Saturday, June 25, 2011

Insomnia and Lasik: 2 tales of woe and adventure

So the clock is about to strike 4:45 AM and I couldn't be more wide awake. I have downed 2 valiums and they seem to have stimulated my system as opposed to relaxing it. I'd have a cocktail (its 5 o'clock pm somewhere?) but I'm afraid I'll die, and that would suck.  So here I sit, at the computer, because there's nothing but infomercials on, and If I watch them I'll buy something.  So I have decided to give a detailed account of my recent medical procedure, because some funny shit happened, and I live at home, where my life feels like its on hold, so there's nothing else to write about. For now at least.

My surgery is scheduled for 1145am on a friday.  I plan to get there 5 minutes early, because I am good little Texan and I arrive to all of my interviews, appointments, and jobs early.  I will bring my mother with me, because she also has nothing else to do. I need someone to drive me home, because I will be heavily drugged and my sight will be compromised. So she packs up her copy of Tina Fey's "bossy pants" and I bring my sunglasses and waiver and off we go.  I sign in and we are directed to the waiting room, which is filled with people who are about to get Lasik and their cohorts. There is free coffee, water and cookies. There are also hundreds of AARP, fitness, and Texas Highways magazines.  In the corner of the room there is TV set that is showing the Lasik procedure that is currently happening.  It was one of the most terrifying visuals that I could possibly see right before undergoing the same procedure. There are metal clamps holding the persons eyes open and the guy has a sharp metal tool he's scraping across the persons eye and peeling a clear film off. As he begins to use this metal tool, the radio in the background starts to play "the first cut is the deepest." Then the screen goes dark, and then suddenly the doctor is using the same metal tool to put the film back on. He then uses a white spongy tool to scrape all of the air out from between the film and the eye. After observing this 2-3 times I'm shocked and dismayed when they call my name.  I go to the back room where they give me a pre examination and ask me if I've been using my eye drops. Then they take me to another room, give me a valium, and cover my head and feet with blue hospital ...bags?  And they wipe my eyes with iodine and give me some numbing drops.  Then I am led to the surgery room after about 15 minutes and I lay on the table. The most uncomfortable part of the procedure is the very first part. They put some weird suction thing on your eye that I guess keeps it open.  I don't know, there is so much pressure your vision goes dark.  Then the Doctor says, "Now this is when you want to hold very still, very good, just like that, very still, good job." Then they do the same thing to the other eye.  Before I know it, my eyelid is peeled back and I can see the metal tool that I know he is using to scrape part of my eye off. Though its scary, its painless and its cloudy, so I can't really see all that well. Then they move me under the laser that fixes my vision and they tell me to look at it and not look away.  My left eye takes 15 seconds to fix, and my right eye takes 40 seconds.  When they put my eye film back its even more cloudy than before and the sponge thing is actually kind of fun to watch glide across my vision. The whole ordeal is over in maybe 30 minutes or less.  About halfway home the numbing drops they gave me start to wear off and my eyes start to feel sore and irritated. I get home and go immediately to bed, because they suggested I try to sleep the rest of the day.  I wake up after an hour because the sun is shining directly into my room and even through closed eyes, the pain is too much to handle. I try to sleep through it but my eyes are watering so much that my pillow is soaked. I stumble down the hallway, bump into the wall, squint into the living room and call out in my most pathetic "i'm sick, take care of me voice," "DAD?!?!?!"  it turns out he's sitting about 4 feet away and has been enjoying watching me walk into walls while squinting and clutching my face.  I send him on a mission to get some asprin and more valium and to shut the storm shutters outside my window to block out the evil sun.  When all this is accomplished I nap for another 3 hours but its more like...laying still in the dark and occasionally forgetting that you are just laying in the dark.  I wake up officially and try to open my eyes. It hurts, but its not hell. I go outside and wander around. I can't read, use a computer, or phone, and watching tv hurts. I stumble into the office and request that my dad read me a story. He looks at me like I'm insane and then gives me ice cream for dinner. Then I take a sleeping pill and sleep until the next day at 630.  When I wake up my eyes are tender and it feels like I've been crying all night...which I guess technically I have, but there's no pain and, miracle of miracles...I can see!

