Tuesday, February 03, 2009

LASIK surgery

I had it three years ago. Ready to lose your breakfast? Here's a picture of my bloody eyes the day after surgery. :)

My prescription had been -9.75 diopters, which is very nearsighted indeed; you could put your hand three feet away from my face and I wouldn't know how many fingers you were holding up. Contacts were dry and bothersome and my glasses were dorky (Coke bottle thickness, back when Coke bottles were made of glass), so one fine day I suddenly decided it was time to plunk down a small fortune and risk my eyes to a laser beam.

For the operation they dosed me with Valium (thank goodness), marked up my eyeballs with some kind of pen (!!), laid me down under the machine, and had me stare at a little light while the computerized laser did its thing. I sang hymns in my head and tried not to think about my cornea getting lased away. There was a ring thing pressing hard on my eyeball to keep it still, which was darn uncomfortable, but it didn't hurt exactly. My mom watched a zoomed-in video of the whole thing on a monitor in the waiting room, and she declared it fascinating. It was soon done; they taped shields over my eyes and as Mom drove me home I opened my eyelids just a little bit. There was a milky haze over my vision, but I could read the license plate of the car in front of us. It was like a miracle.

Here's me when I got home-- immediately afterward I went to bed. :) I had a number of side effects from the surgery, some lasting quite a long time, but my vision is about 20/20 now and it was SO worth it. It's hard to even recall that there was a time when being blind as a bat was a big part of my identity.

Here's a little story. On the weekend before the LASIK, I had a date with a guy I wanted to know better. This was a great boon because I was too keyed up about the date to spare any worry for the surgery. You're supposed to abstain from contact lenses for a week before having LASIK, so I showed up to meet the man in the big ol' Coke bottle glasses. Needless to say, I made sure to let him know in course of our conversation that I'd soon be getting rid of the glasses altogether. To my delight he called a few days later and asked me out again for the following weekend. So on our second date I was glasses-free-- but with the hideous bloody eyes! No one had warned me about that possible side effect; I guess it's rare. My eyes never hurt but they sure looked painful. I was supposed to meet the guy in a dim restaurant too, and my vision hadn't settled and in that light I couldn't tell one person from another, so I wandered around with my Frankenstein eyes for a while and then took a seat in the entrance to let him find me. Fortunately the bloody eyes only lasted a few months (about as long as the relationship.) If you're thinking of getting LASIK, my advice is to avail yourself of free consultations at more than one place, and if they tell you different things, find out why.

3 comments:

Rachel Ann said...

I love how in two different places you put "My bloody eyes" in hyperlink. You really want us to look at that photo, don't you? Well I for one am not biting.

Rachel Gray said...

Good for you; a little self-control is an excellent thing! They're two different pictures but both are icky.

adonela said...

I must confess that I was expecting something much more shocking...not that bloody after all. The boy was probably mesmerized by your IQ. Makes me think of the scarecrow.

I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin' while my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel every riddle for any individ'le,
In trouble or in pain.