Monday, August 24, 2009

Post Lasik

logo_texaseyeandlasercenter Lasik surgery is interesting. It wasn’t at all like I expected. You get a prescription for 2 Valiums. They tell you to bring the medication with you to the surgery, but not to take any.

When they take you in the pre-op, they ask if you’d like to take one or both of your pills. I opted to take one because Valium usually really makes me woozy and I was quite nervous.

One valium did the trick. I was mellow. They put some goop around the eye they are going to work on. They put about 5 different kinds of drops in. I don’t know what the drops were for and I didn’t ask. I was

Then, they make you wear the cap and booties of shame. I didn’t like the cap and booties of shame. It’s a good thing I took the pill.

You go out and sit in the little waiting area with 6 other people. 3 of the people are also equipped with the cap and booties of shame. The other 3 are there for support or to quietly snicker about the garments of shame.

I sat there and quietly watched some home improvement show on the 42 inch LCD screen. They were trying to redo this ladies kitchen in 2 days. They picked this god awful multi-colored paneling.

While I waited, the 3 people in the garments of shame went into the surgery room and emerged looking content. One of the guys went in and his support unit wanted to watch so they opened a window and this guy came around to give her a play by play. I really could have done without the play by play. You don’t like hearing things like, “now they’re making a flap on the top of the eye”.

It was my turn and I went into the room where this nice motherly type woman greeted me and offered me a seat on the end of a bed. I use the term bed loosely. I can’t really explain what it was. I could tell I was supposed to lie down on it. It’s like a brown leather gurney.

She spoke kind words and flooded my eye with numbing drops that ironically stung like hell.

Then I waited. And I waited. I decided that the doc must be taking a restroom break or something. I didn’t remember any of the 3 before me having to wait that long. There were two women standing behind me talking about where they were going for happy hour after the day was done. It’s like I wasn’t even there. I didn’t like that either.

Finally, the motherly figure came back and gave me some more numbing drops. She apologized that the doctor was taking longer than expected. Maybe it was something he ate.

Not too long after the last dose of numbing drops the doc arrived, greeted me in a friendly manner and had me lay back in such a way that my head was held in place by the little concave shaped head piece at the top of the brown leather gurney bed. I like DrHu160x206 Dr. Hu. He makes me feel both confident and a bit irritated all at the same time.

This gurney is like a Lazy Susan. It spins. There are two big laser machines. Laying on my back and looking at the ceiling, one was to my left, the other to my right. Dr Hu unceremoniously aims my head under the one on my left. Oh yeah, he put some round apparatus around my eye to keep things open and still I guess.

Going into it, I was thinking that there might be too much room for personal error. Like what if I have to blink or sneeze or something during the procedure. I believe the round apparatus prevented much of these possibilities.

The machine on the left didn’t take long to do whatever it did. There was a countdown involved. I tried to pretend I was sitting in a space shuttle about to take off. It made me mostly blind. I could only assume that “the flap had been created”.

Then he rotated my prone head to the machine on the right. And he said something that struck horror into my over worked head. He said, “look at the orange blinking light”. I said, “I don’t know what light you are talking about. I can’t see anything.”

Then in his confident voice with the slightly irritating accent he said, “You may have to tilt your head a bit and look to the left”. I did as instructed and sure enough there was a big blurry orange blinking splotch. He said “Perfect” and the orange light immediately went away. I said, “I can’t see it any more. No, wait there it is.” I didn’t know if I was supposed to keep looking at it or not.

It was then I guess that the main procedure started. It smelled a bit like something was burning. I guess this is the laser reshaping the cornea. It’s a bit unnerving. I thought that if it lasted too much longer I might be sick.

Suddenly the big orange splotch turned into a little orange dot. There was joy in my scared heart. Some little tool approached my eye and moved stuff around that wasn’t natural. The little confident voice behind me said, “Perfect”.

To finish things off Dr Hu brought out what looked like a little paint brush and proceeded to “paint” my eye. I don’t know what this was, but I pretended he was using it to super glue my flap back in place.

When I was done, they led me to a post-op room where I was given instructions for the day. I was allowed to remove my garments of shame and given some goggles of shame that I was to wear the rest of the day and to wear while sleeping for the next week.

I went home, took my 2nd Valium and a 5 hour nap.

There was no discomfort. Things tend to be clear one minute and blurry the next, but mostly I am pretty happy with the results. I had to return on Saturday and was told that things will continue to get better, but it may take as long as 8 weeks.

If you want to get Lasik go to the Texas Eye and Laser Center. Tell them Gar sent you. And tell Dr Hu I said, “hey”. I’ve been going to the Texas Eye and Laser Center for about 10 years for my yearly retina checkup. This review was done in good humor. I really did think the things I said I thought, but no one knows what evil lurks in my head. There’s no way I’d go anywhere else.


  1. Awesome, have fun with clear vision (well at least in one eye)! The main problem I hear from the (many) people I know who've had this done is dry eyes--they have to carry around artificial tears a lot, but in general none of them would go back.

    Welcome to the age of human augmentation!

  2. Yeah, I've been instructed to put artificial tears in every hour. I have to do the preservative free variety for the first 10 days or something like that.

    Saturday I went out and was kind of lacks in the "every hour" procedure, but I experienced no dryness.

    They tested me before the procedure to make sure I was producing enough tears. I always knew my lack of crying during sad movies would pay off.

  3. Most patients feel dryness after the surgery however after a few months it is usually gone.