While you cool kids were playing in your M11 Pre-Release this weekend, I was sitting at home blind and in pain. Why you ask? I decided it would be a great idea to get laser eye surgery—of the PRK variety to be exact. So in this week’s Act of Reason, I’m going to talk about my experience with this surgery and the recovery involved so far.
On my first day of orientation at the company I now work for, I found out that we get a 15% discount on laser eye surgery. As a glasses wearer, I decided that this was a great opportunity for me to ditch them permanently—well not permanently, but for a while. Let me back up a little bit first. I have had glasses since the 8th grade. I have tried contact lenses and all I got out of that was red eyes and anguish; I looked like a stoner once I finally got my contacts in and I didn’t have the mellow feeling associated with being stoned. Needless to say, I went back to glasses quickly. I just can’t get anything near my eyes. I have a tremendous blink reflex if anything gets in my eye or close to it; I tend to freak out. Taking the initiative for this surgery was a HUGE step forward for me. I got up the courage to visit a local Lasik place and get my “free consultation.” After some eye torture there, I was told that I only qualified for the PRK surgery. Apparently my corneas are too thin for traditional Lasik surgery. I said great; let’s schedule an appointment for the actual “treatment” as they call it. They checked to see if I qualified for a loan first before they scheduled a treatment time and date. This should have really clued me in as to how they really operate over there. I qualified for a loan big enough to cover the whole cost of the surgery, so we all know how that goes. “How soon can you come in?” I had to schedule things about a month out due to prior commitments, which put me at July 9th. Sure, I was bummed I’d be missing FNM and the Pre-Release, but the prospect of having 20/20 vision for a long time was just too overwhelming.
So, on the surgery day, I was nervous—they were going to BURN my eyes with a laser! I got in, signed off on all the forms I needed and was on my way to the next waiting room. I was given a Valium in pill form to calm me down. The drugs did nothing. I had no feeling of calm or relaxation; I was still nervous and keyed up. I sat waiting for a half hour while others went in under the laser before me and came out with a cool pair of sunglasses and a new lease on vision. When it was my turn, it took some courage to stand up and walk into the FREEZING room.
For those of you considering this surgery and don’t want to be traumatized by the actual procedure, I caution you to skip down to where I tell you it is safe to continue reading again
So here are the gory details of the procedure: They first put you in a hair net and give you a pair of blue balls—that’s right, I was given two stress balls to squeeze during this whole procedure. This to me was a baaaad sign. If people tend to freak out and need stress balls, I knew I was in for a treat. The first thing that they do is numb your eyes out with some crazy eye drops. They wait a bit for them to numb up, then they cover one of your eyes and wedge in an eye speculum for the other. In all honesty, that was the part I was most worried about and it was really nothing but a slight uncomfortable feeling. The worst part came next. Ya know the dentist tools that they use to buff your teeth when you get a cleaning? Ya know, the rubber thing that spins?? They use some sort of version of that on your eyeball. This is done to scrape away the epithelial cells so that the laser actually does what it needs to do. After they buff your eye, they brush off what they buffed off and prepare your eye for the actual laser. The laser is the easiest part! They line it up over your eye, tell you to look at the red light and 17 seconds of snapping and a whiff of burned eyeball and your eye is done! The worst part follows because your brain already knows what your other eye went through. So the left eye was much more traumatic for me to the point where the doctor asked if I was given a Valium. Anyway, they slap some “bandage” contact lenses on your eyes and send you on your way. I was given a plethora of eye drops and a pat on the ass as to say “thanks for the three grand…schmuck.”
The 48 hours after PRK are absolute hell. I had two other surgeries last year and I’d take either of them over PRK. With them, at least, I was able to distract myself with crazy ideas for magic decks and movies, and TV and well…ANYTHING YOU CAN USE YOUR EYES ON! These 48 hours are pain in the dark with nothing to distract you from the pain. When I say nothing can distract you from the pain, I mean the pain of each heartbeat pulsing to your burned corneas–each heartbeat making the migraines caused by this surgery worse. The Loritab I was given did nothing for me. It made my skin numb and gave me cotton mouth. I also tried Tylenol PM to sleep the first night, and that just made me feel drunk and sick to my stomach. I did NOT sleep for over 36 hours. I STRONGLY recommend purchasing some audio books. I had nothing of the sort and resorted to listening to the TV in my world of blind pain.
****OK KIDS, SAFE NOW****
On Sunday, I was able to open my eyes without the assistance of my fingers and take some quick peeks at where I was walking. This helped tremendously as I had walked into a door frame and several walls during my blind period. All I can say about this particular surgery is that you really need to stick to the eye drop plan that they give you. I have followed this by the book, and as a result, I was able to open my eyes fully after 4 days.
