Monthly ArchiveOctober 2007



Personal 27 Oct 2007 07:06 pm

My Experience with LASIK Eye Surgery

I’m stoked. Ecstatic. Overjoyed. Tickled pink. Walking on air. Why?

I’ll tell you why. I can actually see again!

Not just “see good through glasses or contacts” see… I mean I can see… really see!

May not seem like a big deal to you if you’re one of the lucky ones who managed to make it through life unburdened by glasses or contact lenses. But for me, after struggling through life with this all-to-common handicap, dreaming of how great it would be to be free of these God-awful crutches; finally being able to see without corrective lenses is beyond description.

I feel 30 years younger. I just want to go outside and look at things. Cars look better… Girls are prettier… The fall colors just seem to come alive… It’s like a whole new world out there and I no longer have to view it from behind a glass wall.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

*****

Here’s the story:

Friday morning I went in for LASIK eye surgery on my left eye. Went back this morning for a follow-up visit and the eye doctor said my vision is currently 20/15, which is better than 20/20. Still have a bit of haze but that’s normal. The surgical flap has to heal yet.

(They peal back the top of the cornea with one laser and then another laser reshapes the surface of the eye underneath. Then they lay the flap back down. Yes, it’s a little scary especially while they’re doing it. My biggest fear when they started was that I wouldn’t be able to hold my eye still and would mess up the procedure.)

My vision will probably fluctuate for a few days. Driving was great. Like a whole new world. Everything was sharp and clear. Couldn’t have asked for better results. Only problem is that “computer screen range” is probably not going to be clear. It may get better, but probably not much. I’m using drugstore reading glasses 1.25 to type this and they work perfectly… so it’s something I can live with.

I have perfect up close “reading a book” vision in my right eye. I have perfect distance vision from about 4 feet out to infinity in my left eye (the one surgically corrected). There is just the in-between midrange that is fuzzy.

I’m so exited. First thing I did when I got home from the doctor was wash the windows on my car inside and out. I need to wash the windows on the house next. Now that I can see, I can’t stand looking through dirty windows. Before, I couldn’t see anything anyway, so it didn’t matter.

The operation is scary and not without risk, but I am so happy with the results that I feel like I have a new lease on life. I definitely would encourage anyone considering Lasik to go for it. (My friend and fellow writer, Ami Chopine is writing a book on Lasik and may have some caveats to share, but I feel for me that this was well worth it.

*****

I am only having the left eye done. I had a cataract in that eye about 4 years ago (yes, I was one of the youngest people they had ever seen with a cataract) and had surgery then to install an artificial lens. (I call it my Bionic eye.) That gave me almost perfect vision in that eye except for some astigmatism. The laser surgery was to finally correct the astigmatism and make that eye perfect for distance.

My right eye is very nearsighted, but perfect up close for reading. If I have it corrected, I would lose the up close vision which is important to me for doing detail work like reading the tiny print on a transistor or the fine grain in a piece of wood.

Going with what they call “mono-vision” gives me the best of both worlds. It’s a little weird, but not bad. For the most part the two eyes still work in concert and I can’t really tell that one is doing most of the work for any given task. Depth perception is fine.

*****

I did not expect the surgery to have this level of impact on me. I can only compare it to someone with a horrible disfigurement finally having the bandages removed after plastic surgery and discovering that they have been made whole again.

I was pretty excited several years ago when I first began to realize that I could rebuild my back. That too, was a monumental turning point if my life. After going for a decade thinking I was permanently disabled… I was pretty excited to discover I didn’t have to be.

I was so excited about that development that I wrote a book about it and started this website, but even that did not hit me this hard. Probably because it came about over several months and this literally happened overnight.

One day I was blind. The next day I can see.

If I were younger, I would go back to school and become an eye surgeon. That’s how excited I am about this.

– Dean

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Personal 19 Oct 2007 02:53 pm

Of Mice and Men

I have a mouse.

I found the “evidence” on the kitchen counter this morning. (Yeah, I was pleased.)

Fortunately, things like that don’t bother me. I just hope he didn’t get his little feet dirty.

I would set a trap, but I’m all out of cheese.

By the way, did I happen to mention I also have a cat?

Kitty1

I don’t have a cat because of mice.

I have mice because of the cat.

You see my Kitty likes to bring them in the house so she can play with them. She catches them outside and then brings them in through her little cat door. She then proceeds to chase them around the house until they manage to get away from her.

She wouldn’t think of actually eating one of them.

That would be disgusting.

*****

This has gone on for years. It’s nothing new. In fact, it has become just part of the routine around here. She has also been known to bring in live rats, birds, baby rabbits, snakes, lizards, giant moths and other interesting insects. (Relax. I have managed to rescue all of the birds and baby rabbits, unharmed.)

*****

Tip-o-the-day: If you ever have a live bird or other animal loose in your house. Don’t chase them around with a tennis racket or other weapon like you see people do on TV. Just calmly throw a big towel over them. They will think they’re safe and will hide under the towel. You can then just wrap them up and safely carry them outside.

Second Tip-o-the-day: Don’t let the cat out with you when you turn them loose. Otherwise, she’ll just catch them and bring them right back in again.

– Dean

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Med Bloggers 11 Oct 2007 10:51 pm

Conversation With a Massage Therapist

If you’ve been reading this blog on a regular basis, you already know that I’m a big fan of the blog, Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason. Well, long story short, she was on vacation a couple of weeks ago in California and while there took the opportunity to enjoy a nice massage.

She relates the experience in her post entitled, Conversations at the Spa. (While you read this, keep in mind that she is a medical doctor.)

Those of you with healthcare backgrounds may especially appreciate this dialog:

Therapist (scrutinizing my back as I’m face down on a table): have you seen a chiropractor recently?

Dr. Val: Um, no. Why?

Therapist: Well, two of your ribs are out.

Dr. Val: They’re ‘out?’ Where did they go?

Therapist: A chiropractor can put them back for you so your muscles won’t pull in the wrong direction.

Dr. Val: Will a chiropractor be able to fix this permanently?

Therapist: No, you’ll have to keep going.

Are you starting to get the drift? Well, it only gets better. Here’s another little sample:

Therapist: I’m using my elbows to stimulate repair cells.

Dr. Val: Ahum…

Therapist: You have lactic acid build up in your shoulders so we have to flush the toxins out with special oils. You should also drink a lot of water.

Dr. Val: What sort of toxins?

Therapist: Like, dirt and metals and stuff that you’ve been exposed to.

[Snip]

Dr. Val: How do I know how many toxins I have in my body?

Therapist: Well, your shoulders are really tight and your ribs are out so I think you probably have a lot. You’ll need a lot of massage and you need to see a chiropractor. The oils I used on you will have a calming effect, though. You’ll probably sleep really well tonight.

Dr. Val: I see (inhaling, exhaling). I hope I do.

Yikes! Makes you wonder where massage therapists get their education.

Be sure to head over and read the whole post. It’s a stitch. And be sure to check out the rest of Dr. Val’s blog. She always has lots of good information for health conscious consumers.

– Dean

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