I hate... laser beams

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 | 3 comment(s)

So yesterday I had the laser surgery for my right eye. Overall, things went okay, I guess (it’s all relative). I wrote about the procedure in a previous post, and my experience yesterday was pretty much the same (in all the places that I mention "my left eye", just switch that with “my right eye”). The doc checked the left eye out before doing the laser on the right eye and said that it looked as if the capillary growth was receding a little (which is a good thing). I’ll go back in a few months to have them both checked again to make sure things are okay (at least for the time being) and no new capillary growth is popping up.

There was, however, one (additional) thing that I have to complain about. As I was waiting for my eyes to dilate I was able to eavesdrop on a conversation that the doc was having with another patient. Unfortunately he was telling her that she was going to need some invasive surgery for her retinopathy. And while (at first) I wanted to hear the details, it quickly became apparent that she was sobbing at the prospect of the surgery and potential vision loss. I then felt completely guilty for listening. Then, I was moved out of the waiting room to wait a little longer in an exam room for the doc to check my eyes just before the surgery. While waiting there, I was able to CLEARLY hear a discussion another doctor was having with the parent of a 36 year old man that had a melanoma in his eye and would likely need to have his eye removed. (I’m not sure it’s considered eavesdropping if listening is practically unavoidable).

Both of these conversations had me rattled, and a bit pissed off about the lack of patient confidentiality and consideration at the office. The least both doctors could have done was to CLOSE THE DOOR before having such conversations (as a courtesy to both the patient they are talking with as well as the patients within ear-shot in the waiting lounges or exam rooms). Had I not been so worried about my impending laser treatment I would have made a complaint, and may still do so the next time I go.

The title of this post ('I hate... laser beams')
Which, for the record, I don't
In fact, I think they're pretty darn cool. And I'm very thankful that a proactive and very effective treatment for retinopathy is available. Certainly seems much better than the alternative.
comes from a line in a Phish song that my friend, Kurt, pointed out to me after I had written to him about my first surgery. Not surprisingly, on my car drive to the first surgery I was playing Paul Simon’s “Boy in the Bubble” repeatedly. Are there any other songs out there with laser references in them that you know of? If so, let me know.

"Boy in the Bubble” By Paul Simon
These are the days of lasers in the jungle
lasers in the jungle somewhere
staccato signals of constant information
a lose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires, and baby
these are the days of miracle and wonder
this is a long distance call
the way the camera follows us in slow-mo
the way we look to us all
the way we look to a distant constellation that is dying in the corner of the sky
these are the days of miracle and wonder
and don't cry, baby, don't cry, don't cry

“Scent of a Mule” By Phish
Kitty Malone sat on a mule
Was riding in style
When suddenly, like the sound of a buzzard's breaking
Kitty felt laser beams being fired at her head
She said, "I hate… laser beams
And you never done see me askin'
For a UFO, for a UFO, for a UFO….
In Tomahawk County”

And as a side note...
Yet, definitely no less important
Yesterday was also my second wedding anniversary. I originally had the eye surgery scheduled for June 5th, but then the doctor had to reschedule and I wasn’t thinking too clearly when it got rescheduled to the 19th. I called back later when I realized what I had done, but the next available appointment would then be in July. Taking care of a visually impaired husband isn’t the most romantic way to spend one’s anniversary, I realize, but Megan was extremely understanding and took decent care of me while I recovered.

We did, however, get out to dinner on Sunday night to celebrate. We ate a fancy restaurant in DC called Buck’s Camping and Fishing. Thankfully, we don’t have a camera phone, and we weren’t taking pictures.

We basically split everything we had down the middle. Although, I think Megan thinks I cheated her a little on the portion size for my main dish -- I don't think I did, honest. I split it 50/50.

The meal was awesome:

* Green bean salad with roasted pistachios and goat cheese
* Beets with sun dried tomato pesto and pistachios

Main Meal:
* A very THICK sirloin steak with white sweet potato fries
* Wood-grilled shrimp and grits

* A “to die for” slice of flour-less chocolate icebox cake
* A “to die for” slice of flour-less chocolate icebox cake (we both wanted it)

I was pretty stoked when I got home and my blood sugar was at 127, and then an hour later down at 86. But two hours later (and still feeling pretty darn full) I was back up at 128 and had a hunch that I would continue to climb over night. Sure enough! I was at 234 at 2am. I took a 2.2u correction and what do I get? 287 at 7:30am. Great, just great. A bit of a downer after such a nice time.


3 Comment(s):

Blogger Lyrehca said...

I always ask to close the door when I'm sitting in a doctor's office now for this very reason.

Glad to hear the recent laser treatments are going well; did you ever notice longterm, annoying visual changes, like driving at night? Let us know how things go in a week or two after your second eye has healed.

And happy anniversary!

Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Yeah, that stinks that you had to hear all that. Glad that everything else went well for you though.

Happy anniversary too!

Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

For a minute I thought your opth clinic was in the same city as mine! Yet, I have to admit that one of my biggest discomforts when in any MD's exam room is sitting with the door closed. I hate it and feel like the walls are caving in. I was talking to the nurse and she said they left the doors open so that people wouldn't "feel isolated" I figured that it wasn't really "eavesdropping" if I didn't know the person in the next room.
When I go to my internist, they keep the doors closed but the walls are so thin that I can still hear him dictating about the last patient. So, what's the diff?
I had a big struggle with retinopathy 2 years ago - one retinal detachment, two victrectomies, one cataract surgery and at present I'm fine.

The only thing I hated about the laser treatments was that big needle going straight into my eye. The only struggle with the detachment was that I had to lay face down, not moving, for nine consecutive days (if I could get through that, I can survive a lot more!)

And, the only thing I dislike about my retinal specialist is that his finger are sometimes orange from eating cheetos, and he sings Crosby Stills Nash & Young tunes off key.

Take care, trust in yourself each day.

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