Archive for March, 2011


UPDATE: 9 Months later………

I have Monovision

Initially, I reported that my vision was super clear and I was super happy.  Coming from coke bottle thick glasses, for which I have been wearing for over 27 years, it was a great feeling.  And it still is. 

After about a month though, my vision slowly slightly worsened and then plateaued.  I needed to squint for objects – tv, faces at long distances, etc.  I was able to get an enhancement as my cornea had sufficient thickness and the corneal flap was able to be lifted without a re-cut.  So, I decided to get an enhancement.  So, last Thursday, I went back to EyeQ and had my left eye re-lasered.  Lucky for me, I did not need to have my eyeball held in place and the 9 seconds of laser action went by quite quickly.  A funny comment by the surgical assistant, “you may smell the odor of burnt hair.”  Actually, that’s burnt eyeball!!    

A month ago I went in for a consultation and the doctor determined that my left eye was the worse of the two.  By doing the one eye, it leaves the right eye good for up close stuff and my left eye good for long distance sight – leaving me with Monovision.  My brain will takes both images and amalgamate them.  A week later, my vision is significantly crisper and I am happy.  Another reason for doing the one eye is so that I won’t require reading glasses too soon (mid 40s ish).

I am still recommending this procedure for anyone on the fence about it.

Glenn 

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I have been wearing glasses since I was 9 years old.  Holy shit did I hate them towards the end.  A few years ago, I started wearing contact lenses exclusively.  Mainly because I liked what I looked like without glasses, I could pretty much do anything without the glasses and I despised paying for new glasses every few years.  This prolonged use caused something happen to my eyelids though.  They formed small ulcers underneath the lid itself.  I was becoming allergic to the material of the contact lens.  So, my optometrist informed me I needed to take a break from the exclusive lens use.  So, I succumbed and purchased a nice, contemporary pair of glasses.  This “break” was good for my lids.  Occasionally, I still wore my lenses – for mountain biking, snowboarding, baseball, hockey, and any other activity.  It turned out I needed the use of the lenses quite regularly.  Prior to this allergy, I could go almost all day with the lenses in.  Over the last few months, however, I was getting comfortable use for close to 4 hours.  This was getting on my nerves and I decided to ask some questions about laser eye surgery.

 

The main questions needed to be asked are:-

         How old are you?

         Has your prescription changed in the last few years?

         Is your cornea thick enough for the procedure?

 

Under 40?  YES!

 

My prescription had not changed in over 5 years.  WEEEE!

 

Thick cornea?  Don’t know.  I was referred to EyeQ Laser (www.eyeqlaser.com).  Their offices are very nice, modern and use the very best, state-of-the-art equipment and ultra high tech computerized aiming, measuring and targeting lasers.  Their website shows all you need to know about their facility and capabilities. 

 

It turns out you need a minimum thickness of cornea in order for the flap to be cut, moved out of the way for the laser to reshape your eye.  Luckily, I had that required thickness.

 

So, I decided to go ahead and book the procedure.

 

On the morning of the procedure, I was feeling great.  OR was I?  I slept well, yet my heartbeat may have been a few beats faster than normal, but still I was acting all cool.  My super wonderful girlfriend Shannon drove me to my appointment.  Upon getting seated to await the procedure, I did notice that I was a little more restless.  My fears were …. Would I lose my sight?  Cases are very, very rare.  Would I come out with worse vision?  Again, the cases are very rare.  What if I had to sneeze during the procedure and thus altering the trajectory of the beam?  The doctor made me feel very comfortable with all my questions.  The numbers he gave me for my current state of blindness were… 99.9% chance of coming out with 20/40 vision and a 94% chance of seeing at a 20/20 level.  Pretty good, I thought.  After all, my eyes were: -7.07 OD and -6.91 OS.  I knew the potential risks and signed off on them.

 

Time to get this over with.  I slip into booties, a funny mesh gown and a shower cap.  I then get ushered into the operating room. 

 

It is sterile and there is a lady in there all masked and gloved up.  Good stuff.  I lie down on a flat chair-bed.  And position myself as comfortable as I can.  There are two machines on either side of me.  Small talk ensues and I was given two foam eyeballs as stress squeezers.  How cute.  Fuck!  What do I need these for!  The doctor then comes in and he goes through what is to happen.  I am not stressing out, but I am nervous and he calms me down after telling me what will happen.   

