Neo-Hippie Ramblings - I'm a Non-Conformist Just Like All My Friends: Ever smelled your own eyeballs burning?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ever smelled your own eyeballs burning?

I did, this morning.

P & I realized a few months back that we'd seriously overestimated the amount of money in our pre-tax medical account for this year. Rather than lose the money at end-of-year (stupid law, but that's a rant for another day), we decided to use it toward LASIK surgery for me.

I think that there are about three categories of people wearing glasses. My wife is in one category, which is 'glasses make things crisp but I can function fine without them'. My grandfather is at the other end of the spectrum, which is 'I'm legally blind even with glasses, but they help me a little so I wear them'. Up until this morning, I was in the last category, which is 'I see fine with glasses, but I'm totally useless without them.' Remember Velma crawling around on the floor looking for her birth control goggles? That was me.

So anyway, I was at the LASIK center for about 2.5 hours this morning, about 2 hours of which was spent sitting in a hallway, in between sets of pre-op photos and a whole bunch of eyedrops.

Don't blink!The surgery itself involves having your eyes propped open using something akin to the setup from A Clockwork Orange, having the transparent protective layer over the lens of your eyeball sliced open and popped up like the lid on a shampoo bottle, and then having a computer-guided laser smooth out the imperfections that caused your nearsightedness in the first place. It's quick, and pretty much painless, but having your eyeball sliced open and having your vision suddenly go to shit is a scary thing nonetheless. So is the smell of your eyeball cooking under a laser. The Valium they gave me beforehand helped a little. Something stronger would've been ideal.

(The computer-guided part of the process probably makes some people feel better about the procedure. Being in the software quality assurance field, though, that part totally freaked me out.)

But here I sit, twelve hours later, without glasses. My eyes are still recovering from the surgery, but I can already tell that I'm going to see at least as well without glasses as I did with them. After having worn them all day, every day, since elementary school, it's unnerving not to have them on. (Never wore contacts because they seemed like a pain in the butt and I don't like the idea of touching my eyes.) I keep 'startling' because of the sensation of not having them, and try to reach out to find them.

Weird, but cool.

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