Monday, January 16, 2012

Medical Mondays: Nearly Ready for the Apocalypse

I tend to daydream about surviving horrible situations. Well before Survivor or Lost aired on TV, I would sit in the subway car in New York and think: What would happen if these ten passengers and I all got stuck together, for a month, trying to survive? Who'd rise above the situation and be the leader? Who'd become friends, when normally they'd never ever talk? Who'd be in charge of getting food? Who'd steal it?

As a child, I imagined trekking through the woods, wearing a coat bearing fifty pockets. In those pockets? My beloved stuffed animals, first-aid kits, fire-making materials, food and water. This was a fun daydream for me.

I know. It's odd. Or rather, I'm odd.

But one thing always stopped those survivalist/disaster daydreams in their tracks. My vision problems.

Here's how bad it was: When I held a book about eight inches away from my face, the text was too blurry to read. Without contacts or glasses, I was seriously disabled. Contacts can be swept out of one's eyes by a single rogue wave in the ocean. Glasses shattered by one wayward behind, sitting down.

So on Friday, I got laser vision correction, after thinking it over for a decade.

After 5 mg of Valium, I was ready to go. I asked my hubs to try to scare me, to see if it was having an effect yet. When he asked, "Are you scared of the surgery?" I laughed at him. "Okay. It's working," he decided.

The surgery itself was quick, but not quite painless. There was intense pressure and burning and the feeling like they were playing hockey with my eyeballs for a while. When they were done, I could see the clock on the wall, but everything was foggy, like I had a film on my eyes. I was cautiously optimistic.

(If you really want to see what I went through, here's a YouTube video. It is NOT for the squeamish!)

That night, my eyes burned so badly and the light was so excruciating I could barely open them for the intensive eye drop treatments I needed. I had (still have) big hemorrhages on the whites of my eyes.

The next morning, I woke up to see the fine branches on the trees outside my bedroom window.

I almost cried.

Now it's Sunday, and though I'm still seeing halos around the lights, I can now see the tips of the branches three houses away.* There's no guarantee it'll stay this good, but for now, I'm beyond thrilled.

I'm ready for that Apocalypse now.**

*Keep in mind, every patient's experience with laser vision correction may be different. I am not promoting this, only discussing my own experience. It's a very, VERY personal decision!

**Actually, I'm hoping that since I'm prepared for it, it won't happen, ha ha.


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56 comments:

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

I worry about the same things! I always think... Okay, I don't have any addictions or reliance upon certain medications, I'll do fine if I get stranded, but my vision is horrid-- what happens when the zombie apocalypse hits and I run out of contacts?! Something very near to this happened when I found myself unable to properly pantomime "contact solution" at all the stores/chemists in Vietnam last summer... It was a horribly vulnerable situation.

I nearly had laser vision correction about 4 years ago, but was afraid of going blind (because, you know, that would happen to me) and canceled the day before. I'm regretting it though... I want to see the branches on the trees!

Old Kitty said...

I've always contemplated laser surgery but am still too scared to go that way! I'd be really interested to know your progess!! But first - I am sending you tons of healing hugs for a complete recovery! Glad to hear it's turning out so well for you - hooorah!!! No, I can't look at the youtube clip, I can't!! LOL!! I'll take your word for it! LOL! Take care
x

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm so pleased for you and I hope you recover completely in time for the apocalypse :-)

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you've had a positive result and that you're ready to survive disasters on both dry land and those of the aquatic variety. When I was walking home from school as a kid, I used to have daydreams about designing a levitating pod that would carry me from place to place in luxury. Actually, I still have those daydreams sometimes.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad the surgery worked so well for you. Sounds like Friday was a hard day though.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad the surgery worked so well for you. Sounds like Friday was a hard day though.

Talli Roland said...

Eeeek! Friday sounds painful! But I'm glad the results are worth it and that you've come out of it well.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

You know what? I have also worried about that, from time to time. My eyesight is very, very bad, and I would be in deep doo-doo in an apocalyptic situation without my glasses.

But I still don't think I'm brave enough for laser surgery. Good for you!! I am glad it was worth it for you and you're happy with the results!

Karen Lange said...

Glad things went well. Enjoy your new view of the world! :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I squirmed just reading this, especially since two of my kids have gone through eye surgeries (one when he was a baby). Fortunately it was a different surgery and they were a sleep. But yes, the youngest wasn't happy when the pain killer wore off. That's why I hated it when he had to go through the surgery two more times.

Congrats on your awesome new vision, Lydia. :D

Clarissa Draper said...

I've been wanting to do that but I've been through laser surgeries before because of retina tearing and it wasn't a walk in the park. I'm glad things went well for you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's wonderful, Lydia! I'm not brave enough to try the surgery. Guess I just won't make it in an apocalypse.

Stephen Tremp said...

