Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I can see clearly now

I am five days post-op and my eyes are great - 20/20 in my right and 20/25 in my left!

It was like being in a Ray Bradbury novel.

They take you into a lamp lit room with three recliners and what looks like a long dresser where they hide the medical paraphernalia. Norah Jones was playing softly in the background and you're almost lulled into feeling safe, except they're all wearing medical scrubs and watching for signs that your Valium has kicked in.

Which was pretty much my favorite part - the Valium kicking in.

Anyway, Norah's singing something about leaves falling to the ground and light hearted conversation is happening - you barely notice when they swab down your eyelids with betadine. Somehow you end up with one of the scrubby caps on and blue feeties over your shoes. Then they say, "Ok, it's your turn," and swing open a door that leads into a very different environment.

It's cold and bright. Everyone is busy except the person looking at you, sitting expectantly next to what looks like a modified dental chair with the head rest tilted slightly toward the floor. No one has mouths because they're all wearing medical masks, and there's all kinds of equipment - silver and plastic and technical.

Alternative rock is playing in the background.

You lay down on the dental chair/table and more light banter ensues. The doctor asks if you have any questions and you start to ask why sour cream gets that watery stuff on top, but before you can he pulls this machine over your face, pries open your right eye, and pops this ring around it that makes your eyeball feel like it's going to pop out and roll across the floor. Then he asks how you feel.

"Um, like my eyeball is going to pop out and roll across the floor."

But it's too late. The machine is over your face, your eye is immobile, the fear is primal, and they're talking to you in the background with this soothing tone about how many seconds it's going to be and how it's almost over. There's stinging, some blinding light, and then he pops the ring off and turns your head slightly - liquid runs down the side of your face - and starts on the left eye.

He asks again how you feel, but by now you realize the answer doesn't really matter. Kind of like when a game show host asks where you're from.

More stinging and blinding light. Then the machine moves away and you're being helped up. You're thinking, "Hey - that wasn't so terrible," and a nurse leads you back into the recliner room. Opening your eyes seems like a bad idea, but then you think maybe you're supposed to try to open your eyes, so you do, then they tell you the bubbles will go down faster if your eyes are closed.


The recliner is soft, the room is dim, Norah's still singing and you've been given permission to close your eyes, so it's all good. Then they tell you, "Okay. You're ready for phase two."

Excuse me?

You are led back into the Ray Bradbury room and made to lay down on another dental chair/recliner table. Doctor No-Mouth is suddenly back at your side with another swingy-machine, saying, "Stay focused on the blinking light." This time your eye gets taped open, Clockwork Orange-style, and he holds your head while a wildly pulsing hole centers over your face. Did I mention primal fear? Claustrophobia? Not enough Valium?

There's more counting in soothing tones and telling me how great I'm doing (evidently they have no idea I lost the blinking light a couple of times) more stinging, and the bizarre sensation of seeing a scalpel wielding gloved hand work around the edges of your vision.

Then it's over for real.

I slept the whole first day and took a long nap the second day. My eyes tire pretty easily, but get better each day. And I can see, without visual aid, for the first time in my life.

My very own modern-day Christmas miracle.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The eyes have it

Is it any surprise that this month has flown by? Christmas is three days away.

I'm going in for Lasik surgery today. My astigmatism is so bad the techs thought their machine was malfunctioning. I always knew I was special.

I'm a little nervous, but frankly - I'm so exhausted from the past week that sleeping for a day or two sounds great to me.

Once again, my love affair with perfectionism has taken a few hits over this holiday season. For the first time EVER I did not get all of my Christmas cards mailed and I only decorated my tree instead of the whole house from front to back. I have no idea where I stand as far as gift purchasing goes because I didn't make a list. Yay me!

It's remarkably freeing to let go and just enjoy the ride. Like the difference between straining all of your muscles to guide a sled down a slick, icy hill or just letting it go.

Here's to hoping I don't smash into a tree.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ho, ho, ho

I am exhausted. I've had a full weekend of overeating, Christmas shopping, and staying up way too late.

'Tis the season.

The Divine Ms. T did come over this evening and make me some DELICIOUS homemade tomato soup, and gave me possibly the most thoughtful Christmas gift I've ever received, so that was a treat.

I have an overloaded week at work coming up, an unfinished article, and I'm getting Lasik eye surgery on Friday. And all I want to do is spend this week with my kids, enjoying the season together. Instead I'm going to work late every day and they're going to be sitting here being bored, and this whole Christmas is going to be gone in a flash.

Did I mention I have to work on Christmas day?

Walmart is looking better and better.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Self-imposed restrictions

There's something to be said for taking a deep breath in, a big step back, blowing it all out and taking a look around.

Do you ever consider possibilities in your life you never considered before? Things you never even let yourself imagine because they seemed so impossible? Why do we do that? Why do we limit ourselves to what we know?

Maybe it's just me. I've begun to see the box I've built around myself. And at the same time, I can also see it doesn't have to be there.

For those of you have it all together and all figured out, I applaud you. But for those of us who don't, it's time to recognize that things don't have to be the way they are or the way we've always been told they should be.

We can re-write the ending.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Near misses

Katie - my 12 year-old - had to wear a 24 hour heart monitor over the last day because her blood pressure was a little high. We discovered this last week when she went to the doctor for an ear infection. They don't think it's serious - just want to run tests to be sure.

What they don't realize is her mother is an... aggressive driver. Therefore, this morning's reading may be a little... high.

What? I didn't actually HIT the mailbox.


Monday, December 04, 2006

It's gonna start catching up with me

Here I am, up way past my bedtime again.

Blame it on Battlestar Galactica.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Decking the halls instead of the teenager who really needs decking

Well, the tree is assembled and it looks like Santa threw up on it. Everything went smoothly and no blood was drawn this year, probably because I recruited the kids to help. Learning to delegate is an important skill.

It's probably a good thing my vision is impaired (in preparation for Lasik surgery on the 22nd, I'm wearing soft lense contacts that don't work so well), because there is no room for my usual perfectionism. The kids were thrilled and I even got the surly 19 year old involved.

Yay me.

When I can finally see again, I'll probably find my missing pot holder hangng on the tree.