Monday, September 26, 2011

This Thing Called Lasik

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.."


"You might smell a burning hair scent. Don't panic, that's our equipment..."


"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**


  1. This made me nervous. I desperately want lasik, but I'm freaked out to actually get it done.

  2. I had lasik a little over a year ago. Best. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Done.


  3. Oh dear! Burning Hair Smell??? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF PRESSURE!!
    I am SO hoping Tom didn't write this post for you .. and that you can see! :)

  4. OK, I was totally squirming the whole time I was reading this. Wipe you eye?!?! twice?!?!?

    I do not think Lasik is in my future!

  5. I now have three friends who have had Lasik -- and, the results have been wonderful. Looking forward to a great apre-post, sans glasses, from you!

  6. You know, I was a super impatient kid, and I always hated "to be continued" episodes on TV. Apparently, I'm now an impatient adult, because this is going to drive me nuts!

    I'm assuming that Tom didn't type this (though the thought of that is super amusing) so I take it everything went well. Congratulations!

  7. cliff hanger!!!! hahaha... I'm assuming everything went fine since you're still blogging... :o)

  8. This makes my eyes hurt. I took my hubby to get his lasik done last year and I just can't do it myself. It makes me ill thinking about burning of hair smell and pressure on my eyeball!!!!

  9. Lasik totally scares me. I just mastered eye drops and contacts a couple years ago.

  10. I hope you go on to say it was not that bad, that it kind of felt like you were a can of green beans at the check out at the store. I had it done in Korea and they didn't give relaxers, or pain meds (well advil) before or after. The drops do suck and I hope you don't have the really dry eye problem. I also hope you are loving your new eyes even with a little bit of pain. It is really an amazing feeling to just be able to see like everyone else can and not have to be like...wait...where? No I can't see it, or have to lie and act like you can. So worth it!

  11. Evil!! Pure evil! Here I am anxiously awaiting the entire story and then you leave me with a cliffhanger...until WEDNESDAY! Ugh! Fine, whatever. I'll wait I suppose!

    But, like the others have said, I assume you are doing great since you are blogging. I also think you wouldn't have done a cliffhanger if you had a terrible experience! So YAY for you! And Yay for me, living vicariously thru you!

  12. Hoping all goes / went well -

    Don't over do things the first hours / day afterwards.

  13. Pressure??!! Burning Hair??!? Why is there a burning hair smell? Did you have any post lasik problems like dry eye, pain, or abnormal sight? Please, girlfiend, I'd like to know cause I want lasik. My eyes are getting bad.

  14. Already seen your Facebook posts, so the suspense isn't so suspenseful, but it still sounds scary

  15. I am so nervous to get this surgery done...but I NEED it. Not sure if your post made me less nervous, or absolutely terrified...burning hair smell... eep.

  16. I remember this all too well, only I didn't conjure up any Will Ferrell lines myself. :)

  17. Ah yes, I remember the burning hair smell. All I could think was, is that my eye? Gross.

  18. I KNEW you would describe this blow-by-blow and I wasn't disappointed! This is a very funny account! Can't wait to read the rest! You obviously made it through alright to write about it! Congrats!

  19. omg. talk about a cliffhanger!!! i don't deal well with suspense!!

  20. I can assume since you can type that means you're not blind. Still, yikes!

  21. OKAY......can't wait to hear how it all went.
    Glad its over for you!

  22. We had a small family gathering this week-end and my cousin mentioned that he had it done, and I immediately thought of you and how you were doing. I so want to do that. I have no fears of the procedure, it's the cash part that holding me back, hopefully soon though. Good for you and your bravery!

    (thanks for visiting my silly blog too, it means a lot!)

  23. Oh, I don't know if I could do that. I don't like things coming at my eyes.

    I had to change the URL to my blog. It is now instead of .net. Long story. I'll share soon on my blog.

  24. This is definitely making me more okay with Lasik (which I so desperately want!) If you can be so funny after it, then it can't be all that bad!

  25. Whew! Since you could see to type this post, I am assuming everything went a-okay! Unless you forced Tom to type it for you!

    And you must have an amazing metabolism because you sure look skinny for someone who loads your plate up twice at the buffet!

  26. This is freaking me out! Obviously it worked out ok because you typed up this post after the fact, but Lasik is the one thing I'm afraid to do!

  27. How could you make us wait! Although I assume your ok

  28. I won't really tell you what that burning hair smell is, unless you really want me to......

  29. If, and only IF, this cliffhanger goes as well as I'm sure it will, then MAYBE (whenever I can scrape some cash together) I MIGHT consider sucking it up, being brave, and doing this. Maybe.

    And, @Lizabeth? No. I don't want to know. I can already imagine.

  30. You made me laugh so many times! I am really impressed with how you conquered your fears. I can't wait to hear that it all turned out wonderfully! =)

  31. I've been waiting to hear your take on this and now you're telling me you have to be awake during the procedure...with your eyes open (staring at the green light)?????

    Uhm...I'm going to have to think about this some more.

  32. Congrats for getting through it! My eyesight is actually too bad to get lasik (they wouldn't be able to correct it 100%) so good for you for getting it done! Can't wait to hear about the actual procedure!

  33. Cant wait to hear the rest of the Lasik experience! I am on the fence about doing it this year around Christmas time since our insurance would cover most of it.

  34. The cliffhanger is cruel, but I'm going to assume you didn't get a braille to blog app and thus are fine. But when you get to your forties, the g;asses come back so you can read. I'm on progressive lenses now because I'll, well, old.

  35. OMG!!!! You're killing me!!!

    WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?????????????????

    Apparently you aren't posted....but still...

    You're mean.

  36. Oh gosh, reading this post, I felt as nervous as you did! Can't wait to read the rest of it. I hope the Lasik went well!!!!

  37. Oh, wow! Congrats! You did it, you go girl! I had wanted / wished to do it... but i haven't just got the guts :(

  38. My eyes are watering just reading this. Lasik is definitely not for me. I'm not just eye-scared, I'm eye-phobic. I couldn't even handle the eyedrops for pinkeye and had to let the damn thing run it's course. You are very brave :)

  39. Pressure on your eye? And burning hair smell? You are a brave soul! I don't think I could do it lol :c)

  40. i remember that pep talk...don't worry about the burning smell - it isn't your eyes or anything...just make sure you keep staring into the light or else you could go blind. could go WHAT?! awwwww sheeeeeeeet!!


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  42. nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this!


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