posted by dave on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 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.

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