Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{June 18, 2008}   Booked it!

It’s official! I will be have laser beams in my eyes on August 15th.

I was given a set of instructions. You have to arrive an hour before the surgery for them to get you all ready. Wear a button down shirt so you don’t have to pull the shirt off over your head that night. You have to wear those giant sunglasses for a day after surgery, including to bed, both because you will be extra sensitive to light and to make sure you don’t rub your eyes, even in your sleep. I tend to rub my eyes a fair bit, so I’m trying to get in the habit of not rubbing my eyes in preparation.

Probably the most difficult thing will be that I can’t wear my contacts for a week before the surgery. I *always* wear my contacts. I hate wearing glasses. This is due to a combination of my vanity1 and the fact that my glasses are almost a decade old. The thing is, with my ridiculously strong prescription, my glasses end up costing $500-$600. And where the hell was a starving student supposed to come up with that kind of dough? I could barely scrape together $100 every second year to buy a pair of contacts2. The glasses that I currently wear were purchased when I was doing my Masters at the University of Guelph, because the student health plan there covered them. That was back in 1999-2000. In the intervening years, my ‘script has changed, the glasses have been banged up, scratched up, stepped on, and so forth. Basically, I can barely see with them on. So that should be an interesting week, to see if I can function without my contacts.

Other instructions tell you that you need to:

  • “shampoo your hair and wash face and eyelids” on the morning of surgery. Do people really need to be told to wash their face? I mean, we’ve been over the whole “do you wash your hair every day” thing here recently, but shouldn’t washing your face just be a given?
  • “keep your eyes closed for the rest of the day after surgery.” Sounds like I’ll be listening to lots of podcasts that day!
  • have a “responsible adult” escort you home from surgery and back to the clinic the next day for a post-op check up. Man, I’m sooo glad they specified that, because I was going to ask an irresponsible adult to escort me. Or perhaps a responsible child. Now I know better, so I’ve arranged for a responsible adult to be my escort.

Also interesting was that the consent form, which they emailed for me to read before the surgery, says that “Laser-Assisted Intrastromal Keratoplasty [LASIK] and Photorefractive Keratectomy [PRK] are classified as investigational by the Canadian Health Protection Branch” (emphasis added). I don’t know the ins and outs of what “investigational” means exactly (I mean, I’m sure it means that it’s not like full status approved and they are still doing research, but I don’t know what it takes to become post-investigational), but it’s interested that this was never mentioned in the consultation, nor did I see in on their website.

Anyway, I’m excited and a bit nervous. But the promise of being able to see properly every morning when I awake, of being able to go surfing without worrying about losing a contact and go swimming and be able to see people on the other side of the pool will make it all worth while. Plus, I know you all can’t wait ’til the live blog of the surgery.

1I want everyone to be able to see my big beautiful blue eyes.
2Because I used to wear the non-disposable kind, so I’d keep the same pair for 2 years.

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author says:

Um, I can’t actually remember a time when I washed my face, other than in a shower or bath. Do people actually do this just standing at the sink?



Beth says:

I do. Of course, if I’m in the shower washing my hair, I’m going wash my face in the shower. But at night, I wash it at the sink. Then again, I also wear make-up, so you have to wash that stuff off. Boys typically don’t have to deal with that…



Kalev says:

I used to never wash my face… I showered daily but never used to do anything with my face other than maybe rinse it. I hate having to wash my face when not in the shower. Talk about awkward and messy.



Beth says:

Kalev, you’ve left us in suspense! You never used to wash your face… and now what?? What is your face washing regimen? Inquiring minds want to know!



Karen says:

What about getting a cheapo pair of prescription glasses from one of those online places, just to last you for the week? I got a pair for $25 last month and love ’em!



Beth says:

$25? Seriously? Do you have a link to such a site??



Raul says:

I’ll liveblog the surgery – unless you want to do it yourself.



Sarah says:

Ack! Will my visit interfere with your recovery? It will be so strange to have you NOT wear glasses and be able to see. No more sterilizing mugs for your contacts!

