Sunday, October 14, 2007

I can see clearly now...

I haven't posted in a while. Mainly because I haven't been up to much outside of work. Almost half a year ago, I enquired about laser eye surgery. This was after my latest pair of glasses was demolished by my daughter. I had a preliminary examination around then, and was told that my eyes were suitable. However, the surgeon in question is frequently out on the lecture tour, so I wasn't able to have the operation performed. Then I went on holiday to the UK, and had more or less forgotten about the surgery.

Last Saturday I received a phone call asking if I could attend the surgery. When? 3pm. OK. When I got there we had a quick eye test, which confirmed that my prescription hadn't changed. Then I was asked if I wanted the surgery. Yes. Tomorrow? When? Noon. OK. That was a pretty quick turnaround!

So I came in a midday on Sunday. They were a bit behind schedule, so San and I headed off for lunch. She had her South Indian treat of Idlis, whilst I had a Gobi Jal Frezi. It was excellent. Refreshed, we returned to the surgery, and I began the first of a long course of eye-drops. There are three separate drops to take, and I had one of each regularly prior to the operation. Then I was called in. You lie down on a padded bench, with an indentation for your head. Then the blinken-lights technology is maneuvered into place. It all takes place quite rapidly. First some strips of clear plastic are placed over an eye. Next a clamp is placed which prevents you from blinking. A vacuum device is then placed over your eye, once the vacuum is present your vision is lost. Then the scary bit happens. They need to slice a flap from your cornea, so that the laser can work on the underlying structure of your eye. It sounds and feels a bit unpleasant. Not painful in any way, just a bit icky. After that your vision is prety blurry, so it is not so scary, and then comes the laser. You can make out all sorts of interference patterns. It like a FPS computer game when you pass a security check. The laser stage takes all of five seconds. You can smell burning eye though. After that they fold the cornea flap back, and it's time for the next eye. Quarter of an hour and you're done.

Except you still have to wait around for more eye-drops, and a vision check at the end. I was first of our group to have the surgery, so the others asked how it went. I think my dislike of having things held close to my eyes made them more nervous! One of the girls did think my Ray Charles goggles made me look handsome though, Another four or five courses of eye-drops and it was time to have my sight tested. Despite having slightly sore eyes, and a bit of exected fogginess, I was able to read the bottom line of the eye chart, where before I could barely make out the enormous

at the top.

With that I was sent of home with a pack of eye-drops. Three drops an hour for the first evening, before reducong to a more sane four times a day regime. I went to lie down in a darkened room for an hour or so. After more darkness, rest, and eye-drops, my eyes were feeling much more comfortable by 9pm. I suspect I'm not up for a full day in front of a computer tomorrow though. My experience has been a good one. Messing with your eyes is always going to be somewhat sobering, but I am happy with the results so far...



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