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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lasic Eye Surgery Gone Bad

Category: Life


Lasic Eye Surgery Gone Bad

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In the past three years I have pushed myself to travel and visit beautiful places whenever I can take a break off work. It has worked as my therapy and has kept me out of depression. However, after couple years traveling all over, this year I was a bit tired and somewhat out of close places to go to. I've been everywhere within the low-cost airline's flight radius. So instead of traveling, this year I decided to have lasic surgery to correct my vision. I thought it would lift my mood.




This type of surgery is advertised as successful in 99% of the cases and being painless and low risk. One day, I was walking down one of Madrid's most expensive streets. I was thinking what to do to spice up my life and keep myself motivated. I still don't own a home, but it is not a good time to enter the Real Estate market in Spain. While I was walking, I came across this medical center that does lasic surgery. It was in prime with lots of people entering and exiting. On the ground floor it occupied almost a whole block. Basically, it did not look like a shady business. Then I told myself. Do it! I can be quite undecided, so if I have a moment of clarity I should take advantage of it. So I went in and made an appointment. In my mind the surgery was going to lift my mood, since I would finally get rid of having to wear glasses.




The doctor checked my eye and said that my eye was perfect for this type of surgery since the cortex is sufficiently thick. On my own I also checked the doctor's name on the internet. I didn't find any complaints, just her PHD.




The surgery was supposed to be a Tuesday at 5 PM. I asked for a special permission from work to have half a day off. At 3PM the medical center calls me to say that the surgery has been cancelled because there is a problem with the machine or apparatus they use to perform the surgery. Therefore the surgery was postponed for a day. That made me really nervous. What if the medical apparatus breaks while they are operating me? However, I told myself to not be stupid and to not let obsessive thoughts take control of me. Simply relax.




The day of the surgery came and I went into the surgery room. I had heard it was painless. Ha ha, ha! It's funny how sales people can twist things around to make a bad thing sound nice!. The surgery room is dark and they stick a sticker on your eye and keep telling you not to blink! This sounds easier said than done. Blinking and eye movements are not something that can be consciously control. They are mainly reflexive. The eye's also don't feel very comfortable with a transparent sticker stuck on them. I tried to behave and think of trees and flowers, cream puffs and lakes! First they operated the right eye. The cutting tool descends on the eyes. After the cut, the laser attacks. For a period of time you lose your vision and descent into full darkness. This is a very scary moment. I remembering asking myself: What if my vision doesn't come back? Why did I take such a big risk? What if something breaks. When the laser is hitting you can smell something burning. They finished with the right eye. I was exhausted. I don't know why. Maybe from trying consciously to keep myself from moving.




Now it was time for the left eye. Because I was exhausted, a thought came to me: Ask them to operated the left eye some other day! I didn't ask! I'm not going to be a chicken! I'm not going to let obsessive thoughts control me!




But you know what, I wish I had made that request. They started the surgery on the left eye. Actually I was calmer this time. However while they where operating I suddenly heard the doctor and the assistants getting into a loud argument. As if something went wrong. I couldn't fallow what they were talking about, because had gotten myself into a very relaxed state and by the time I started tuning into the conversation, it was too late to figure out what they said. Plus it was technical material I wouldn't understand. Now I know there are conversations in surgery rooms, but this one was so heavy that I must felt like asking them what had happened. I didn't ask, I thought it would be rude. When they were getting me out of the surgery room they said that everything went on well.


After the surgery the eye's hurt like hell. They feel like they are on fire. Yet you are not allowed to rub or touch them. The pain is amazing and almost unbearable. It is also hard to see anything. The eyelashes don't want to open up.



Back in my room I tried to go to sleep. There is nothing else you can do since you cant see anything. But the pain wouldn't let me sleep. I don't drink alcohol, so if ocassionally I have a cup of wine it immediately goes to my brain. So I thought I'd go and pull that wine bottle our company gave us as a Christmas gift. But the eyes where hurting so bad that I couldnt tell the difference between the kitchen tools. Which one might be the cork opener? Eventually I was able to open the bottle. I had to drink the entire bottle of red wine until I could sleep.




The next day I wake up. Imagine the feeling!! Do my eyes work properly??? I rushed to the street to test my vision. It was a beautiful clear sunny day outside. I could see beautifully from the right eye. But the left eye was blurry. The left eye was the one they almost had a fight over when they were performing the surgery.




The pamphlet they gave me said that it is normal to have blurry vision the first two weeks. The two weeks became a month, then 3 months, etc. At the doctor they basically told me that I have to give it 6 months and it might correct itself.



It sounded wierd though because I never noticed and improvement along these 6 months.


So after 7 months I went back and at this point the healing process of the scar is finished. Therefore it is the final result.



The doctor said that I am one of those 5% that haven't had a perfect reaction to the surgery. I am left with 1 degree ( in Spanish: "Dioptria" ) of astigmatism in the left eye. I asked her why they had a loud argument when operating my left eye. She said: "I can't remember anything!. No such thing is written in your file"!. Isn't that convenient for them?? Well I sure will remember that argument for the rest of my life, since they have fcucked-up my left eye!




Let me tell you, the first few months of the 6 month wait were a total nightmare. I used to cry and wonder why even a surgery like this has to go wrong on me! Why don't things like this happen to rich people? As if I didn't have enough problems!!




Now I am nervous again because I have to decide weather to have them perform correction surgery. This could be dangerous because there is a risk of infection and the risk that the eye ends up worst than it is now. The second surgery is way more dangerous than the first because they have less material to cut from. Also the left eye is really dry after I had the surgery. It is possible that a second operation makes the dryness even worse.


Anyway, anyone thinking about having lasic eye surgery please think about it twice. It's not all rosy as they try to sell it to you. Remember it is a business and they are selling you an expensive service that is making them rich.

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Dario Margeli



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