Saturday, August 4, 2007

How it happened...

Last week: "Come on in at 10:00 and we'll do all the final tests, and then if everything looks good, we'll have you come back after noon for the surgery."

Tuesday morning 0900: Panic attack in full force. Thank God I'm not driving. MonkeyHusband: "You sure you want to do this?" "No, I'm not sure! Shut up and drive!"

1000: Battery of tests begins. My eyes are numbed, poked, measured, mapped, and we confirm once again that I am as blind as the proverbial bat. Something new emerges from these tests, though; "Well, basically, your corneas are retarded. They aren't uniform in the way that they need to be adjusted, so LASIK won't work as well. What we need to do is PRK." Essentially, instead of cutting a flap in my cornea and carving out the innards with a laser, they're just going to carve the whole top layer of my damn eye off. Yay.

1100: Battery of tests complete, decisions made, reluctantly, but hey, whatever turns out best in the end is what I want, right? Right. (Remind me of this later in the story when I start whining.) Instead of letting me go to lunch and change my mind, she says, "Just go ahead and have a seat in the waiting room, there's just one more in front of you."

1130: "Um, MonkeyGirl?" (in whispers) "Your credit card was declined. We ran it twice. They say it's stolen." (WaMu, you @#$%^& jerks, say goodbye to the interest from 5000 bucks. Hello, DiscoverCard!) Transaction complete.

1200: I am moved to the back hallway so that I can freak out in solitude. 5 mg of Valium is offered and accepted. No discernible effect. (EVER. Valium is now on my "Not worth the water it takes to swallow it" list.) Loud freaky popping noises emanate from the laser suite. Pulse 100, Respirations 30, holding steady.

1230: Crazy looking woman exits the laser suite wearing the creepiest dark glasses I have ever seen. She is walking with her hands feeling the way like she can't see a damn thing. Oh, hell. He's going to blind me and then make me look stupid on top of it. Pulse 120, Respirations 35, starting to climb again.

1235: I walk into a room that is as cold as the walk-in fridge that my grandma used to store dead animals in between death and butchering. Flashbacks of dead Bambi's are going through my mind, the Valium's not working, and she just took my glasses away. I am now blind and helpless in a cold torture chamber. "Hop up here on the table and put your head in the pillow." (It's not a pillow. It's a plastic, inflatable donut thing. So they can hose off the brain matter if the laser malfunctions, I guess.) Pulse 130, Respirations 40. Fingernail gouges in palm: engaged.

1240-1250: First eye torture, er, procedure, begins. First, numbing drops. Then, this freaky speculum to hold my eye open. Then he takes this thing that I swear to God was the eye version of an electric toothbrush and starts scrubbing the epithelial cells off my cornea. I can't feel it, but I can see it, and then all of a sudden I can't see and he's still scrubbing and WHY THE HELL ISN'T THIS VALIUM WORKING? Pulse 140, Respirations 45, Fingernail gouges nearly to the "drawing blood" stage. Now he's irrigating my eye with bottle after bottle of some sort of cold saline solution, and it's dripping in my ear and around the back of my head and down my neck. Then he pulls the laser over my head and tells me to look straight up into the light, don't move, and that freaky popping noise starts and OH MY GOD IS THAT MY CORNEAS I SMELL? (Kinda like burnt popcorn. Only worse. Cuz it's my eye!) Pulse 150, Respirations 50, Fingernail gouges now bleeding; I'm gonna have a stroke. Then all of a sudden it's done, and there's a lot more cold water in my eye and down the back of my head, and plop, there's a contact in my eye. (They put this contact thing in my eye for the first few days while the cells are growing back to protect them. I don't like contacts. Just FYI.)

1250-1300: No pause in between, repeat procedure as above, just as bad the second time. Pulse 160, Respirations 60, Fingernails no longer gouging, now poking out the back of my hands. Nurse/tech/whatever joking about, "This is you on Valium?" (Note to self, next time bring my 14 gauge Jelco of death to stab smart-ass nurse/tech/whatever in the neck with.)

1300: Corneas burned off, cheesy glasses applied. I can see a gazillion times better than I could before. (Of course, I was 20/400 in both eyes before, so that's not any huge accomplishment.)

1310: Leave office, enter the sun. AHHHHHHHH photophobia!!!!!!! I've got tears streaming down my face out of both eyes, so of course MonkeyHusband says to the parking garage guy, "Don't worry. I just had to open up a can of whoop-ass on her in there. She'll stop crying eventually." Pulse 120, Respirations 30. Never mind on the stroke.

1350: Drop off prescriptions at Walgreens, the second most evil pharmacy on earth, and head for the Chinese Food Buffet to feed the now-ravenous beast that resides in my belly. (Too stressed to eat for the last two days.) Chinese food people looking at me like I'm a druggie because I'm wearing sunglasses inside and I keep sneaking off to the bathroom. (To put artificial tears in my eyes. But they don't know that.)

1430: Go back to the second most evil pharmacy on earth to find that it has become the most evil pharmacy on earth. They only have two of my prescriptions. And they're not the two that I need RIGHT NOW! (The antibiotics and the NSAID eye drops. Like I give a shit about the Percocet and Flonase. OK, maybe the Percocet.) But would I like them to call across town and see if they have them? Yes, dumbass, I would! Perhaps you could call them 20 minutes ago when you first realized that you didn't have them, and then call me and tell me to go there instead, you retarded freak!

1500: $200 worth of eye drops in hand, headed home. Finally.

Tuesday afternoon - Friday morning: It's all a haze of eye drops, Percocet, more eye drops, more Percocet, oops, forgot to eat, hurking up my toenails, no more Percocet, but still more eyedrops. Somewhere in there, Wednesday, I think, I might have gone back for the first follow up appointment. I think I recall a very happy doctor telling me that 20/60 the day after surgery is very good. Might have been a dream, though.

