Blog > Life > LASIK

LASIK

I often go to extremes.  This is largely due to my unattributed selfishness and desire to have everything I've ever wanted.  

I also have fears about the end of society.  This is largely due to my reading the news every day.  Now I've watched plenty of movies in which people die horrific deaths.  There's always that asshole who lost his glasses mere seconds before a dinosaur eats him or a mummy fucking rips out his eyes and tongue! 

On May 5th, I gave someone $4600 to cut open my eyes with a laser.  Seemed right.

Here's how it went:

The preliminary

  • I stopped wearing contacts for a month prior to the surgery.  This helped ensure that my eyes are at a normal state when the series of doctors takes every measurement possible.
  • During the consultation, the doctor told me that I did not qualify for regular LASIK due to a misshapen cornea.  I blame my mother.
  • He did say I qualified, however, for PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), which is an alternative to LASIK, but it's not as popular due to the long recover time.
  • He also said I have very thick corneas, and that 'the bitches must love you for your corneas.'  It was then that I decided to trust my sight to this man.

The Research

PRK (top) vs LASIK (bottom)

LASIK generally takes 24 hours to recover (although I've had a few friends coding the very same day).

PRK would knock me out for at least 5 days, and then I would spend two weeks nervous about if my sight would ever return.  In laymen's terms, here's how PRK works. 

  1. They take a metal electric toothbrush and do some pumpkin carving on your eye until your epithelium (the membrane around your cornea) is a thing of the past.
  2. Sharks with friggin' laser beams attached to their heads shoot you in the eyes.  It smells like burning hair.
  3. You can see!! ...for about 12 hours, and then your vision is like you're living in a pineapple under the sea.
  4. Over the course of three months, your epithelium regenerates cells and grows back over your cornea.  You have functional vision after a week, and it slowly gets better and better.
  5. You become a pilot.

Fuck, I thought, I've only got two eyes.  What if something goes wrong?  Might as well do them both at the same time.

The procedure:

  1. I took a valium.
  2. I took another valium.
  3. The series of doctors asserted every measurement in regards to my eyes possible, again.  They sounded the okay.
  4. Sent a tweet saying telling everyone that if I go blind, I'm
  5. The surgeon put my eyes in the stirrups and I stared at the yellow light for 10 seconds on each eye. He gave the ominous "Welcome to the rest of your life, Mr. Taylor" speech at the end.

The rest of my life:

...was really fucking shitty for the next three days.  It felt like I was staring at the sun.  The only remedy was the copious amount of Vicodin coupled with the soothing eye drops.

Pro tip: Put the eye drops in the refrigerator. Thank me later.

The next two weeks consisted of knowing what time it was without being able to see the clock properly.  There was Vigamox 4 times a day, Bromday 2 times a day, Gabapentin every 8 hours, the Vicodin as needed (I needed it), preservative free Systane as needed and lots of sleep.  Sleep isn't so much of a problem when you have nothing to do except listen to audio books.  No matter how much squinting you do, nothing is clear.  Your immediate reflex to put on your glasses doesn't do a goddamn thing.  You are a disabled person. Over time, the vision gets better and better. 

Since:

  • Last month, I played water volleyball in salt water for the first time ever and was able to see the ball enough that I was actually considered to be a contributing member of the team.
  • I took a 14 hour flight without having to pry my dry, rubbery contacts from my eyes.
  • I haven't broken my glasses on accident.  I did it on purpose  (I donated the rest of my contacts though, 'cause I'm a sweetheart).
  • I wake up every morning and go to sleep every night without having to fuss with contact solution, or finding glasses.  This is especially useful for when I'm really drunk.
  • My eyes are simply less tired.
  • My ping pong game dominates my puny co-workers (haha, assholes).

And now, that sinking feeling I get when I think about the apocalypse is suddenly rainbows and cleavage.  No longer would I be the guy who dies midway through the movie as a statement that only the fittest survive.  Now, at least I can outpace the fat kid without having to worry about losing my specs.

Listen, I'm kidding about the movies and the fat kid.  In my sort of apocalypse, no one would die except IE6 users.  I just want constant self-improvement.  Because I wanted to lessen my dependency on needing a 3rd party tool to be able to see, I went to an extreme.  Because I want to have a career as a software engineer and not end up looking like Milton, I literally stand all day.  Because I get lazy when I'm comfortable, I deliberately make myself uncomfortable.  I want the fat kid to lose the weight, and the introverted kid to develop a powerful social presence, and the poor kid to move out of Oklahoma and fall in love with life in San Francisco.  

But you can't do it for them.  You can only lead by example, and share what you've learned.