Last Friday, I did get laser eye surgery on my right eye. I wasn’t sure I was going to need it, but three ophthalmologists looked thoroughly into the back of my eye with lights, magnifying tools, and depressors (to keep the eye opened in the right areas). They all agreed I had tears and a possible detached section of the retina. With skillful placement of eye and laser, for about a half hour, one of the doctors put drops to numb the eye, then soon after began the laser treatments. I had two to three dozen laser blasts into my eye. I must say, I was amazed how relatively easy and painless this was—a lot better than having to put my eye to the knife and peel back layers to get to my retina (or whatever they do). The technology is wonderful. The only lasting soreness was when I got home and the numbing solution had worn off, but again it was not bad. The next day I was on a plane to Oakland for the weekend and had no more problems. Today I did have to spend from 7:30 AM until around 2 PM trying to deal with the financials—the cost of the surgery was going to run me upwards of $2,600 (an optometrist told me that in private clinics the costs could go to $4,000 or so). But I qualified for one of the LA County health care programs since my income has come down quite significantly over the last year. This is good—I now only pay the regular surgery cost of $120. I return on Wednesday to have my eye checked again. It’s possible I may need more lasers, but I hope not. For now I feel fine. This is all part, apparently, of my particular aging process. Not every one will have tears in their retina or detachments, but the older you get the likelihood gets stronger. I must say that the LA County Health System, while the emergency waits can be for hours, including whole days or weekends, have great doctors and support staff. c/s
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