• Member Since 13th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen 15 hours ago


My Element is Honesty. My Sin is Envy.

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Surgery, Surgery · 3:50am Apr 30th, 2012

All right bronies, time to learn something.

I'm having eye surgery tomorrow. A couple years back I was diagnosed with Keratoconus, in which my corneas are too thin and flexible to properly support my eyes, causing them to slowly bend out of shape. The cause is likely my childhood habit of excessively rubbing my eyes, putting too much pressure on my corneas. It gets worse over time; my vision isn't as good as it was, but I don't yet need glasses. If left untreated, my eyes would eventually distend into distinct football shapes and I would be left with severely impaired vision or even blindness.

That's where the surgery comes in. While there is currently no known cure for the condition, we can stop it from getting any worse with a process called corneal cross-linking. I've already had my right eye done ten months ago, so I know what to expect. First, I'm given a mild tranquilizer and they heavily medicate my eye with drops. A circular strip of plastic is inserted to keep my eye still and prevent me from blinking, which sounds horrible, but once the freezing drops are in you can't really feel anything. At this point a doctor enters and, using a device that resembles an electric toothbrush, strips away the "skin" of the eye. They then shine a powerful laser directly into the eye for the next thirty minutes, with drops periodically applied to prevent the beam from killing my cells outright or giving them cancer. The light assault on the cornea causes the cells to stiffen up and bind more tightly to each other, and in effect ages them by about six hundred years, which is pretty cool. A thick contact lens is inserted to cover the eye while the surface cells grow back, and then it's just a matter of waiting.

Some parts of the procedure sound a little horrifying (the image of an electric toothbrush to the eye is one that stays with you for a long time) but it's really nothing to be afraid of. Once the medication wears off there's some discomfort for the first couple of days, but compared to getting my wisdom teeth out it's nothing. The drops are the most annoying part; for a month or more after the procedure I have to medicate my eye with antibiotics, artificial tears, and something literally called FML at least four times a day. I'll be light-sensitive for a while, and I'll have to wear an eye patch while I sleep. But annoyances aside, it's really nothing to worry about. The long-term effects of the procedure are still being studied, but we have no reason to believe that there will be any negative repercussions. I expect corneal cross-linking will become a lot more common in the near future.

So yeah. If you can't reach me for the next week or two, that's why.

Did I ever throw this up? My old editor New Age Retro Hippie drew this a while ago. Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the scene - it's fairly iconic. (The editor in question hasn't responded to my emails in quite some time... unfortunately, people abruptly dropping off the face of the earth seems to happen a lot around me.)

Also, my brother's birthday is this Friday. So there's that.

Have a lovely April, everyone!

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Comments ( 2 )

Man, and I was worried about the fillings I have to get in a week!:fluttershbad: I did laugh when I heard about the FML, though. Silly doctors.:trollestia:

I wish you the best. I should have a new chapter done by the time you're back on the interwebz. Oh, and your image is experiencing technical difficulties.:moustache:

I've always wondered about eye-repair procedures and stuff, always seems scary to me. Hope your op goes well, and happy birthday to your brother.

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