The BIG 30 Project: #8 Get Laser Eyes
I did it.
I did the thing.
Behold: The last picture of me with glasses, hopefully till I am old and embittered (well, MORE embittered)
No more glasses. All because I let some guy with a medical degree cut my eyes open and shoot a laser at them.
Sure I was scared, but I totally kept it together.
The first thing they do when you get there is reevaluate that your vision hasn’t changed since they checked up on you and then they seat you in the waiting area.
The waiting area is pretty awesome for one reason: IT IS FULL OF CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.
IN FANCY JARS.
I wanted one of those cookies.
Oh, how I wanted one.
But I may have been slightly nauseous due to reasons that almost certainly didn’t have anything to do with nerves. I mean, was I nervous to the point that I started to panic text Simon and Garfunkel lyrics to my Mum?
Was it from their Sounds of Silence album?
OK, yes, BUT it wasn’t the track you might think it was.
It was the lyrics to “I Am A Rock”.
Before going under the laser knife, I did my research. I knew exactly what I was in for, but that still didn’t totally prepare me like I thought it might.
With my hair in a hairnet and my glasses in the capable hands of one of the medical assistants, I was lead into a room full of blurry people and machines and light. I’ve never been abducted by aliens, but I assume that this was kind of what it was like.
One of the first things they do when you lie down, is give you two stress balls.
At first, I thought this was weird but after a moment of realizing I was squeezing the balls to point that even the Marquis de Sade would be like “PINEAPPLE!” (I assume that was his safe word), I totally understood.
One of the other things they do is tell you to look at the green light.
They tell you this A LOT.
I did, at one point, make a Great Gatsby joke.
The attendant leading me took a minute, but gave a surprised chuckled when they understood the reference. My surgeon was unimpressed. I was somewhat disconcerted to find that no one else seemed to know what I was referencing. It’s like they were all too busy reading medical books to read about the disillusionment of the jazz era. They clearly need to sort out their priorities.
As for the procedure itself, it was pretty quick. They put eye drops in to numb your eyes, cut a corneal flap, zap you with a laser, put the flap back, more eye-drops and then rinse and repeat with the other eye. During the part where they cut the corneal flap, you briefly lose your vision. They do tell you this before hand but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I immediately start naming my future seeing-eye dog.
I was thinking Oedipus, you know, for the irony.
I barely had time to compose what I would say to explain the dog’s name to people when the procedure was over.
Next thing you know, I was being sent out into the world like the Terminator.
BUT, what I didn’t really count on, was recovering after the procedure. There are eye drops involved. LOTS of eye drops.
I didn’t realize how accurate the above clip was but….well I’ll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say that my eyes were all kinds of gross in the morning for about a week.
The first day is all about three kinds of eye drops every few hours and then for about a week, you have three eye drops four times a day (or more in my case, due to a little inflammation). It’s kind of exhausting and I think it’s delayed the falling in love with my own eyesight process, a little.
You know, before I got the surgery, I heard the same refrain over and over: “You’re going to love it so much!”
So, I expected to be elated with my new no-glasses life, but I didn’t expect to feel a bit of a sense of loss.
I have worn glasses since about the age of 8 years old. That’s 18 years of wearing glasses and having them as part of my style and lifestyle. Sure, I wear contacts from time to time, but especially in the last few years, it’s rare for me to see my face without glasses.
I have to kind of reintroduce myself to my own reflection. It’s odd.
Also I can’t use glasses to hide how tired I am, which is slightly annoying.
HOWEVER, do you know what’s not annoying?
Not having to clean my glasses.
Not having to plan ahead to wear sunglasses. (I.e. Putting in contacts as I had no clip-on sunglasses)
Not having to worry about falling asleep and having contacts dry out my eyes or mushing my glasses into my face.
Being able to go swimming for the first time since childhood without worrying about a contact popping out or losing my glasses.
I think it’s safe to say that after almost two weeks, I’m starting to fall in love with my own eyesight.
It’s just taking time. We’ve been apart for so long, we have to get to know each other again. I still reach for my glasses first thing in the morning, I still think I have contacts to take out at night, and it always feels like I’m forgetting something when I don’t have to do either task. BUT, I am finally starting to get used to it.
All in all, I’m super pleased I decided to go for the surgery. My eyes will still take a while longer to fully heal but I’m LOOKING forward to a life with a little less hindrance.
(Yes, I’m ending this on a terrible pun. Have you MET me?)
P.S. A huge THANK YOU to my Mum who came up and stayed with me and helped take care of me after my surgery. I very much appreciated your helping me with my eye drops, telling me my sick-time story, and reading me my Neil Gaiman book. You rock.
P.P.S. YES, my Mommy read to me like a child. You’re just jealous, so shut up.
Completed BIG 30 Items
#1. Postmark Tattoo
#2. Reupholster a Chair
#3. See Amanda Palmer Perform Live
#4. Meet Someone I Admire
#5. Play an Instrument in Public
#6. Ride a Horse
#7. Ride a Hot Air Balloon
#8. Laser Eyes