Saturday, July 13, 2013

chiba city

early thursday morning, i paid using the same credit card machine they use for take-out before removing my shoes and donning surgery cap and booties. a technician sat me down and told me what to expect afterwards. a few minutes went past, then the surgeon came by and i followed him into the operating room.

a small, sterile room furnished with two large machines separated by a table that felt like a padded stretcher. the procedure was explained vaguely and the lights went out. in the dark, with my eye beneath a circle of yellow light with a flashing red dot in the center, i imagined how it must feel to undergo back-alley surgery, whether abortion or body upgrades. this was an upgrade, for sure, trusting this stranger and his machines with one of my optical sensors.

"look straight up, don't move" was the mantra he chanted. over and over and over again. a metal hoop of sorts? to hold my eyelids open? no. i'm moved to the other machine. "look straight up, don't move," he repeats, and i try to relax my body as it stiffens against the hoop pressing into my eye. that pressure increases and i'm almost gasping for breath. "look straight up, don't move," he says, as i think of that hoop being pushed straight through my eyeball and brain and grinding into the back of my skull. my vision pops into blackness, have i fainted? oh gods, i forgot to tell him i have a syncope. is now the time to tell him? no, it can't be. i say something, he misunderstands and i have to explain that it's okay, everything's okay, i just don't know when to be alarmed. can i see again?

i'm back under the first machine, a circle floats between me and the machine. "look straight up, don't move" over and over and over again. i'm trying not to move, i'm trying to focus. what am i supposed to focus on? it hurts, my eyeball flutters involuntarily, am i messing this up? am i going to blind myself because i can't keep my eye still? "look straight up, don't move," he repeats. the machine is whirring to life and then backing off, over and over. "look straight up, don't move," and he counts down. he's doing it, the laser is shooting into my eye and shaping me and he's counting down and i'm focusing everything i have on not moving but what if i move? what if my eye flickers? am i breathing? am i moving? should i relax? should i tense?

suddenly the mantra stops and the machine stops and the lights go on and a technician gives me a hand. i stand up, disoriented, and i stumble outside in a daze. the first technician is there to greet me and show me where to sit for the next hour, to tell me that it'll be hazy and it'll burn and scratch and that i need to tell them if anything's going horribly wrong.

i sit down, blinking rapidly. i don't stop blinking, am i blinking enough? can i look out the window? the sunlight bounces off the cars in the parking lot so i try not to stand where it'll reach me. even through the haze and fog and blur i can see that my eyesight's improved - it's improved so much that for the first time i can tell just how bad my "good" eye is. can i use headphones? or will the bass cause my eyeball to vibrate? silly, i know, but i have to ask.

time flies, i sit or i pace and i appreciate this little miracle. upgrade complete, installing latest device drivers. it's feeling good, it's not hurting like i was warned. when she told me about the burning and said "you'll see", she was wrong about the burning but right about my seeing. i do see. it's beautiful.

...

my one eye now sees far and my other near, so depending on what i need to focus on i just close the inefficient one. this is fantastic!

---
aota picked me up and we stopped for veggie burgers at harvey's down the road. a bit of office gossip as well, and she informed me that i wasn't missing anything as megaman wasn't in and the office comms were down. if i'm not working, nobody's working.
she dropped me off at home and i spent the next several hours using the computer or my phone in short bursts (so as not to forget to blink enough - that's the real reason you can't read or anything) and enjoying the greatest nap in the whole world. me and my sleep goggles.

leap motion's pre-order form is a bit of a mess, and they're aware of it. after getting my knickers in a knot because it's almost go-time and no matter how i tried i couldn't get my details correct, i requested phone support. they came through, and the agent was pleasant, and i ended up satisfied. i can't understand how a company with such an amazing product can fail on a web form, but whatever.

vfmp shot me a mail inviting me to a magic the gathering / vegan eats evening. now that i can't train for two weeks, this sounds like a good alternative :)

my first eyedrops sessions were frustrating, but it takes fifteen minutes every six hours so at some point i'm going to become proficient.

aota and newk'd took me out to an indian restaurant in snowden, it was a fun evening. what wasn't fun was my mom repeatedly trying and failing to get hold of me because i had no signal and newk'd telling me a story about yang that was so ugly it was embarrassing to hear. rule number 1: "don't be an asshole". calling the cops on peaceful protestors because you don't agree with the protest is not okay.

---
friday:

between my goggles, the hot, humid night and my neck i had a terrible time sleeping. i felt horrible in the morning.

in general, waking up for my early drops sucks.

on my way to the follow-up appointment, i was embarrassed to get off the bus and discover that i'd been sitting next to one of the technicians and hadn't recognized her (she said hi to me). i'd arrived too early so i crossed the road to the tim horton's to pick up a doughnut and coffee. i didn't cross in the most legal of ways and two cops stepped out of the coffee shop and began to walk in my direction... [they ignored me, i was grateful]

...

i live in a strange building: the apartments have heating during winter, and the building has a/c during summer. that means that if my apartment gets too hot and humid i can just go sit in the corridor where it's cool and dry.

it was a pleasant afternoon of naps and inconsequential things. i took a bath before dinner, which was a mission and a half. godmother picked me up and i was surprised to find myself allowed back to her house.

my uncle is now only too happy to have me over any time! it's because i am jésus-christ de moustique. he always thought he got everyone's mosquitoes, but that was until last night. he also thinks that my green oakley jawbones are the greatest joke ever.

...

on the metro home i sat opposite a well-dressed woman who coughed non-stop without covering her mouth. typical, when one needs to protect one's eye.

i spent the next hour or so voting on soundtrack styles for shadowrun online. then i took a muscle relaxant and went to bed.

---
today:

i suspect that i shouldn't have taken the muscle relaxant. it didn't really help and it made me feel horrid when i got out of bed this morning for my first drops.

i've so far done nothing much today, and i don't care. i've really needed a few days of nothing, i'm only too glad for the excuse!

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