Days of our Lives!

November 9, 2005

I lose my intellectual look

Filed under: My Dayz — Santhosh @ 3:21 PM

I finally decide to undergo laser treatment on my eyes and the date set is sometime during the diwali week. Diwali is on tue, nov 1st. On monday ppl from the Aravind group come over to my place to give the customary diwali sweets and invite all to the marriage of one of their daughters.

At this point my mom (anxious as all mothers are) pitches in and tells them about my proposed plan of action. So what do they do? Dr.Kim, head of the retina section, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, leads me to my bedroom and proceeds to check out my retina, shaking his head at the condition my poor room was in. Dunno what he expected from a 21 yr old fresh out of coll. Anyways, i clear his probing and he asks me to come up to the hosp on wednesday.

The day prescribed finds me and my mom up in Dr.Prajna’s room in the hosp. Dr.Prajna’s the one who’s going to perform the surgery. I commit the folly (in hindsight) of enquiring him about the procedure and he, the character that he is, coolly proceeds to type up the following in his laptop and hands me a copy.

LASIK : Laser-ASsisted In-situ Keratomileusis.
“Flap and Zap.” 15-minute out-patient procedure; 70% of patients have vision corrected to 20/20, 10-15% need second operation, 1-5% have complications.
Corrects astigmatism as well as near- and far-sightedness.
Standard trade-off: vision is dimmer and contrast is weaker.
This is still for those who care more about how they look than how they see.
The procedure consists of cutting a flap in the epithelium (protective outer covering of the cornea) with a fine knife called a microkeratome, then reshaping the interior of the cornea by ablating the exposed surface with an excimer laser.
The released flap rebonds and heals quickly after the operation.
(One of the failure modes of the procedure is if the flap doesn’t flip back into the right position and heals off-center. A rarer failure mode is that it doesn’t heal.)

Ha ha. That got you, didnt it? Imagine the rainbow of faces that i (comp.sc even in school) would have made while going through it. Poor me. After a day of tests interrupted by lunch in his room, i’m declared fit to undergo the ‘correction treatment’ as he so kindly put it.

The Day, 4-11-05, fri
As promised, the entire procedure lasts for 15 mins, except for me. I’m slotted to be the last for the day (remind me to ask him if it was by chance or design) and he puts me under the sort of apparatus that make up nightmares and proceeds to query me on how i find my job. What’s more, he expects me to answer them, while he’s busy picking n scraping around wit something (it’s gotta be something evil) into my poor eyes. The surgery was not too bad except for some slight pain when the laser beam was focussed into my eyes.

And voila!, i’m free from specs for the rest of my life. So now i have to use these eye drops for about a week (which about 3 people have so kindly threatened to call me up 4 times a day to remind me), stay off tv and the system (hey that’s my bread) for 4 days and wear these cool coolers for a month (which i plan on extending).

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