Laser Eyes (Part 1 of 2)

(Today is part one of a two-part story. Part 2 is here.)

I’ve had poor eyesight for as long as I can remember. Primarily farsightedness. My mom took me to get glasses when I was in the third grade. I wore them for exactly one day and then never put them on again. Finally, when I was 16, although my eyesight was decent enough that I passed my driver’s exam, I couldn’t deny that I really couldn’t see safely at night. So I caved and got contact lenses. (That’s a story perhaps I’ll tell you another time.)

When Kenny, our first child, was about to be born, Kendra convinced me that I couldn’t risk not being able to see at his birth, particularly if he came in the middle of the night and I didn’t have time to get my contacts in before we’d have to leave the house. So I went and got glasses again. I spent a lot of money and selected very carefully. But later, when I saw the pictures from the hospital, I just couldn’t stand how I looked with them on. I think the problem is that if I wear glasses large enough to offset my nose, it looks like I’m trying to be all Hollywood. And if I wear glasses that are “cool” and the appropriate, “normal” size for the rest of my face, it’s impossible not to notice that they could fit handily into either one of my cavernous nostrils. Although that might make for convenient storage and quick access, it’s hardly practical. More importantly, it’s ugly.

So, still burdened by contacts and my backup ugly glasses, one day at work I was discussing my dilemma with a friend who told me about Lasik, laser surgery for your eyes. He had had it done, and he said (and this is an exact quote): “It’s the best money I ever spent on myself.” I didn’t need a lot of convincing. This was some twelve years ago, when Lasik was still pretty expensive—something like $1600 per eye—not like today, where you can have it done in the back of a van that comes to where you work, and if you bring in a Dr. Pepper can, you get a 10% discount. But after some research (and seriously begging Kendra), we set it up. And this is where our story begins…

Now, I don’t know whether you’re familiar with Lasik, but if you actually listen to what happens during the procedure, although the assistant tries to make it all sound routine, my consultation went something like this:

ASSISTANT: The Doctor has performed this procedure more than 38,000 times over the last 22 years…with-an-82%-success-rate.

ME: Excuse me? What? What was that last part?

ASSISTANT: Nothing. Here’s how it works: Using a highly precise scalpel, in an in-office procedure, The Doctor will make a minuscule, half-moon shaped incision…directly-onto-the-cornea-of-your-eye.

ME: I’m sorry. Did you say…

ASSISTANT: Then with another very precise instrument, The Doctor will open the flap he’s created…exposing-the-inside-of-your-eyeball-where-it’s-possible-although-not-likely-and-anyway-we-have-a-really-good-success-rate-and-it-almost-never-happens-that-infection-could-be-introduced-and-you-could-lose-your-sight.

ME: Uh…

ASSISTANT: Then The Doctor…blasts-a-loud-banging-super-high-intensity-laser-directly-into-your-eye-burning-away-living-tissue-and-kind-of-carving-it-into-a-shape-he-likes-and-thinks-will-probably-help-you-see.

ME: A…

ASSISTANT: Finally, The Doctor…blasts-the-dead-flesh-out-with-a-shot-of-air-and-lays-the-flap-back-over-and-because-the-surface-of-your-eye-is-basically-aqueous-it-uh-more-or-less-heals-itself.

ME: So what I hear you saying is that…

ASSISTANT: Do you have any questions?

ME: This “Doctor”: He’s like a real doctor, right?

ASSISTANT: Real enough. He’s got like a plaque in his office and everything.

ME: Um… Can I get a Valium beforehand?

ASSISTANT: We wouldn’t have it any other way.

ME: Do I need to sign anything? Like a waiver or something?

ASSISTANT: (laughing) Oh, my God. That’s hilarious! YES! Like, a bajillionty forms! I’ve heard it’s less trouble to do a house closing on a haunted mansion that’s a portal into hell and where serial murders were committed.

ME: Let’s light this candle.

Coming on Friday: The Actual Procedure…

Have you ever had a procedure done that the staff acted was like a completely simple, normal thing, but was actually terrifying? Have you ever had a procedure performed that was against your better judgment, but your vanity wouldn’t let you off the hook? Which do you think is better: Taco Bell or Taco Bueno? Justify your answer.

11 Responses to “Laser Eyes (Part 1 of 2)”

  1. kat soup November 17, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Bueno is more bueno! I only get one thing, Mexi Dip and Chips, med. Pepsi and Cinammon chips. YUM!

    • Brannon November 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

      And Kathleen dodges the procedure question entirely. Well played. Also, Pepsi is never yum.

      True story: A friend of my wife’s told her they were at a restaurant recently and her teenage son ordered a Coke. The waitress asked, “Is Pepsi okay?” He responded, “That depends. Is it okay if we pay with Monopoly money?”

  2. Debbie Golden Miller Sewell (whew!) November 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Bueno, but I can’t eat it anymore because my cholesterol is like 276. (I do likes me some butter!). Now it is McDonald’s side salad with the grilled chicken off a McChicken sandwich, no bun, no salad dressing. Sigh. But tell Kendra I am starting to really enjoy turkey bacon, ground turkey, turkey meatballs, turkey soup. You get the idea.

    • Brannon November 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

      Cholesterol, shlemesterol. 20 Party Tacos, 20 Party Burritos, two kidney-busting drinks: “That’ll be $2.18, please.” Bueno for the win!

  3. Debbie Golden Miller Sewell (whew!) November 17, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    P.S. No justification for the Bell vs Bueno answer really. Maybe the farts just don’t smell as bad???? :-/

    • Brannon November 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

      And people tell me I overshare…

  4. Kendra Golden November 17, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Bueno. You didn’t have to beg. I saw you in the glasses.

    • Brannon November 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

      That. Just. Happened. Served in my own comments. Guess I asked for that. (Somehow.) And for the record, Kendra looks supercalifragideliciousillyfoxy in her glasses—like a naughty librarian. Rrreggle.

  5. Julie November 20, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Even God said it was “Bueno”.

  6. Julie November 20, 2010 at 12:23 am #

    Oh, and *bajillionty*!?! Ahaaahahaaa!

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