Monday: I get my eyeballs lasered.
Two weeks ago, I saw my eye doctor for a variety of reasons, and at the end of the appointment, he basically told me that the only thing that would truly make a difference to my abysmal vision was laser eye surgery. While this may sound really cool and superhero-ish, like having your eyes get turned into lasers so you can cut things like metal and sandwiches, and defeat your enemies all with your laser eye superpower, it’s really not like that at all. As I discovered. What it actually meant was that a surgeon would use a laser to reshape my corneas, enabling me to see properly for the first time in about 40 years without really thick glasses or annoying specially made contact lenses. I used to laugh at the eye doctor’s when he would ask me to read the smallest line I could see on the chart without my glasses, and I would be like, “Chart? What chart? Where am I right now? Where did you go?!” Once when K was a baby, she woke up in the middle of the night screaming, and without thinking I raced to her room. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see where I was going and I slammed into the doorframe and broke my toe.
So I went to the consultation, mostly for my own safety, and to my surprise, the clinic was able to do the surgery a week later. I was initially really pumped about it, but as the days wore on, I also started to get a little (OK, a lot) nervous about it, mostly because they give you a LOT of information about EXACTLY what happens, and frankly, I would have been good not knowing ANY of it. Plus, as you may remember, I’d had that incident on Christmas Eve which sent me to the emergency room, and I was still feeling kind of lousy and out of sorts. But I decided to persevere, and on Monday morning, Ken and I went to the laser clinic, all ready for the eyeball carving. We could both tell my anxiety was peaking, because when we got to the clinic, there were three people in the waiting room, and they all had these little blue bags that looked like travel kits or something, and name tags. Then I went in for the last check on my eyes before the procedure, and no one gave me anything. I went back to the waiting room and whispered to Ken, “I didn’t get a bag.” Ken looked around and told me not to worry, that the bags must be for something else. Then another guy came in, and after his final eye check, he came back out to the waiting room WITH A BLUE BAG. At this point, I couldn’t keep it in any longer, and I just kind of burst out, in front of everyone, “Um…I don’t have a bag. Am I supposed to have a bag? Because everyone else has a bag. Sorry, it just seems like I’m the only one without a bag here.” I realize that I most likely sounded like a five year-old, but WTF? There could have been important stuff in the bag, like a valuable prize or coupons for Pizza Hut. The only other time I’d seen a bag that was even vaguely similar was when my brother used to fly first class and he would give me the “first class kit” they hand out to people who can afford to fly first class. These kits always contained things like “Soothing Temple Balm”, or “Refreshing Lip Gel”, or sleeping masks—all things designed to reduce the stress level of the first class passengers, because obviously they’re the ones who need the stress reduction, not the poor passengers in Economy all squished in like sardines with screaming babies and NO FREE ALCOHOL. Obviously. And of course, the biggest irony was that if it WAS a stress-relief kit, I was the one person in the waiting room who seemed to really need it and I DIDN’T HAVE ONE. But it was OK–the nurse came over right away and apologized profusely for forgetting to give my bag and my name tag, which apparently was super-important in helping everyone remember what number to set the laser to or whatever.
When I finally felt like enough time had passed to make it look like I wasn’t extremely dying to see what was in the bag, I opened it. Man, was I disappointed. It was a pair of dark sunglasses, two night shields, a roll of surgical tape, and a very complex eyedrop schedule. The night shields and tape were for “when I was sleeping”, although I had no idea how I was going to sleep with giant clear plastic circles taped to my face, waking up to put in eyedrops every f*cking hour. But I’d made such a fuss about the bag that I didn’t feel like I could back out at this point, and very soon I found myself in the “prep” room, where the prep entailed sitting in a super-comfy leather recliner and being give a healthy dose of Ativan, the sublingual kind that melts under your tongue and starts to act within about 30 seconds. So I very quickly went from 60 to zero, and pretty much no longer cared about the blue bag, laser beams, or forgetting to stay still and having my nose accidentally cut off (you might think that was a bizarre fear, but when I was lying there, the surgeon actually said, “Turn your head slightly to the left—we don’t want the laser to hit your nose.” So there.) Also, the music that was playing was modern pop music, and NOT Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, so I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get “Clockwork Orange’d”.
