Here is Max’s account of the day of his Laser Eye surgery with Optical Express. I may possibly have annotated it a bit. Perhaps.
The Day of Surgery
So, the day of the eye surgery has come around, pretty quickly really and my overwhelming thoughts are “this isn’t really going to happen” and any time soon someone is going to call me to say not to come in. But the call doesn’t come so we’re all set to go; Merry is going to take the girls and boy to look around the Fitzwilliam museum for a couple of hours while I have the procedure done, but I still can’t believe it so I figure that when the inevitable happens and the Surgeon tells me that I can’t have the surgery for whatever medical reason then a day out at the museum with all the family will be a good excuse for taking the day off work. I take another look through the information pack and sign the consent forms just in case and then we do a video blog with the girls.
On the drive down to Cambridge I give Merry the information pack to read so she knows what to expect after the procedure. It seemed to me that Merry was unusually quiet on the whole issue and that she needed to know how I was likely to be after the event; in hindsight I realise that she was wrestling with the notion that something terrible was going to happen and it would all be her fault! (Snort. After all, he has only known me 20 years. Why would it occur to him I was disaster planning?!?!!?)
Park and Ride into Cambridge City centre and we have a last meal together in the Green Coffee café. We’re all a bit edgy in the way you are before an important exam. Merry and the girls walk me to the Optical Express centre and leave me there; I tell them they should go to the museum and I’ll find my way there but I know they’re all worried and want to look after me. (We were worried, being a family with a tendency to happen upon unexpected disasters but when we walked away, the girls and I talked about our worries. Mostly we were worried it would be called off and he would be so disappointed. We all knew how excited he was and really wanted this amazing thing to go ahead successfully for him. On reflection, we clearly didn’t do much talking about all this!))
When I go into the store I’m greeted by Elaine, who took me through the consultation day and it all feels very friendly and relaxed. I’m given a series of eye tests just to check everything is as it was before. Apparently they are running slightly ahead of schedule so I should be done in an hour and a half: AN HOUR AND A HALF! This can’t be right; you can’t walk into a store on the high street as someone who has worn glasses all your adult life and then walk out an hour and a half later with your vision corrected, surely? (It does seem quite bizarre, doesn’t it?)
After the eye checks I’m then taken upstairs to the clinic where the surgery is carried out and greeted by a surgery assistant who takes me through the eye drops that I need to use for a week and asks me if there’s someone to drive me home as I’ll be done in 30 minutes; at this point I’m thinking “they will only just have got to the Fitzwilliam, they won’t even have had a chance to look around” (yes, quite annoying!) and feeling sort of guilty about it. So in no time at all the Surgeon carries out another examination of my eyes and explains the surgery to me and then I’m in. The surgery itself takes no more than 10 minutes, most of which is preparation and I would describe it as uncomfortable but not at all painful and then I’m taken out to a dark room and brought a cup of coffee and given my aftercare eye drops and protective sleeping goggles that I have to use for a week to ensure the eyes heal with no infection. My vision is blurry in both eyes but already I know it is better than before I walked in. After 15 minutes I’m ready to go and I meet up with Merry and the girls who are clearly relieved and all want to be protective of me and make sure I get back through Cambridge safely.
When I talked with the surgery assistant I was told to go straight home and try to sleep or just lie in the dark for the first few hours, so I could have done without a long journey home waiting for the bus (dear readers, please see here) and by the time we get home I’m feeling pretty groggy and my eyes feel bruised but already the blurry vision is improving. So I go off to bed and sleep while Merry and the girls go out trick or treating. (He refused to answer the door to our T&Ters with gory looking eye make up… spoilsport) I wake up after about 3 hours sleep and OH MY GOD! I can see. My left eye is still a bit blurry but my right is good; close up vision is not great but it’s improving all the time and I feel fantastic. Throughout the evening my vision continues to improve and it is just the most incredible experience.
The next morning its back to Cambridge to have a check-up and make sure everything is healing as it should. The vision in my right eye is better than 20/20; the left not quite so good but this will improve as things settle down. I have no pain, just a little discomfort and I’m passed fit to drive. So it’s back to work this afternoon; ain’t life a bummer… (I’m sorry, you missed out the ‘I need to go out and buy my wife an expensive present for organising this for me’ bit….)
Because we want you all to share the drama, here are the kids interviewing Max just before we left for the day. This is now priceless vintage footage of Daddy in Specs!