I got lasered.

I forgot to tell everyone I got lasered. 

I had Lasik eye surgery at Beach Eye Care. It's been about a week. The story goes like this: 

I bought a bunch of contacts last time I got my prescription. I told myself when they ran out, I would go get my eyes lasered. I even graduated with my associate’s degree and used the bonus from work to pay for it (pretty good motivation to graduate). The contacts finally ran out and I scheduled the consultation. I had done a little research with about four friends who had got their eyes done at various doctors. Ken, a friend from work seemed the most painless and satisfied. I went with his doctor. 


The consultation went fine and I didn't learn much new -- Ken had prepped me for almost everything. I did learn I had to take the contacts out 2 weeks prior to the exam to let my eyes get accustomed to not having them. I went home that night and took out the contacts. I haven't worn them since. I called and scheduled the exam two days later. I scheduled the surgery the day after. 


Exam day came. It was a rather in-depth exam. Having worn contacts for the last 10 years, I am used to poking at my eye and did not have any problem with them poking at them either. Which they did. Repeatedly. i even had to sit for five minutes with paper under my eyelids and my eyes shut so they could measure tear output. My tear output was rated at 10. 5 or below and they sear your bottom tear ducts shut. I never knew I had bottom tear ducts or they actually drain my tears into the back of my throat before this (which accounted for the bad taste in my mouth from taking the antibacterial drops three days prior). Overall, it went good and fairly painless. I was amped about the surgery the next day. 


I was pretty excited about the whole notion of lasering my eyes. I was not a bit scared the months, weeks, days or hours up to the procedure. I even drove my mother-in-laws car in to the clinic myself, not even thinking about what was about to be done. I sat in the waiting room and then it hit me -- anxiety. Fortunately, the doctor's foresee this and had given me a valium prescription the day before (two pills for 40 cents --cheapest prescription I have ever filled regardless of how many pills). I took one valium. Waited 10 minutes; no good. I took the second valium. I was called into my own personal waiting room -- the one with the lazy boy. I watched a short surgery with the doctors explaining everything. Didn't help, I had to use the bathroom. I was still pretty anxious about the whole ordeal. I wanted it, but the gravity of it was finally weighing on me. I walked out the restroom back to my lazy boy, but was thwarted as the nurse said, "Alright, we're ready to begin." Nuts. 

The Flap. 

I was guided back to the operating room and asked to lay back into what looked like a dentist' chair. I was told not to move, not even talk as moving my mouth would move my head and the laser would stop. Right about now, I'm thinking "shouldn't you strap us down?" but nothing. I tucked my thumbs in behind my belt and lay my fingers over the top, grasping my belt buckly like I do at the dentist' to keep from grabbing the drill. My left eye was taped shut. I was asked to keep the right eye open so they can insert a suction cup over it. I was wondering how they would keep my from blinking. And apparently they have to put the eye in a pressured environment to cut the flap. The suction cup fulfilled both these functions. it was fitted on my eye. As the pressure grew from the doc pressing down, my vision grayed out. Weird; my eye was open, but I couldn't see a thing. the suction cup apparently had a docking mechanism on the other side of it that docked to the cutting laser. It or I was moved into position and the cutting began. The nurse counted down 15 seconds. The only discomfort, not even pain, involved was a slight pinch when the suction cup was removed. My right eye was taped shut and the exact same cutting went on with the left eye. I remember thinking the 15 seconds on the left eye went a lot longer than the 15 seconds on the right. Oh well... With the cutting done, we had to move to the other laser they actually corrected my vision. I was asked to get up. I held my hand out for someone to guide me. They told me to open my eyes. WHAT?! I just had flaps cut in my eyes, I don't want to open them -- something could happen. i obliged. i could still see!! Blurry, maybe hazy, but I saw well enough to guide myself to the next room. 

The Lasik. 

The second laser had the same setup -- a pivoting dental chair that brought my head under the laser. No straps, so I hunkered down while we got underway. Not being able to talk is a pain. I usually deal with anxiety with comedy. Not being able to joke around should have killed me, but the doctor knew how to deal with this situation. Doctor narrated every little thing that was going on - barely giving me time to think about what was going on, let alone get scared. He was a lifesaver. Well rehearsed, he described everything that was happening very vividly, almost anticipating what questions I might ask, would I have been allowed to talk. Bravo, doctor, bravo. The second laser had a red light i stared at. Or off to the side of it. Whatever. 18 seconds each eye. You could actually smell your eye burning. Whatever. That burning symbolized freedom. By the time I smelled it and thought to let it bother me, we were done. 


Ken said he waited about an hour before his wife drove him home. After the surgery, the doc checked each eye and released me to my lazy boy. i no more than walked into the waiting room and my father-in-law stepped up to drive me home. I asked if i was free to go and they said yes. OK... At this point, I was already seeing better. hazy, like looking out a fogged up shower mirror, but sharper images anyway. I took the prescribed eye drops and went to bed for the recommended two hours. i awoke to the phone ringing exactly two hours later. It was my wife's friend who had gotten her eyes done at a different doctor. she couldn't believe I had it done already and that I could see already (she couldn't at that point after her surgery). I got up and used the restroom and was astonished to read the clock -- from across the room! It had worked! still a little foggy, but much better! and without contacts or glasses, whoa! to everyone's amazement, i even did house chores later that night. My wife was bragging to her friend how I just got the surgery done and was doing dishes the same night. Good stuff. 

The next day. 

The next day i went back to the doctor in the morning - drove myself - for a checkup. I found out each individual eye was 20/20 and together I could read 20/15. fantastic. I had a seminar I was attending the rest of the day and decided to test my new eyes out. It went okay, except for this one part later in the day. As always with seminars after lunch, you start to slouch, maybe doze off. I realized my temple was leaning on my hand! I freaked. i was not supposed to rub my eyes for at least a week after the surgery. Had I inadvertently rubbed or maybe touched my eyes? I couldn't remember! Oh Geez.. Was that blurry or clear? could I still read across the room? is that image from the projector fuzzy because it being blown up 25 times its original size or because I messed up my eyes? AAAAAAGH! I went on thinking like this for a good 20 minutes before deciding nothing happened. 

Right now, I am feeling good about my eyes. It is funny to find out that my eyes get tired because I am tired, not because I've worn my contacts or glasses for two long. I had used that excuse for years...