Friday morning: Second follow-up appointment. The evil contact lenses are removed! Thank God. I remember now why I hate contacts. They are miniature instruments of torture put on the earth by a Devil with 20/20 vision. But my eyes aren't healing at the same rate. A new one goes back on my left eye until Monday. AAAAAARGHHHHH! Vision now a combined 20/25, but blurry. I'll take it.

Friday night: Back to work. One night before THREE WEEKS of vacation. Of course, it's busy as Hell. Every drunk in town felt the need to drive and/or pass out in the street. Between my eyes and the hypoxia..... I'm going to go home and become re-acquainted with my Percocet. I'll catch you later.


The Nurse said...

"eye version of an electric toothbrush and starts scrubbing the epithelial cells off my cornea."

That's where I had to stop...

John said...

Congrats MG-- I'll be sooo glad when all the cells are growing at the same rate!!! LOL-- Ain't Percocet short bursts? I sure wouldn't spen my life going to Dr's and ER's seeking the Damn stuff!

Anyway- I so hope That you can see clearly now the rain has gone- that you can see all obstacles in your way, because dah da da dahdah da dah dahh da dahh-- cause it's gonna be a bright, bright, BRIGHT sunshiny day! (Singing Bee Loser).

Seriously- hope all went better than expected- have a super vacation and we'll SEE ya when ya get back.

Bueautifully told--love the respitation, pulse, nail updates--Nuttin but class my lady- nuttin but class!!!


MonkeySister said...

Thank you for the in depth horrific details with which you described the entire ordeal. I will be sure to not have this procedure any time soon. At least not until I forget about your post. :) 5 years should do it, I'd say.

Anonymous said...

Okay, your Lasik people were cheapskates! MY doctor gave me a 10mg Valium and it was all "wheeeeee...." from then on. :)

And yes, yes...that is the smell of your own flesh burning. Creepy and gross as hell, wasn't it!

But I'm glad to hear you ARE seeing better.

Catherine said...

Your post made my want to give my glasses a big ole kiss. Not so sure I could be as brave as you.

Nurse K said...

Pulse 160, Respirations 60


Screw that. My 2 week disposables and 20/200 vision is totally frickin' good for me.

tofu lou said...

DEFINITLY not getting the surgery! i'm also blinder-than-a-bad (did you have a pair of "sleeping glasses" too?) but... eww. i can watch someone have a baby, watch surgery... ANYTHING but something to do with eyes. or belly buttons. *i'm making the throw-up noises right now* best of luck with your recover ;)

Loving Annie said...

Oh Monkeygirl, you poor thing, That was no cakewalk. I'm sorry to hear it was so rough.

Your vision will be outstanding quite soon, and then hopefully you'll forget all this happened, sort of like childbirth...

p.s. I recommend 20 mg. of Valium. THEN it works....

Christine-Megan said...

You officially cured me of my desire to have LASIK. Or PRK. Or whatever. I like contact lenses just fine, thanks.

mielikki said...

I am so happy to be blessed with good vision. I HATE anything coming near my eyes.
My mother has been an optician all her life, and used to bring home contacts of different colors she wanted her children to wear.
She never could get me to hold still for that torture.
Sorry you had to go through it. Hope the blurries clear up soon.

911DOC said...

percocet was the only thing that allowed me to stomach more than one minute of "oprah". never worked for "the view" though. that would take haldol.

Lynn Price said...

"It's all a haze of eye drops, Percocet, more eye drops, more Percocet, oops, forgot to eat, hurking up my toenails, no more Percocet, but still more eyedrops."

And this is where I think I wet my pants laughing so hard. Hope you're all better.

may said...

now i am so convinced that my husband should not have this procedure, he will need 100 of valium!

seriously, hope everything will be great after all is said and done:)

MarlaQuack said...

Your story made me think of these wild eyes. When we were at the gaming convention a few years there was a booth selling them. You have to scroll down to see them all. This site does not have all the animal ones or the flag ones but it will give you the idea. I was not brave enough to try them.

SeaSpray said...

I am sorry you went through that monkeygirl but glad you are doing better.

Excellent post!

The little tech that does.... said...

I had the lasik done a little over a week ago. I always seem to get the smell of the burning corneas into the story every time I tell it. I'm glad you made it through and hope you are as happy with your results as I am with mine. Love your blog!

Magpie N. said...

Thanks for all the gory details. I'm too blind to be a good candidate for LASIK, but it's hard not to want it anyway. I feel much better about being bespectacled now.

geena said...

Sorry you had to go through that! At least now it's over.

Next time take your 14g Jelco of death and use it to start an IV on yourself so you can at least mainline the 5 of Valium.

Mother Jones RN said...

Oh my, I don't think I want surgery anymore. The romance is gone!


Amanda said...

Oh. My. God.

No. Never in a million years will I do that. I will wear glasses until the day I die rather than do that.

Since 1974 I've worn glasses. I can handle fifty or so more years of 'em. Of course, it helps that I'm not legally blind without them. I can't drive without them, I can't see the TV or anything else without them, and people's faces are vaguely upholstered and mostly featureless, but at least I can see enough to make it to the can at night, so no laser is coming NEAR my freaking corneas.

Bless you, woman, for going through that and for sharing with all of us it in such gut-churning detail.

Aunt Murry said...

Wow and I have that to look forward to in 3 weeks. My financing still has not come through so it looks like it's going on the credit card.., because I am so sick of my glasses! I wore contact for 30+ years and have been in glasses for the last 5. I have had enough!