here start at 8 a.m. and finish at 6 p.m., with only an hour break for lunch. I’m getting used to working longer days and learning how to handle the work load.

At this point, though, I am really starting to miss home, and some of the things I can get there but can’t get here.

One of my favourite foods that I can whip up in under 10 minutes is KD, or Kraft Dinner, which is not available here. It’s very similar to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, but KD is better. I know it’s not great for me, but it is so easy and delicious. Another Canadian delicacy is the Coffee Crisp bar. Again, not available here, but it’s so tasty: alternating layers of vanilla wafers, foamed coffee and milk chocolate. I think here people would call it a candy bar, but the term for it in Canada is strictly “chocolate bar”.

Superstore! This is one thing I miss the most–it’s like Target, Wal-Mart, etc., but it’s got its own PC brand products for nearly half the price of name brand items. You can find almost anything here aside from home hardware, exercise equipment and garden stuff. It’s my definite go-to store for anything and everything. It’s hard to believe, but it is even CHEAPER than Wal-Mart.

And then there’s Bulk Barn. I’m sure there’s something similar here, maybe Costco or Sam’s Club, but I have yet to find it. Bins and tubs filled with bulk items–including those you wouldn’t expect to find in bulk–line countless aisles. From tea and spices to nuts and jam to tortilla chips and cocoa nibs and gummy worms, you can find seemingly every type of edible item.

Bulk Barn is also a great one-stop shop if you like cake decorating. You can rent a cake pan shaped like any cartoon character and get icing, filling, icing tips and bags, toppers–pretty much anything.

As a Canadian student, I am really noticing my “eh” here. I’m constantly being called out for it, but I refuse to lose it. The equivalent term used in the same context is “right.”  Anyway, I guess we all have our little quirks.


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