I’m not going into details about the actual procedure itself because I recognize that some people are already very sensitive about even the THOUGHT of someone touching their eyes—suffice it to say that the whole thing was quick, like under eight minutes with only about 75 seconds of that actually under the two different lasers, virtually painless, and when it was over, I could f*cking see. Like, REALLY see. Things were a little hazy at first, but over the course of the day, that went away, and by dinnertime, I could read the titles on the books across the room. Of course, there were some cons to the whole ordeal. For example, I can’t see in the dark like a cat the way I’d hoped, or look through walls with super X-ray vision like they used to promise in the ads in comic books, you may remember, right next to the ads for Sea Monkeys—nope, it’s just normal 20/20 eyesight. And you could tell how many years I’d been wearing contact lenses, because I keep freaking myself out. For example, I woke up in the middle of the night on Tuesday, and my first panicked thought was “Holy Sh*t, I fell asleep with my contacts in!” But I hadn’t. I could just see everything clearly in the moonlight—in fact, I could see the moonlight. And I was able to make my way to the bathroom without tripping on the dog, or running into a door. And here’s the other great thing—I was feeling pretty bad the whole past week, because in an earlier blog, I had offered to donate a certain body part to Russian scientists with the promise that it was in great shape, much better than any of my other organs, but after Christmas Eve, I felt like I would have to renege on that promise. But now, I can donate my eyes to them and avoid yet another international incident. And as for the blue bag, I’ve been taking it with me everywhere. Not only does it hold all my eye paraphernalia, it makes people think I’ve been flying first class.
Wednesday: Raven loses her bathroom privileges
I realized this week that my bathroom didn’t smell the way it always does, which is soapy and fresh and lady-like (most of the time, until Ken uses it, which ticks me off because he has his own bathroom and it’s not my fault that mine is closer to our bed). No, it smelled of cat urine. I have a litter box in the corner for Raven to supplement the one downstairs (for a tiny cat, she has a major output) but Ken cleans it out every day, so it’s never been a problem. But by Wednesday, it smelled less like my bathroom and more like an outhouse in the middle of a forest that only cats used, and because only cats used it, it never got cleaned, because they’re cats. This is sometimes called circular logic, but if you’re a cat owner, you will totally get it. At any rate, I got really fed up, and decided to replace the whole litter box, you know, just throw it all in the garbage and buy a new one. So I tossed it all in a big black garbage bag, and put it outside. Then I went back into my bathroom and everything still reeked. I sniffed around and realized then to my horror that the rug next to my bathtub was the source of the odour. It was a cat piss nightmare. I threw it out the nearest door, sprayed the floor with bleach, then waited. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, the little diva came strolling in. She walked to the middle of the room, turned towards the litter box, then did a double-take when she realized it was gone and that there was a lovely wastebasket in its place.
Raven: What the hell is going on? Where’s my toilet?
Me: BOTH your toilets are in the garbage. You just lost bathroom privileges for good. Raven: What are you talking about?! Why?
Me: Remember a few months ago, when you were peeing on the bathmat and I had to throw it away? I told you if you did it again, you could kiss the upstairs bathroom goodbye.
Raven: But it was cosy…
Me: Toilets aren’t supposed to be “cosy”! Besides, this was an area rug. It was low pile and definitely NOT cosy.
Raven: Yeah, but it had a nice floral pattern. It was like taking a leak outside in the garden. You could almost hear the birds chirping.
Me: If you want to hear the birds chirping, I can permanently accommodate you.
Raven (leaving): Screw you.
Me: And stay out of the closet!!
The upside, so I initially thought, was that I no longer had to keep the door partially closed and locked with a hook to prevent Titus from running in and eating the “delicious kitty candy” from the litter box. But apparently both my pets are asshats, because the next day, Titus wandered in through the now-wide open door and ripped apart the garbage. Personally, I think the cat put him up to it.