Nigh on two weeks ago, O my brothers and sisters, your Faithful Narrator went under the microtome and the laser beam so that my starry glazzes might viddy the cruel, cruel world dobby-like. Grazhny contact lenses are no longer in my present day; cally remembrances of the far, far distant past, they are. I was faced with the potential of needing two pairs of otchkies, one for distance and the other for reading and mid-range viddying, “Yarbles!” to that, I skazated. So I got it into my gulliver that having my glazzes shived to perfection was the way to go.
So you, my Science Blog droogs, might wonder why am I govoreeting like a clockwork nadsat? Because after I went under the shive of the microtome and the beam, I ponied well how Alex DeLarge felt. Oh, yes, I did, my brothers and sisters.
With diopters of -8.5 and -11.0 for correction of my right and left eyes, respectively, plus presbyopia, I was not a good candidate for standard LASIK; my corneal thickness was borderline for achieving such a correction. So I opted for epi-LASIK with lamellar epithelial debridement (discussed in The Epi-LASIK Flap: Take It or Leave It? from the Review of Opthamology). The idea behind the epithelial debridement is that the flood of proinflammatory molecules (cytokines, chemokines and the like) released from more damaging types of refractive surgery (PRK, LASEK) is avoided, sparing the vulnerable stroma..
The surgery was no big deal although it was somewhat bizarre. When my doc applied the epikeratome, I saw a flock of really far-out colorful dots. Fond memories were triggered briefly amongst my CB-1, dopamine D1 and D2 and various flavors of 5HT receptors. The procedure all told took about twenty minutes. The doctor did not play any music during the surgery so I am still able to slooshy the old Ludwig van with no ill effects.
It’s the recovery that’s the real bugger. Think sand in your eyes for days. Fortunately, the corneal epithelium has a rapid proliferation rate so the first layer or two of cells formed after four days or so on my right eye, but it took ten days for the epithelial layer of my left eye to completely close. My vision clarifies daily as the tissues reform. This is not a procedure for those who expect immediate results or are so risk adverse that they desire a 100% guarantee of no adverse complications. There are plenty of the latter, but my vision was so abysmal that I took the ocular plunge, and hope that I am not an unlucky statistic.
So far, so good. As of today, my right glazz is 20/40, and the left is coming along nicely. My left eye is the dominant one. It was corrected for distance vision, and my right for near-vision. It’s pretty nice to be able to read the fine print now. I wake up and out of habit, reach for my glasses, then realize I don’t need them.
As for relieving the “discomfort” following the ultraviolence committed on my glorious orbs, I didn’t even need to go to the Korova bar for a swig of drencrom-laced moloko. My dobby tabs of Percocet rarely left my side for a few days.
Finally, here’s a handy Nadsat Glossary. There are vecks and devotchkas who think they are oh so oomny with that cally Talk Like a Pirate Day chepooka. I think “Talk Like a Droog Day” would be real horrorshow.