Thursday, December 29, 2005

Spaceman Spiff!

OK, due to much clamoring for a shot of me in the old man goggles, here's one for all of you out there that asked. OK, wipe the spewed beverages off your monitors from the laughter, I know it looks silly. Yes, that is a pair of the old folks shades OVER a pair of clear goggles. I had to sleep in those damn things for a week - at least I was supposed to. After the second night of sleeplessness, and awaking to find that I had pulled them off anyway, I decided to just go for broke and sleep without them.

It's amazing what a difference a week makes, my eyes are almost back to normal from the surgery, the pain is a not too distant memory that is fading fast, and my vision is damn near perfect. At my one week post op checkup this past Wednesday, I was 20/25 in both eyes, with a little blurriness in my right eye. I was told little fluctuations in sharpness and strength would happen over the next month, so, while I was disappointed to find out that I was "only" at 20/25, they are all optomistic that it will improve to 20/20 or greater in the next weeks to come. The blurry vision I had yesterday is much better today even, so let's all hope for some serious improvement in the coming month - I was told that 20/10 is not unheard of from the Custom Vue procedure that I had done. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Day, greyhound style...

This is how you count your blessings and try and convince the nice lady that you've been a good dog this year. We've got visiting greyhounds and their parents from Detroit this year, Suzy's sister Betsy and her husband, Doug. They have three greyhounds as well, so yep, those of you that excelled in arithmetic counted 8 dogs at our house for the holiday - well 9 if you count Kelsey, who is not pictured here. This pack of wild dogs were in the kitchen eating the bits of turkey goodness left over from making the turkey stock for the gravy. You know, that stuff that comes in the white plastic bags stuffed inside the cavity that you forget to remove every year? Anyway, Merry Christmas and I hope everyone had as wonderful a day as I did.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pay your damn utility bills!

OK, this might be showing my age, but growing up, there was this cartoon about a crotchety old man who was blind as a bat and who always seemed to foil the crooks or save the day, despite not being able to see a thing. After my LASIK surgery yesterday, I am no longer Mr. Magoo! The procedure went well, but no one seems to tell you that it is going to hurt like hell! Suzy and I left Albany around 2PM headed to Valdosta to make my 4PM appointment. We get there about 5 minutes before my scheduled appointment and the office is jam packed with folks - always a good sign, along with the awards on the wall for Reader's Choice as best eye clinic in Valdosta. I go through the check-in process, and of course the payment process - guess they want your signature before the fact in case they mess up and leave you blind and not able to sign your credit card receipt. I opted for the Custom Vue LASIK treatment, which means they got me for even more $$ than just the standard procedure. They sat me down at a machine called a wave front analyzer which supposedly mapped out my corneas and created a custom profile for the laser to use instead of just a standard treatment based off my prescription. Anyway, they sit me in an exam room, put some numbing drops in my eyes, give me a Valium, and swab my eyes down with Betadine to sanitize the surgical area. They let me sit in the room for the numbing drops and Valium to kick in, then the led me off to the room with the laser wearing sharks. They had me lay down on a table and put a patch over my left eye. They then taped down my upper and lower eyelashes and placed an instrument called a speculum in my eye to crank open my eye lids so they could work without me blinking. Now comes the part I was dreading, the cutting of the flap. To say that hurt would be a bit of an understatement. I wasn't really prepared for the sensation of having an object pushed firmly against my eye tissue and then the feeling of the flap being cut, not to mention the loss of vision that entailed after that was done. Next up, the laser is turned on and you can hear it clicking away and doing it's thing, then they flush your eye, lay the flap back down, flush it again, then use some sort of tool to smooth back down the flap and make sure there are no air pockets there - think a small squeegee, and you'll get the idea. Total elapsed time for the first eye, probably 2 minutes total. The laser was only on for maybe 30 seconds or so.

Now for the fun part. They start to prep my left eye, taped down my eye lashes, placed the speculum, and are ready to insert the tool to cut the flap and the power in the building blinks. Yes, you read correctly, the freaking power shut off. So, there I am, already apprehensive and trying to be a good patient, and the lights go off. The Doctor and the 2 laser techs take it in stride, remarking how it's no problem, and even if we had been in the middle of the procedure, the laser has fail-safes and would save it's position and pick up where it left off. Well, I got to lay there in minor discomfort and major terror for about 10 minutes while the laser powered back on and re-calibrated itself. We then went through the process and finished up on my left eye. They led me back to an exam room, brought Suzy back, gave me my sporty goggles that I get to sleep in for the next week, as well as those old people shades to wear - over the goggles. Yes, I was the epitome of style, let me tell you. They go over my care regimen and give me some drops to use in conjunction with the antibiotic drops that I had already gotten from the pharmacy, and send me on my way.

The ride home was pretty uneventful, my eyes were starting to hurt more and more, so I kept them closed for most of the ride home. When we got home, any light hurt my eyes, so I called my folks to let them know I was ok, put in the first round of eye drops, drank a beer to fortify the effects of the Valium, and tried to sleep. Pain. Lots of pain, my eyes were tearing a good bit, they stung, burned, felt like I had sand in them, hurt to open, etc. I was laying there wondering just what I had gotten myself into, and finally drifted off to sleep. When I wok e up about midnight, the pain had subsided somewhat, and I COULD SEE THE CLOCK ACROSS THE ROOM! Hey, this thing really worked! I got up, put more drops in, drank some water, chatted with Suzy a bit, and went back to bed. I got up at 6AM this morning to drive myself to my Post-Op consult with the Doctor in Tifton this morning - by myself. They told me that my vision is 20/20 and that the procedure went perfectly. I've got some dryness, a little sensitivity to light, and a bit of cloudy vision, but I can see great. All in all, the discomfort will be worth it in the long run of being free from glasses and contact lenses. I'll be sure and update my progress as we go!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Sharks with Frickin Laser Beams!

