Today marks the fifth anniversary of having the outer layers of my eyes melted away, then zapped by lasers, only to heal again over the next three months into near perfect vision. Five years ago, I had PRK surgery and blogged about my experience.
It’s funny how you forget about all the little things you had to worry about before the surgery. The daily rituals of inserting and removing and cleaning contacts, the additional pain and effort involved when having a foreign object in your eye next to your contact, the way you couldn’t read the alarm clock at night without squinting or moving extra close, the way you were screwed if you lost a contact while skiing or after getting punched in the face at the boxing gym; I haven’t had to think about those things in years.
I haven’t been to the eye doctor since those last routine checkups in the months following the PRK surgery. At the time, my left eye was 20/20 and my right eye was slightly worse. This still holds true today, though if I really think about it and compare, it does seem like the right eye is worse now than it was back then. I haven’t done a vision test and I don’t plan on it; it just feels a little fuzzy and sometimes, only rarely, does it creep into my consciousness.
I have never had any problems with dry eyes. The halos slowly diminished over the months after the surgery. While I don’t think those halos are completely gone, they are very minimal and non-intrusive. I can look up at the stars at night without being bothered by, or even thinking about halos. That was one of the things that scared me most in the first year after my surgery – in the months following the operation, the night sky was a smudgy mess and the individual pinpricks of light were now splattered across my field of view, as if I was looking through a smudgy and wet windshield. No amount of blinking would make the stars clearer, but over time, the halos and smudginess diminished to the point of forgetfulness, and I could once again appreciate the night sky without being burdened by the thought that it might be forever skewed.
When I opted for PRK instead of LASIK, it was because I was in kickboxing and MMA and I dreaded the idea of getting the corneal flap left by LASIK torn off during a bout. It’s funny though – during my healing time, I happened to read a book called The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks and realized that I was probably lucky not to have suffered any long term mental problems from getting routinely pummeled in the head during training and fights, and I should probably quit while I was ahead. That book discussed extreme cases of a variety of brain problems – not necessarily impact related – but it made me a lot more conscious about my own gray matter, and I realized I should probably try to save what I have left. Thus, I closed the chapter on my fighting life. Now I’m just a lover.
I’m very happy that I had the surgery. While I think my right eye may have degraded in visual acuity somewhat, it isn’t something that’s noticeable until I focus on it. And even then, perhaps it hasn’t even changed. I love being able to wake up with full sight, to see underwater, and to not be encumbered by glasses or contacts. I know the experience hasn’t been great for everyone, as evidenced by the large numbers of comments on this blog. It worked for me.
If I were to ever recommend PRK, I’d make sure to highlight a few things:
- Do your research. Learn about the procedure, the risks and complications, and the healing process. There are plenty of blogs like mine which describe the experience of different people. I was a patient for whom everything turned out just right. There are also a number of horror stories. Know your risks.
- Go to a few clinics and compare the doctors. Review them online. Make sure you trust them with one of your most important senses.
- Be persistent with your doctor. Have them explain the healing time and possible complications in detail. If they wave off complications or try to bully you into doing the procedure even though you’re not a perfect candidate, run.
- Be prepared for at least a month of barely being able to read text directly in front of your face, and for at least a three month time of very bad vision
- Try not to despair. It’s a long healing process and you’ll likely spend the first week of it incapacitated and blind, and in a good amount of pain. The next few months can be agonizing, but if all goes well, you’ll hopefully be in love with your new eyesight and in retrospect, you’ll realize it was all worth it.
In reading a lot of the comments posted here, it seems like there are a good number of fast-food style surgeons who care more about the number of people herded through the zappy laser machine than they care about them as individuals with a life to maintain. Perhaps it’s just a sample bias, in that those are the types of people more likely to complain. Regardless, be on the lookout for any McSurgeons who try to casually dismiss the healing process or the dangers inherent in so delicate a procedure.
I can’t stress that enough. If the surgeon downplays the healing time or the risks, or if they don’t dissuade you from the surgery after telling you you’re not an ideal candidate, avoid it at all costs. There are a lot of people out there for whom this procedure will work fine, but there are a number of people who can be permanently devastated by either a botched surgery, a botched recovery time, or because they were a more “risky” candidate. If you have consistently dry eyes or thin corneas, you don’t make a good candidate and it’s just something you’re going to have to accept, because the alternative of having screwed up eyesight permanently is much more depressing than having to put in contacts or wear glasses everyday.
In all, do your research and know the risks.
I’ve been extremely happy with my results, and I wish the same to anyone looking to improve their quality of life in this aspect. Good luck on your journey, and thanks for stopping by.
I borrowed a vehicle the other day and the station was tuned to one of those lousy easy listening dung-heaps of a station, the kind that play the John Tesh Show. If you haven’t heard of it, count yourself lucky. Its tagline is, “Intelligence for your life.” This guy goes on the internet and finds random facts or half-baked studies and spouts them off between elevator music tracks with a smug tone that sounds like that annoying kid in class who always had to raise both his hands when the teacher asked a question. I hated that kid.
