Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Non Nom: No more glasses!

Cincinnati Nomerati: Now equipped with Laser customization!
After 7 years in my current frames, 4 years with a prescription that was slightly outdated, and 2 years of fighting with contacts that irritated my eyes if I wore them for longer than 4 hours, I began to consider Lasik eye surgery.

After a generous Christmas present from my late Grandma and a nice flex medical expense account at my current job, the costs were no longer a real issue.

David and I really didn’t know too much about the current methods—my Mom had gotten Lasik years ago, and she loved it. So I booked my free consultation and headed up to Kenwood to visit the Lasik plus center—you know, the building with the huge eye on the front.

After my screening, where the technician evaluated my vision and confirmed that yes, I was nearly blind without my glasses, and dilated my eyes so that I looked like kitty when he hits up the cat nip, it was confirmed that my nearsighted and slightly astigmatic eyes were indeed laserable. The process was then explained to us. There’s the “old School” method, where an actual blade is used to create the flap so the laser can get to the part of your eye it needs to reshape, and the “new school” method, where a laser is used to separate the eye pieces.

The old school method sounds very scary. Lasik plus recommended the newer method, and we happily agreed. This was in September. Everything would not be in place to get my surgery until March. Lasik spammed me for about a month after my appointment anyway. They have a very persistent marketing campaign.

I was able to schedule my surgery after a re-evaluation last Friday. I am now glasses free.

The experience was uncomfortable but not awful. I was led back to a little room and my temperature was taken. I don’t really think that was necessary, I’m suspicious that the thermometer was only in my mouth so I couldn’t protest when a gauzy shower cap was plopped on my head and gauze was taped over my ears

“I feel like I should be serving gluey macaroni with an ice cream scoop.” I told David.

David kept flashing me in the eyes with the reflection from his watch. He said if it worked, we’d save $3,000.00. I was offered Tylenol PM to help with whatever discomfort I experienced. SRSLY? Tylenol PM? That’s the best you have? OK. Sure, why the hell not.

The doctor came in and explained in a soothing voice that you would expect to hear at the pediatrician’s office that he was going to help me see better today, which I found kind of funny. I couldn’t stop giggling. David was offered the opportunity to watch the procedure on a live video feed. He said sure. It proved to be rather traumatizing for him.

After I was led back to the rather chilly operating room, I laid down on the little cushy reclining chair. Numbing drops were inserted into my eyes and given a few minutes to work. Then a clamp was placed on one eye (they did one at a time) to keep it open. This proved to be the most uncomfortable part.

I was asked to focus on a little blinky blinky light throughout the procedure, I couldn’t see what was happening, but David did. He said that it was very scary, because even in the all laser LASIK, there is still the doctor with his little tools working on your eye.
The actual lasering only took about 42 seconds per eye. I could hear the machine spooling up like a spaceship about to take off, and then a very loud Crack! Crack! Crack! As the laser did its work.

After the clamps were taken out, and I was led back to the little room, I could see clearly, but it was like I was underwater—things were uniformly hazy. We were given a Lasik logo emblazoned tote which is, indirectly I guess, the most expensive purse I own.

I’ve been faithfully putting in the drops they prescribed me—antibiotic and steroid—for the last week. Every day I wake up and things are a little clearer. I’m really enjoying the chance to wear my sunglasses.

Technology for the Win!


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.