Left work at lunchtime yesterday, went to the store to stock up in case I couldn't drive for a few days, then headed home. Ate, changed, vegged until about 2:20, then made sure everything was ready. Then, waited... Morphine calls at 2:35 to say they're running late. They call back at around 2:45 to inquire which route is open, since Metcalf is closed. I walk down to the front gate, and wait. They show, we go the back way through the complex and get there.
Walk in, up in the elevator, and out... They had told me to head left, but I forgot how far.. and there were a few doors, so I went to the front desk and they directed me to the cashier to pay.... Morphine and Hunnybee left. From there, it was a series of waiting and paperwork. A exam I hadn't had before, which I was horrible at - it's like you're looking into the twilight zone at a red dot, then the lights go out and lights come in from the sides to scan and map your eyes... Only when the lights went out, I auto-tracked the scanning lights instead of staring at the red one.. We tried 2-3 different drops, and a half dozen times or more per eye. Then the usual lenses/reading/etc....
Then the prep time - I got booties and a bonnet and more drops... then the surgeon came and did the magnified look at my eyes (which I always hate because of the intense light)... and told me how it was all going down - 3 steps of ~1 minute each, with a minute or so of prep in between, then 5 minutes of prep and repeat for other eye. Then, in to the surgery prep room for more waiting.... and finally into the surgery room and onto the slab.
The room has windows so friends/family can watch... Morphine/Hunnybee weren't back yet, though. There was a laser tech, an assistant, the surgeon, and a nurse whose sole purpose seemed to be to be there for me. First thing was a thorough washing of both eyes, which I had wondered about. They taped my eyelids back on the right eye, placed more sticky paper around the eye and over part of my face/head to isolate it, and then came the camps. Just like in A Clockwork Orange, they rendered me unable to close my eyes. Then some other device which seemed to serve several purposes. They attached the cutter, hit the suction, and my vision instantly fled. Strange, it was kind of like being in a deep cave with the lights out - you know your eye is open, but there's a complete absence of vision. My other eye could still see, which was even stranger. Eventually, vision came back in and I was told to resume staring at what seemed to be one of those annoying red laser pointers built into the machine. And they lifted the cornea flap off, which was a bit like when they turn the lens a bit slowly during an eye exam.... Vision went strange until it was off, then it was just really blurry. They kept swabbing the eye with some solution or other.
Finally, everything was lined up, the surgeon held my head in place, and the laser did its magic. I had the impression of something like periods sent through an emboss filter in PhotoShop appearing on my eye briefly... and the burnt tissue smell from a dentist's drill. Then it was back on with the cornea, more swabbing, and all the equipment slowly came off. The worst part was actually when they ripped off all the tape and such. Then on with a heavy plastic eye shield, which was taped in place. For the next 5 or so minutes, they were preparing the next set of equipment and such, which of course gave me time to get all the more anxious.
Then the next eye, in much the same fashion... except it hurt a bit at several points - I think they used a larger clamp and such. Off with the eye shield, I was told to keep still, breathe deep, and relax until I was ready to move. They joked a bit with me, and I finally came down a bit from panic mode and sat up. Then another bit of waiting, I was mobile. Walked a few steps out the door and sat, had a sprite and some peanut butter crackers while the nurse prattled on about all the follow-up stuff I had to do. More drops. A nifty pair of cheap sunglasses.
Morphine and Hunnybee wandered in to witness me signing the last bit of paperwork and more drops. One last exam by a different doc, more drops, and I was ready to go. Evidently during the exam, the nurse made sure Morphine and Hunnybee were well aware that I had to keep doing these drops and such... They put drops and instructions and such in a little hip pack, along with a prescription, and sent me on my way. We headed downstairs to the pharmacy to get the prescription filled - Morphine had to find my insurance card for me, since I couldn't see well enough to. And the receipt from the pharmacist was really hard to read to figure out where to sign.
We decided to head over to Chinese. N was out waitperson, and they didn't know what to make of me wearing the sunglasses (since it was dark outside) in there. We finally got the point across... Hadn't been there for dinner for awhile, so had the Kan Shao Shredded Beef, which is oh so yummy. Had soup and eggrolls as well. Ended up taking most of the Kan Shao home with me. Paid for dinner, sine they were kind enough to help out. Then, dropped me off at home.
Just in time, as it turned out, for the true hell to start. I had been having little twinges here and there, which I avoided by blinking then keeping my eyes closed.. But the anesthetic started wearing off. I took the first of my drops - couldn't tell whether it was the steroids or the antibiotic. Tried to call the rents, their machine threw me. Called Ankh to chat for a bit until I could put the next set of drops in. Got the next set in, downed one of the 500mg Tylenols they had thoughtfully provided, and just sat for a bit. Called RedneckNinja, but they weren't in the right place to chat. I attempted to wait until I could put more of the fake tears in. Pain increased, so I downed another magic pill, put the soft eye shield on, and went to bed.
I was like having the worst migraine I'd ever had, and then some. At first, the pain was minimal twinges here and there... then it slowly moved towards a sandpaper on the back of my eye kind of sensation.... It ended up at its worst feeling like my eyes were both completely on fire - every inch screamed at me. Not to mention, I could feel the swelling pushing on my sinuses... and some joked was behind my left eye jabbing an ice pick into it. I think the swelling and pain triggered a migraine. So I tossed and turned in bed, trying desperately to get to sleep. Got up a few times to get some water and try to calm down a bit. Couldn't open my eyes much because the air hurt on them. The band of the eye shield didn't help, either.
Finally about midnight I was able to get up, have a drink of water and an ice cream bar, and put more drops in - all 3 kinds. I marveled a bit at my ability to see things father away more clearly, even if I was still fuzzy overall, and headed back to sleep. Got up early, had breakfast and my morning drops, then went back to sleep. Finally got out of bed again at 8-something. Had a careful shower, and have been working and vegging and such since.
Tried to call rents - I need to be sure that's their machine before I leave a message, it's really strange. Called Obaasan and talked to them for a bit, knowing they'd talk to the rents before I did. turns out they're not supposed to be home until late tonight.
I really can't describe the sensations during the procedure... There just doesn't seem to be words for that sort of thing. It's definitely doable... Even for someone who dislikes that sort of thing - such as myself. We'll see how it goes in the next few days/weeks/months before I'll say it was worth it. It didn't seem nearly as bad as I had imagined it could be.