Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

She Blinded Me With Science

Last week I made my dream a reality-slash-confronted my biggest fear: I got LASIK surgery. I was afraid they were gonna blind me with science. Seriously.

I've been interested in LASIK for years. Eight years ago I got to the pre-op stage. When they gave me a prescription for valium to take the day of surgery, I thought those were pretty strong drugs, and I was a little late. I went home and took a test. Eight months later we had Daisy. For various reasons it's not wise to have laser surgery when you're expecting so we cancelled it and had a baby instead.

Abe has encouraged me to do it from time to time, and I finally listened. We discussed it last summer but I wanted to wait until after pool and beach season. Then we decided to use our flex spending plan so I was going to have to wait until after January. So I have had a lot of time to think about this thing. Think and get nervous.

I went to Texas Eye and Laser Center for a second opinion. He encouraged me to do mono vision, as I am in my mid-40s and reading glasses are right around the corner. This way I can put them off for a few more years. Then I went to my first choice of doctors, who was the guy that almost did it last time. They were all, "Your eyes are SO bad (duh), I don't know if we can even do surgery. We'll get back to you." 

Mind made up. New doctor it was. Once I chose him they had me go back for another pre-op. He said measure twice, cut once. Sounds good when you're dealing with your eyes, right? Glasses time before these two pre-ops, and then glasses again before the actual surgery. Nothing like getting you ready to get rid of glasses than making you wear them for a couple weeks when you're used to contacts. 
Surgery day finally arrived. That morning they called and said the doctor was going over charts the night before and wanted to re-measure something. I was slightly worried for a second but then told myself that's good. The doctor is obviously very thorough and has an eye for detail, which is a good thing. When I got there, the same guy that did my tests both times (even the last time, when it was not done correctly) was the one measuring me again. I was not feeling totally confident in his skills at this point, but he very nicely explained what happened last time and is double checking to make sure it's right this time.

With each minute the surgery was getting closer, the more I was getting scared. I was as nervous as a fat kid with a candy bar in his pocket during a weight watchers meeting. During the very first pre-op of the day they put on my little booties and a hair hat. I asked if I got valium and they were like yes, just give us a minute, will ya? I very quickly swallowed that tiny little pill, hoping for immediate results.  I was starting to freak out. [Daisy used to say she freaked out often. Once Eli said, "Well I'm fweaking out!"]
{Side note: I look absolutely horrible in all of these pictures. I have no make up on and they are all horrendous angles making my neck look worse that it is from a normal view. But I am going to take one for the team and show them anyway. Don't judge.}

I was in the waiting area in my cute little hat and booties, trying to be all cool about this. Then I hear this loud pulsating, clicking sound coming from the surgery room. Like a bug zapper zapping hundreds of really large bugs. Pretty sure I was all deer-in-the-headlights as I turned to stare at the room from which the sound was blaring out.

When they called me back to the meat packing room (I think they probably call it the surgery room, but it was as cold as a meat packing room), guess who was leading me in? The really nice guy that might be incompetent. He was super sweet, chatting me up about our kids while he was getting me ready. Then he tells the nurse this was his first time to do this. What??? First time to do what?? The nurse went to put a cover on an eye and he's like, no not yet I still gotta do something. Not making me feel comfortable here, folks. 
I told him I didn't think the valium was working yet because I was 'a bit' nervous. He asked if I wanted another one and told the nurse to get me another. I said I would be fine. I was thinking I'm a little girl. Not sure what 2 valiums would do to me. Hindsight is 20/20, which was what I was going for (that's humor there, people); I should have taken the extra drug.

I was lying there moving my feet like when your doggy is dreaming that he's running. Incompetent Nice Guy asked if I wanted to hold a teddy bear. I was thinking I am not a 4 year-old, but sure, I'll take it to have something to do with my freezing hands. A nurse finally asked if I wanted a blanket. Thank you sweet sister! 

Then the doctor came in. Whew! Incompetent Nice Guy was not going to do the whole thing for his first time. Doctor was looking things over and told the nurses to change something from 110 to 100. I'm thinking what the what are you changing at the last minute?? I said, "That can't be good to change things at the last minute." His response was no, we're not changing at the last minute; this has all been planned. I just heard you Doc; I can't see yet but I can hear.

Then we started. Y'all, this was the scariest thing I have ever done. I was totally fweaking out. Of course I couldn't move so I was fweaking out on the inside. I was squeezing that little bear out of complete and utter terror. I had several numbing drops so it did not hurt. I could feel pressure, but not pain. But there was pain in my head. The problem is, you can totally see things coming at your eyes. They prop them wide open and then stuff starts coming at you. 
*None of the surgery pictures are actually me. In retrospect I should have asked them to take pics, but I didn't.
First they placed something in my eyes to hold them open. I think it was at this point that he put a big metal ring on my eye in addition to propping it open. This thing put pressure on my eye.
Then they cut the flaps. They did something under one machine. He tells me it would be dark for a second, and indeed it was. Of course I am praying it is only black for a second, which it was. Then he turns me to another machine. We repeated both steps with the left eye. At this point I wanted to quit. I was totally freaked out and just wanted it to stop. I couldn't believe I actually chose to do this. What the what was I thinking?!? 

