Friday, June 15, 2007

Aftermath of Vision

One thing I forgot to mention was towards the end of the procedure, something very, very cold is put in the eye, feels like ice. Not painful, just cold.

I'm not able to read much or tolerate tv, monitors, or any other light-giving device, (yeah still typing with my eyes closed) so I checked out some books on CD. Hemingway was one f-d up mo-fo. How depressed can you get? I understand now why he ended it. I recall reading and essaying on him in high school. We read The Sun Also Rises and I'm sure a couple of others - something about a fisherman and a big fish that was lost. Its significance was lost on me, but that's what you get when reading something like that as a still optimistic teen. Something about a baby looking like a skinned rabbit - a phrase that I've always kept in my memory every time I see a picture of a newborn. But "To Have and Have Not"? I thought I wanted to commit suicide when the pain in my eyes was so bad I ended up making a late night run up to Vancouver to see the doc at the office at midnight. After listening to that book... all I could do was drink a glass of wine from the bottle I'd half drank on the train yesterday (my first official follow up visit), downing an Atavan along with it, trying to eliminate the effects of a Red Bull I had so I could get off the couch this afternoon. It worked too well.

Monday was a glimpse of hell. Out of pain meds and the feeling of a healing epithelium was simply more than I could bear. It was late and I knew the ER would be a place of further waiting under torturous florescent lights, uncomfortable chairs, the seconds ticking by like an eternity because I didn't have buckets of blood gushing from my neck ensuring a quicker admittance to a room. And all that waiting would have cost me around $1000, which is only slightly less than the half tank of gas it took to get to Vancouver and back, but still. Plus my doctor is better looking than the late shift in the St. Josephs Hospital ER. If I was going to cross an international border at 11 pm, navigate my driver with my eyes closed, use my cell phone on Rogers instead of Verizon, which Verizon will eventually demand that lasered right eye to pay for... it was sure as hell going to be to see the man who did this to me and not some on-call eye doc the hospital could muster at that hour.

Everything turned out to be normal. Five percent of those who go through this have my kind of pain. Lucky me, why are not my odds this good in Vegas?

I had my follow up visit yesterday. Lacking a ride and with vision not quite good enough to see road signs and hapless pedestrians, I took Amtrak. Quite comfortable, waaay more leg room than an airplane and only about twice what I would have paid in gas (but with parking, perhaps the same.) I had three hours to kill from the train drop to the appointment, so I decided to walk the 2 kilometers; had lunch at a trendy restaurant (Earls on Robson), looked in clothing shops. Wasn't in the mood to buy. I did try on one zip, pocketed T that was long sleeved and well made, and I know that eventually I will own something by this company. Check out the initials: French Connection U. K. It looks rather, well, provocative when presented by initials only. The shirt had the letters large but the first two were mirrored. The garment was nicely made and a muted sort of purple. Marked down to fifty or so. But I'll be back there in a couple weeks for another follow up. Maybe it will be marked down more? Also I won two hoodies, one zipped, at a raffle at the Surfrider Foundation Clean Water Classic, the first week in June at Westport, Washington. Did I need another casual zippered T?

(A Canadian kid won the surfing event. He didn't look more than 15, and beat the local attitude-ridden surfer, known as Pepsi, aka Steve Martin. Oh well Steve, you lost to a kid half your age. Maybe this is the humility you needed.)

I made the mistake of walking back to the Amtrak station. I feel I know Vancouver fairly well now, but I wish I'd taken the sky train. My ten year damaged arthritic right knee started paining me. My Kenneth Cole shoes were cute but not make for city trekking. I stopped and dug for the Advil I knew was in my purse but it refused to appear before my blurry eyes. (Lo and behold, it surfaced tonight while looking for postage stamps.) Running out of time, I went on, only to wait in line for customs on the way back. They wanted me to remove my sunglasses. I did, but with my eyes closed. Sunlight sensitivity is sill a huge problem.

Seems odd that you can drive through and they ask you a few questions, maybe or maybe not show your pass-a-por-te, but when taking the train you have to fill out all the same forms you would on an airplane. Except on the train they have the advantage of stopping right at the border and taking those dang forms. I'd like to seem them try that on a plane. "We will be stalling the engines momentarily to check customs forms. Please have them ready quickly so that we don't lose too much elevation while we drop towards Earth. Once those forms are collected, we will proceed to our final destination."


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