Friday, March 30, 2012
posted by dave at 8:38 AM in category lasik

Seeing better this morning that I had for the last couple of days. Still not perfect, but better. At my 4-week appointment, I tested 20/20. The doctor spent some time looking at my eye to make sure that the ghosting I'm experiencing is because I'm still healing. It is.

They eased my concerns, again. That's all I really wanted. For them to pat my head, rub my belly, tell me I'm a good boy and everything will be okay.

Thursday, March 29, 2012
posted by dave at 4:10 PM in category ramblings

What I'm dealing with, and I thought I made the term up but somebody beat me to it, is a foul-weather friend.

This is bad enough, I suppose. What makes it worse is that, every single time without fail, I forget who I'm dealing with. I think that things are better now, that the rough patch has smoothed out, bullshit like that.

I'm not stupid. Really, I'm not. I just seem to have blinders on in certain situations, when dealing with a certain person. Then reality once again knocks me upside the head, and I get angry at myself. Not for being a nice person when help is requested, but for expecting any sort of niceness, or even common courtesy, in return.

Anyway, grrr.

posted by dave at 4:01 PM in category lasik

Tomorrow is my 4-week checkup at the lasik place. Because, as I always say, timing is everything, my vision has taken a turn for the worse.

I've always had the slightly fuzzy edges, and I've always had the ghost images when I look at pool balls. Some days these have been minor nuisances, only things I even notice when I'm looking for them. But, starting Tuesday morning, they've back with a vengeance. Also back, as an added bonus, is strong the ghosting effect that I'd hoped to never see again.

My eye is itching, like there's something in there that shouldn't be. But I can't find anything.

This morning I printed out some eye charts and set them up 20 feet away. I can, with a lot of effort, get lucky and make out the 20/30 line on these charts. Anything better than that is well beyond my abilities. A week ago, I bet I could have read the 20/16 line, or maybe even the 20/12 line.

I hope the doctor tells me that things are still just healing. I hope she eases my concerns like she did last time.

It's really annoying to spend all that money and go through all this hassle, and maybe I'll still need to wear glasses. For the last couple of days, I've felt like I needed them.

Sunday, March 18, 2012
posted by dave at 11:03 AM in category general

I'm thinking about having a midlife crisis. It's been a while since I've had one.

I had my last one when I was 27. I wore a lot of hats.

Maybe this time around, I could pick something more interesting.

posted by dave at 1:35 AM in category ramblings

I had it, for about 15 minutes tonight as I sat in my garage watching the lightning and drinking a yummy Night Tripper. I had it.

It was awesome.

I spend the bulk of my life looking for that particular mood. I see it often, but catch it seldom. Like the last pea on the plate, evading the stab of the fork. It's so hard to catch.

It's me, that's the point of the thing. It's the me that I want to be, need to be, deserve to be, am resigned to be, am fated to be.


It's so nice to be me for a while. Even though it never lasts very long. Emotions feed on themselves, a feedback loop ensues, and it becomes overwhelming. Self-defense kicks in. I hate it when that happens.

Eyes roll, and I persevere. Love and hate blur together, and I persevere. Longing and disgust fight for supremacy, and I persevere.

When I'm me, I persevere.

At other times, not so much.

I miss me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012
posted by dave at 2:26 PM in category lasik

After I left the lasik place, I spent a couple of hours sitting in my car. I was a little irritated. I was perfectly okay to drive myself home, but I couldn't do that because I hadn't been able to contact OddlyFamiliarGirl. She ended up getting my messages right as she was pulling into the parking lot.

So that sucked.

After an hour or so, right about when OddlyFamiliarGirl got to my house, the numbing drops started to wear off. There was no pain, though. I felt like there was an eyelash stuck in my eye. That's really the most discomfort I ever felt in my eye throughout this entire process.

I was really glad they'd given me those sunglasses. The urge to rub my eye was extremely strong. That urge stayed with me for several days, so I wore the sunglasses for several days, and nights.

Yes, I was supposed to sleep in the things for at least a week. I didn't make it that long.

Back to Day Zero...

My plan had been to go to sleep. That had been what the lasik doctor had advised, and I was definitely very tired.

But nooooooooooooooo...

Dozens of tornado warnings started sounding. On TV, they were going crazy, basically saying that there were tornadoes heading towards both of my sisters' houses, and maybe even one heading toward my house.

That's when I lost power.

So, instead of getting to sleep, I drove to Korner Pub, where they still had power, and watched their TV for about six hours. Eventually some dude came in and said that power on my road was back on, so I went home and finally went to bed.

By the end of that first day, My eye was pretty itchy. I kinda wished I'd had some pain medication around, or a sleeping pill, but I didn't. between the itchy eye and those damn sunglasses, I didn't get to sleep for several more hours, and even then I don't think I slept very soundly.