I’m too much of a gentleman to change stations while borrowing someone else’s vehicle, so I grudgingly obliged and listened to John Tesh, enraptured in the exciting facts I would undoubtedly learn.
So this douchebag comes on after a song and says something to the effect of,
“Ladies, a recent study has shown that if you want to be taken seriously by your employer, wear lipstick. Studies have shown that those women who don’t wear make-up are not taken as seriously by their employer and are more likely to be passed over when it comes to raises and promotions. So ladies, make sure you’re wearing short skirts and tall leather fuck-me boots whenever you’re around your horny bosses because if you don’t look like you’re ready to get on your knees and polish his knob, he won’t take you seriously.” – John Tesh
Ok, that last part was a bit of hyperbole, but he totally said the thing about the lipstick in the workplace and how women should doll themselves up if they want to be taken seriously. He recommended that women should wear lipstick and go along with it, as if it’s an expected part of advancement in the workplace.
Dude, if you’ve got a platform where a lot of people look to you for information – however misguided they may be – and you just tell the world to conform to misogynistic stereotypes, you are part of the problem. If there actually was a study that showed dressing like a hooker is better for a lady’s career, the right response is, “What the fuck?!? We need to change this!” You answered with, “Don’t fight it ladies! Your merit is based on your fuckability.” You, my good sir, are an asshole.
I took a break from my normal porn this week to indulge myself with a little bit of today’s most popular porn, a book by the name of Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s a purportedly wild fuckfest involving a rich guy and a naive narrator. What more do you need? Obviously not a story-line. Genital fondling will have to do.
I normally would give you a spoiler alert, but in order to spoil a story, you must first have a plot. I searched for a plot in vain but instead found chapters filled only with grunts, thrusting, spankings, and shoddy dialog. I guess I spoiled it for you already. The plot is sex, sometimes involving a lot of foreplay, but always resulting in a speedy finish.
If you’re still with me, here’s the jizz of the – I’m sorry, gist of the book. Clueless and overly ambiguous virgin (the narrator), Anastasia, hooks up with Rich Uncle Pennybags (aka The Monopoly Guy), who is into bondage. His name is actually Christian Grey but to be honest, I can’t stomach having to look at the word Grey any more.
Every color and metaphor in this book is conveniently located somewhere on the color wheel between black and white. Everything. Get it? No, do you fucking get it? The author sledgehammered it into my brain, so you get it too. It’s gray. All of it. Every stitch of clothing, every wall, every floor, every analogy; it is all that damnable grey. THERE IS NO TIME FOR SUBTLETY. The name of the story is Fifty Shades of Grey. You’d think the author would try to be a bit less obtuse, but no. Mr. SexyTime’s name is Grey. His corporation is named Grey. His building, his office, his furniture, his tie, all his suits, his eyes, his sex toys, her dress, probably even his semen. It’s all gray. I’m sick of the color. Henceforth, I will refer to Mr. I’m-not-even-typing-it-again as, The Monopoly Guy. Because, you know, he’s rich.
So the Monopoly Man has a lot of money and he’s into kinky sex. In his words, “I don’t make love. I fuck … hard.” Ana is about to graduate college when she helps her friend – a friend who for some reason must always be accompanied by her last name every goddamn time she’s mentioned, Kate Kavanagh – by interviewing Moneybags for the school paper. This is where they meet and they are both instantly horny. Dicky McHardon then stalks her and tries to seduce her in the hardware store where she works by buying ropes and plastic ties while shifting his eyebrows and winking. Yes, goddammit, she works at a hardware store, perfect for all your sexy torture needs.
They eventually go out and he flies her in his helicopter to his mansion in the sky so he can show her a room full of medieval torture instruments.
BUT THERE’S A TWIST. Before the Monopoly Man can ejaculate into someone new, he forces little Miss Innocent to sign an NDA so no one finds out how high he ranks on the weird-shit-o-meter. She signs without reading because of her raging lady-boner and, after he shows her the torture room, he admits that the only thing he wants out of the relationship is a warm fuck toy he can torture. In order to do this, we see our first major plot point: even more documentation in need of a signature. She has to sign some legal agreement that stipulates her place as a Submissive and his place as a Dominant, and it has checkboxes for things she is or isn’t ok with; things like swallowing semen, genital clamps, and ANAL FISTING. This documentation becomes the secondary focus of many other fucking chapters.
Ana is a bit disturbed and admits her life-long lack of man-meat. Mr. E. Rection is so taken aback by the fact that our narrator has never had a dong inside her that he does something he’s never done before. He makes love to her. He calls it vanilla sex because it doesn’t involve whips or a crucifix. She, of course, climaxes with nearly every thrust, as virgins often do.
Yada, yada, yada, sex and money, regrets and rejuvenation, your mom getting hot and bothered as she reads this book in the family living room right in front of you.