I spend the morning reading things from a distance and closing my good eye and challenging my dad to hold up his fingers so i can tell him how many there are.  After 4.5 hours of this he tells me he is going to punch me if I continue in this fashion.  I have a follow up appointment the morning after surgery and the Doc tells me I look perfect. Good to hear either way.  So it's been exactly a week since my procedure and the Doctor told me my vision would keep improving over the next 3-4 weeks as swelling in my eye tissue goes down. I might have to get my right eye corrected again, but they do it for free and I'll probably be less terrified since I know what to expect now.

All in all, it was totally worth it. I'll make the money I was spending in contacts and glasses back in the next 5-6 years and then there is the added convenience factor to boot. I love Lasik. If you're young its a totally good investment, you save soooo much money in the long run. Just make sure you have someone around after the surgery because it hurts and it helps to whine to someone.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear 16 year old Jessie,

You are not a bitch and its not "mean" or "demanding" to ask that people treat you with common courtesy.

You have curly hair. It's not "straight-ish," it's not "wavy," it's curly. Embrace it. Layer it and use conditioner, your mother doesn't know what she's talking about. It doesn't make your hair look greasy. It will improve the state of things very much.

You're not ugly, and you're not fat. The people telling you that you are ugly and fat are actually jealous of you. They will admit this in 10 years.
16  year old Jessie (approximately 16 give or take)

This next bit is very important. I can't stress it enough.  THROW AWAY THOSE AWFUL JEANS. you look like a spoon, and its not flattering.

and look, hey...maybe you did just become a Christian, and yes its exciting, and good for you, wanting to share that joy. Don't force it on any one though...God never said, "Go forth and badger people" he basically said, "go and love them like I do." Just give that a go. Also- know that the length of time someone is a believer doesn't make them "more Christian" than you, and it's totally fine to share your interpretation of scripture because you have a unique perspective.

Sell your horse, you're not into it any more and that's ok. Most people don't pick these things up for life. You tried it, it was fun for a while, its fine to move on.

You are going to do a lot more traveling than you planned, and you're going to be alone a lot more than you planned. You're going to love it 80% of the time and hate it 15% of the time and 5% of the time you're not going to give 2 shits about any of it.   But don't worry, because you're tough and you always figure something out. Just remember, sleeping outside in New Zealand...totally safe. Sleeping outside in Australia...you'll probably get bit by a poisonous spider and die, and sleeping outside in Asia will get you robbed or raped so be careful.

Oh and don't bother with NHS, it's a total waste of time and money, you can put it on your college apps and no one will check because NO ONE CARES.
 25 year old Jessie. Older and wiser. And fatter.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Future

I have just made a shocking realization. I am almost unemployable. I haven't actually been looking for jobs, but i will be soon and I have this gnawing feeling that my inability to hold a job...or live in one city...for more than 3 months is going to be a red flag for a lot of future employers. Also...People would rather employ a young person over an old one. I know, I'll probably have the next 10 years to be considered young by the work force (by LA standards I am a hag already and if I were to attempt joining the Millionaire Matchmaker club I would be set up with men in their early fifties who were "settling" for me and could maybe learn to love me despite my decrepit-ness.) Back to the point- this means that in the next 10 years I need to find a country...hell- a continent that I want to live on and choose a career path for myself.  I'm sorry, but that is just not enough time. I am commitment phobic in every sense of the word (phrase?). I only dye my hair with the semi permanent stuff that washes out after 28 shampoos. I don't purchase books, I read them in the bookstore (I do something similar with nail polish). About the only things I'm committed too are my key ring (had it since I was 16) and my teddy bear-ted (had him since I was 3).  Oh and also my never ending quest to find the perfect remedy that will halt the aging process, minimize my pores, and fight cancer. So far I've got sunscreen, retinol, exfoliation and dark colored foods, spinach or bluberries for example. If any one has any tips for staying young looking and having perfect skin, please email me immediately.

Any way, I have ten years of youth to make my life head in a steady direction. I DON'T WANNA!  What if the country I pick sucks? What if the job I go with is suckier? What if I have a baby and he/she is a total asshole?  These are the question that keep me awake at night. Well, that and I have to drive my dad to the airport at 4am today.