So, after all these years... I finally decided to get Lasik surgery on my eyes. As I write this, blurry eyed, a bit scratchy, I can't stop feeling amazed at how modern technology has turned things around for mankind, and given birth to things such as the gift of sight.
The operation itself was fraught with a bit of angst on my side... the idea of a laser tinkering with your eyes does not rest easy on your mind.
We were scheduled to show up at 1.45 p.m., so I took the afternoon off work, and we showed up at the Lasik center on Steven's Creek boulevard in San Jose. The center itself is nice, polished, clean, modern, with great coffee and free crisps and chocolate ;-) (no go for us on low carb diets :) ).
The operation room is in a "fish bowl", i.e. a transparent glass room, so that the people in the waiting room can see the operations as they progress. This in part helps reduce the angst, as you can see how short the operation really is, and see the people walking out calmly as opposed to running off screaming.
Just before going in, they do a quick check up on your eyes, and shoo you in to the operation room, where 2-3 nurses get you prepped. You lie down on this op table, and they strap your head between to semi hard cushions, in order to hold you still. A nurse drop 2-3 drops of numbing solution into your eyes. The Doctor (Smith was her name) tells you what's going to happen, that she's going to operate the right eye first.
They tape my eyelid back, put a speculum into my right eye to hold it open. A suction device comes down, and a micro-surgical knife (I believe) cuts the corneal flap open, the Doc flips it over. They start prepping the laser. In the mean time, my vision is starting to get blurry. They Doc tells me to keep focused on a blinking red light in the distance. Far away, I hear a nurse state that the laser is prepped. A count down begins. The smell of burning tissue in the air. 20... 15... the red light is getting hard and harder to focus on to... I hold on to it as much as I can. 10... 5... this is getting a bit stressful, so I squeeze the pressure cushion they gave me in case I need to vent some stress. 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0.
"Good job", says the Doc, like I'm the one who did it. "How about you take a breath now ?", she suggests, with a touch of comforting humor. I heave. Max later tells me that it seemed that I was taking a huge gasp of air... as if I was coming up from a deep ocean dive. They put more drops into my eyes... I see this brush (but I don't feel it) fold back my cornea. More drops.
"We're now going to do the 2nd eye... you're probably going to feel more pressure now, because you kinda know what to expect. Just stay calm, and keep focused on the red eye. Try not to squeeze your eyes, squeeze the cushion if you need to vent", says the Doc, quite methodically.
And here we go again... Round 2. Myopia vs. Shayan & Doctor Smith.
After another 40 seconds or so, the 2nd eye is done. It was harder to focus on this one. Maybe that's why I end up with 20/30 vision instead of 20/20 on this one as measured post op. Who the hell knows, I'm just glad it's over.
They get me out, get me to a eye check up station, I'm asked to look up, down, blink a few times. I'm given dark sun glasses, a pack of steroid drops, lubricant drops, my antibiotic drops, and told to come back tomorrow for a check up.
I get out, and can't really see shit, it's kinda blurry out there, with things coming in and out of focus, like an auto-focus lens trying to capture a moment in low light with a small aperture. Real hard, like.
Max holds my hand and takes me to the car. We revel at the thought of what just happened.
I get home. Put on some sleeping goggles (to prevent friction and rubbing). 4 hours later, I wake. I can see the blinking light of our security alarm in the dark. It's razor sharp. For a second. Then goes out of focus. Then sharp. Blurred again. I blink a couple of times, and things start getting better. I put in some drops, and the scrape of my eyelids against my cornea doesn't seem to be as prominent. I look around me.
I can see.