Things I witnessed while peering between my fingers.

7 Oct

Have you ever seen someone’s eye get sliced open? I have!

Alan got LASIK yesterday, and I went along out of morbid curiosity  for moral support. I’m here to tell you: it is not for the feint of heart.

I met him at the office just before his procedure. By that time he’d had about an hour to process some anti-anxiety pills they fed him, so when I greeted him in the waiting room, he was running a one-man comedy show for the benefit of his fellow patients and insisting that the drugs were doing nothing for him.

Since he was only minutes away from having parts of his eye destroyed by a laser, I’m thinking the drugs were definitely working.

When it was his time, I watched the procedure through a glass wall, seeing both Alan in real life and a magnified image broadcast on a monitor. And I kind of wanted to barf.

Granted, the technology is amazing. It’s so precise that it only takes about 2 minutes per eye. And the results? Alan awoke with nearly perfect vision this morning. (His doctor was fantastic, so if anyone in the DC area wants a recommendation, give a shout.)

Gah! Gah!

Even so, tell me it doesn’t make your belly button crawl into your stomach to think about letting someone slice into your eye? The cut was smooth, but when the doctor peeled the cornea back and blood ran out (which is common with people who have worn contacts for a long time), I was ready to hurl.

I can’t even bring myself to touch my eye when I have an eyelash in it. The thought of someone opening it like a submarine flap? Not to mention, that’s your VISION. Seriously?

Still, it was pretty cool. After slicing it, peeling it back, blotting the blood, and lining up the laser to do its thing (reshaping the eye), the doctor released the flap, used a little squeegee to get it smoothed back into place, tossed some more drops in and moved to the other eye.

Afterward Alan was led to a massage chair to pass 15 minutes before the doctor did a post-op inspection to make sure everything looked good. As he sat in the jiggling chair, he asked, “Isn’t anyone worried that this motion is going to vibrate my flaps back open?” A valid point.

I’m pretty sure I would walk through life imaging my corneas opening like windows whenever mildly jostled.

They sent us packing with all kinds of medicated drops, a set of sunglasses to prevent him from accidentally touching his eyes, and a set of plastic guards to tape over his eyes when he sleeps for the same reason.

I was hoping they would issue him something resembling an animal cone, but it turns out the tape/goggles are a pretty awesome touch. It’s kind of like talking to an alien. (I’ll try to sweet talk him into a photo, though I should have just gone for it when he was still sedated.)

For the record: Not Alan. Not my dog. Not my couch.

This afternoon, not even 24 hours after the procedure, he was ecstatic. “I haven’t seen this sharply, unaided, in almost 27 years.” Pretty amazing. A little vomity, but mainly amazing.

Oh, and also? I’d like to meet the first LASIK patient ever. If that person wasn’t teetering on the edge of death or blindness, then today he’s either in a mental institution for being insane, or in a wheelchair. Because you can’t walk with balls that big.

11 Responses to “Things I witnessed while peering between my fingers.”

  1. skippingstones October 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    I’m right there with you on the cutting my eyes open part. I would love to have this done, but can’t stand the thought of what was happening in that picture. Oh, and did you HAVE to include that picture? I scrolled down and Wham! I audibly gasped. True story.

  2. An Observant Mind October 8, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    I couldnt possibly watch! But, it is incredible what they can do, oh please please please get us a picture – worth a thousand words no doubt!

  3. Lorna's Voice October 8, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I can’t believe what miracles docs can perform on such delicate parts of the body. Amazing. We’re so fortunate to be living in this day and age. And yet, we can’t figure out how to stop these guys from snoring… 😉

  4. dribblingpensioner October 8, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    My son had eye trouble with Glaucoma which made a great pressure in the eyeball, so he had to go and get the eyeball drilled, yes drilled. I would hate that but it seems to have helped.
    It is indeed great what they can do.

  5. Ms Mary October 8, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    You know the expression “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes”? Me Mither (my mother) has to get a SHOT IN HER EYE 3 or 4 times a year. (Makes me shudder thinking about it.) So, she has them do this so she can see – it’s that or blindness. Guess I’d do it, too. Still …

    Anyway, I’m not volunteering to watch. You are brave.

  6. whatimeant2say October 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    I am definitely not ever volunteering to witness that. It was hard enough just to read about it.

  7. thesinglecell October 8, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    I have toyed with the idea of Lasik to cure my craptastic vision. And then I figure I’ll be the one who still needs glasses afterward (I guess some people don’t have completely corrected vision…?) I’m not that skeeved by surgeries, but it does bug me a little that you’re awake for it. Seeing that stuff coming at your eye would not be soothing. Thank goodness for “completely ineffective” drugs. Does he remember the procedure? Are you making him wear the eye patches so that he can resemble a large talking insect for your own amusement?

  8. cassiebehle October 11, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I’m so glad I decided to read this hungover. :/

  9. dribblingpensioner October 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Has Pithy pants gone missing ?

    • pithypants October 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      No! Still here. Went MIA over the weekend and am buried with work this week… but I did manage to get up a Columbus Day post, DP!

  10. DZ October 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    Does this procedure also cure the “hung over” look in your eyes???? If so, I’m in for a little slice and dice of these baby blues any day…… 🙂

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