Sunday, October 22, 2006

The eyes have it

So do you want to know what happens when you get laser eye surgery for refractive correction?

First they determine if you are a candidate by taking lots of tests of your eyes. They literally scan your eyes and map them topographically. It's really neat. However by the tone of all the questionnaires and videos, they are most interested in your personality, and what you expect from the surgery. "Are you a perfectionist?" "Do you think you will see 20/20 after the surgery?" I guess it’s a big CYA to dispel any misnomer that LASIK will make you see perfect. Hell, contacts had become unbearable and I just wanted to ski and go to the beach without worrying about lenses. That was the right answer. "You'll be very happy I was told.

So the big day comes, and some very nice nurses check me in. We chat about my drug allergies and my cool Merrill shoes bought from the MGH gift shop with a 30% discount, and then they give me 10 mg of Valium. Yes, it's everything you've heard.

About forty minutes later, I am leaving hubby a rambling voice mail about how I can't wait to see him and please come soon and don't let your bosses give you some last minute work to do. Then they come for me.

I am walked down the hallway by another nice nurse who holds me by the elbow so I don’t keel over. Dr. P is so nice. He explains I have to sit at one laser first, then move to another. This one is going to cut the flap in my cornea. (yes, cringe, shudder, and say ew.) They put numbing drops in my eyes and then he puts this thing that looks like a plastic jeweler's loop against my eyeball with suction. Then this machine comes down and lines up against it. It feels weird. It takes ninety seconds and Dr. P. counts it down for me. "Thirty more seconds; you’re doing great!" Move on to the second eye. I now have semi-circles cut into my eyeballs. Nice resident helps blurry-eyed, doped up G to the next room where the LASIK machine is. I lay down, and they put more drops in my eyes, and line up the next machine. They drape my eye, clamp it open, and more drops come. I see a green dot, and some red lights that look like a Special Ops rifle scope. Dr. P. holds my head steady, and I fix my gaze on the green dot. I smell something burning. Seconds later, next eye. The whole thing probably takes twenty minutes.

More drops, some shields are taped on my eyes and I am walked back to the waiting room. I know hubby can't be there for an hour so I get comfy with a pillow and the wall. Until the anesthetic starts to wear off. "Can I go get my 'scription filled now?" I ask. "See, it's gonna be like two hours 'till I get it filled and it's starting to hurt." I can't leave the floor alone in my condition they tell me. I was kind of hoping they'd go fill it for me. However they call the nice resident in to see me and he gets me a Percocet.

Percocet + Valium = not a fucking care in the world.

My cell phone vibrating jars me from my stupor.

"I'm on my way."



So, three days later, while I can see, I still feel like there are contact lenses in my eyes that I unfortunately can't take out. My older sissy-poo (who had this done two years ago) tells me this is normal, and reassures me it takes a week or two to get better. Of course I am obsessing that I rubbed my left eye accidentally to rough and that is why it suddenly got worse again. They also don't see the same prescription (on purpose since I am old and might need reading glasses soon.) and that is weird and will take getting used to. (Or else they will fix it. LOL)

As I watched dearie darling daughter play soccer on this beautiful autumn morning without any artificial assistance, I know it was worth it.


Anonymous said...

Hope you see well enough to make some descent picks in the pool this week. Maybe you should buy stock in Lasik or Tupperware. bbob

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered about Lasik surgery. I'm a big chicken though. While reading your description, in between going ewww to myself, I was like, "she buys shoes at the MGH giftshop?"

Glad everything turned out well.



Lucky Star said...

Frick yes. I'm so glad it turned out ok!!

cass said...

Thanks for posting this entry. Now I KNOW for sure that I won't want to have this surgery. I wear contacts, and don't like dealing with them, but I worry too much about what could go wrong. And, if I'm paying that much money, I'd want perfection. :) Good that it worked for you.

krysten said...

so should you NOT expect to see 20/20 from this? bc i'm pretty sure if i spend 2 grand on it, i'd better be pretty darn close! how bad were your eyes before they did it? and what do they expect your new eyesight to be?

Anonymous said...

Anything eye related gives me the creeps. Not to say I would never have something like that done. Just saying that it makes me a bit queezy thinking about it.

Percs and Valium might make me a bit braver though. I took 10 of valium prior to getting my wisdom teeth taken out, and could hardly walk into the hospital.