Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lasik in Korea

I'm getting my eyes fixed tomorrow! I've worn glasses or contacts since about 2nd grade, and ever since I found out how cheap the surgery is here I've wanted to get it done.

A few weekends ago my friend and I went to an eye clinic for tests. They need to test all kinds of things in your eyes to make sure the surgery will be effective. The doctor came out and got us and led us around a circle of machines. I hate that glaucoma test that does the puff of air in your eye. I know it doesn't hurt and I know it's going to happen, but it always startles me. They usually have to do it 3 or 4 times because I always blink or pull away. I can't help it. So every time I sat down at a machine I was worried a puff of air - or something worse - was going to come at me. The doctor wasn't very confident about speaking English, so I never knew what was about to happen. I just had to put my chin on that thing and hope for the best. Luckily there was only the one puff of air, but the constant fear of it might have been worse. Doctor also didn't know the word for "blink," he kept saying "crink" and I kept trying not to chuckle.

When that was finished they stuck us in the waiting room for a while, then one of the nurses came out with a phone and handed it to us. Weird. They had called my co-teacher Seo Ah because they wanted her to explain everything to us in English. Thank goodness for her, she was such a big help during this whole process. At the very end they told us the price, and we didn't like it, so we decided to find a new clinic.

The week after we went to a new place for a consultation. The nurses there all look like clones. They have the same uniform, shoes, age, body type, and probably even the same eyes. They led us around the circle of machines again, but this time I knew not to fear the air puff. I had to go back a few days later for another appointment. I knew something was wrong because the doctor was taking a very long time on one of my eyes. He told me I had a thin spot in my retina that would have to be fixed before lasik.

So they took me to downstairs and put me in a dark room all by myself. The nurse strapped me into a machine and gave me a metal bar to hold onto, and I fought the urge to run. She said the lasers would just feel like needle pricks, and of course I immediately imagined needles in my eye, and I wanted to leave so badly but I was still strapped in. Doctor came in and I must have looked terrified because he gave me a big speech about how it wouldn't hurt and it would be over before I knew it. And he was right. I kept waiting for it to get bad, and then all the sudden I was done. They released me from the machine, and I was so relieved, until I realized I couldn't see out of the eye he had worked on. For a moment I thought he had blinded me. The nurse drowned my eye in drops and in a few minutes it was fine.

I've been trying to avoid learning all the details about the surgery because if I'm going to be awake and aware, I'd like to be as oblivious as possible. Otherwise I'll just freak myself out. Unfortunately doctors like you to be well-informed, and I've learned a lot more than I wanted to. So I think it was good I had that little preview with the laser, because now I know it won't be that bad.

And after tomorrow I'll never have to wear glasses again! Oh glasses. I've been wearing them for the past 2 weeks and gotten all kinds of responses. A few teachers told me they were beautiful (but I know they were lying), one boy said "teacha good job glasses," a few have told me I look like Harry Potter, and one girl said they looked like eggs on my face. But the best one was 4th grade Ally. The first time she saw me in them she said "teacha, no" and she took them off my face. Ha, she's right, they're really bad. I've had them forever and until 2 weeks ago it didn't matter that they were ugly because nobody ever saw them. And after tomorrow nobody will ever see them again. Hallelujah.

1 comment: