My Four Eyes Minus Two (pt. 1)

When I was little, my family had this knack for finding any art museum in a 50 mile radius and wandering it for hours. Perhaps you think this is yet another example of the wonderful childhood I was lucky enough to receive. At the time I was just utterly bored. It didn't help that I couldn't actually see any of the art without my glasses or otherwise positioning myself about half an inch from the canvas.
I had my glasses for about a year and any excitement I initially had about them vanished a few weeks after their purchase. They cemented me, like I said, as that questionable nerdy girl everyone is sure will blossom by the 10 year high school reunion.
Still, at that time, I was able to at least walk a straight line sans glasses so I tried to go without any time I could.
One time we were visiting my aunt in L.A. which, of course, meant a stop at The Getty Museum.
I remember peering at the canvas of an oil painting, with my nose less than a quarter inch  away, while the security guard shifted anxiously lest I smudge the canvas. My mother suggested maybe I should put on my glasses before I was told to step away.
Wearing glasses certainly never diminished my appreciation and awe of art, and I want to say, in no uncertain terms, I do not have a problem with wearing glasses. I suspect that I even look better with them.
But I do have a problem with: relying on them. Or rather, being totally reliant on them.
A week ago if I knocked my glasses off the bed side table I would be in serious trouble. A week ago, if I went dancing I had to keep one hand on them so they wouldn't fly off to the dance floor..
A week ago I had PRK laser eye surgery.
It was probably was the most bizarre and traumatising event I've experienced in a long time. The only thing I can really compare it to is a Stanley Kubrick film; combine A Clockwork Orange with 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Since I last wrote about laser eye surgery I've had appointments with the opthamologist just about every month to take pictures of my corneas. The Wizard of Oz, as I'm going to call him from now on, wanted to see that, while thin, the layer of tissue was stable. Each time I went I was very aware that I might still be turned away. I kept bracing myself for the phone call where Stacey told me "Yeah, he doesn't think this is such a great idea."
She didn't say that. Stacey called and gave me the good news at the beginning of May. "This is going to be life-changing for you."
"You're on my Christmas list for the next 10 years," I replied.
On May 11th I actually got to meet the Wizard himself, though it took two hours, copious amounts of eye drops and a number of people pointing bright lights into my dilated pupils.
When he came in it was quietly and with not a lot of self-importance. "Lean you head back, please," he said to me. He pointed another flashlight at my eye, this time through a magnifying glass and then made these  curious and strangely poetic remarks.
"Deep and quiet in the left," he muttered. "Right appears to be calm also." His voice was deep, and very calm; exactly the kind of voice you want someone operating a laser beam on your corneas to have. The room was dark, so I didn't realise there was someone else in the room writing down his observations.
He turned on the lights, sat down and started talking to me about the risks and possible disappointments  of PRK.
"Doctor, if I could interrupt," Stacy interjected, "I think Rosemary's has a really good frame of mind regarding what she can expect. She's stayed really calm throughout  our first initial discussion," (I did not tell her about my crying after my first appointment).
"Honestly," I added, "I came here today knowing that there may be a possibility that you don't think this is a good idea and that it isn't going to happen-"
"Young lady," the Wizard silenced the both of us. "I have been doing this longer than you have been on this Earth  (in fact, laser eye surgery has been around since the 1970's, which I didn't know), and the most important thing to me is my reputation. If there was a single moment where I heard a 'but...' in my mind, we would not be sitting here. The last thing I want is to have to hide from you in the grocery store."
That was very reassuring.
Stacy gave me a box of two eye drops, one was an anti-inflammatory the other an antibiotic that looked like someone snotted all over my eyes. "Three drops the day before your procedure; do them about five minutes apart. Are you taking any vitamin C and Omega-3?"
I told her I was (though I am highly skeptical of vitamin supplements, but I wasn't going to argue with the Wizard and his munchkins).
"Alright," she said, "we'll see you Thursday."
And I think I'm going to end this post here. Next installment coming soon.


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