I got tired about halfway through, so I'm splitting this into two parts. I'll get around to part two within the next few days.
Trip Report: Laser Eye Surgery, Part I.
So at 10:30am on Thursday the 9th I show up at Siems Advanced Lasik & Eye Center prepared to have my eyes zapped. The theme of the day would be "disorganization."
I talk to the girl at the front counter and am asked "are you having surgery today?" Why yes, yes I am. I'm then given a short stack of papers to fill out--medical history, emergency contact info, insurance info, signatures, etc. Except...that I filled out the exact same forms on my previous visit. But whatever, I fill them out again. They then take a $100 deposit, for whatever reason.
I'm then led into the back for my eye exam. I'm again asked, "Are you having surgery today?" Yeeeesssss. Then, "When was the last time you had your eyes examined?" Oh about a month ago, you know, last time I was in here? "Ohhh, let me go get your file."
After the cursory eye exam, I'm led to another room where a doctor comes in, again asks me if I'm having surgery today, and then proceeds to give me a more in-depth exam. This one included numbing my eyeballs so they could perform some up close and personal tests. I have to say, I've never had numb eyeballs before, and it was quite the experience. I didn't even realize I could feel my eyeballs until I couldn't any more. Walking around after that second eye exam, I just wanted to stop people as they went past, grab them by the shoulders and exclaim, "this....is so....WEIRD!!!" But I restrained myself.
At this point, I'm led back into the head salesman/negotiator's office where he asks if I have any more questions and we talk money. Like a good salesman, he of course gets me to give a price first.
Me: "I just wanted to double-check the price again."
Him: "Did we quote you a price before?"
Him: "What did we quote you? It's probably gone up since the last time we talked."
I tell him what I was quoted.
Him: "Oh, that's a thousand off our regular price, but I'll tell you what, we'll let you have it at that price, with the thousand off."
Me, thinking he'd say that even if I had said the quoted price was a million dollars: "..."
I'm then led into the small pre-op room, where the lights are low and soothing music is playing. I'm given Valium and Xanax. I sit in a comfy chair. I then wait. Finally I'm led into the operating room.
This room is large and well-lit and very white, with a rather cold-looking table in the center, straddled by two medium-sized hunks of machinery that I assume are the lasers. One side of the room has a large glass pane in place of the wall, so observers can watch. I'm feeling pretty nifty at this point thanks to being doped up more than I've ever been since high school. Another assistant is there and I begin talking/flirting with her even though looking back on it she probably wasn't too flirt-worthy. From her reactions, she felt the same about me. She administers more eye-numbing drops, and I ask her how long the numbing will last. "Oh about 30 minutes." Doped up as I was, I very may have replied, "grooovy."
She lays me down on the table, and the room is freezing, so I'm given a big stuffed dog named Daisy to hold and a blanket to cover me. I'm told to lay down and relax and the doctor will be in shortly. Laying down, under a blanket and drugged up, I close my eyes and just enjoy the random thoughts going through my head. I may very well have fallen asleep, although it's hard to say. All I know is the next thing I know, my eyes are being yanked open and there's half of a blurry, upside-down face looming above me.
"Hi, I'm Dr. Siems, I'm here to do the surgery." And without any hesitation, suddenly my eyeballs are clamped by what felt like industrial-strength vises.
And so it began.
To be continued...