On that day, I really didn't pay much attention to how well I could see. What little attention I did pay showed pretty much was I was expecting. My eye was still messed up and so my vision was worse than it had been before. Like I said, I was expecting this so it didn't bother me.

Day One...

The first full day after my surgery began with my driving back out to Joffe for a follow-up appointment. It didn't last very long at all. The doctor looked at my eye and had me read from an eye chart. Things were still quite blurry, but definitely better than my left (untreated) eye at seeing distant objects.

Also, later that day, I shot my first games of pool since the procedure. Both at home, and later at stupid Jack's, I noticed that my alignment was way off on most shots. It seemed that my left and right eyes were having an argument as to which direction to shoot. The result of this argument was that I didn't shoot particularly well. This didn't bother me. I knew it would take a while for things to stabilize.

Day Two...

The Sunday after the procedure. The itchiness in my eye was gone. Really the only time I felt any discomfort was when I put in the medicated drops that the doctor had prescribed. They burned a little, and as an added bonus they made my vision very blurry for about an hour.

Plus, trying to sleep with those sunglasses was killing me. I stopped wearing them to bed Sunday night.

Day Four...

Seeing much better, as evidenced by a pretty good pool session at stupid Jack's. My eyes seemed to have settled their little argument. In other words, my brain had learned how to interpret the new data it was getting.

I still wasn't seeing as well as I'd been hoping. Looking through my untreated eye with my old glasses, I saw extremely sharp edges on everything, with no sign of astigmatism. Looking at the same things with my treated eye, everything was still fuzzy and distorted.

Day Five...

Seeing a definite ghost image, just above the real image of whatever I was looking at. Like, I looked at a 5-ball on a pool table, and I saw what looked like a 3-ball directly behind it. Both the real ball and the ghost ball were very sharp, though.

Day Seven...

My one-week checkup at Joffe. I woke up with terrible vision. Worst than it had ever been. I started to freak out a little, thinking that this "improvement" was nowhere worth the money and time I'd put into it.

The one-week checkup went about like this:

Doctor: Good morning, David. How's the eye this morning?

Me: I can't see. And who said that?

(Doctor looks at my eye for a while.)

Doctor: Well it looks like everything is healing nicely. What's the smallest line you can read on chart?

Me: What fucking chart? And who said that?

Doctor: You can't read anything?

Me: I already said I can't even see, so no, I can't read.

Doctor: You know, most of the people I see after one week have worse vision than they did after one day.

Me: Seriously? That might have been a good thing to tell me ahead of time. Or put on the cheat sheet you gave me. It would have stopped me from freaking out.

Doctor: Well, it doesn't happen to everyone. But from today on, your vision should continue to improve. This should be the worst day.


I asked if there was anything I could do to make sure the healing went smoothly. The doctor said to just keep putting in my drops, don't go swimming, don't rub my eye, stuff like that. She said that I should start to see vast improvements soon.

I asked her if, once the healing was finished, if I'd be able to see as well as I'd been able to see wearing my glasses. Sharp edges and stuff. She said I probably could, we'd just have to wait and see.

Day Thirteen...

Tomorrow it will be two weeks. I will definitely say that things have improved drastically since last Friday. The itchiness is completely gone, and with it the urge to rub my eye. I no longer have to use the medicated drops, though I'm still using a lot of regular artificial tears. I'm pretty much drowning my eye in those things, not because of any problems, but to help ensure that there aren't any problems.

My distance vision still isn't as good as I want it to be, but it's certainly very good. The healing, even if it stops right now, will be good enough to make this entire experience worth it to me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
posted by dave at 1:34 PM in category lasik

On the actual day, I got to the place around 10:00 for a 10:20 appointment. First thing I found out was that I should have arranged to have OddlyFamiliarGirl pick me up at 11:30, not 12:45. Nobody could figure out why they'd told me 12:45 when I'd called to schedule that appointment. The dude acted like it was my fault.

I texted and called and facebooked OddlyFamiliarGirl, but I never contacted her.

Oh well.

When I first got there, after the dude had yelled at me for arranging for my ride to be so late, they stuck me in a little room to watch a movie. This was the same room they'd stuck me in six months earlier, when I'd had the thorough exams. I watched a movie with a mean-looking dude telling me what to expect. I already knew pretty much what to expect because I'd done gobs of research.

Once the movie had finished, a lady came in to make sure I wasn't chickening out, and then she took payment from me. She offered me some Valium, and I declined. She seemed adamant about it, but I can be pretty stubborn myself, so I declined until she went away.

Then after several more minutes, the actual doctor came in. This was the first time I'd met him. I was glad it wasn't the mean-looking dude from the movie.

