Mondo Monday: Facing My Fear of the Corneal Flap

...the eyes have it.

Corneal flaps. I can’t think of any two words in the English language more disturbing when paired up. (Except maybe “erectile” and “dysfunction”…or “Amy” and “Winehouse”…”Fox” and “News(?)…just spitballin’ here.) Corneal flaps is the term that almost kept me from the life-changing procedure, LASIK vision correction. It’s no secret that the Gill Man has a day job and that day job involves writing copy for miscellaneous (semi-)high-profile clients. Clients I will not name here because I’ve seen colleagues suffer for simply MENTIONING one particular client in his blog. A client that happened to be our agency’s bread and butter (and peanut butter and jelly — hint-hint). That said — one client shed a new light on laser surgery and helped me overcome my repulsion to the very idea of corneal flaps. After writing ad copy appealing to your insecurity re: how retarded you look in your big ol’ dumb ol’ glasses — while wearing glasses, I knew it was time to make a change.

Saturday I went under the laser and finally took the step I’d only ever toyed with in the past. After a 90 minute vision exam to assess my potential candidacy I was invited to go ahead and have the procedure done right then and there. I went for it and now feel compelled to tell the world (read: you, solitary reader) the truth about LASIK: IIIII’M BLIIIIIIIND!!!

Heh. Jay-Kay.

I’m more 20/20 than John Stossel, bitches! …and couldn’t be happier. (Did I mention I went IN, a mole-like -7?)

What a cruel cosmic joke to learn that my eyes carried the potential for good vision all along — but it needed to be unlocked by a laser-blast to the gristly balls of bloodshot tissue we call “eyes.” But back to corneal flaps (sorry.) — so they slip something that looks like an eyelash curler UNDER your eyelids and pry them open in a Clockwork Orange-y nightmare that was probably the most terrifying part of the whole dicey experience. Next they slice your cornea with either a laser (like me) or a METAL BLADE (!) (I shit you negative.) and peel it back (but not off) like an orange rind. Then with a DIFFERENT laser (they looked the same from where I was sitting) they “sculpt” the little vision-making thingies under the cornea — this, to me, is the mystifying magical part — before returning the rind to the orange and squishing it into place. Seriously. There were squishing sounds. Are you gagging yet?

If you’ve ever considered playing Laser Tag with your peepers (pew-pew-pew!) allow me to recommend it whole-heartedly. I went in for my exam at 11:30 AM and was home and relaxing (corneal flaps returned to their original position) by 3 PM. What’s more: there was (virtually) no pain AND I had the unique experience of smelling red-hot laser burning through eyeball tissue (!) MY eyeball tissue(!!!)

After a fairly uncomfortable night of watery eyes and the unshakable feeling that I had something under my contacts (which I obviously wasn’t really wearing) — I woke up to near-perfect vision. I only say NEAR perfect because there was still a soft fuzzy halo around everything — like life was one big soft-focus Barbara Walters interview. A day later, however, the haze is gone and I’m seeing the world without aid for the first time since SECOND GRADE. I’ve been through hard contacts, soft contacts and some seriously ugly glasses. But NO MORE!

Here’s where I pump my fist in the air, deliver a testimonial, and then slip into an improv Sunday-morning infomercial. (“Have YOU forgotten what the inside of your shower looks like? Are you ready to realize your dream of becoming a US fighter pilot?)

I plan to upgrade to X-ray vision next week and spend the weekend hanging outside movie theaters showing Sex in the City.

Upgrade to heat vision, you ask? Now you’re just being silly.

~ by Number5ive on June 10, 2008.

One Response to “Mondo Monday: Facing My Fear of the Corneal Flap”

  1. Yay! Happened over this way, and lo and behold, I get a well-written essay in place of that phone call that alluded us on Sunday.

    I’m so happy for you and your peepers. But I will miss hipster-Gill Man’s black specs from time to time.

    So, without any hint of irony, you’ll have to “come up (over) and see me sometime.”

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