The recent retirement of one of the unsung heroes in optometry's evolution, my friendly colleague across town, Dr. John Casto, reminded me that many thanks are in order. He was on the front line of the first drug bill in the nation that allowed diagnostic and therapeutic drugs for ODs in West Virginia. Thank you, Dr. Casto!

On "The Tonight Show," Jimmy Fallon often takes a moment to write his Thank You notes. It's time for us to do the same, so let's get started:

  • Thank you, pupil, for being there so we can see all the crazy crap that happens inside an eye, even the stuff that freaks us out.
  • Thank you, "buy-glasses-andthe- eye-exam-is-free doctor," for reminding me that I am not the worst optometrist in the world after all.
  • Thank you, Meaningful Use, for turning my last year's computer into the world's most expensive door stop.
  • Thank you, late postponing patient, for calling to give my staff three minutes to fill the suddenly empty slot on my schedule.
  • Thank you, whoever decided glasses should be huge again like they were in 1979, for all the sore noses I will hear about until you come to your senses.
  • Thank you, contact lens company, for holding up my order until I pay my $45 balance when I have done $13,000 worth of business with you in the past year.
  • Thank you, fluorescein, for staining the only decent white shirt I have left.
  • Thank you, 20-year-old puff tonometer, for scaring off half my patients, and being inaccurate for the ones who do show up.
  • Thank you, Rx recheck patient, for choosing number 2 when you meant to choose number 1.
  • Thank you, pharmaceutical company, for constantly inventing new medications that may not work better than the old ones, but at least they cost a ton more.
  • Thank you, online contact lens retailer, for faxing requests for verification on Thursday nights when you know damn well we don't open up again until Monday.
  • Thank you, custom multifocal toric contact lens wearer, for letting me know Sunday night that you need a replacement contact lens tomorrow because you broke your glasses right after your exam three years ago and you tore your last contact lens three weeks ago and you are leaving for a month in Europe in two days.
  • Thank you, state boards of optometry, for reminding me that I instantly forget everything I know as soon as I drive across the state line.
  • Thank you, disability attorney, for badgering me every day for records on my healthy 20/20 patient whose disability is because of an old injury to his left foot.
  • Thank you, Affordable Care Act, for not being affordable because you don't care if we act.
  • Thank you, paperless EHRs, for making it so we only carry out 90 pounds of shredding every day.
  • Thank you, fingernail polish remover, for being in the same sized bottle as 90% of the eyedrops we prescribe.
  • And thank you, Chairside readers, for continuing to give me just one more chance every month for the past 24 years!

Now make your own list. We have much to be thankful for, so take a second over the holidays and be grateful!