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.


Blogger Cat said...

Congrats!! the gift of sight is a beautiful thing. My dh had it done and loved it. Just remember, the drops are very very very important. Make sure you are always putting them in your eyes. Merry Christmas!!!! Love ya!

8:57 AM  

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