skip to Main Content

I can see clearly now

Two years ago this month I had LASIK eye surgery at the Wolfe Clinic. It was a life changing procedure and I cannot believe I waited so long to have it done. However, I do live in fear that some day in the future I’ll wake up and be blind like Ned Flanders in that Simpson‘s episode.

My eyesight truly sucked. I started wearing glasses in third grade and switched to contacts in eighth. I could not drive a car or see across the room without my glasses or contacts. I had been thinking about LASIK surgery for a long time but my eye doctor did not think I was a viable candidate. Then all of a sudden she said I was so I think they just decide willy- nilly whether or not it will work for you.

My dad had recently bankrolled the solution to some sort of debacle Trish had gotten herself into and in a desperate attempt to regain parity between the amount spent on each of his grown adult children, he insisted on paying for me to have LASIK eye surgery even though Dave and I had already arranged to cover the cost through our flexible spending account. I accepted his generous offer. I think there is a good chance Trish will do something in the future that might result in my dad paying for a tummy tuck.

On the day of the surgery Dave dropped me off at The Wolfe Clinic. I was part of a group of ten and we were all there to have the surgery. They gave us a short presentation about what to expect and said they would be calling us up individually to give us a dose of valium. Some of the people in the group were nervous and had a lot of questions about the procedure and whether or not it would hurt.

I mostly had questions about the valium.

I wondered if we would need more after the initial dose wore off and inquired as to whether there would be some valium in the postoperative packet they told us we would receive when the procedure was complete. I had read Valley of the Dolls and did not want to miss my golden opportunity to mix alcohol with pills that were legitimately prescribed for me by a doctor. If having your corneas sliced end to end is not a good enough reason to anesthetize yourself with cabernet and valium I don’t know what is. The woman that answered my question told me no and probably also thought I had a drug problem.

I had the distinction of having the largest astigmatism of anyone being operated on in our group (which should have automatically made me eligible for additional valium but whatever).

They called my name first which was fine because I wanted to get it over with. I’d just signed all kinds of documents stating about fifty different ways I could come out of this whole thing blind and I wanted to know sooner rather than later if I’d need to learn Braille.

The procedure starts with numbing drops and then a big suction cup thingy is attached to your eyeball. Everything goes black after that and you need to remain calm and daydream or something while the Wolfe Clinic doctors and nurses do the hard stuff like calibrate the laser beams and make sure there aren’t any technical difficulties. This is the part of the procedure where they make the big flaps in your cornea.

Then you walk from that chair next door to another chair where they use laser light pulses to re-shape the corneas. It’s not a big deal at all as long as you do what the doctor tells you to and don’t have a big freak out or anything, especially when you smell the laser burning off some of your corneal tissue.

When my doctor was done with the procedure he spent a lot of time telling me how well I had done and how calm I’d been. He mentioned how quiet I was and that I followed his instructions very well. All the while he was smiling at me and patting me on the back. He seemed genuinely appreciative.

I’m very perceptive and figured out he was really telling me that most of the male patients he’d performed the LASIK procedure on were big wussies and had probably requested that the procedure be halted while they got themselves under control.

The nurse took me to another room to lie down for a while and I was shocked to find I could read the clock on the wall, even with two plastic eye shields taped over my eyes.

After about fifteen minutes they told me I could leave. I was given a giant pair of those black terminator goggles that old people are always wearing. They’re not quite so funny when you’re the one wearing them.

My numbing eye drops had started to wear off. I sat on a bench in the entryway of the Wolfe Clinic and somehow managed to open my eyes long enough to hit the speed dial for Dave on my cell phone.

When he and Lauren arrived five minutes later the stinging was so bad Dave had to lead me to the car because I couldn’t open my eyes. I was not thrilled with their decision to go through the drive thru at Wendy’s. I wanted to get home and crawl into bed with all the shades drawn.

I had been instructed to try to sleep for two to three hours because resting my eyes and keeping them closed was the best thing for them.

When I woke up and came downstairs I flipped up my plastic eye shields and used the tape to stick them to my forehead so I could take my new eyesight for a test run.

It was awesome. I watched TV that night and could see the clock on the bookcase clear across the room. My vision continually improved over the next forty-eight hours and at my post-operative eye exam a week later my vision was 20/20 in each eye.

I still have perfect eyesight. The Wolfe Clinic is dynamite with a laser beam and I’d recommend their doctors to anyone who is contemplating LASIK eye surgery. But just so you know, they are quite stingy with the valium.

This Post Has One Comment

Comments are closed.

Back To Top
×Close search