Friday, September 16, 2005

"I can see clearly now, the rain has gone..."

“She’s a giantess!” -- Lrudlrick during the pre-op assessment

I want to thank my husband for calming my nerves about the surgery by letting me drive in torrential rain storms. Nothing like driving in zero visibility to keep your mind off of having your cornea shaved.

We arrived at the facility and as I waited for the nurse to prep me, my husband spent the time going back and forth to the car to search for a nail clipper. Go figure. My husband has a strange fascination with nail clippers. I'll elaborate on another day.

The nurse made me go through the tests again. The first one was the verti-gogo machine. This time I didn’t flinch. I think the fact that the images would be used by the surgeon to compute the laser positioning forced me to stay still.

The next test was a simple, stare into the red light and then the needle probe again. Afterwards, I was re-evaluated by a physician with extremely bony hands and then met with a consultant to discuss what to expect during the procedure, what to expect after and aftercare.

Yes, for those wondering, my husband asked the consultant if excessive exercise included sex. After a chuckle the consultant said, “As long as you avoid her eyes, it will be fine.” Of course, this made everyone in the room burst out in laughter. As the shade of red dissipated from my face, the doctor came back with my Valium. I’ve never taken Valium but I will say that after you take it, you really could care less that someone was going to fiddle with your eye.

Oh, I also asked about the whole not washing the face rule. She ok’d Seabreeze and a warm wash cloth so I guess I’ll be ok.

When I got to the laser room, I was flying high on the Valium. I sat on a chair similar to a dentist’s chair without the spittoon. “Ok, pg, we want you to hug this teddy bear.” “Oh, ok.” Now, I’m going to tell you I acted like it was a weird request but it felt so good to hug a furry bear. It was if I had my dog or cat near me, calming me. Of course, the real reason, is they don’t want you to move your hands around during the procedure.

The next steps were sort of blurry in my mind. My husband saw it all but he didn’t give me much info, I guess to protect me. They clamped this thing on my eye like in A Clockwork Orange, a suctioning machine with a hissing sound turns on and then the surgeon begins doing some smoothing and irrigating.

The scariest part was when for a brief moment everything goes black. That’s when you grip onto the teddy bear and practically rip it’s head off from fear but that only lasts for 5 seconds. The rest of the time, you stare into a red light and just watch as the doctor keeps smoothing your eye out.

In less than 20 minutes, I was done. I could see. It wasn’t clear yet; it was still hazy but you can see. I was left to recover in another room where I had to keep my eyes closed for 30 minutes. Afterwards, they put these crazy shields that look like basketball shields on your eyes.

I looked like Arthur from The Tick. Lrudlrick said I looked like a bee. BTW, thanks for making me imitate a bee. The Valium left me without defenses. You crazy nut.

I went home and slept for a few hours then woke up to begin a series of hourly drops. It wasn’t really bad really. The only discomfort you feel is the first 4 hours where you feel as if your contacts are in and are fit incorrectly. Then all of a sudden you are fine.

Occasionally, things get blurry but you blink and things get better. I’m pretty excited now. Now, I’m off to my post operative exam.

Oh, before I forget, according to the nurses my optometrist, Dr. G, was the worst patient ever. He kept trying to touch his eyes and continuously checked his vision on the machines. Guess I get to rib him this morning.

I’m off for my first day out with good vision.