Tuesday, June 22, 2010


so as some of you may know by now, i underwent LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery last tuesday, to correct my nearsightedness that i've had for about 20 years.

my glasses have been really tied to my identity as a certified nerd. if you didn't need glasses growing up, that probably meant you either had enhanced genetics, or never wasted them on nerdy things like that involved lots of text based activities where the text was small and hard to read (such as marvel cards, magic cards, long nerdy fantasy novel series, computers, RPG video games, comic books, etc.).

but even at the ripe age of 6, i knew that being a nerd was not a good thing in society. i dreaded getting glasses, and my first grade teacher was like, "even clark kent wore glasses!" well, i couldn't exactly tell her as a little kid that:

a) superman sucks
b) he's a loser as clark kent, that's why he takes those glasses off when he pwns n00bs, wtf

as time went on, i suffered through having these laborious glasses as a young fellow, and my eyesight became worse and worse. sometimes i'd squeeze them underneath my eyes at an angle so i could see better with them when they weren't powerful enough. i'd also remember times when they'd fall apart and i'd have to find those infinitely hard to find screwdrivers that are small enough to screw in the screws for glasses.

not to give over too much to such a trivial thing, but i think glasses had the self fulfilling prophesy of my transformation into a nerd. it was like they trapped me into a category and pigeonholed me into a role that i was only doomed to accept. i couldn't help it, people were glassesist.

fittingly enough, it was only when i acquired contact lenses that i started to become less socially awkward than i was back then. (yes, it was possible for me to be more socially awkward, if you can imagine that).

but even that wasn't a perfect solution, contacts weren't to be worn for more than a day, had to be cleaned daily, and were somewhat uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time.

my roommate had gotten PRK surgery done by this doctor, Ken Moadel. apparently he worked on the eyes of bernie williams and jason giambi, so he seemed to be pretty legit. so two wednesdays ago, i hopped in the offices to make an appointment. after getting my eyes checked out by staring at laser beams for like a billion times, they scheduled me for surgery the following tuesday. at the rate he pops out these surgeries, i'd say Dr. Moadel is not going to be needing a pension plan for his retirement.

before i went in for surgery, they told me to get a prescription filled. i bought a 3 ml container of eye drops that cost 95 dollars...wtf. that's literally like more than one dollar a drop. when i went in, i didn't have to change or anything, but i waited for like 3 nerve racking hours or so until they finally got me in the surgery room.

so apparently i'm super hyper, because they thought i was jittery enough to warrant 3 dosages of valium. so after i was sufficiently sedated, they took me to this room where there were two machines and a table to lay on. there were around 3-4 ppl in the surgery room including the main doc, one who was holding my arm as the surgery happened. the first thing they do is put this suction thingy on your eye to prevent it from closing i suppose, which is kind of uncomfortable. then they spray like infinity drops of random things in your eye which rolled down to the side of your head, and i'm thinking, "well thanks for letting random chemicals roll down the side of my head."

the next part is a bit freaky. i THINK a metal thing scraped against the front of my cornea, which is supposed to create the flap thingy so the laser can do it's work and stuff. it blurred my vision and you kind of are panicking a bit at this point cause you're not exactly sure what's supposed to be "normal" or if things are going gak. anyhow, they put you under some machine right afterwards that goes RIGHT over your eye, and this is where i think the flap is secured? not entirely sure what happens but everything kind of really went dark after this.

then you're like OMG WTF. then they flip you over to the other machine where you see a red/orange light. they tell you to look at the orange light, which you do because you think, "omg if i don't look at the light i am going to be blind." as you look at it, you hear a sound that sounds like you're being tazed, and you start smelling burning plastic. except...it's not burning plastic. IT'S BURNING FLESH. ZOMG.

then they go to work on putting the flap back on, and it's like little by little your vision starts coming back. it was like the dude in the Bible getting Jesus spit on his eyes and getting it healed in slow motion and stuff.

afterwards they put a patch over it and do the same process with the other eye.

having the second eye done was still freaky. you're like oh wait maybe i shouldn't have agreed to have both done BECAUSE IT COULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE?! but you're already in the chair so too late, gg no re. after it was all over, they gave me these funky sunglasses to wear, and i sat in a darkish room for like 10 minutes by myself with them on.

i was thinking, "am i healed? am i bionically enhanced? do i have x-ray vision or the ability to shoot laser beams out of my head?" ok maybe not exactly, but i do remember thinking, "ok it's kind of messed up to have your patient all by himself after surgery wondering wtf just happened."

then i was ushered out and told to put drops in four times a day. i took the subway home because i forgot that it'd prob be a smart idea to take someone with me to make sure i got home ok, and i just spent the time wondering how ridiculous the sunglasses i was wearing looked on me, and if it was obvious to onlookers that i had just gotten eye surgery. when i got home though, i looked at the sunglasses and they weren't that bad actually kind of ok style-wise. my sister took them for herself.

after waking up from a 4 hour nap, i felt a bit disoriented still and it was hard to look at things for more than 5 seconds even with the glasses on. now, however, i feel pretty decent although there is still a SLIGHT bit of discomfort, and it doesn't feel like my vision is 100% perfect at the moment (both apparently normal and self-correcting in a few weeks).

i still sometimes think i'm wearing contacts and need to take them out before i go to sleep, or push on my nose where i think my glasses are, but they're not. i guess it's akin to amputees feeling phantom sensations where there are none or what not, having something you're used to for so long change like that can be really weird.

but i wonder if i'll be a different person when the final after effects of the surgery wear off, and i realize that i don't need glasses anymore. i wrote once that my dream was to "be able to wake up in the morning and be excited about the day ahead, everyday." i hope this is going to be part of it.


Jessdor said...

You know lasik only fixes your eyes...and only for a certain time. Make sure to keep a plastic baggy handy in about 20 years when your eyeballs fall out

blee said...

i liked my glasses

Will said...

are you less socially awkward now

sammyvicious said...

i stopped reading after you wrote the heresy regarding superman

Anonymous said...

nice read

yoon said...

I READ IT. applause!

Justin Lee said...

dude, i don't exactly know why... but you had me laughing hysterically! HAHA... did you mean for it to be funny? I'm guessing no? But I laugh at weird things like when I get shots or acupuncture so maybe its me.. either way, that was a great laugh!

chunlee17 said...

dude, glasses are in now. i know ppl who wear non-prescription glasses. and i know tons of girls who think nerds are hot. guess i shoulda introduced you......my bad. now you're stuck with perfect vision and no hot girls.