Eye surgery is not for the meek.
Or for those prone to panic attacks.
If this post doesn’t make sense and has more typos then usual, its because I’m on valium while I’m writing this. And I’m too high and tired to add pictures right now. Sorry.
Do you all remember some of my panic attacks? When Lost in the Crenshaw District of LA, Sacrifice The Blond, The Rain In Spain, and of course, Panic Much? FEAR = F*ck Everything And Run. (I can’t add the links now ’cause I’m too fuzzy. You can find them all on my One Trick Pony page tab.) UPDATE 2 Weeks later: I’ve sobered up, posted a post-op pic, and added links for you all. You’re welcome.
Well, you can add this puppy to my list of Big A** Panic Attacks.
No, it was not lasik surgery, or elective. I had to have a bump removed from my eyelid. I was quite fine with the small bump on the top of my lid, about the size of half a green pea, until it started causing astigmatism (loss of vision in what was once my good 20-10 eye). Yeah, totally sucky situation.
The good part is looking out of that one eye gives everyone a lovely soft-focus filter kind of look. I use that eye when I’m looking at myself in the mirror… it smooths out the wrinkles.
Not that I have any many.
The doctor said they could cut the bump out and my vision would probably return to normal. Oh, goody. Needles and knives NEAR MY EYE. I asked the doctor if I could just get eye glasses instead. Obviously.
He said no.
Me: “What will happen during the surgery?”
Doc, all cheery and nonchalant: “We flip your lid inside out and make an incision on the underside, cut the underside of the bump, clear it out and then you’re done.”
Me: “I’m not awake for this, right? You will knock me out??”
Doc, still cheery, waving his hand dismissively: “Oh no, nothing like that! We’ll give you a local anesthetic by sticking needles in your eyelid.”
The Marquis de Sade is my doctor.
Me: “Just a local? But then I’ll be awake and able to SEE you cutting into my eyelid! Can’t you knock me out?!”
Doc, a bit less cheerful as it begins to dawn on him that I might be a special case: “No, it’s just a quick procedure. But if you have a ride home, we can give you a valium.”
Me, with complete conviction: “I want the valium. Don’t worry about the ride, just have the valium ready.”
A few weeks pass, and now it’s almost time for the surgery. I call the day before to make sure they have my valium and that everyone knows I. Get. Valium.
As they requested, I’m there fifteen minutes early to take the pill in time for it to work.
They wouldn’t give it to me yet. WTF???
Fifteen minutes go by, and now it’s almost my surgery time. I’m getting panicky about getting the valium in time so I don’t get more panicky during the surgery. I go to the desk again: “Valium time.”
Now the receptionist gives me a long diatribe about how there are three patients in surgery before me and the nurse will come get me when it ‘stime.
I explain I need it before the surgery. It needs time to take effect.
She repeated the nurse would come, and added in plenty of time.
As I walked off, I muttered something about how they really don’t want me to have a panic attack while they’re cutting my eye. Other patients in the waiting room laughed.
Guess I didn’t quite mutter.
But now I’m having a panic attack just waiting for them to give me the fucken valium so I wouldn’t have a total meltdown during the surgery.
Nice planning, assholes.
After that trip to the window the nurse, seconds ago too busy to deal with patient number four, suddenly appears with my pill. They obviously decided it was better to calm me down now rather than risk me raising the anxiety level of the other waiting patients.
Good idea. Give the girl a pill ASAP before she upsets the rest of the room.
For the sick and twisted folks like myself, the gory details are in the following paragraph. Skip to the next bold line if you are squeamish.
This was caused by a chalazion, a clogged oil duct in the lid. This became infected when Doc #1 gave me the wrong medicine. He didn’t even know what this fairly common thing was. He sends me to Doc #2 who said, “I can’t believe Doc #1 gave you this medicine – it’s so outdated. Now we use this really good medicine. Here, have some.” That’s pretty much how it went. The really good medicine worked, but I was left with a scar the size of half a pea on the top of my lid. Very likely that Doc #1’s lack of adequate training is the reason this turned into a scar.
The surgery involved three shots to my lid to numb it. I asked the doc if I could just drink the lidocaine instead. He laughed. I wasn’t kidding. So I said, ‘No really, can’t I just drink it?’ He said no.
I’ll be he has a dungeon at home, complete with whips and chains and one of those stretching racks.
Mind you, I’m on the valium when I ask that and it has taken the edge off – the edge off my scream.
Next to the injections, flipping my lid inside out with the pinchy-squeezy tool was the most painful. When he was finished, I opened my other eye and that’s when I saw the blood.
There were lots of bloody gauze pads and swabs. Way more blood than I thought could come from and eye.
My top lid is all puffy and black and blue. The incision underneath isn’t painful – it the injections sites that are bruised and swollen. And where the pinchy-squeezy tool held my lid inside out.
Ok, that’s all the gory details. You can look again.
So within a few weeks my soft-focus filter will be gone, and I’ll be able to see the wrinkles again. Oh, joy.
Panic attacks run in the family.
Chickenbone, my sister, was my kind chauffeur. She is smarter about these attacks because she has a prescription for panic pills. She said next time I could have one of her pills so I didn’t have to have a pre-panic attack waiting for the doctor to give me valium.
I love my sister.
About the valium… I really don’t like the after effects at all: I have trouble forming sentences, and I keep mixing up words. My legs feel tingly from the hips down. My arms and hands are tingly, too. It’s made me really sleepy so I slept most of the day. And my brain is really fuzzy, and so is my memory. I think I wrote an email to Guy Kawasaki earlier. (He’s speaking at the place I work soon, and he knows The Bloggess, and he seems nice. I wrote it mostly because of the last two. I shouldn’t have confessed to him I work where he’s speaking. He probably won’t come now.)
On the other hand, it was so odd – and lovely – to have a few hours of not feeling anxious about anything. Wow, what a world! I can’t remember the last time I was so calm for so long. That feeling is VERY addicting. Now I want to know that feeling all. the. time.
Well, I’m sleepy and this post is probably really weird. And too long.