At 3:30 pm Laurel and I got home from her LASIK surgery.
For five and a half hours, and counting, I have been her compassionate care giver as she lies quietly in bed or a recliner, dark goggles on, popping her pain pills, listening to PBS and CNN (no TV watching until tomorrow, so says the Casey Eye Institute post-operation patient instructions).
So, yes, I'm looking forward to being nominated for sainthood. Or better, Buddha-hood. Already I have brought her several glasses of juice, set up a radio by her bed, cooked a Gardenburger, made a salad, and fetched some socks.
Being a man, I'm pretty darn proud of myself.
And thinking about looking into the possibility of signing up for respite care. In the past I've found that I'm good for about 48 hours of selfless wife care. Then I start to burn out, as I discover that my blogging time is getting limited and I can't watch television whenever I want.
Fortunately, recovery time from LASIK is fast. My declining aptitude for compassion and Laurel's increasing eye health should intersect tomorrow afternoon, just when I usually head off to the athletic club for my Friday workout.
The surgery on one eye went fine. Aside from the minor detail that she didn't get the procedure she'd signed up for—a custom cornea LASIK.
One of the things you don't want to hear when you go for surgery is "This is the first time that's ever happened." But that's what Laurel was told after she was ushered into the LASIK procedure area.
Apparently someone gave her eye dilating drops before a custom LASIK measurement could be taken. By then it was too late. Her doctor said she could either reschedule the appointment, or go ahead with regular LASIK. He assured Laurel that he's a conservative sort of guy and would recommend the custom procedure if it would benefit her.
But he didn't think it'd make any difference, given her minor eye aberrations. Hopefully he was right. (Semi-shameful admission: when Laurel told me about the screw-up, visions of the $200,000 OHSU tort liability limit flashed through my head even though I'm not a suing sort).
The lesson here is that even when you're getting care from a highly competent health care provider (the Casey Eye Institute is top-notch), make sure they know what they're supposed to do for you. Looking back, a simple "You do realize that I'm getting a custom LASIK, right?" from Laurel would have saved her, and the Institute, some grief.
I got a great view of the fairly new Portland Aerial Tram from a balcony outside the sixth floor of the Institute. There was a lot of controversy about cost overruns for the tram construction that seemed overblown to me at the time.
Seeing how sleek and futuristic the tram looks close-up, I'm convinced that no matter how much the tram cost, it was money well-spent.
So what if ten or twenty million more dollars than expected went to build it? That's probably something like an hour of Iraq war spending. No big deal, given how attractive the tram turned out.