3.29.2008

Optical Upgrade

So, I went ahead and had LASIK yesterday. It was just about the day that never ended... here's the story.

I made the LASIK appointment about a month ago. I'd been thinking about it for some time, since I have lost the ability to wear contacts. Believe me, if I could still wear contacts I wouldn't have considered it. My eyes started rejected them vehemently about a year ago. I kept thinking that since the appointment was in a month I'd have plenty of time to cancel, since REALLY, who would let someone cut into perfectly healthy eyes?

The day finally arrived and I had not canceled. I knew I could cancel at any moment even up to walking in the surgery room. I'm sure I wouldn't be the 1st to balk. At 11 a.m. I had to have my pupils dilated so they could check one last thing. My appointment for surgery was set for 4. No problem, we thought, we're out near Woodfield Mall and IKEA. We'll just go eat lunch and hang out somewhere. We grossly overestimated our ability to "hang out at the mall". After about 1/2 hour wandering around like Moses in the desert, (yes, it did feel like 40 years) we were so overwhelmed and exhausted that we paid $10 for ice cream at Coldstone. We left the mall and found a Borders, where at least it is sort of quiet, found some books to look at. Time moved incrementally slowly. I'd ask Lee what time it was... 2:30? I asked hopefully. He shook his head sadly. 2:15? Gah. FINALLY 3:05 rolled around, so it was time to spend another $10 on "food" at the Borders Seattle Coffee. I finally realized why I was so tired. I'd been stuffing down all thoughts of the surgery all day, trying not to dwell. My poor brain was working overtime "not thinking about what it was bent on thinking about."

4 p.m. brought me papers to sign, items to initial... yes, I understand that x,y, and/or z may happen and that I assume all the risk associated with this procedure. Still time to turn back. Shown into waiting room outside of surgery room, given blue cap to wear.

CAUTION: If you do not want to know about the surgery itself, skip to the end under the heading "OK, YOU CAN LOOK NOW".

I was put on a swivel bed. Given several drops of the eye numbing kind. I kinda thought they'd clamp my head down or something. Nope. Turns out fear of the machine is all that is needed to hold your head perfectly still. My right eye was taped shut, and I was swiveled and my left eye lined up under the laser cutting tool. Then pulled back out for the insertion of the eye speculum. Once that was on/in, they applied a suction cup with a hole in the center. My eyeball was suctioned up to the point where I lost vision. It felt like I was fainting, but then, oh, wait, I'm ok, just can't see. Probably a good thing, since then the laser did it's thing, cutting through the 1st 2 layers of the cornea. Suction thingy removed. eye speculum thing still in. Then I was swiveled to the LASIK machine, in which I was instructed to "stare at the orange light". People, I tried, but the Dr. was fiddling with my corneal layers, making that orange light jump and move around and finally it became an orange blur. Ok, stare at the orange light and click, click, click. Then Dr. uses little paddle things to put layers back in place. I can see him doing this, can't feel it. So bizarre. Ok, next one. Couldn't get the eye speculum in place because my eye opening to too small. Went on "outside of lid". I think that's what it was, but that eyelid is no worse for wear, so I'm not sure. Same procedure for right eye. I think I didn't really breathe the whole time I was in there. I was the most relaxed NOT RELAXED person ever.

OK, YOU CAN LOOK NOW
After the surgery, everything was in focus, but hazy. Like I had soft focus. That has been, and should continue to diminish until every thing is clear. Last night was pretty rough. After the nice eye numbing drops wore off, I was left with wanting to claw my eyeballs out.... except I also didn't want to touch them. I took Tylenol PM and Advil and put drops in every time I woke up. Around midnight I woke up and moaned... didn't want to open my eyes again, but the main part of the itching/burning was over. I looked over at the clock and could read the time. Without squinting. I think I giggled and went back to sleep. Got up this morning, squinting into the backyard, realized I didn't have to squint. Neat.

So, I am happy with the results. My eyes feel better even this afternoon than they did this morning, and the soft-focus effect is less. I get to wear REALLY COOL (not really) goggles to bed and in the shower for a week. And I've got 3 different kinds of drops to put in for the next 5 days. Not too bad.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Very very cool. Have to say "thanks" for giving me the 'opt out' option in the middle...but I was glad to skip to the end and see how things have turned out.

Karin

Katherine said...

urg. I should have skipped to the 'ok you can look now' part. I thought I was going to toss my dinner. No way, Jose, could I do that! Even just hearing about it makes me want to... well, toss my dinner! I'm glad it worked for you though! Give me a call sometime!

Jennifer said...

You are very brave! You give me hope that someday when I have disposable income I might, too, be able to see when I wake up. I've always wondered what it's like.

Yarnsmith said...

It's wonderful. I tried to push my glasses up today, only they weren't there.

Anonymous said...

EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!

carolynswafford said...

OK, must admit I read on past the warning and I feel slighty nauseous. But I'm a wimp. I'm very nearsighted and my husband has been urging me to get this for years....and I'm so afraid of the whole thing. I'm glad to hear the whole thing turned out well and that your are pleased with the results! What a treat to look at something and realize that it's not blurry.