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Showing posts from January, 2011

How to Survive PRK

1.  Buy lots and lots and lots of lubricating eye drops.  You will be using more of these precious little bottles and vials than you have ever dreamed possible.  Also, you will notice immediately if you run out, say, in the midst of a conference that you are attending.  The drier your eyes get, the more you will ghost, so lubricate regularly!  Systane Ultra Lubricant Eyedrops (High Performance) are quite comforting and seem to be better than some of the other brands and consistencies that I have tried.  But be prepared to pay.  These puppies aren't cheap.

2.  Go to your one-week post-op check-up and talk with your doctor.  Say things like, "I was planning on trying to give my eyes a rest today because I am worried about straining them."  He will say things like, "Actually, I would prefer that you use your eyes."  Apparently, even though you can barely see past the ghosts to read, it is not in fact harmful to be trying to do so.  Just set the resolution on your …

The Ghost of Vision PRKsent

I have never been so terrified in my life.  No, I am not in pain.  Nor is my life in any danger.  My eyes are not even particularly light-sensitive, although I understand that it is better to wear my sunshades when I go outside to protect them from the glare.  I am a little bit worried about my eyes drying out, but not because PRK puts me at any particular risk for dry-eye in the way that LASIK does.  And yet, my nervous system is freaking out because I can't see.

Actually, that is not quite true.  The world has edges now, preternaturally sharp ones, even fairly close up.  But it has too many.  It is all edges, repeating over and over and over again.  PRK-survivors call it "ghosting," but it's worse than being haunted.  At least with a real ghost, it is something outside of oneself that is distorting one's vision.  This is one's vision--and there is no escape.  Not, in any case, as there was with ordinary myopia: take the lenses off, the world goes soft and f…

Myopia means...

looking in the mirror and seeing your body as somehow alien, not actually yours, as if your head (or your mind) had been tacked onto somebody else.

experiencing the world as irredeemably incomprehensible, something best kept at a distance, too scary to see up close.

believing that if anything goes wrong, it is necessarily all your fault.

distrusting your responses to life, particularly your emotions.

denying the validity of your interests and passions.

putting everyone else's judgment before your own.

believing that you are inherently unlovable.

Post Op

I can see!   Sort of.  I had to have the slower healing PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) rather than the open-your-eyes-and-you-can-see-perfectly LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis), but I have glimpses at the moment of what it is going to be like once my corneas heal over this weekend.  It's different from wearing contact lenses, although in fact I have lenses in at the moment as "bandages" to help my corneas heal.  I can't tell whether the slight scratchiness that I feel is from the surgical abrasion or from the lenses.  I just know that my eyes feel tired and yet when I open them, the world seems clearer, closer, less frightening and blurry than it used to.  Wow.  This is what it would have been like if I had been able to see those damn ducks forty years ago.  A world full of ducks--just imagine!

That's all for now.  I need to keep my eyes closed as much as possible today so that they can heal.

Reflections on the Eve of Eye Surgery

I was seven.  My family and I were on a trip, driving across some part of the Midwest.  Perhaps from Nebraska to Texas, but I seem to remember my father being in the car and he didn't take that particular trip with us, still being in Thailand at the time.  So maybe it was just myself, my siblings and my mother driving us.  I was sitting in the back seat of the car and looking out at the landscape passing by.  As far as I was concerned, I could see fine.  And then my mother said, "Do you see the ducks on the pond over there?"  And I said, "What ducks?"  Horror of horrors, I could see the pond clearly, but there weren't any ducks, not that I could see.

No, I was not going blind or anything close to blind.  Just myopic.  But at seven in the 1970s, nobody my age wore glasses.  Certainly not more than two or three kids per class.  And the glasses that we had to choose from?  Oh, my goodness.  It was more or less impossible not to look like a geek.  And then I we…

January Blues

That's it, I've had it.

I'm sick of hat hair.

I'm sick of the cold (and it's getting colder, down to -2 F tonight according to the Weather Channel).

I'm sick of spending our walks to and from campus worrying about whether the Dragon Baby is going to pull me over on the ice as she lunges at that next car or squirrel.

I'm sick of being sick (flu day seven and counting, albeit mainly now just fatigue and funny voice).

I'm sick of the work that January always brings, making decisions that may or may not have the effect that I hope or intend.

I'm sick of missing fencing practice thanks to being sick and/or the weather.

I'm sick of feeling like I'm behind before the term is even half over.

I'm sick of not knowing what I really want to do.  Or, at least, not allowing myself to acknowledge what that is.

On the bright side, if all goes well tomorrow morning, I may never have to wear glasses to see at a distance again.  Yes, you could say I'm …

Reasons to Read Jennifer Crusie*

1.  All of her heroines are curvy, frequently a size 12, and yet the heroes think that they are the most beautiful women that they have ever seen.

2.  Almost every story has a dog, usually rescued in some way or other by either the hero or heroine, always a deal-breaker for the success of the romance, i.e. no dog, no romance.

3.  However things start out for the hero and heroine, they always end up not only in love, but also surrounded by friends.

4.  Falling in love typically enables the hero or heroine to recognize that he or she does not need to stay in the job that he or she has been doing up to now and/or that there is nothing stopping them doing whatever they truly want to do in life.

5.  The sex scenes are to die for.  Metaphorically speaking, that is.

*Especially when you're feeling down with the flu.

Disciplining the Self

Yep, that did it.  I'm sick.  I'm trying to figure out whether this is simply a case of noticing the apparent coincidences (every so often I get sick after reading a set of applications, but then I read lots of applications, so maybe there isn't a link) or, in fact, a clear case of cause and effect: I read applications, I get sick.  But I am.  Fever last night of 101.3.  Aches, sore throat, cough, inability to focus.  Not entirely clear now how I am going to write this paper I've been asked to give.  Perhaps my body is trying to tell me something about what kind of paper I should plan to give.  I want it to be clever and philosophical, but it's more likely to end up a kind of show-and-tell.  I suppose there's nothing particularly wrong with show-and-tell, but it isn't terribly Foucauldian.  And this is a rather Foucauldian crowd.  At least I'm assuming it is, I could be entirely wrong.

Do I have a self that I want to talk about?  Does anybody?  How woul…

Ahimsa

n. non-violence (lit. the avoidance of violence), to do no harm.

I should be doing my class prep right now.  But I'm tired.  I was up yesterday at 6am preparing for that morning's class and since then I've been either in meetings or reading applications to our graduate program or at fencing practice or asleep.  Today was spent reading yet more applications, listening to a job talk for our department, reading more applications, and then, this evening, in a two-hour committee meeting at our church.  Literally the only time I have had to think my own thoughts has been walking to and from campus with the Dragon Baby, which is fun but not entirely contemplative when the ground is covered in ice and snow and the Dragon Baby wants to chase cars.  I need to sleep, but if I go to sleep now, that means waking up at 5am (or thereabouts) to review the reading and prepare discussion for tomorrow's class.  Do I force myself to stay awake or go to bed now and set the alarm for 5?

Thi…

Tasks for the Day

1.  Go to church
2.  Go grocery shopping
3.  Do laundry (including folding it)
4.  Read for class this week
5.  Play with the Dragon Baby
6.  Convince myself that doing what I feel passionate about rather than what I feel like I should be doing is in fact doing what I should be doing and that I do not have to spend the rest of my life eating cold oatmeal.

Found On My Computer Screen When I Went To Check When Next Quarter's Book Orders Are Due

Image
I'm pretty sure it's a sign.  I'm just not sure of what.*

*Other than that somebody other than me has been using my laptop.**

**In case that wasn't already obvious.