I feel like I got so far behind with Magic articles and such that I’m scared to try and innovate something new for this week’s FNM. We all know M11 is legal as of this Friday and I don’t have any of my new decks planned yet—oh wait, I’m not playing this week anyway. This (hopefully) is my last FNM hiatus for the summer. I’ve got a DCI ranking to improve upon and some player reward points to rack up! I do have some deck ideas floating around in my head—Emeria knows I’ve had the time being blind for four days! So until next week, think about that PRK surgery—I didn’t! The jury is still out on whether it was worth it…
I guess I should start by apologizing. Its been close to a year since I put up anything new here and up until recently, it didn’t concern me much. The last year of my life has been one giant roller coaster that I had a hard time dealing with. Every single aspect of my life has changed, for better or for worse, and I am finally getting to the point where I have enough sanity to write a bit.
I never liked getting into personal matters here so I will try and keep that stuff brief. That side of my life has been the hardest. I have lost a lot in the last year but I have emerged gaining more I feel. Things seem to be more stable than ever and all the pieces are falling into place. I met an amazing woman a few months ago and she is the reason things are on the upswing. I have some great friends who have also helped a lot. I don’t know where I would be without them. I am working in a new building, 40 miles south of where I live. The commute sucks ass, but I will be moving in with said woman come summertime which will be closer. I haven’t decided if I like working where I am yet. I will save that judgment till after I move.
Enough of that stuff, lets move on.
I just renewed my hosting for the year and I plan to get this place going again. My focus will still be where it is now, but more toward Magic, music and technology. I still have a Mac and I am still an Apple fan. The fact is, I work in a Windows world. All the computers I support, all the servers I administer, they are all Windows. I do support 2 Macs, but the amount of work that requires is minimal. I plan to talk about everything technology that strikes my fancy and that will cover a very broad area. I am looking at new designs for the site to kick off the semi-transition. Right now I am looking at Joomla for the back-end, but I will still consider WordPress since I have been using it for years. I am not sure how long this will all take since my life is very busy. I seem to have very little free time to devote to the site these days.
Maintenance is still going strong. It still gets downloaded about 2000-3000 times a month even thou the current version is over 2 years old. I do have a lot of ideas on where to go with the program but again, finding time to research and code is an issue. I mentioned before that I wanted to bring the program over to the iPhone format and that is still an interest. I am not sure if it can be done, but with the launch of the iPad, I see more of a use for it.
Magic has become a very big focus in my life. I regularly attend Friday Night Magic at a local spot, I play Dual of the Planeswalkers on my Xbox and I play Magic Online from time to time. I currently run a variation of Jund and a buddy of mine uses my cards running either Vampires or White Weenie. I do a ton of research throughout the week before FNM so I can be prepared for what I might see. I feel I am becoming a very well rounded player even thou most people seem to think I can only run Jund. With Rise of the Eldrazi about to be unleashed on us, I am already thinking about what might replace my Jund deck come October when most the cards are rotated out of Standard. Vampires seems to be a good choice, but its very hard to know before the other sets are released. M11 and Scars of Mirrodin are still to be seen and those sets might change the face of Standard completely. I know things will be different just with the Shards block rotating out, but what else might happen is a mystery. I would love to start getting into Extended as well, but the learning curve for that would be steep and I don’t have the cards. So that might have to wait.
I haven’t talked about music that much here, but it is a huge part of my life. I have been playing guitar for about 10 years now and I consider my guitars (all 3 of them, 4 if you count my girlfriends) to be life savers. I currently own a PRS SE Custom 24, an Epiphone Black Beauty and an old Epiphone acoustic guitar. The acoustic says “Epi” on the headstock so I assume it was made before Gibson got the rights to Epiphone? I really have no idea. I currently use a Fender FM65DSP 65 Watt amp with a Danelectro Black Coffee distortion pedal. I mostly play rock and metal stuff but I tend to experiment with a variety of sounds depending on my mood. I listen to the same kind of music as I play. Rarely will you see me sitting by without some kind of music playing.
I still play games quite a bit (when I have time). I recently purchased a nice 55 inch Samsung LCD TV and my wonderful girlfriend got me an Xbox 360 for my birthday (gamer tag Sharvan if you wish to add me). I am trying to get back into World of Warcraft, but having that big TV sitting idle in my living room seems to be a crime. Sitting down to play Fallout 3 on the 55 inch TV with surround sound is pretty damn sweet.
Well that is all I can think of right now. I can’t give any time frame for when the site will change or when I will start posting more, but I will. As always, feel free to contact me.