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I don’t have laser vision ... yet

January 26, 2014
By KELLY VAN DE WALLE (vandkel@hotmail.com) , Times-Republican

When I went in for my evaluation prior to receiving LASIK eye surgery, one of the first questions I was asked by the nurse was, "What's wrong with your eyes?" I answered truthfully.

"Too many ladies get lost in them," I said, forlornly.

Apparently this wasn't "medically relevant" but it doesn't make it any less accurate.

On the day of my "enhancement," my wife accompanied me to be my driver because it would be weird to ask that of a stranger and I haven't found a reliable chauffeur (mostly interviewing NASCAR and stunt drivers, though many leave when I get to the part about salary; apparently they want one).

I had just entered the patient "staging area," where my eyes were bathed in all manner of drops; pain, numbing, gum, lemon, cough, etc. Some were put in I swear just for the heck of it. I think one was food coloring. Doctors know you have no idea what's going on and can do just about anything, particularly if you're on Valium, which I had been, and feeling particularly snazzy. At this point I felt like a smiley butterfly; I knew this because I told one of the nurses.

As the Drop Nazi finished waterboarding my eyes I was told to "just close your eyes and relax" and "try not to think about a laser beam about to slice through your corneas." She may not have said that last part but she may as well have.

Three minutes or six years later I was greeted by an entire team of doctors dressed in scrubs and masks.

"I expect laser vision when this is all over," I said to a nurse, after hugging her and promising to bring her strawberries. "Doc, you're my guy. Let's have a great time today, everyone."

"Please follow me," the next most excellent nurse said.

"Wait!" I said, alarmed. "I haven't scrubbed in yet."

"Please sit down."

"OK, but whoever we're doing surgery on is going to get upset with the delay. And did somebody bring you strawberries yet?"

The worst part about the entire ordeal is when they prop you eyelids open Clockwork Orange style and force you to watch 16 straight hours of Hugh Grant movies. The science behind it is, following that experience, lasers to the eyeballs don't feel so bad. It's like if you get a paper cut and then get your foot stuck in a bear trap; suddenly your paper cut doesn't feel so bad. Except in this case it's much worse because it's Hugh Grant and he bear traps your soul with his British horribleness.

OK, none of that happens, save for the uncomfortable thing they do put in your eye to ensure your eyelid doesn't close and accidentally get sliced off by the laser.

The surgical chair reclines and the laser moves into position over your head, reminding my Valium-soaked brain of the scene from Star Wars when Luke is about to shoot a missile into the weak point of the Death Star.

"We only have one shot at this," I thought.

"R2, disengage the targeting system," I announced suddenly to the room. "Switch to manual."

"Please try not to talk," R2 replied.

There's some pressure where the devil machine tries to extract your eyeball, which is the strangest part of the surgery other than R2D2 not listening to a command, which is totally unlike him. "Probably sand in his circuits again," I thought.

The next part is when they remove the flap protecting your pupil (yes, you have an eye flap). The hardest part for you is not thinking about a laser cutting a hole in your eyeball for another laser to shave down. So don't think about that.

Following the procedure (which maybe takes 20 minutes) they put more drops in your eyes (just because) and adhere clear eye shields to your face before putting on sunglasses so you look like you're about to go play outdoor racquetball.

They also give you what can only be described as a purse to hold the drops you're required to take for the next few days. At least it looks like leather, though, so you can picture yourself as a trendy housewife.

"Can't I get a holster or utility belt or something?" I asked sadly, holding up the purse, dismayed.

"We get that a lot," the nurse smiled. "Just think of it as a satchel."

I frowned at my purse.

"Oh, and no hot tubs for at least one month," the nurse continued, apparently (and correctly) assuming that I look like a guy that's invited over to a lot of swanky A-list hot tub parties.

I sighed dramatically. "But Hugh Heffner is having another birthday party next week! The bunnies are going to be so disappointed."

"You're going to feel a bit of discomfort the first few hours, so it's best if you sleep during this time," the nurse said just before I hugged her.

"Can you please tell that to my wife? She's not going to believe me."

If you have two or more kids under the age of 4, like I do, this is reason enough to get the surgery. Or surgery of any kind. I tried getting her to prescribe naps for the next couple of weeks, but she resisted and threatened me with more drops if I didn't leave.

On your way out, your wife will not find it funny when you "accidentally" hug some other lady who feels attractive AS A GOOF.

"Nice purse," she will comment.

"It's a satchel, thank you," you reply, indignantly. "Indiana Jones had a satchel."

A few hours later your vision will clear and you'll want to test out your "new eyes."

"Go ahead, ask me what various signs say," you'll say to your wife while in the car together.

She'll think that "gag" gets old quick (not true). But that's OK; you can just threaten to use your new laser vision. Mine hasn't kicked in yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

---

Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via seeing-eye platypus. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny or he'll use his laser vision (he doesn't have laser vision. He just squints at you and makes "Pew! Pew!" sounds).

 
 

 

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