 

First, my left eye will be taped shut so they can concentrate on the right eye.  Then they tape my lashes down and start the numbing drops.  With these drops I no longer feel the need to blink.  That is a weird feeling.  They were cold and dripped to the back on my neck.  Then a contraption is lowered to hold my eyelids open.  At this time I cannot feel it in my eye.  At this point, I am positioned under the machine that cuts the cornea.  It is tremendously bright.  Something else is lowered onto my head, but I do not know what this is.  At this point, the doctor says that they will be lowering a suction cup to my eye and to be ready but nothing is to worry.  He then positions my head a little better and off we go.  To better understand this procedure, click on the below link.

 

http://www.eyeqlaser.com/videos/IntralaseAnim.mpg

 

This was a very strange sensation.  The suction cup arm was lowered onto my right eye and it sat there and sucked down.  After a few seconds, my vision went dark.  I was then moved over to the other station.  This is where the cornea layer gets cut.  As the cup was lowered, you can see 7 distinct small lights in a circle.  If you are at all claustrophobic, this would be terrifying for you.  But the doctor and the techs were amazing at talking me through it.  I didn’t notice myself squeezing the foam balls at all.  I concentrated on slow, deep breaths and only swallowed when I had to.  This part only took 20 seconds at most.  See a real life video below.  Be prepared as it is a video of an actual eye getting cut.  

 

http://www.eyeqlaser.com/videos/Intralase_Flap_Creation.mpg

 

I was then moved over to the laser.  The laser was aimed at my eye and it did its readings.  It determined that it would need 51 seconds of ‘modifying’ time.  I am guessing this is because of my high nearsightedness.  I was to stare at a blinking, faded orange strobe.  I had to keep completely still for 51 seconds.  This was where I didn’t want to screw this up.  I kept slow, deep breaths and swallowed about 4 or 5 times but kept my head perfectly still.  Throughout this entire time, the doctor kept reassuring me that everything was perfect.  Perfect.  Perfect.  Perfect.

 

After the 51 seconds of clicking and clacking, it was done.  There was a half sniff of burned eyeball, but nothing I haven’t smelled before.  It was like burned hair.  The fuzzy orange strobe seemed clear.  I WAS NOT BLIND!!!  Whew!  The doctor now put the flap back, as the video shows, and readjusted it and smoothed the air out or whatever and sprinkled it with cooling liquid.  Onto the left eye.

 

The procedure was the exact same to the left eye, but I did notice some pain coming from my right eye from the bright lights being used.  Maybe black tape should be used for that eye.  Just sayin’.  The suction device seemed to cause more pain on this eye, which apparently is quite normal.  The left eye needed 49 seconds of zap time.  Once again, I was breathing deeply, knowing that it was less than a minute and I’d be a new person.  BEEP!  DONE!  I was then pulled up and walked myself to the post surgery room.  I had a cookie and a juice.  As the doctor said, my vision was cloudy (like looking through Vaseline).  But it was clear. I could read stuff across the room!  OH MAN!!  This is great. 

 

For a few hours afterward, the real pain was from light sensitivity when I was applying my eye drops.  Honestly though, the only pain part of the procedure was the procedure itself.  One other downside to the major trauma to the eyeball is some bruising on the white part (sclera) of my eyes.  Check the pic below.  This is supposed to clear up in 10 days or so.

 

 

A few other downsides….. I cannot touch my eyes for a week.  I cannot get sweat or water in my eyes.  I cannot play contact sports for two weeks.  I cannot swim for three weeks.  Once the 3 week time limit is up, and a few dr visits over the next half year, I am good to go.  I am so happy I did this. 

 

 

 

 

   

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 It will not go away.  The amazing game of hockey.  The speed.  The skill.  The physicality.  The battles.  My take on this much talked about, controversial topic in the hockey community is that nothing should be done about this.  Why should it? 

 

In my opinion, the questions the league, the pundits, the hockey insiders, should consider are the following:-

– Was player X intending to hit player Y in the head?

– Was player X intending to injure player Y?

– Is there a trend of ‘dirty’ play from a player?   

– What do people love about the game?   

 

As some quick background to some stats, see Gary Bettman’s March 14, 2011, Post GM Meeting transcript from his press conference.

 

“For example, 26% of the concussions are caused accidentally, pucks to the head, people colliding with each other, including same teammates, people tripping and falling into the boards and glass and banging their heads.  44% are from what we’ll call legal hits.  That means body hits principally.  So 70% of concussions this season are from either accidental causes or legal hits.” – excerpted from Gary Bettman’s March 14, 2011, Post GM Meeting transcript press conference.