So, after driving to Tifton yesterday to meet with an eye specialist to see if I am a candidate for LASIK surgery, I bit the bullet and scheduled my surgery for December 21 at 4 PM. I hope his technology is a little more advanced than Dr. Evil's killer sharks and their head mounted laser beams, people! I'm a little nervous, but extremely excited. The doctor, Scott Petermann (no relation to J Peterman I am afraid) is 36, and has had the procedure done on himself for 6 years and he is very happy with his decision to have it done. This made me feel a little more at ease. So, this time next week, either I'll be blind, or I won't need glasses or contact lenses any longer! I really don't know what to think, as I can vaguely remember life before glasses, but it's been a long time since the 4th grade when my vision went south. The doctor said I'm a great candidate for the procedure, so think happy thoughts for me next week, and it looks like my Christmas wish of 2 good eyes is coming true! I must have been good this year or something...

Monday, December 12, 2005

She Loves me, She Loves Me Not...

Well, after joining the gym last week with Suzy, and successfully completing a Spin class without too much difficulty, Fred and I joined Suzy Saturday morning for a class that used free weights in conjunction with those inflatable body balls. Let me just tell you this, I think Suzy was trying to cash in my life insurance policy. I STILL ache today, Monday morning, after this class. I thought my legs were in pretty good shape from cycling and that the squats and lunges would be no problem - well, I guess you work different muscle groups because I'm shuffling around like an old man who was beaten with a baseball bat. I guess that just is my body's way of telling me I need more work in certain areas. If I keep this up, I ought to be a much stronger rider come the spring time.

What does Ri's picture have to do with this post? Nothing, but I was told I needed some shots of her on my blog, so here she is. She's my 11 year old Brittany Spaniel who rules over the greyhounds.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Meet Bonnie!

Meet Bonnie, our newest addition to our pack. She is two years young, a brindle and quite the little frisky girl. She hates sirens, likes to hop around like she's got springs in her paws, and is having fun chasing Chloe around. She's steadily putting on weight, from her emaciated 48 pounds and fitting in nicely. How did we wind up with 5 dogs? I'm not quite sure, but I've told Suzy in no uncertain terms that we are REALLY FULL now. We'll see if that sticks this time around.

In other news, I'm wearing glasses for a few weeks in preparations for a consultation with a surgeon for LASIK treatment. I've had crappy vision since the 4th grade, and worn glasses or contact lenses ever since, so the idea of being able to wake up and magically see is quite exciting. I'm a bit apprehensive, but I am ready to find out more about it. If I like the consult, and I am a candidate for the surgery, I might be having it done on December 21. Can you say all I want for Christmas is my 20/20 eyesight? Posted by Picasa

Spaghetti Anyone?

Dateline: October 22, 2005
Yeah, I know I'm slack when it comes to blog updates, but better late than never. On Saturday, October 22, Suzy, Fred, myself and lots of other slightly insane folks opted for the scenic fat tired tour of Northern Florida and Southern Georgia Plantation dirt roads. This was one of the options of the organized Spaghetti 100 bike ride that oddly enough, did not offer spaghetti after this year's ride - something about a scheduling conflict with the usual space that they cook in... Totalling 68 miles on a combination of dirt and pavement, but mostly dirt, we left Miccosoukee, FL and headed North towards Thomasville, GA, then to Boston, GA, then back to Miccosoukee. Boston is where Chloe was found wandering loose after she turned herself in to the Police Station there. Speaking of Chloe, she just celebrated her 3 year anniversary here with us, hard to believe she's been with us that long...
Back to the ride, it was very scenic, but it was about 20 miles too long for my tastes. Suzy said she chose this option, since "Everyone knows that dirt roads are flat!". This statement was proven false MANY times over during the course of our trek, but Fred and I only called BS on her maybe 30 times or so. I had asked the ride co-ordinator about the condition of the dirt roads, and if they were sandy or hard packed clay, and she told me they were mostly hard packed, so I opted for skinny road slicks inflated to around 90psi for the ride - much to my chagrin, the roads were quite sandy, especially the leg from Boston back to the finish. This made for some interesting moments for Suzy and I, but luckily neither of us actually fell from the sand. Fred kept extolling the virtues of his fatter, more suited knobby tires at a much more reasonable 35 psi. I, of course, ignored him and continued my sand surfing on skinny tires. To pay him back for all of his snide comments, I laid the hammer down on Suzy and Fred at the end of the ride, just trying to get back to the truck so I could get off my bike. Little did I know that they were plotting to kick my bike and knock me off - if they could only catch me, which fortunately for me, did not happen. Shortly longer than 7 hours after we left the parking area, we arrived back, sore, dirty, tired and VERY thirsty. We changed clothes, (except for Fred, he opted to stay in his bib shorts, which he claimed were very comfortable - go figure) piled into Fred's 4 door Ford F-150 and headed for civilization and in search of food and cold beer. We found a Beef O'Brady's in Thomasville that had excellent food (isn't all food better after a long bike ride?) and ice cold beer on tap. It was a great experience, but Fred came home and immediately had me list his bike on EBay - I guess he wanted to ensure he would not be able to do this ride in the future. Posted by Picasa