Thursday, December 13, 2012

Me, myself, and eye... part 2

A hopefully quick off-topic note before we get back to the usual running stuff...

My eye felt a bit weird on Tuesday morning, so when I called to find out when I could come in for the procedure, we just decided to go ahead and have it done that afternoon. I honestly didn't know what to expect, but had come to imagine the laser as looking a little like this:


Or, okay, if not that big, then at least in the form of a shark with a frickin' laser beam mounted on its head:


But in the end, it just looked like this:


Oh. I don't even lie down? I just rest my chin on the fresh sheet of tissue paper? I see.

But the staff was lovely and friendly, Wil was allowed to sit in the room with me the whole time. First I was given a drop to make my pupil constrict really small so that my iris would be stretched taut. Then I was given a numbing drop. And then I just sat around and waited. The nurse told me that some people experienced a "brow ache" after taking the constricting drop, which I didn't really understand. Until a few minutes later I felt a weird pain... in my eyebrow. How weird is that?!?

After a bit, Dr. Carroll came in, took a look at my eye, and explained a bit about what was going to happen and why we were doing it -- probably for Wil's benefit more than mine. Then he put some goop on a special contact lens, put it in my eye, and told me to lean into the machine and look straight forward. 

I tried to breathe calmly, to open my eyes and think of England.... At the back of my mind I started to worry that there would be a smell... you know, a burning smell. But I just focused on breathing in, breathing out, and looking straight forward. 

Then with a strangely loud mechanical, metallic CLUNK, the laser started. My eye was filled with a red light for a few seconds, and then, done. Dr. Carroll removed the lens (which is essentially a guide so the laser only hits on spot), I sat back, and that was it. 

I was given some more drops, had a follow-up appointment set, and I was released. 

It didn't hurt -- but it wasn't comfortable. And the clunk the solid-state laser made probably made me yelp. Afterward my eye felt a little sore, a little tired, and still a little blurry, but otherwise okay. Oh, and, no, there wasn't a burning smell. Thank heavens.

That night I took my steroid drops, as usual, which made it hard to sleep (as usual). So I gave up at 3am  Wednesday and just got up and worked. I decided to work from home just so I could be closer to the doc if needed, but I was actually pretty okay all day. And I should point out that the 12 hours I worked at home were probably as productive as two full days in the office, so that was also good. 

This morning I had a follow-up appointment with the doctor, who told me my pressure numbers were good and low -- under 10 in each eye. So I can continue to taper the drops (and hopefully increase my sleep!), and I'll check in with him again on Tuesday. 

It's been a scary couple of weeks, and I know I'll still have to go in next year and have the big surgery done, but the crisis seems to have been averted for now. Fingers crossed, eh? 

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