Friday, September 30, 2011

Adventures in LASIK - The Big Day

00:00 dropped off
00:05 read and signed some consents
00:13 paid (credit card; hooray for points!)

I am living the high tech life right now.  I am sitting in a doctor's office, waiting to have my eyes operated on by a pair of state-of-the-art computer-controlled lasers.  While I am waiting, I am working on my Dell laptop via WiFi to collaborate with two colleagues scattered across the USA, to help a third colleague in Brazil.  And occasionally taking notes on my blog via Blogger's iPhone app.  Pretty damn cool.  All I need now is a robot butler serving me some brightly colored drink...

00:23 I watch a  three to four minute video, along with a couple of other patients, discussing what will happen.  There were no guns, sex, nor engaging characters.  Two thumbs down.

00:45 They are taking my phone. Noooo!  And they give me a valium...

1:00? They take me to a room where I lean back in a recliner and put on a hair cover and booties.  Super sexy.

1:30? I am taken in, laid down, and covered with a blanket.  Good thing, because it is seriously chilly in there, even for me (me likey cold).

1:45? Lots of drops of various kinds, repeated explanations about the process.

2:15? Walked over to another bed, situated between the two lasers.

Right eye positioned under the first laser.  Eyelid retractor placed on my eye, a la Clockwork Orange, and a suction thingie lowered onto it.  These are good things, as they keep your eye still for the Lasers!

Things go dim (as they told me they would) and I see some cool specular patterns.  I focus every fiber of my being on not moving my eye in any way.

6 seconds...done.

They tell me I did well, but I am not sure it's sincere, since there was not cookie or lollipop reward...

On to the left eye.  Things do not go swimmingly.  Something about positioning problems.

They decide to finish up the right eye and let me rest.

The bed swivels under a different laser.  I stare at a green beam amidst an array of lights that is reminiscent of the end scenes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  Things get blurry and dim (as they told me they would) and I hear a bit of a squeaky sound...and I briefly smell burning, which make sense, since that is what is supposed to happen, but it is a bit disconcerting, nonetheless.

12 seconds...done.

I did well again.  I start to wonder if I should pursue Olympic competition in laying very still while lasers shine in my eye, but I am not sure I want to bother seeking sponsors.

A quick look at my eyes by Dr. Tylock to confirm the flaps look good.  They do.

Drops in my eyes (I think maybe steroids for anti-inflammatory, not sure).

Back in the hall for "20 minutes".

Brought back in for pretty much the same routine, except they use a different laser for the flap cutting.  It takes about three times as long, around 20 seconds, but it goes very smoothly.  Then I hang out for a minute, then on to the IntraLASIK.  Smooth again.  Looks good.

More drops.  Out onto the recliner to sit for 25 minutes, while they call my ride.  I keep my eyes closed as much as possible.

I am handed a tote bag carrying my laptop, etc.  Ironically, I had made fun of these very tote bags when I first visited for my exam for seeming to be a goofy way to advertise LASIK.

4:50 Back home. My vision already noticeably in spite of the tears. It's like a confused weatherman's prediction - clear but cloudy.

Sleeping pill taken. Ate a little bit of a salad (and some mac and cheese; lasers in my eyes warrants comfort food) so that hunger does not wake me up.  Off to bed.

5:40 Eyes still stinging pretty badly.  Having them closed seems to really magnify it.  I know they are most though.  Any time I open them, a river of tears flows from the corners of my eyes.  Well, they gave me a second sleeping pill just for such an occasion, but when they did, they said "if you haven't gotten to sleep in 45 minutes take the second one" as opposed to "if you feel the urge to remove your eyes, take the second one."

So, I call the nurse to be safe, explain what's happen, she confirms everything sounds normal and to take the pill.  Eventually sleep finally takes over.

Some weird dreams/thoughts...mostly just odd.  Not sharing them here.  You'll have to live in suspense.

13:05 Wow, that feels a lot better.  They said I could get up and watch TV for a bit then go back to bed, but the also said sleeping was back to bed I go and eventually fall back to sleep.  But first, some pictures!


That is my right eye.  Basically, it just looks red, like I have not slept enough, or been hanging around a Phish concert.

Brace yourself for the left eye.

This was expected.  This was the one that required the older laser for the flap creation.  Note: the damage is from capillaries rupturing due to the suction that is placed on the eye during the process and looks worse than it is; this eye was put under suction multiple times and the older laser takes about three times as long to make the flap, so this eye was under suction for a considerable amount of time.

Back to bed...

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