I had what I had been told was an appointment for “measurements” for my LASIK surgery this afternoon, and it turned out to be a full-blown eye appointment in addition to the supplementary measurements, so this is what I looked like when I left the place– fully masked up, glasses fogged to hell, and my special wraparound plastic shades that made it possible to make it back home again. It’s about five hours later now and I’ve only just gotten to the point where I can see well enough to be able to read what I type; that said, I’m not as likely to notice typos as usual so don’t hold them against me, please.
The informed consent paperwork for this surgery is a trip, y’all. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I tell you that it declares that 1) the surgery will not work, 2) that it will also stop being effective in a couple of weeks, 3) that I will lose my vision altogether, and that also 4) I may lose both eyes and 5) it is entirely possible that the laser gun doing my actual surgery will explode during the procedure, immediately after it loses power due to a localized outage and a meteor strikes the building. It is the most comprehensive informed consent form I have ever signed, and I’m a little surprised that I’m still doing this after having every single thing that could possibly go wrong explained so clearly to me. I think I can still sue if the surgeon literally gouges my eyes out with a spoon, but I think forks are in the fine print somewhere.
That said, I got a nice drawstring bag and a t-shirt out of the deal, and the t-shirt is not only made from nice thick fabric but it looks like it’s going to fit comfortably, which is rarely the case from free t-shirts. I am trying to decide if actually wearing it to my surgery is the equivalent of showing up to a concert in a shirt from the band you’re seeing. I think probably it is.
In other news, let’s talk masks. I wasn’t aware that I was looking at a potentially two-hour visit when I walked in; I was expecting maybe half an hour of pushing my face into various devices and then to be done. The good news is I managed to make it through the entire two hours without a panic attack becoming a serious concern– which I would not have wagered was a thing I could do going into the appointment. Now, my glasses are a big part of what triggers the problem, and I didn’t have them on for most of the appointment, so that’s probably part of it.
That mask up there is my “best” mask. I got it for $12 at a medical supply place, and I’m considering heading back for a couple more so I can rotate through them. It’s treated with something antibacterial, supposedly; it looks okay, and it fits better than several others I’ve tried. But it folds in the middle and gets in my mouth when I talk– you can see the crease in the picture– and my beard constantly pushes the bottom of it up, so I’m always tugging it back down. As you can see, it folds up as well.
I’m considering doing some surgery on the thing with a paperclip or piece of wire to see if I can give that center vertical seam some more rigidity and structure so that it pushes out from my mouth more reliably, but it’s probably worth asking: does anyone have any particular kind of mask they want to recommend? I don’t want one of the kinds with a vent on them because they don’t work as well, and something washable is great, too. An N95 would do the job just fine but we are apparently still having a PPE shortage so I don’t want to use those, plus they’re not reusable. Something vaguely in the department of that one in terms of looks would be a good thing, too. I’ll need to wear it at work, so solid black is probably my best choice.
(It is also possible that I may need to give up on the idea of not having a close-cropped beard while we are on Mask Planet. I am not happy about that idea, but it may become necessary.)