So he tried to get me to take some Valium. Said it would help me to sleep afterwards. I assured him that sleep would be no problem as I'd been up since 1:00 AM after only having had three hours sleep the night before. He wanted to know if that was because I was nervous and I said that it was because StupidGirl is in the Pacific time zone and she'd called to wish me luck. For six hours.

Then the doctor left and I sat in the little room reading some literature for a while. After about 10 minutes, the doctor came back and, after trying one last time to get me to take Valium, took me into the actual lasik room.

Once I was in there, things happened pretty quickly. I'll try to remember it all.

They sat me in a little chair, gave me some drops to numb my eye, and had me look through a thingy. While I was looking, the doctor drew on my eyeball with a sharpie. I hadn't been expecting that. He said it was a medical pen, but it looked like a regular sharpie to me.

Oh, and they gave me a hairnet to wear. I kept that as a souvenir.

Then they took me to the actual lasik table and had me lie down. That was really the only time I got nervous at all. It was my last chance to chicken out. But that feeling passed quickly enough, and I was fine after that.

They put more numbing drops in my eye while I was lying there.

They put a patch over my left eye for some reason, then they held open the eyelids on my right eye and taped them open. It was some kind of medical tape, and plus everything was numb, so I didn't feel so much as see what they were doing.

Then they put some kind of metal doohickey on my eye to really hold my eyelids open and make sure I didn't blink. This was a relief to me, because I'd been a little worried that I might blink during the operation and accidentally get my head burned off or something.

For the entire procedure, I was supposed to look at a blinking red light up above me. So that's pretty much what I did. The doctor told me, after they'd put the anti-blink doohickey on me, that they were ready to start the actual procedure.

There was some kind of suction thingy they used next. I think it was to position my eye for the cutter. It felt a little weird, but the doctor had warned me about it. My vision went completely black, as I'd been told to expect.

They fit something - I later found it was the cutting blade - over my eye, and then they cut the flap. That was really the only time I felt any discomfort at all. And it wasn't really discomfort, it was just something that I noticed, Like, oh, they're cutting the flap now. I can feel that. It feels weird, like getting a flap cut in my eye is unusual or something.

Once the flap had been cut, they removed the suction thingy, and my vision returned, though it was very blurry. At least I could see the blinking red light, which had become my new best friend.

I should probably say that they kept everything really moist throughout everything. There was some kind of batter spreader and they kept rubbing that over my eye to keep it wet.

The doctor said that he was going to lift the flap away, and I steeled myself a little. My coworker had told me that had been the part that freaked him out. I guess because I was expecting it, it didn't bother me at all. The blinking red light became very blurry, almost to the point where it filled my entire field of vision, but that was it.

I knew that this was the point when they'd use the actual laser on my eye, and I guess they must have because, otherwise, there would have been no point to any of that other stuff.

I heard some beeping for about five seconds, and then that was it.

The doctor pulled the flap back over my eye, and they used the batter spreader thingy to moisten everything. Then they removed the anti-blink doohickey, and the medical tape, and had me sit up.

I was escorted back to the little chair and I looked through the thingy while the doctor looked at my eye and I guess made sure he hadn't left his watch in there or whatever.

They put some more drops in my eye, gave me a smallish box of drops to get me through the day, and I left.

Oh, and they gave me some sunglasses, too.

To be continued.

posted by dave at 10:58 AM in category lasik

I got my first pair of glasses when I was 30. It wasn't so much that my eyes were that bad - I assumed that the blurring I sometimes saw was caused by atmospheric distortion. Like mirages in the desert or something. I could mostly see just fine without glasses. I'd been doing it for 30 years.

So, my prescription was pretty weak. I liked my new glasses, though. I felt like I was in disguise whenever I wore them. Plus, I could see the edges of the balls very well.

Shooting pool with glasses was always a problem, however, and rarely worth the trouble. I had to crane my neck at an uncomfortable angle, or adopt a very upright stance, to keep from simply looking over the top of the frames. I did, at one point, special-order a pair of glasses for pool. Large lenses and the focusing point near the top of the lenses. They always worked just fine for pool, but they made me look like (even more of) a total dork, so I never wore them in public.


When I first got my glasses, I asked the doctor about lasik, it having been recently invented. He told me that I should wait. He told me that once I turned 40 or so my eyes would change, and that would be a good time to consider lasik.

So, I waited. I shot pool, mostly without glasses, for about another eight years. Then I got distracted and pretty much stopped playing. I may have written about my distraction from time to time. It was a girl, of course.

Last Summer, I started shooting again. Really throwing myself into it, I mean. And I noticed, pretty much right off the bat, that my eyes had indeed changed. Slightly fuzzy balls had become amorphous foggy objects. I pretty much had to guess at anything farther away than about four feet. Often, I guessed correctly, but not often enough. In short, I sucked, from lack of playing but mostly, I felt, from lack of proper vision.

