Sunday, October 01, 2006

The nurse came back in and took another woman into the operating room. We wished her luck as she went in.
A few minutes later, the nurse came back to give me some eye drops and and an antibacterial swab of my eyes. I was next.
I was a little nervous as I sat there waiting, but then the woman back and it was my turn to go in. I stood up and marched into the operating room. There was about 3 or 4 other people in there with the surgeon.
They had me lay down on a table in the middle of the room and placed two stress balls in my hands. Apparently, they give these to everybody.
The surgeon told me to just sit back and relax. He taped my left eye shut, and then pivoted the table I was on so it would swing underneath the IntraLase Laser, the one that cuts the flap in your cornea. He pressed something onto my eye to hold it in place, and then said "Suction on." My vision slowly faded to black at this point as the suction ring held my eye in place. I heard one of the nurses start a countdown from 30 seconds, and I heard some clicking sounds as the laser cut a precise flap in my cornea. I could smell the gasses of the laser mixing together. They kept assuring me that this wasn't the smell of my eye burning, just the natural smell of the laser. After 30 seconds, they were done making the flap. They then did the same procedure to my left eye.
"The hard part is over," the surgeon said to me.
I could feel the table pivot over to the other station, the Wavefront Guided Excimer laser station, the laser that would correct my vision. He opened up my right eye and placed something over it to keep it open. I couldn't see much at this point, as I was looking through the gas bubbles left in my eye from the intralase laser.
"Just follow the red light," he told me. I tried to keep my focus on this dancing red light, but it was rather difficult. They then started the LASIK procedure. I could hear the laser clicking, smell the gas, and hear the nurse counting down from 20. I could see some dancing lights and lines, then some spots, and had a feeling like I was jumping through hyperspace in Star Wars. Very trippy. Then just like that, it was over.
My vision started to come back just in time for me to see the surgeon place the flap back into position. He smoothed it back into position with something that looked like a tiny paint brush from my badly blurry and distorted one eyed perspective. He then taped this eye shut and did the same procedure to my other eye.
By this time, I knew what to expect and was just amazed to watch the whole thing happen again.
Not even ten minutes after I had entered the room, it was over.
"That's it, you're all done," said the surgeon. I sat up and handed the stress balls back to the nurse. I thanked the surgeon as the nurse helped me off the table and guided me out the door.
My vision was blurry at this point, yet sharp. It was almost like looking out of my glasses with big smudge marks on them.
The nurse took me back into the waiting room, where some of the newer people to come in where amazed that I was already done.
I sat back in my chair and put my dark sunglasses on, even though I didn't need them. My eyes weren't sensitive to light or anything, but the darkness helped me to keep them closed, which I had to do for 20 minutes.
After that, the nurse came back, put some drops in my eyes, and sent me over to their optometrist. The optometrist examined my eyes with a slit lamp to make sure that my flaps were in place, which they were.
"Great," she said. "You're free to go."
I grabbed my bag of eye drops, medications, and directions, and headed out to the waiting room to find my girlfriend. It was time to head home.

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