Wednesday

Gonna make my brown eyes new

I brought my mom down to Manchester, NH for her LASIK eye surgery. At one o’clock they were going to start prepping her and a two o’clock she’d go under the knife, er, laser beam. Ever the caring daughter, I tell her I’m going down the street to Macy’s and might pick her up later.

I was kind of freaked out that they allowed, nay encouraged waiting family members/friends watch the actual surgery on a closed circuit television screen. I’m sure it wouldn’t be as gross as the major surgery I sometimes come across when flipping through the channels at home but come on, why would I want to watch that?

I end up hurrying back to the office at two. I want to watch to make sure everything goes all right. My mom is already in the surgery room when I get there. The nurse tells me that she has had numbing drops in her eyes so she won’t feel anything. She has also been given a valium and I’m grateful that the ride home will be that much easier; if there’s a woman that needs to chill out, it’s her.

On the t.v. screen is a close-up of her eye, with the lids taped open and a metal clamp keeping her eye open. I’m glad that it’s just her eye on the screen and not her whole face; it made the surgery and what they were doing somewhat removed. The doctor made ink dots all around here eye, put some chemicals in, tested the eye with a special pen and sliced the cornea open. This is when I started crying. The nurse assured me she wasn’t feeling any pain by asking, “Do you hear her screaming? She’s fine.”

The doctor dried off the black part of her eye and got the laser tracking it. Frankly, I was expecting something from Star Trek: the doctor aims a taser gun at her eye and I see a fuzzy purple line shoot into here eye (and hear the tyew tyew sound effect). The laser in this case is so fast I can’t see it. It shoots something like 4,000 or 40,000 times a second for 45 seconds and then the eye is all done. Then the doctor folds the cornea back over her eye, smoothes it for a few minutes to make sure there are no air bubbles, puts in some milky looking anti-inflammatory drops and moves over to the other eye.

Both eyes only took 15 minutes each. The doctor checks her eyes out in another room and we get all the medicine we need in a complementary fanny-pack. A nurse tapes plastic shields over my mom’s eyes and says that she must wear these while sleeping so she doesn’t rub her eyes in her sleep. I asked the nurse when my mom should take her eye drops and the nurse firmly telling me that she should sleep for a good four hours when she gets home, as though I asked if it were all right for my mom to mow the lawn right away.

So my mom slept and I brought her supper later on in the evening. She seems all right and is going to drive herself back down there for her post-op today but I’m not so sure she should be driving herself around just yet…

UPDATE

Conversation I had with my mom when I called to check in on her this morning:

AMY: Hey. How are you?
MOM: I'm okay.
AMY: Are you sure? Is your vision blurry at all? You shouldn't drive if-
MOM: I can see a lot better without my glass.
AMY: What? Already?
MOM: Maybe I need my glass to read the newspaper... I have to ask the doctor...
AMY: You can see better, like, right now? Can you see far away things clearly?
MOM: ... Yeah.
AMY: ... Well... I don't believe you.
MOM: ...
AMY: You're saying you can see everything clearly. You don't need your glasses to drive down, your depth perception is fine, you're... fine.
MOM: Yeah.
AMY: ... O-kay. If you say so.
MOM: Okay, bye.
AMY: Bye.

I don't know. It all seems a little too miraculous for me, but we'll see.

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