The Whole Story
The fact that I can write this means that I have not lost my eyesight after being punched by a laser! There are a lot of things to be aware of though, so let me start from the beginning.
The day started with the realization that mom had an appointment with her doctor and we would have to take Ira along with us. The counsellor at Vasan told me that I could drive in so I was not very concerned about the procedure despite the scary stories online. Nisha however was not taking any chances and we ended up taking a cab. In hindsight, that was a great decision.
We reached right on time and my eyes were flooded with drops the moment I sat in the waiting area. The nurse topped up the drops some 3-4 times and through the hour and half of waiting, all I could do was listen to Nisha chasing Ira around as the little monster made the hospital her playground. After a little less than an hour a dull headache began to creep in; the doctor said it was expected and in fact an indication that the constricting drops are working.
Once he was satisfied with the state of my eyes, I was directed to the YAG laser room. The doc entered with a smug grin and asked me if I was ready. I had forgotten the horror stories by then and just shrugged and smiled. He reminded me that it is going to hurt a bit. That wasn’t enough of a warning, I had to actually experience it to realize how bad it would be. The doc poured some liquid into what looked like a small suction cup with a lens and stuck that to my right eye. After a lot of looking around my eye, he identified a spot and said, “Ready!”. There was a click and with it a hard flick to my eye. “That hurt a bit”, I told him and he only smiled. The first shot did not quite punch a hole in my iris and he had to take another shot. he told me the tissue of the iris of my right eye was pretty thick. “Is that good or bad?”, I asked. “In this case, not good”, he replied with a light snigger.
His sense of humour was a bit dark but I didn’t mind, maybe because I have a similar sense of humour. The second shot hurt just as much, but I knew what to expect so if was kinda OK. That did not work either so he decided to move on to the left eye. After a lot of searching, he made one shot on the left eye and we had a hole. “There was a nice spot on the left iris with thinner tissue so I knew the moment the laser fired that we had a good hole”, he said. He decided against making a third shot on the right eye and we decided to do it later.
Within minutes I started feeling a headache that grew worse by the minute. We went to his consulting room to discuss the schedule for the implants and the second iridotomy. I am scheduled to fly to Bangkok for Linaro Connect this weekend, so it had to be once I returned on 19th. The tentative schedule now is that we’ll repeat the iridotomy on the right eye on 21st, implant the lens in my left eye on 22nd and then the left eye on 25th, which was a Good Friday and hence one less working day sacrificed.
With that out of the way, I was prescribed 2 eye drops for 5 days and sent home. As we stepped out to have lunch, my head had started splitting with a headache with a mild nausea setting in, the kind one gets with a bad migrane. I could barely taste the food I had, such was the intensity of the headache at times. Ira’s constant flitting around (she’s approaching her terrible twos now) did not help things a lot. We finally got lunch over with and got into the cab back home. The nap in the cab worked wonders and that followed with an hours nap at home got rid of the headache. I am still seeing things a little darker than usual (the pupil is constricted to limit light entering the lens) but I can see sharp with my glasses, unlike the hazy overexposure due to the retina scan dilation yesterday.
The holes now mean that there is no turning back. Provided that the lens measurements don’t need to be repeated, it looks like I will be rid of my glasses before the end of the month.