This is an update on Shannon’s eyes, but let me start by saying… can we keep doctors out of our lives for just one week, please?
Last month, Shannon reported to her LASIK surgeon to have her right eye checked. The enhancement on that eye had gone okay, and her vision in it was much better than after the initial procedure. She was experiencing slight discomfort, but not enough that she was alarmed.
In all her many prior visits, she saw the actual surgeon only when there was lasering going on. Other doctors did the vision checks, and
clinic lackeys other trained professionals did the prep work.
This time, after the first person got a look at her right eye, she very shortly found herself sitting in the surgeon’s office listening to him say more words to her than he has in the past year of this ordeal.
The flap they cut to give the doctor access for the LASIK procedure had not healed right and a few epitheleal cells had got inside. Apparently the outside of the flap is where they’re supposed to stay, but they’re just as happy to multiply once they’ve gained access. It’s rare (so of course Shannon’s going to get it), but it can happen, he said. This would eventually cloud her vision, unless the doctor re-opened the flap and scraped away the errant cells.
Scrape. Her eye. She had just come in for a preliminary check before her left eye enhancement, and now they wanted to scrape her eye. With all Shannon’s been through, this was unwelcome news. Her left eye would have to wait at least another month, and there was obviously some pain in her near future.
Wanting it all over with, she went in as soon as they could schedule it. The usual wait times applied and many other patients complained about the care they were receiving. All in all, it was a normal visit.
Then came the scraping.
“I could see this little thing, like a tiny spatula, going back and forth across my eye,” Shannon said.
Under the doctor’s orders, she left the protective contact lens on a few days rather than just overnight, and after removal they said it looked good.
The problem for Shannon? Her vision in that eye was worse than before the scraping. In the ensuing weeks it got marginally better, to a level Shannon was willing to say, “The right eye’s done. No more.” For those having trouble keeping score, that’s one surgery on the right eye, one enhancement, and one scraping.
Next up? Left eye enhancement.
Monday she reported to the clinic at 5 a.m. They like to start early over there at [redacted]’s house of let’s make another expensive television commercial of the doctor throwing a pass to a Dallas Cowboy.
As mentioned in previous entries, she has to stay awake five hours after the procedure so she can drop medicine in her eye every 10 minutes (and an appointment at 5 a.m. generally means the procedure won’t be performed until around 8 or so). This time, the pain was so severe she could barely keep her left eye open long enough to administer the drops. Shannon’s a terrible winker, so that meant sitting with both eyes closed while Ben and her mom went about their day. If she ever nodded off, it wasn’t for long, thanks to the eye drop timer.
The in-laws’ house is very close to my work, so I visited for lunch. Shannon looked at me through squinted eyes long enough to say hello and then went back to her routine.
The pain had subsided only a little when she awoke late that afternoon from a well-deserved nap. When I drove home from work, she rode with Ben and her mom to get our minivan from the clinic. The plan was for her to drive Ben home.
As I pulled away from Wendy’s (anything but carry out would require Shannon to either look after Ben or cook dinner, which is considerably difficult with both eyes closed), my phone rang. “Can you come get us?”
It was Shannon, and she had made it only a few miles from the clinic. Some nitpicky detail about no depth perception when only using one eye. When I went to pick her up (and leave my car behind), Ben had to pee, so I took him to a nearby Wendy’s. I figured I had bought food from one a few miles down the road, so it was fair use. The hand blower scared Ben, so I dried his hands with toilet paper.
I climbed back into the minivan with Gimp Toe and Squint Eye and headed home.
Tuesday night, Shannon’s eye is feeling much better. “Just a little discomfort from the protective lens. I won’t be able to tell if the vision’s any better until they remove it,” she said. (My “A Lasik Story” page tells of her entire ordeal up to this point.)
The jury’s still out on Toe Boy.
See this fascinating article that’s relevant to Shannon’s experience. It tells of doctors (and names some) who have sued to shut up patients venting online.