Then he stuck something else (I think) to hold my eyes open bigger I guess, and he actually taped my eyelid up. I could see a skinny metal pokey thing he was using to lift the flap out of the way. At this point things got a different kind of blurry, but I could see the machine moving into place and I was supposed to look at a little light.
It was some great time with God, because I talked with him the entire time. My sweet friend said at the dentist as she breathes she tells herself, "Breath the peace of Jesus in, breath out fear." As I was squeezing that stupid bear I kept saying, "Jesus in, fear out." Of course I didn't say it out loud because I was not supposed to be moving.

Oh, and that loud bug zapper noise I mentioned earlier? Yes, that was indeed the sound the laser made. I asked Incompetent Nice Guy about it before we started, so at least I knew it was coming. So comforting to hear them count backwards from 10 to stop. I think it was after this part I heard them ask for suction.
After the laser, I could see/feel the little metal poker again as he messed with the flap to put it back in place. 
Then he used this little white soft 'rake' thing. It reminded me of those little rakes people use with Japanese sand gardens. I think he was smoothing down the flap to make it fit back right. It didn't hurt, but you could totally see this thing rubbing across your eye.
The whole process did not take long, but it felt like an eternity when I was panicking in my head. When I was done I gave back the blankie and my teddy and we walked to a recovery room. It was extremely foggy, but I could see.

Recovery man told me to keep my eyes closed and let them rest. I even got in trouble for opening them to look at my phone to play some music.
Then he gave me goggles. 
Go home and nap. No reading, iPhone, TV. I mostly did that, but when I opened the ole peepers, I could see things.
I kept it easy until bedtime. The valium finally kicked in and I was feeling good.
The next morning I drove myself to the post-op exam and had 20/20. Shut the front door, people! Actually, one eye is 20/20 and the other is about 20/45. That's the mono vision so I can see far away yet still be able to read up close.

Considering what was done, my eyes look pretty good. They feel pretty good, too.
I am having 'aha' moments when I realize I can see and I'm not wearing my contacts! I've had corrective lenses for 35 years, and I can now see. It is utterly amazing. I am using all kinds of drops for a week and I have to sleep in goggles for a week. When I wake it is still taking just a minute to get relubricated while my eyes are healing. 

At night I keep feeling that I should be taking out my contacts. It literally took less than a minute to put in and take out my contacts. But it's so freeing to be done with them! It doesn't seem like it will last. I  have not tossed my old contact stuff yet. You know, like just in case, which is absolutely absurd since I can't even wear them now if I want to. Which, by the way, I don't. And even better yet I won't have to.

Yes, it was completely scary. But it didn't last long and it was basically pain-free. Well, it was physically pain-free. There was some emotional pain there, but I don't think other people get as worked up about it as I did. It takes a few weeks to get crystal clear vision, especially since my eyes were so bad. But I'm telling you, it is unbelievable. How the heck can they do that? They didn't blind me with science, but they sure did amaze me with it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

High 5

Before opening any pressies on birthday morning, the Lijer had to warm up under his new minion blankie made by his Gramma.
 Waffles and candles for breakfast.
He needs the whole hand to show his age.
 This was the first birthday of many that Eli spent at school. Since Mommy was at church there was no special birthday lunch, but we did a birthday treat together.
my little lefty
A new minion hat to match his new blankie.
Thursday is our crazy busy day. After birthday treats at school, we picked up the bigs, went to gymnastics, grabbed dinner at McDonald's--birthday boy's choice--and then on to church.
Despite all our craziness, we found time to make our birthday boy feel special.
Happy 5th birthday, Lijee!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Birthday Revenge of the Fifth

A very happy birthday revenge of the sith fifth to our Lijee!
Like his father thirty-some years before, this young padawan likes Star Wars. So a Star Wars birthday party it was. The day before we had his party at Pump It Up. The Bigs found a Star Wars t-shirt they bought for his present. They were so excited they gave it to him first thing when he woke up on party day.
I think Eli wanted his party at Pump It Up so he could sit on the throne.
 The Jedi of honor.
 The orneriness, I mean the force is strong with this one.
 The Lijer invited his absolute best friends his brother and sister, his friend from church, as well as his 2 best buds from pre-k and their big sibs.
 "Happy birthday, dear Eli…"
 Even a young Jedi must eat.
 Gifts worthy of the force.
 Eli and Rhys have been best church buds for the past few years.
The evening ended with a massive 'light saver' fight and utter chaos. Just the way a Star Wars 5th birthday party should end.