Gotta have good eyes for the Apocalypse. But be careful. I heard they can fetch a bottle of whisky or a pound of chocolate. bartering will be the only means of financial exchange during the Apocalypse. So be very careful. Oh, and kidneys are going to be worth so much more. I'm stocking up on those with a cooler in my garage. Okay, now that's odd.

Deb Salisbury said...

Yay for clear eyesight! I'm glad the surgery worked for you!

When I was young my best friend and I planned to sail a 15' sailboat down the American River to the ocean, and planned all the supplies we'd need to get to Hawaii. Never mind there was a dam or two in the way. ;-)

LTM said...

omg, I am so blind. And I, too, worry about how this would impact my chances of survival in extreme circumstances. (Velma: My glasses!) But I am freakedy freaked out by the prospect of eye surgery. Seriously. And you describing it up there gave me extreme terror. :D I'm not sure there's enough Valium...

but how cool! Maybe I could come and you could lead me around to survival. I'll keep my spare glasses in one of your pockets. ;p

Carol Riggs said...

Yeah, I just have to hope I'd be able to hang onto my glasses if an apocalypse happened! I'm not blind as a bat though, luckily. I've often thought that I COULD even drive a car if I needed to, w/o glasses. ;o)

SA Larsenッ said...

Wasn't that Valium marvelous? When they gave it to me, I said, "This pill is really tiny. Are you sure it's going to work?"

The assistant chuckled. "No worries."

Yeah, within a few minutes I was chuckling. It was strange. Before the surgery, I was freaking out about having my eyelids taped open. *still gives me shivers*

So happy you can see unaided!!

Colene Murphy said...

Oh my...I got all misty when you said you could see outside!! I have HORRIBLE vision. (contacts are -15, -13) And they said I'd never be able to have lasik because of it. :( So, lovely stories about it working on people who can appreciate it make me misty happy. ^_^ Congratulations! (I do that day dreamy thing too! My favorite is the zombie escape plan fantasy.)

Emily Rose said...

Wow! I tried watching the video...but I guess I'm squeamish.:P I'm glad you're ready!

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with apocalyptic fantasies. But I'm still too much of a wimp to go for eye surgery. I'll just have to take very good care of my glasses.

Heather said...

Wow, you gave me chills. I used to do the exact same thing as a kid, and I worried about my sight too!!! Among other things, but it was my main worry. How weird is that?!

Congratulations on your surgery sweetie. It is the best thing I ever did for myself. :)

lbdiamond said...

I'm so excited for you! It's really cool being able to see things, ain't it? I had the same revelation with my glasses (I'd avoided wearing them for years, LOL!).

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh Lydia! I hope it keeps improving. Sounds good, so far.

Melody said...

Okay, so I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has thought, "I can survive anything! Fire, famine, war, and your run-of-the-mill apocalypse. Except...I need my glasses." I'll be 21 soon, and I'm seriously considering getting lasic. We'll see. It kinda scares me. But I would really like to not be subservient to glasses and contacts.

Jax said...

Ohh I so fantasize about Lost. Being trapped on an island with my life at risk doesn't seem so back if Matthew Fox is there. hahaha

Meredith said...

I'm so glad it went well! Congratulations! And I used to imagine how I would survive if I ran away. I even collected sticks for a while so that I could build a hut if I needed to. You weren't the only weird kid. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Wow. That's fantastic! Of course, now you're tasked with leading me around during the apocalypse, since I can't see that well...

Great post, Lydia! :)

mooderino said...

Glad it went well. If we get stranded on a desert island together you can be the lookout (I'll be stealing the food).

mood

Sarah said...

Wow! You are braver than me. I've wanted to do this for ages, but just don't have the guts. I kinda hate my dependency on glasses and contacts. :/

Congrats!

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm so excited for you! My brother had it done a few years back. He says it's a miracle! The world looks so different to him now.

Connie Keller said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad the surgery went well.

BTW, I used to imagine the same survivor scenarios when I was a kid. Okay, I still imagine them sometimes.

Southpaw said...

I'm glad it went so well, I mean other than the horrible pain and all. And I'm glad your ready for the pending apocalypse.

Abby Minard said...

Congrats on the surgery! That sounds like it was a success! But yea, I used to imagine myself in situations like that all the time- I was a huge daydreamer as a child. Hence the writer in me, I guess!

bethchristopher.com said...

I'm so blind, I can't even see the big "E" on the eye chart without squinting. I've had specs since age ten, and fantasize about getting this surgery, but with my luck, I'd probably be in the negative five percent who have a problem. I'm a big chicken!

Thanks for sharing this, it's giving me something to think about. Congratulations. Now you're ready for anything!!!

bethchristopher.com said...

I'm so blind, I can't even see the big "E" on the eye chart without squinting. I've had specs since age ten, and fantasize about getting this surgery, but with my luck, I'd probably be in the negative five percent who have a problem. I'm a big chicken!

