Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lasik Follow-up

Sporting the sexy eye-wear I had to wear all day yesterday and for the first 5 nights after surgery
Bright and early yesterday morning, I went in to the eye doctor for my Lasik procedure. There are several different methods available, but because my corneas are so thin, I had to have the all-laser procedure. For my eyes, they cut a flap in my eye with a laser, and then used a different laser to shape my eye. Another procedure is available that uses a blade to cut the flap instead of a laser. 

I was told not to wear any perfume or anything scented (like lotion), and no makeup the day of the surgery. When I arrived at the office, I was fitted with a hairnet and then a series of eye drops were put in to disinfect and numb my eyes. I was also given Valium to calm my nerves. (Thank goodness because my heart was racing!)

The laser procedure didn't take very long at all. In fact, the shaping of each eye took only 47 seconds per eye (I know this because one of the surgeon assistants counted down in 10 second increments.) Have you ever seen the movie Clockwork Orange, and there's the part where they hold the guy's eyes open with the metal eyelid openers? I had those yesterday. I even asked the doctor "Do I look like the guy from Clockwork Orange?", and surprisingly he knew what I was talking about.

The worst parts of the procedure were the sounds the laser made. The Hubs could hear it out in the waiting room. It made really loud clicks. And when my eyes were being reshaped, the room smelled like burnt hair (or burnt eye?). 

Immediately after surgery I was able to see better. My eyesight before the surgery was -7.75 in my right eye and -8.25 in my left eye. My doctor said legally blind is 20/200 and my sight was 3/200. 

To give you an idea of what my eyesight was like... This is not a joke. 

Prior to surgery, without contacts or glasses
Before surgery, I could make out colors but not shapes. I could only see clearly for the first 6-8 inches from my face and then everything was blurry.
Immediately after surgery
Right after surgery, I could make out shapes, but it felt like I was looking through safety glasses with smudges on them.
Today, and also prior to surgery if wearing contacts or glasses
This morning I went in for a followup and my vision is at 20/20. My doctor said my sight will continue to improve over the next several weeks to months.

Right now I also experience a halo effect when looking at a light or reflective road signs at night. The road signs look like someone is standing right behind them with a spotlight. That will diminish as my eyes heal.

I'm currently on an antibiotic eye drop  a steroid eye drop and artificial tears. I can't ride a motorcycle or swim for the next two weeks. I also have to keep water out of my eyes when showering, and keep dust out of my eyes when working outside. 

Curious about cost? 
Since I had to do the all-laser procedure, the surgery was $4,700. This included pre-op procedures, the surgery, post-op follow-up visits for a year, any touch-ups for 2 years, taxes, and some medications. The eye drops cost about $100 after insurance.
However, I received a $300 discount for being an Anthem insurance member. 
And I have Aflac supplemental vision insurance that will reimburse me $480. 
Total cost out of pocket: $3,920 + eye drops

In comparison... My employer doesn't offer vision insurance so my contacts and glasses came out of my own pocket, usually in the range of $500-$800 every year. I usually purchased a year's worth of contacts, and only updated my glasses every 2-3 years because I didn't wear them as often.  This surgery will pay for itself in 5 years. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

We're growing Milk. (Not.)

Today I started transplanting tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers. I only transplanted as many as I had milk jugs to cover. I cut the bottom off the milk jugs and left the caps off. This allows the hot air to escape on warm days, but still allows dew and rain into the jugs, and protects the plants from frost. 
I still have 2 more rows of tomatoes to plant, and possibly more peppers. I went ahead and formed 2 more rows even though I ran out of milk jugs. I wanted to see where the green beans and corn can start. The garden is not looking so big now that half of it is planted. I still have the cucurbit family to plant, too. 
Between some of the tomatoes I planted basil, dill, parsley and cilantro seeds. 

 I also transplanted peppermint and lemon balm. I had it in large plastic pots, that were beginning to break due to the sun. I put them at the edge of the garden, to act as an edge. I can't wait for it to get established so I can mow over it. That sounds strange, but I love the smell of mint. (And the flavor of homemade mint liquor.)

The more I dig here, the more I'm convinced there used to be a farm house here. I keep finding shards of pottery. I found several pieces today that look like they're from a crock. One piece even has the number "2" on it. I'm keeping all the shards in one area.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Last night I was checking out the garden to see what sprouted. Kale, beets, and the peas have started.

And then I noticed big holes in some of the beds. An intruder. Apparently the neighbor's horses got out yesterday and trampled the beds.

I was in the market for a solar powered electric fence because of the deer, but it looks like I need to keep a horse out, too.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More Orchard, please

Last fall, I planted 9 fruit trees. There were 2 more fruit trees I needed for pollination - one more pear and one more apricot. And I also wanted some pecans. A red Bartlett pear, a Moorpark apricot and two Elliott pecan trees were planted this weekend. 
The 4 trees were planted Saturday, along with 4 sweet cherry bushes, 2 Patriot blueberries, 2 Bluecrop blueberries, 2 Concord grapes, 1 Himrod grape, 1 Canadice grape, 5 Darrow blackberries, 3 Fall gold raspberries and 3 Latham raspberries. 

I got a truckload of cedar mulch from the farm, from when the trees were all cut by the electric company. My brother and the Hubs helped put the mulch around the newly planted fruit. 
I also planted garlic, shallots, onions and potatoes, and a mixed row of carrots, beets and parsnips. 

Sunday I planted 20 asparagus plants. 

And then I called it a day and laid on the couch and read the rest of the day. I was sunburnt and sore and wanted to relax the rest of the weekend. 

Why am I planting all this? I love fresh fruit (and jellies/jams and canned fruit). Right now I spend $50 a week on groceries and most of it is produce since we have a freezer full of beef and venison. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring is blooming

 Most of the bulbs I planted in the fall have sprouted, and a lot of them have bloomed. They are on the top side of the retaining wall by our driveway. Daffodils, hyacinths and crocus are blooming.
Did you know that apricot blossoms smell heavenly? 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Burgess: Round 2

After I placed my first Burgess order, I realized there were a lot of other things I wanted .... The second order arrived last week:
Golden raspberries
Blue Spruce x 3
Giant Thuja x 2
Daylilies, for groundcover by the foundation
Lily of the Valley
Plus the freebies for having a big order: free seeds and a couple free bulbs

This weekend I bought the last of the orchard trees:
Red Bartlett Pear
2 Pecan trees
Moorpark Apricot

I also ordered 50 Norway Spruce from the Missouri Conservation Department last week. Not sure when they will arrive, but there may be a planting party... :)

Monday, April 1, 2013


Last Thursday started my three weeks of wearing glasses. My Lasik procedure is April 19, and for three weeks prior I can't wear contacts. This is to allow my eyes to return to their normal shape before the procedure. 

I first got glasses in 4th grade (10 years old), and first got contacts in 6th grade (12 years old - at the same time I had braces - talk about low self esteem...). I haven't regularly worn glasses in 16 years. There are a couple things I forgot about: 
1. Glasses fogging up when walking into a building. 
2. Glasses fogging up when drinking a steaming cup of coffee. 
3. Glasses fogging up when stirring something on the stovetop. 
4. Rain drops. Ugh.
5. Onions. I think I've worn contacts since I started cooking. I've never had a problem cutting onions. People throughout the house would be crying and I'd be chopping away at the cutting board. Not so when I'm wearing glasses. I get halfway through an onion and my eyes are watering so much I can't see. My Hubs offered his diving goggles as a remedy... 
6. Glare. 
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