Friday, April 26, 2013


So I was thinking about writing a post about my eye "procedure" and use a picture I illicitly took during it.  I texted it to a friend and she said the picture was "very disturbing" (I paraphrase).  If you want to see the picture, go here.  The room was very dark and my wife had to digitally manipulate the picture so there was actually something to see (she's the photographer, I'm the writer).

You know that scene in A Clockwork Orange where they prop Malcolm McDowell's eyes open so he can't shut them?  They did that to me.  For an hour and a half.  Well, there was one break after an hour.  Every two minutes they put riboflavin on my eyes and every five minutes they numbed them.  During the first hour they had white disks that the tech called "sponges" on my eyes and most of the time they were over the pupil so I couldn't see anything.  It was strange because I'd have this automatic "let's open the eyes and see" reaction and, of course, when I tried to open my eyes, nothing happened.

I do want to say the tech whose name I didn't catch was very nice and very professional and very pleasant to work with.

During this part I listened to Bach on my iPhone earbuds.

Then after a short break they put me in a room where they do LASIK but instead of zapping my eyes with lasers, the tech lined up two bent black finger-like devises over my eyes.  She measured the distance to my eye saying it had to be precise.  Then for a half an hour the lights would come on for 15 seconds, then go off for 15 seconds.  They were blue and almost hurt to look at.  This was the UV to cause the riboflavin to cross-link the collagen fibers in my cornea.  Every five minutes she'd put more riboflavin in my eyes (it was yellow) and every ten minutes numb them.  Sometimes all I could see was yellow riboflavin and blue light.  The room was chilly and they had a blanket over me.

At the end she washed my eyes with water (it was cold) and put contacts in my eyes (as of this writing, they are still there).  The doctor checked my eyes, said they looked good, and I was told to come back the next day.

The way they had talked I thought I wasn't going to be able to see much at all for a few days.  But I could see quite well right away.  Bright lights hurt and glared badly.  And my eyes felt as if I'd been out in the sun and wind all day but no worse than that.  By morning they were feeling almost normal.  I still am, 28 hours after the procedure, occasionally putting artificial tears in my eyes to keep them from itching.  I assume that will lessen over time.  This morning at the one-day follow up, the doctor was amazed at how little pain (basically none) I experienced and how well I could see.  This isn't supposed to improve your vision except maybe a little as a side benefit.  It is just supposed to keep it from getting worse.

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