Also – I fear that the information that they gave you is out of date. Unless there is another one that neither Google nor I know about, the “Canadian Health Protection Branch” was a branch of Health Canada that became the “Health Products and Food Branch” a number of years ago. Like, nearly a decade. It had been HPFB for a while when I first interviewed there back in 2002, though I did work in the HPB building in 2003 (it still hasn’t been renamed).

Anyway – so. very. EXCITING!!



Kalev says:

@Beth: you’re truly a nut.

Okay, so what I do now is, when I shower, rotate through one of about four facial cleansers, three of which are from Body Shop (because I’m totally ignoring the fact they are owned by fucking L’Oréal) and one of which is from Neutrogena which is an awesome product but sadly Neutrogena is not one of those thoughtful companies which doesn’t torture animals to develop its products. Still, it’s an effective face cleanser.

Okay, want more info that you ever imagined? Obviously you do or you wouldn’t have mentioned it. Maybe I don’t need a blog of my own–maybe I should just co-opt YOUR blog.

Anyway, two of the products are face scrubs, which are good for preventing ingrown hairs that guys have to deal with as a result of having to scrape our faces every day or other day or (luckily in my case) every 3rd or 4th day. One of them is from the Body Shop seaweed line, so it’s good for combination oily skin. The other is the Neutrogena one, which is from their men’s shaving line.

The third product is one of the Body Shop’s men’s line, has Vitamin E and like B5 and is very kinda… refreshing and zesty. Ah there we go, it’s the “For Men Face Wash” with multi-vitamins A, E, and B5. (Incidentally, the Body Shop For Men Face Scrub is a bit too rough on my skin. In case you wanted to know.)

The fourth product is Body Shop’s Vitamin E line’s Cream Cleanser. I use this before I shave as it seems to be the most moisturising product of the 4. In fact it totally reminds me of cold cream in smell and texture. Why do I, a guy, know about cold cream? No, it’s not because I’m gay and therefore wear make-up. *grin* It’s because my mum was an actress. Plus I did a few productions in grade school so yeah, you learn about cold cream.

I should note that I had to go to my bathroom and look up the specifics of these, in case you thought I was way more gay than I already sound. I have realised, though, that perhaps the most stereotypically gay thing about me is that I am somewhat enthralled with bath products and in fact I’ll go browse Body Shop and London Drugs and Shoppers looking for new goop to clean my face, my hair, or my body. So I do rotate in new things and also have a fair collection of body washes (soap is so 1950s), shampoos, and conditioners.

Despite all this bathroom product fixation, I can still manage to get ready in about 30 minutes (and that’s with shaving, which takes me way longer than I think it should).

What’s really freaky is I could probably go on even longer about personal grooming. *sigh* It’s a really good thing I don’t like shopping, shoes, or Sex In The City because otherwise we might need an intervention.



Beth says:

@Sarah – No no, your visit won’t interfere with my recovery. Unless you are planning to punch me in the eye.

Weird about the whole Canadian Health Protection Branch/Health Products and Food Branch thing… I’ll have to check out the HPFB website to see what is says about LASIK and whether it is still classes as “investigational” (which, as an aside, makes me think of Zoolander saying “…investigatory journalist….”)

@Kalev – Wow. That is waaay more info than I was expecting. Also, don’t the companies that don’t test on animals just use the safety data from those companies that do test on animals anyway?



Raul says:

@ Kalev – Dude, I seriously need to get you to guest-post on my blog. Personal grooming – WHOA. This warrants a full post! FWIW (for what is worth) I get ready in 16 minutes. I once broke a record and got ready in 9, but my Mom had already ironed my clothes, I had chosen what I was going to wear and she was standing right by me to help me fix anything that could possibly go wrong (I was on my way to give a dance exhibition). Nine minutes. Beat that. 🙂



Kalev says:

@Beth re: safety sheets: uhm… I dunno. I would hope they would only use prior data from say years ago and everything else they would test ethically but to be honest I don’t know. Because if they did just use the data from the companies that still do test on animals, wouldn’t that kinda defeat the purpose?

Not that that kind of ethical issue has always been a great deterrent for things like mega-corps.



[…] you may recall, I’m not allowed to wear my contacts for an entire week before my laser eye surgery.  And my […]



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