I haven’t been posting blogs. I would tell myself it’s because I was too busy, first the Nutcracker, then Christmas and then a flurry of activity over the New Year before settling in to the hectic school year of teaching these wonderful children of ours and driving them almost daily to the Atlantic Dance Academy for their various dance classes. Later in January, I told myself that it’s the preparation for slaughtering the pigs, but really, it’s because I haven’t been writing. At all. And I’ve kept a journal since my childhood.
I hate to admit it, but the main reason may be that the most natural thing to write about would have been my upcoming surgery. And my mind shied away from exploring that topic too deeply.
It’s a fascinating procedure that was performed on me at TLC Eye Center in Moncton, New Brunswick on Feb 9, 2012. Here you can see Michael Buckley from the What The Buck show having his LASIK. I didn’t get mine filmed because we ended up not having a babysitter, so rather than filming the procedure, my partner was amusing five children for about 2 hours.
My procedure was very like this, except that I looked much cuter in the funny hat. I was given an Ativan and was feeling pretty relaxed when she was prepping me. There were a lot of drops, some antibiotic ones and some that were numbing. She also numbed my eyelid; just imagine the WORST makeup artist in the WORLD putting eyeliner on you, and you will understand the sensation I experienced as she swabbed the INSIDE of my eyelids.
Having just found the above video, I am very glad that I didn’t watch it before the operation, because that eyelid retractor did not feel nearly that scary. I had a few moments of “don’t think about what they are doing, just Don’t Think About It…”, and if I would have had the visual of those claw-like retractors, I may have twitched.
It’s rather ironic that the one time I did try to write about the imminent event, I happened to be in a hotel bathroom, and since sitting in a nice hot tub is one of my favourite “writing spots”, I was relaxing in the steamy water with a glass of Guinness on the edge of the tub next to my notebook. The light switch was one of the energy saving, motion sensor types, and I guess the scratching of my pen across the page was not enough “motion” to keep the light on, so every time I really got a good start on exploring my thoughts and fears, the light would go off.
Every time I sat still for longer than 40 seconds, I was suddenly plunged into darkness. And, I mean, that’s what this little hiatus from writing is really about. It’s about discussing on paper the risks associated with this procedure, including, rarely, a loss of sight, a final, frightening, plunge into darkness.
Now that I have successful recovered, and have perfect vision with no loss of night vision or ability to drive, I feel I can write about my fears. I’m sure that anyone faced with having their eyes operated on, as shown in the video above will have some hesitation. Lots of folks I have spoken to say that concern about possible side effects or problems have stopped them from pursuing this fabulous surgery. I mean, it’s the EYES!
One cannot help but wonder “How would my life change if I lost my sight?”
But like many fears, mine proved to be unfounded and therefore not really worth writing about. I’d rather tell you about the wonderful experiences I had in the office before, during and after the procedure, and am having on a daily basis like when I come in from the cold and don’t have to wait a few minutes before I can see anything but fog.
The initial examinations were conducted by a great staff of soothing individuals who made me feel that they were in complete control of all situations. They explained the choices clearly, which are PKR, the oldest and least expensive option, and LASIK with the corrective work done under a corneal flap. This flap was made with either a mechanical microkeratome using a metal blade, or a femtosecond laser microkeratome that creates a series of tiny closely arranged bubbles within the cornea. The difference in the latter two is about $1000, but we went for the platinum package with the laser cutting the flap because, well, IT’S MY EYES!
Once it was established that I was indeed a candidate for LASIK, the date was set. Originally, my surgery was slated for January 26th but I couldn’t find anyone to drive me to a Director’s Dinner in Halifax on Feb 2nd that I had no intention of missing. I didn’t know if I would be able to drive at night since a friend of mine had it done years ago and still can’t drive at night because of the way the lights halo, so I rescheduled my surgery for the 9th of February.
A few days later, we got a package with instructions for the weeks leading up to my LASIK, including the most thorough eye washing instructions one can imagine. It involved making a dilution of baby shampoo and washing the eyelid and lashes for about ten minutes. I can now say that the baby shampoo we use is completely tear free on top of being non-toxic.
I was not allowed to wear contacts for two weeks before my initial eye exam nor in the two weeks before the surgery itself, and honestly THAT was the hardest part of the whole experience. The reason my wonderful hubby told me about my Christmas present in November was because I had told him that I planned to get new glasses the next day. The
pair I was wearing was the backup of the backup pair since the backup pair had been completely mangled by my youngest after he’d done the same to my “real” glasses, all in a remarkably short period of time, and they were really uncomfortable and making me cranky.
I realized that the neck warmer I had gotten HIM might be a little on the austere side when he told me to hold off on spending a few hundred on glasses because his plan was to give me clear vision for Christmas! Of course timing would have it that I had just filled my 6month contact lens order and now had less than two months before I wouldn’t be able to wear them for two weeks and then probably wouldn’t need them at all! Never before have I been so spendthrift with my supply of contact lenses, sometimes wearing the weekly disposables only once. But the time I couldn’t wear my contacts was truly terrible. The glasses gave me headaches and made my nose hurt, as well as slipping down my nose constantly, driving me crazy(er).
All in all, that short bit of suffering was well rewarded! I would recommend it for anyone who needs to wear glasses, but I would not suggest that the faint of heart or the claustrophobic subject themselves to this, because it really is a little disconcerting. The saving grace is that it really is a short procedure, and like in the video, my doctor counted the seconds and that really helped.
Now that I am over my reluctance to write, I have been working on some fun projects and look forward to sharing them with you here soon!
Make it a great day!