 

Is this really an issue?  If you don’t want to hurt yourself, you have choices.  You have the choice to not play and thus, NOT GET HURT!  These guys are professional athletes, getting paid quite a lot of money to play a game.  They know the risks.  If they are worried about getting smashed in the head, don’t get smashed in the head.  Keep your head up when crossing into the middle of the ice (or better yet, don’t cross into the middle of the ice).  Case in point – David Booth getting hit by Mike Richards on October 24, 2009.  Not only was he moving laterally, but he also looked at where his pass went, leaving him blind to an incoming player, who, rightfully so, hit him.  Check out the video. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeN3QTw8iz4

 

It is definitely unfortunate what happened to Booth.  If you look at the replay, yes, Richards’ shoulder does make contact with Booth’s head.  The consequence of the speed, the angles the players collided and how Booth fell – with his face contacting the ice – added to his injuries.  Was it a great hit?  You bet it was.  Was Richards targeting his head?  That is one of my questions that need to be addressed.  In my lay opinion, I say no.  If any of you have played hockey at any level, you know that even playing shinny or non-contact men’s league there may be times where you aren’t looking and lay a guy out.  Carrying the puck, your body is naturally slumped over making your head lower to the ground and increasing the chances of getting hit with a shoulder or an elbow.  These are professional athletes playing a game.  Over the years, these athletes have gotten faster and stronger.  Should hitting to the head be outlawed?  That is something for the brains at the NHL to come up with.   

 

Was player X intending to hit player Y in the head? 

 

This is, most of the time, only a guess.  Often times, a quick move one way or the other will upset the way a player is moving, thus causing him to hit high.  Sometimes it is unavoidable.  I would hate to be a referee on those calls.  An example that clearly shows intent was Matt Cooke’s hit on Ryan McDonagh on the Sunday, March 20th, 2011 game.  And with the subsequent suspension, the NHL clearly believes that Cooke intended to hit McDonagh in the head.  See for yourself.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emTQpD8jmuw

 

Was player X intending to injure player Y?

 

We will never know this intention.  We can only, once again, guess.  We can only assume we know what he was thinking – did Y provoke X in some way earlier in the shift, earlier in the game, last game, last year?  In a perfect world, this would not matter.  At the moment the hit occurs, it is more than likely X wanted to hurt Y, but just for a few moments of pain.  Never to injure in a way the player is hurt badly for a long period of time.  Hockey, like many sports, can get emotional.  In the heat of the moment, players may not have the best intentions or will not use their brains.  Will this change?  Probably not. 

 

Is there a trend of ‘dirty’ play from a player?

 

My above case about Matt Cooke is a good example of a dirty play from a player.  He has had several suspensions over the years and gets quite emotional during games.  Is he a skilled hockey player?  You bet.  Is he an emotional player?  Definitely.  Will he change?  That is something we will have to see.  I believe that he will not change.  There will always be a handful of players that ‘mix’ things up and will play on that edge of chippy, chirpy, grindy behavior.  You love him if he is on your team and you hate his guts when he is on the opposing team.

 

Other typical examples of questionable, ‘dirty’, yet emotional play is by Trevor Gillies of the NY Islanders.  He had just come off a 9 game suspension, seen here:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKYXYRT-pyo

 

…then, on his first game back, does this to warrant a 10 game suspension.  Emotional?  Yes.  Reasoning?  I am sure he has it.  The NHL knows that there are players like this in the game and things like this will come up. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HObjS14bPuU

 

 

What do people love about the game? 

 

The speed, the hitting, the almost brutal, raw emotion that occurs when things get heated up.  No one ever wants to see someone taken off the ice on a stretcher.  We all want to see the very best players on the ice making plays, hitting, playing at 100%.  Does something need to change?  Yes.  But be aware of risks that may occur.

 

What happened to the old days when you man-up?  Stop being a baby and keep your head up.    

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” one GM said. “The fact Sidney Crosby has been out a long time with a concussion is a huge part of what’s happening right now. And I feel terrible Sidney is injured and our game needs him playing. But he got hurt on what I believe was an accidental collision. It’s a fast game played by big people in a small area. There are going to be concussions. We can try to reduce the number but we’re never going to get rid of them.” – excerpted from Bob McKenzie’s blog of March 11, 2011.

 

The above blog post is only my opinion and my feelings and is without prejudice.