I Could Be a Sniper

I skipped through the front doors of the Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute for my nine month post-LASIK follow-up appointment yesterday.

I’ve been skipping a lot since my eyesight was restored to its pre-pubescent acuity last June. I have also been playing a game called, “Who Can Read the Road Sign First, Suckers?” when driving around with the kids, and executing spontaneous cartwheels because I no longer have to worry about my glasses falling off in mid turn. Next up: target practice.

Despite shamelessly fabricating answers during the letter chart reading portion of the exam (they all looked the same), I passed with flying colors and my corrected vision was deemed “20/20.”

“Do you have any questions before you go?” Dr. D. asked me.

“As a matter of fact, I do,” I said, unfurling the scroll on which I had penned them. “First of all, I’ve developed an uncontrollable twitch under my left eyelid. It’s starting to get annoying because people think I’m making passes at them” I said, winking at the Doctor.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t claim responsibility for your ocular spasms” he responded amiably. “My wife has that, too. Could be due to stress.”

“Okay” I said, glancing at my list, “Can I go back to rubbing my eyes vigorously? I have been restraining from this practice for fear of dislodging my corneal flap, but since my eyes are completely healed now, I was wondering if I could really go to town up in there?”

“Well, we never recommend that anyone ‘go to town’ as you said, with the eye rubbing, but I will say that it would take a lot of pressure for you to actually dislodge your flap. In all my years of performing this surgery, I’ve only ever had one patient who damaged her flap, and that was because someone banged a car door into it.”

“Holy shit.”

“Don’t be too alarmed. She’s fine now – her vision is back to 20/20. The presence of the flap was actually helpful to us in repairing the damage.”

“Saved by the flap!”

“In a manner of speaking, yes.”

“OK, then, no rubbing. But what about makeup? Do I have your permission to go Tammy Faye Bakker on the eye shadow?”

“Just make sure you are using clean applicators and be careful.”

“Let’s say I was putting on mascara, and the wand slipped, stabbing me directly in the flap. What would happen to me?”

“You would probably scratch your cornea and it would be treated in the same way as a corneal scratch on any other eye patient would be.”

“But I wouldn’t go blind?”

“No. You would need to call us as soon as possible so that we could treat you, though.”

“How about racquetball? Can I play racquetball?”

“Just wear protective eye gear.”

“And swimming? Can I open my eyes underwater in the pool?”

“Sure. It might be a bit uncomfortable, as it is for the general population. I’d recommend wearing goggles if you plan to spend a lot of time with your eyes open in chlorinated water.”

“I probably won’t. I don’t like to get my head wet. But what about scuba diving? Is that something I could technically do?”

“Are you planning on going scuba diving?”


“Okay, Mrs. Rama.” (rising to leave and extending his hand for a shake) “I think you’re all set!”

“When should I make my next appointment, Dr. D.?”

“You don’t need to come back here.”


“Yes. Just call me if you have a problem.”

“Any problem at all? What if-”

“It’s been a pleasure treating you, Mrs. Rama!” (showing me the door) “Good day now.”

“OK, then! Goodbye! Thanks for the new eyeballs!”

And with that, I waltzed out of the eye clinic with a clean bill of health.

But I forgot to ask if it would be OK to get permanent makeup tattooed on my lids. It was the last item on my list.

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9 thoughts on “I Could Be a Sniper

  1. Vicki

    You look great! New banner photo, maybe? I am exactly the same way with doctors. I have to know everything. They are just way too impatient. Pshht.

  2. painted maypole

    i'm still loving my lasik, 3 1/2 years later. My hubby had his done 10 years ago, and is still thrilled.

  3. Karen MEG

    Oh the freedom!!!

    I waited too late for lasik. Sheesh, now I can barely read the kids' medicine directions – I have to take the glasses off.

    Good for you. I wouldn't be in a hurry for the permanent makeup though .. heard of and seen some bad jobs in my time.

  4. Amy

    I take a written list of questions to the doctor too. Once I charted my migraines and associated activities and symptoms and he kept it and put it in my permanent file!

    I probably shouldn't be telling people that.

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