A place to put random occurrences in my life...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Going under the knife... err, laser...

Earlier this week, Thien went in for surgery, to correct her vision.  Thien's had terrible vision for most of her life, necessitating thick, bottle cap glasses, which brought out her inner nerd:

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Thien did what she could to avoid being a nerd, which generally meant wearing her glasses as infrequently as possibly and resorting to contact lenses instead.  For the most part, she was fine with contacts, but as anyone whose every worn them knows, there are times when they dry out or otherwise irritate your eyes. 

In short, Thien had determined that she wanted to have better vision.  With that, the task was to find a surgeon that she felt comfortable with to perform the procedure. Now that the procedure has been successfully completed, and I get to look back on this with 20/20, I can take the credit for the first step in finding that right doctor.  I was running on the treadmill in our gym downstairs, and I saw a commercial for the Alpha Center, starring Dr. Motwani himself.  I came back upstairs and told Thien to call 877-SEE-ALPHA.

After doing some more research and visiting the center, Thien decided to go forward with the procedure.  On Monday, she went in for some pre-op testing and procedures.  And on Tuesday, it was time for the actual procedure.  Prior to leaving the condo, I got this picture of Thien, wearing her glasses, hopefully for the last time:

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At the center, with her surgical cap donned prior to the procedure, Thien was definitely getting nervous.  I think part of it was the anticipation caused by sitting in the waiting room, but luckily that didn't last too long.

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Finally, Thien was moved into the procedure room.  I got to sit right outside on a comfortable couch, and watch the procedure through a large glass window.  Unfortunately, I couldn't hear the dialog inside, so it was sort of like watching one of those old black and white movies that had some music overlay, but without any actual voices - except this was obviously in color... ;)  Anyway, they sat Thien in a chair and gave her a tiny stuffed bear to hold onto during the procedure.  In talking after, Thien and I both agreed that they need a much larger stuffed toy to give patients something a bit more substantial to grab onto.

It's hard to tell from this photo, but Thien is already anxiously clutching onto the toy, even before she's positioned for the procedure:

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From what I could see, the surgery seemed to be going very nicely.  Unfortunately, there wasn't much for me to see, other than Dr. Motwani's skillful operation of a joystick, which I assumed guided the laser.  15-20 minutes after starting, the doctor came out and told me that "She did great - she barely moved".

After the surgery, Thien went in for some post-op testing.  Although she no longer had to wear glasses, I managed to catch her in a shot wearing "protective lenses".

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It's now been about 5 days after the procedure, and although Thien still has to wear the protective lenses at night and use various eye drops multiple times during the day, she no longer has any discomfort.  Thien's vision certainly isn't 20/20 at this point, but she can read a book without any help from corrective lenses of any kind.   We're looking forward to the continuing follow up over the next week or so, and we're excited to see how good her vision ends up...

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