At some point, the author seemed to realize there needed to be a point to the story other than coitus. The attempt at making this book palatable was for the narrator to try and find out why Moneybags was the way he was. In shocking revelations, we find out he was adopted after having been born to a crack whore and he has some burns on his chest. That’s it. You’ll have to read the other books to find out everything else. I sure as hell am not going to do it.
An Education in Painful Sexy-times
When our little grey man gets tired of humping something without causing it pain, he instructs Ana that she should look up BDSM on her brand new computer, the one he gave her in payment for sex. In all the dark corners of the internet where one could learn about the seedy underworld of torture-sex, she goes straight to Wikipedia.
So I did too! I searched for Submissive but ended up learning about politics and sociology. NOT SEXY.
So then I typed in BDSM and got what I was looking for. Now this is more like it. I am so turned on right now.
Your Very Own Best-Seller Generator
Richie Dick pilots helicopters and drives fast cars and he’s got a room in his palace with all sorts of BDSM gear. She’s an innocent, never been laid sort of girl who longs after him for his money and the fact that he treats her more like a FleshLight than a human being. It’s a match made in heaven. The rest of the book includes variations on the following themes. Put these in a bag and shake them up, then rearrange them several times and you’ve got yourself a best-seller.
- Oh he’s so sexy. Look at the way his eyes are grey, and the way his grey flannel PJs hang off his hips, and how his grey tie leaves marks on my wrists when I’m tied to the bedpost.
- Ana: I want to be more than a FleshLight. Monopoly Man: I only want to fuck. Ana: Let’s talk about it. Monopoly Man: Let’s fuck. Ana: Ok. SPERM EVERYWHERE.
- Ana: But I want to touch you. Monopoly Man: I don’t want to be touched. Ana: Why? Oh, what could have happened to you, you poor soul? Monopoly Man: Bend over. You’ve been naughty and I’m going to fuck you. Ana: Ok. SYNCHRONIZED ORGASMING.
- Ana: [bites lip]. Monopoly Man: I’m going to fuck you because biting lips turns me on and I should be the one biting. NIPPLE ORGASMS.
- Ana: [rolls eyes]. Monopoly Man: I’m going to spank you and then fuck you because you disobey. OUCH THAT KIND OF HURTGASM.
- Monopoly Man: Here, have a new dress/underwear/phone/computer/car/first class plane ticket. Ana: I can’t possibly take this. It would be like I’m being paid for sex. Monopoly Mans: Nuh-uh. Ana: Ok. Monopoly Man: Fuck-time. Grab your ankles. MENSTRUATIONGASM.
- Monopoly Man: You need to eat something. Stop talking back. Call me Sir. Go sit in the corner until I say you can move. No play time until you do your homework. Ana: I’m so turned on right now. ELECTRA COMPLEX ORGASM.
This book is heavily redundant.
My Inner Goddess is Gagging
Let me just take a break, because you’re obviously turned on by all of this, and we need to bring it down a notch. I’d like to point out a recurring theme, which if you have already read the book, you probably never want to hear about again. Her sexual encounters and fantasies always include her “inner goddess.” This “inner goddess” is always dancing or high jumping or cheer-leading or <insert your own lame metaphor here and it will probably be better than the author’s half-assed attempt at creativity>.
My particular favorite is the time she’s giving Daddy Warbucks a blow-job in the bathtub and her inner dialogue proclaims, “My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” Give that a second to sink in. This is on the best-sellers list and it deserves your full attention: “My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.” I wasn’t familiar with this particularly strained metaphor so I looked it up. Here’s the merengue with salsa moves.
This is how giving a rich guy a blowie feels.
Aside from the pain brought on by all the Inner Goddess talk, we are treated to loads and loads of awkward conversations. Every time someone opened their mouth and didn’t shove a throbbing erection in it, I was jolted awake as my inner goddess screamed, “PEOPLE DON’T TALK LIKE THAT.” There wasn’t a sentence in this book longer than three words that I could ever imagine a sane human being saying to another person in everyday conversation.
This book is bad. It’s really bad. There is no plot. But come on, when is the last time you watched porn for a plot, or read a Playboy because of the articles? Nobody rents Backdoor Sluts 9 for the story-line, and you probably don’t need to see the first eight to enjoy the continuation of some epic story arc.
So when someone tries to tell you they’re reading this book for the plot, you can comfortably laugh in their face and liken it to your fondness of Logjammin’ because you’re interested in the field of cable repair.
And above all, remember the semblance of a plot when you come across your own mother, sitting in the family living room, engrossed in reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Remember the specifics. Before your mother looks up at you from the page, remind yourself of the conversation in the book where the Monopoly Man is explaining to Ana just how wondrous the world of ANAL FISTING can be, and that if he could just warm her up with varying degrees of BUTTPLUGS, she would be sure to enjoy it. Remember that scene, as your own mother, from whose womb you came, looks up at you from Fifty Shades of Grey, with gradually reddening cheeks and a hasty dismissal of the book.
Go over and hug your mom and tell her, it’s ok, a lot of people are into ANAL FISTING. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.