Laser eye surgery. It's the shit
Posted on 6th January 2006
I'm bored of telling the story now, so when people ask me how my eye surgery went from now on, I'm just going to shout "project14.co.uk/blog !" at them and leave it be. Unless I actually want to talk to that person, in which case I'll memorise and repeat the below:
The day it all went dark. Fairly dull start to the proceedings; sign form, get aftercare advice, have eyes swabbed in iodine, look like big ginger panda. Just another Friday night. I was then lead into a operating room with a swively bed and told to lie down. OK, nothing too harsh. Swivelled under an ER-style machine, one eye covered up and the other sellotaped open. Weird, but not too bad. Eye drops. COLD eye drops, but it could be worse. Small well of alcohol put in the centre of my open eye (to loosen the epithelials on the front of my eyeball) and PUSHED DOWN FOR 30 SECONDS WHILE EVERYTHING IN MY VISION WENT DARK GREY.
Holy mother of fuck - it's not a feeling I want ever again, but I know I'm only half way through. The well comes up and I can see again, but it's a short lived pleasure, because at that point all I can see is the surgeon slicing a delecate arc around the centre of my vision, and then some gloopy stuff being pushed back with what can only be described as a small medical spatula. One you'd expect a smurf to use when baking cakes. Then comes the laser - unfortunately it sounded nothing like the X-Wing I was expecting - but it did smell like roast chicken flavour Walkers. Doesn't hurt, and there's not much you can see bar a pulsing red and green light above you. Contact lens, eye drop, blink and we're done. Well, half way through - read the above for the second time, and you'll get the picture, I'm not going to repeat myself. I'm not going to repeat myself.
Everything's very cloudy initially when both eyes are done and you sit up, like you're watching your life through blue vaseline smeared over your face. Interesting, but not exactly unexpected after eye surgery. The rest of the evening was spent in a dark room in front of the TV, listening but not watching. Looking at a candle from a mile away on the dark side of the moon would have been enough to send me in to a spasm at this point, my eyes were so sensitive and reluctant to open. That might be a slight exaggeration. It gets better - the protective eyewear you have to wear to bed is a) sexy, b) comfortable and c) has to be stuck on with the most pleasant of medical sellotape.
Bored already. Very blurry. On a scale of 1 to Helen Keller I was at about a 7. The thing about not being able to see properly is that I couldn't do anything I normally do. No TV. No internet. No email. No reading. For those that know me, no TV for anything other than the 7 hours I'm asleep is like depriving an eagle of it's wings, or taking away your hampster's wheel. I might as well have drowned in my water bowl (true story, but one for another time). So Saturday was spent listening to the radio in bed, listening to the TV on the sofa, and listening to the radio in bed. More sexy eyewear to bed.
"My eye! I'm not supposed to get jig in it!" Waking up and having your eyes stuck together with gunk is not fun at the best of times (right Laura?), but when the protective contact lens' you have in are itching and making your eyes red and puffy too, it's not fun. The eye drops I was given did squat, so Sunday was a bad day. I couldn't focus on my food (Goodfellas BBQ Chicken Solos), couldn't tell if my toes were still there, didn't know if I was still alive apart from the pain of listening to the Everton/Chelsea game and hearing Drogba score another stupid goal.
Sweet relief Another morning of agony, so I made an appointment with Ultralase to get my eyes checked out in the afternoon. Of course by the time I got there they were fine, but they gave me some stuff called VisLube to squirt in my face, which should have solved the problem (tight contact lens = itching + redness). Did it? Like an angry wank after a bad day, one spurt and I was cured - VisLube is like liquid silk for your eyes, whatever I've got left after all this is getting stored for when the Hayfever Gods decide to smite me down in June. It's awesome - no more itching, no more bad mornings, no more death by eye pain. The rest of the day was more TV listening in the dark (thank god for daytime Paramount comedy channel), more radio, and more bed.
I'm actually getting in to this.. Wake up at about noon, put my eye drops in and settle down for some more hardcore TV-sound-only-marathon. Fell asleep listing to Return Of the Jedi and felt like I was 11 again. AWESOME. Matt came round to watch the Arsenal/Liverpool Worthless Cup game (while I listened), only for us to find out it was cancelled as I turned the TV on to Sky Sports HD. Arse. I can just about focus on my feet now, and manage to sneak in the first 20 minutes of Saturday's Match of the Day, to watch Arsenal draw with Pompey - although even with a 50" plasma, it's not entirely clear who's who, and just how orange Gary Lineker is this week.
Font size + 23897 I can just about read my email today, if I squint, and turn the fonts up to 40px (the "Hellen Keller size"). And push my nose up against the screen. My vision is getting better now, instead of the red standby light on my TV being a veritable nebula of lights and swishes as it was on Monday, it's down to just 3 lights and a few arching trails of red. Not bad for 5 days post-op. Can just about watch TV, so watch the crap I don't care about seeing (Las Vegas / Scrubs), more radio, and bed at a reasonable hour. Also, since I haven't been able to shower, I haven't had a shave for 6 days now, so I've got a full-on hobo look going on - I could be an extra in Eastenders with minimal make-up, easy.
Want out. Can't drive. Arseholes. No more mornings of pain means I sleep until about 12, doze until about 2, and finally get out of bed at 3. Something must have clicked overnight, becuase I my vision is getting progressively better at quite a fast rate - it's back now to about what it was pre-op, without glasses - the standby light is now just 2 versions of itself, with a bit of blur. The most annoying thing at this stage is that while I can now function like a human (Hellen Keller-lite, if you will), I still can't drive, so while I want to go out to the pub, I can't get there, or back. Arse.
Focus! Bad Santa! More and more focus coming back - I can actually look at people on TV without them having 4 eyes and a nose that joins with the side of their ear. Slowly getting back to normallity now, just a bit of blur, so I decided to watch an Xmas movie with Matt and Laura - Bad Santa. Hi-frigging-larious, and almost in focus. Luckily the size of it made up for that - thank god for 50" plasmas. Something clicked again while I was in the bath at 1:30am - I could now read the "hot" / "cold" on the taps at my feet - just yesterday I couldn't. It's not perfect by any means yet, but just 7 days post-op, I'm well on the way to being a fighter pilot.
Focus Daniel-san, focus! Progress kinda plateau'd after the 22nd - I can now see very well - just a minimal bit of blur in my right eye, and a bit of up/down doubling in my left eye (which has always been about a day or two behind the other one. Close range screen reading isn't as clear as it was yet (the blur is probably exaggerated at such short distances), but HD TV is very nearly the glorious event it was before, just in time for 24 and BattleStar in HD! I'm just about to go back to UltraLase for a checkup, and can finally stop wearing the sexy nightwear, can drive myself around again, and start showering instead of floating in my own filth in the bath. Horray.
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