Thanks for sharing this, it's giving me something to think about. Congratulations. Now you're ready for anything!!!

Alleged Author said...

So glad your surgery went well! I've often wondered if people can feel pain during this procedure.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am relieved your surgery went well. No surgery is minor when they take a blade to MY body!

I had first-hand experience in living through apocalyptic circumstances when Hurricane Katrina and Rita had me living in exile and on devastated streets of New Orleans and my own powerless Lake Charles, Roland

Scarlett said...

Lydia, I too fantasize about my plan of action in a disaster. How long can I hold my breath in the wave of a Tsunami, while also avoiding cars and cows? Would I remember how to start a fire without matches and a roll of toilet paper? Do I have enough pockets to stuff my three children (not babies anymore), my husband, my dogs, cats, and ponies... chickens are on their own. Hope they stay close! There will likely be a shortage on eggs when the world caves in on itself.

It's exhausting.

*Big Smile ~ HUGE* for your new eyes! I hope they help you out of your next big jam.

A Lady's Life said...

I have heard so many stories about this and mostly not good.
One has to remember your eyes change over a life time so there are no guarantees.
I guess I'd have to be pretty blind and old enough not to be very much afraid of the results to do something like this.

LD Masterson said...

Two things I remember being excited about after I had laser surgery on my eyes (a little over a decade ago) - being able to see the time on the clock radio in the middle of the night without fumbling for my glasses, and being able to see my feet in the shower. They'd been nothing but a blur for over over 40 years.

prerna pickett said...

I always thought I was morbid for planning out impossible, disastrous situation.

Angela Brown said...

Sounds like you've got the end result you need. You can now survive the apocalypse and see to take care of yourself and the forty people who stumble weak and weary to your home, making it the base for survival.
You
Will
Rock.

Belle said...

Congrats on your new eyesight! I've had family members who have had that surgery and they were happy with it. Now you will be ready for anything!

DL Hammons said...

That is so awesome! I'm happy happy happy for you!! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Even though I'm REALLY squeamish, I wish I was a candidate for the surgery! I'd love to be able to see without lenses. Hope your vision stays amazing!!!

Susan Fields said...

Congrats on your Lasik! I had it about ten years ago and I am SOOO glad I did! I don't remember any pain - maybe I blocked it out! I do remember I was so worried I'd look away from the light during the surgery and they'd cut something wrong, but then the light was so close up I really had no choice but to look at it, and it was all over so quick.

JL Stratton said...

Glad to hear your surgery went well. I've had some friends get lasek, and they've all had good results.

Glad your recovery is going well. Now, let the zombie apocalypse begin!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I'm glad to hear the surgery went well! It must be so exciting to be able to see better without glasses. Right now I only wear glasses to see really far away (like in movies or while driving) so I hope I don't get to the point where I rely on glasses for everything. Fingers crossed!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am glad that you are recovering well. You must be thrilled that you can finally throw away your glasses.

Btw...I hope you were just joking when you said that there is no guarantee that it will stay this good.

Madeleine Maddocks said...

I have to confess I have spent my adolescene imagining surviving because of 1970's TV programme Survivors and Terry nation's Novel.So I'm there with you. LOL!

Oh wow Lydia, I hope all continues to thrive with your eyes x

Linda Gray said...

Congratulations! How wonderful for you. As someone who was lucky enough to have excellent vision until presbyopia set in, I realize how vision is something most of us take for granted, and holy cow! we should not!!! Sight is amazing. (Any hope for safe and effective laser surgery for the presbyopic?)

Melissa Bradley said...

I'm happy to hear you went through with the surgery and have awesome vision now. There's hope for me, maybe. I just carry spare glasses around and hope for no natural disasters. :)

Krispy said...

Heeey, I get you! Awesome for you! :)

On the one hand, I really want to get my eyes laser corrected, but on the other, the ideas of LASERS and MY EYES don't sit too well together. In other words, I'm kind of terrified. So I don't know if I'll be gutsy enough for it, but being able to see when I wake up / swim / lots of things is definitely appealing!

Carol Kilgore said...

Congratulations!

You're the only person I know who's ever had this procedure done. I may know more people who've had it done, but you're the only who's ever talked about it.

I hope your vision stays this good forever :)

Nancy Thompson said...

I'd love to have lasic eye surgery, but can they correct astigmatism with that? I'm a big chicken. Not sure I could sit there and watch them poke around my eyes. But I'd sure love to see clearly again.

Jordan said...

I have the exact same thoughts! I'm actually nearly done with a book about an apocalypse and how the survivors deal, all being told by each their own point of view on the day the event happened and one year later! Hopefully it'll capture the oddity of people like you and me.

<3 jordan
JordanDibb.com

 
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