In September, one of my coworkers got lasik. This, of course, led to a lot of discussion and an awful lot of questions, mostly from me. I wanted to know about pain and side-effects and price even more than I wanted to know if his vision had improved. I assumed that his vision had improved, after all that was the point of the procedure.

As my coworker's answers were mostly positive, I decided that it was time for to have lasik. I went to the same place he'd gone (Joffe Medi-Center in Louisville) and had myself an examination. This was, by far, the most thorough eye exam I'd ever had. They did tests I'd never even suspected before. They did everything except yank out my eyeballs to weigh them. Wait, they also didn't do that air-burst glaucoma test. They tested for glaucoma with a some doohickey that physically pressed against my eyeballs. The tests took over four hours to do. Like I said, they were thorough.

After that, I spent some time talking to one of the doctors there. I asked about hazards and complications and pain and expected improvement. All the normal stuff. We also talked about this option called monovision. I'd never heard of it before. That's where one eye is corrected for distance, and the other is corrected for seeing up close. The theory is that, if a person can get used to monovision - most people eventually do - then they don't need glasses at all. This is in contrast to, say, if a person got distance correction in both eyes, they'd need reading glasses for up-close vision.

This was intriguing to me. I didn't want to be able to give up my normal glasses only to have to lug around a pair of reading glasses. Being able to go completely sans-glasses seemed like a pretty nifty option.


One of the potential pitfalls with monovision, I was told, was that depth perception could be diminished. This caused me a lot of concern, because I was going to get lasik to shoot pool better, and depth perception is one of those nifty abilities that's kinda nice to have when shooting pool.

I decided that the potential loss of depth perception was too great a risk, so I'd just get both eyes corrected for distance.

Since my vision wasn't too bad to begin with, I qualified for the very reduced price of $495 per eye. This was good, because I wasn't made of money then any more than I am now.

This was on a Wednesday I think. I scheduled my surgery for the following Friday, nine days away, because I had to wait for payday.

I spent the next few days scouring the internet for information about lasik, mostly about complications and side-effects. I was very much aware that it's not like getting a pair of glasses that don't work and you just have to get another pair made. Nope, with lasik what you get is what you get. There's no undo button and these were my eyes. I read about people seeing halos at night, and about persistent dry eyes, and about something lovely called traumatic flap detachment that can happen up to ten years after the surgery.

What the hell could I have been thinking? My eyes weren't so bad that having them sliced open and then zapped with a laser was necessary.

I cancelled the appointment. Or at least I postponed it indefinitely. One thing I definitely wanted to do was talk to this one girl at Rich O's. She's an eye doctor. I wanted to ask her all about the procedure, complications, and so on. I wanted to get answers from someone who wasn't trying to sell me the procedure.

So I waited.

In February, I finally ran into EyeDoctorGirl at Rich O's. I asked her my questions and she pretty much eased my concerns. The risks I asked about have indeed been known to happen, but they're very rare. Akin to getting a filling at the dentist and dying from it.

So, I called the Joffe place back I asked them if I needed to come back in for another series of exams, and they said no. My prescription was weak enough and my others exams had been recent enough that all i needed to do was schedule the surgery. I scheduled it for March 2.

Oh, I'd also decided to just get my right eye done, to get it corrected for distance. My left eye would be left alone. As I'm nearsighted, my left eye would see up close just like it always had. I was, in effect, getting that monovision thingy but with only one eye needing to be sliced up.

So that was cool.

I'd realized that, if I couldn't get used to the monovision, or if I lost too much depth perception, I could just go and get my left eye corrected for distance, so it would match my right eye. I'd probably need to wear reading glasses after that, but I wouldn't need glasses to shoot pool. Plus, I'm old, so reading glasses wouldn't really be the end of the world.

This time, during the days leading up to my surgery, I did a pretty good job of refraining from researching things on the internet. So, I didn't chicken out. My only real preparation was arranging for OddlyFamiliarGirl to give me a ride home from the place. Their policy is that you can't drive home. This is because they want to give you Valium. I asked if I could drive if I didn't take their Valium and they said no it's their policy that nobody gets to drive home.

To be continued.

mysterious gray box mysterious blue box mysterious red box mysterious green box mysterious gold box

search main 'blog





Search word(s)
   help me!

blog favorites

the convenience of grief
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
nothing personal
the one
dream sweet dreams for me
the willow bends and so do i
on bloodied ground
lack of inertia
thinning the herd
or maybe not
here's looking at you
what i miss
who wants to play?
feverish thoughts
the devil inside?
my cat ate my homework
don't say i didn't warn you
my god, it's full of stars
hold on a second, koko, i'm writing something
you know?
apples and oranges
happy new year
pissing on the inside
remembering dad

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.