It's strange what you think about when you're nervous at times.
For me, it was Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers screaming, "Hey Ma? Can we get some meat loaf?"
I swallowed and squeezed my hands together in my lap. We had just pulled up at Golden Corral for lunch--and no, that's not why I was afraid. I suppose buffet-style meals might frighten some people, but not me. I love them. I totally get my money's worth and load up my plate twice, and then try out each dessert...
But anyway. I digress.
We were at Golden Corral before I got Lasik. I was instructed to eat a good meal before coming in because some of the relaxers they'd be giving me might upset my stomach if it was empty.
I didn't eat as much as I usually do. I picked at my plate and tore apart the delicious roll. Pieces were littered all around my plate and the waitress did a double take when she came to refill my Diet Pepsi. She probably thought I was one of those girls who play with carbs, but don't eat them.
"What if I go blind and never see again?" I asked Tom after the waitress scurried off.
My Mom was at home with the kids so we were alone. This meant he could stay with me and deal with my neurotic questions.
"You won't," Tom assured me.
"But if I do, can you manage the kids on your own? Natalie is sneaky. She'd take my walking stick and hide it," I rambled.
Tom stared at me blankly from over the rim of his cup.
"My walking stick," I repeated. "What I'd use if I were blind. And I'd have to learn Braille and I suck at learning other languages and--"
"You're not going to go blind," Tom cut me off.
I hoped not.
Before I knew it, we were pulling up in front of the ClearSight Lasik Center.
This was it. No turning back.
Hey Ma? Can we get some meat loaf?
I was called back to get a picture of my eyes first. I suppose to make sure they were...I don't know, ready for lasers or something like that. Then I had a glaucoma test, which sucked, because they put numbing drops in my eyes. Have I mentioned I had eye drops? And yes, I get that it's ironic considering when you do Lasik you use A LOT of eyedrops. Still. When she had me tilt back to put the drops in, I squished up my eyes and she was like, "It's okay. Relax." How can I relax when liquid is coming at my eyeball? Still, I managed, and then she swiped something across my eye.
I suppose my eyes passed because then I was given paperwork to fill out. The usual stuff. The whole "you can't sue us if you do go blind. Ha" crap. As I was scribbling out my signature, my glasses slipped down my nose. I pushed them back up with my finger and thought, "Soon I won't have to do this anynore. That might have been the very last time I'll ever have to do that."
Afterwards, I slid over my credit card and tried not to wince when the woman brought back my receipt to sign. Big numbers stared back at me but I reminded myself that this was worth it.
"And here you go," she said, handing me a tiny bowl with a pill in it. "A relaxer."
I pictured the scene in Bridesmaids where Kristen Wigg has taken the pill with booze and is going nuts on the airplane. Would that be me? Would I be dancing around the waiting room screaming, "I'm ready to PARRRRR--TYYYYYY!"
Tom had to remain in the waiting room while I was prepped for Lasik in the back. I sort of wanted to be all dramatic and latch myself onto his leg while yelling, "I won't go without him!" But I knew I had to be brave. I pushed out two children from my hoo haa. I could deal with a little eye stuff. Right?
I had to put on covers over my shoes and a cap over my head. I looked ridiculous. And my relaxer felt like I was kicking in so I sort of wanted to do impressions in the mirror. ("Hi. I'm Amber. Like my ugly cap? Oh gosh, me either, I am sooo not a hat person...") (I know. I'm weird.)
I had to clean my eye with a sterile wipe and then I walked out to a chair where like a billion different eye drops were lined up.
Plus more relaxers.
And pain killers.
If you can't swallow pills, I wouldn't do Lasik.
If eyedrops scare you, I wouldn't do--well, you know, eyedrops scare me and I managed, so you can too. Unless you emit bloodcurdling screams if an eyedrop comes at you in which case you'll distract the doctor which would not be cool.
I lost count of how many eyedrops that went into my eye. 5?
And then I was told to close my eyes so everything could kick in.
"My husband?" I asked.
"He'll be brought back when it's time," I was told.
I drifted on and off. I thought about a life without glasses. How wonderful will it be to go on rides and not have to worry about where I'll put my glasses. (Usually, and I'm embarrassed to admit this, I'd stick them in a...FANNY PACK. I know. I'm hanging my head in shame.)
"Amber?" one of the nurses called out. She sounded far away. It was like I was in another world. A world of no glasses.
"Keep your eyes closed. I just wanted to explain some things to you so you'll know what to expect. You'll feel pressure on your eye for 30 seconds when you get in the room. That'll be the worst part of the whole thing, I promise.."
PRESSURE ON MY EYE?!
"You might smell a burning hair scent. Don't panic, that's our equipment..."
A BURNING HAIR SCENT?
"Just stare at the green light the entire time and everything will be okay."
Oh, okay. That wasn't so bad.
Pressure on my eye?
Burning hair smell?
What did I agree to?
"Are you ready?" I was asked.
A part of me wanted to run away screaming with my hands waving over my head. But.
Instead I said, "Yes."
Hey Ma! Can we get some meatloaf?
**To be continued Wednesday since tomorrow is Hey, It's Okay Tuesday**