Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Frikin' Laser beams

I have wanted to get Lasik eye surgery for a long time. I have a severe astigmatism in both eyes and therefore contacts are extremely uncomfortable. To make matters worse, I have a "face thing". It is not unlike my "neck thing". I cannot stand things touching my neck or face. So wearing glasses literally feels as annoying as if someone were to follow me around all day long with their finger poking me in the face. I just can't get used to it. It gives me extreme headaches too. So every morning I wake up and look at my glasses and think, hhmmmm.... Which do I choose today? a severe headache and sight or blindness with only a mild eyestrain headache? Lately I have been going for blindness and eyestrain headaches. Another side effect of this choice is that I swear I am developing premature wrinkles from squinting and on more than a few occasions I have heard through the grapevine that "Staci doesn't like me very much. She always gives me dirty looks" Of course this is always about people who I like just fine but who don't know that my squint happens to resemble a look of utter disgust. It is time to fix this problem, wouldn't you agree?

So here's the thing... I have tried to solve this problem before. I was lured to one of the lasik clinics that advertises (falsely and blatantly) $299 per eye! I have sat through the video and the long sales pitch and heard the testimonials about how pain free the procedure is and the laser is so advanced that a monkey could operate it on a Tourette's patient with no problem blah blah blah.... Oh, but you have astigmatism so unfortunately the $299 price doesn't apply, to you. Instead that will be $3700. American Dollars. If you want both eyes done. Actually $4000 if you include the drops and plugs and other completely necessary items. Wow. That wasn't in the ad. Oh you finance it right here? Well, I do miss the simple luxury of recognizing which car is mine in the parking lot and It does get really old when I put my glasses on at the end of a long day to discover that my eyeliner looks likes it has been applied by a monkey with Tourette's syndrome. What the heck! I will pay your ridiculous pricetag! Slice my corneas up with your awesome laser! Oh, There's a problem? You won't do it unless I am not trying to get pregnant, am not pregnant am not nursing a baby and have not been nursing a baby for 6 months? But I am trying to get pregnant. I'm on fertility drugs in fact. (this was back in 2006 when I was desperate for baby number 2. I had no idea at the time that it was going to take a year to get knocked up with Babyham) So they sent me on my way, totally unwilling to take my small fortune if I wouldn't rearrange my family planning.

Fast forward to yesterday morning. I was going through the coupons in one of those mailers you get every other day looking for a good deal on carpet cleaning and there it was. An ad for Southwestern Eye Center. LASIK: Only $299 per eye. Just the day before I was telling Lisa that I really need to get Lasik done right now because I happen to be in that tiny window of time when I have been done nursing for 6 months and before I am trying to get pregnant again. And I just did our taxes and I have a thousand extra dollars. So, mostly out of curiosity and boredom and a break from quizzing carpet cleaners about weather their steam cleaner really is truck mounted, I called the Lasik place. I told the lady that I have severe astigmatism and I already know that I fit right into the most expensive price range, but here's the deal: I will bring you one thousand dollars cash. I want both eyes done, and my thousand dollars must include all meds, drops, lifetime guarantees, future touch-ups, all followup care and taxes. She told me, come on in for a consultation and exam and we can work out a price that works blah blah blah. No. I'm not sitting through the sales pitch, and I'm not paying more than one thousand dollars. I'm calling you to see if you are interested in this. If not, no biggie, lets not waste each other's time. okay? She said "Can you come in right now?" I said, "Uh, yeah, If you are telling me that you will include absolutely everything for a thousand dollars." "Yes, we will do it, please just don't tell other people about the price we gave you. be here at 2."

So an hour and a half later I was in the operating room enduring what can only be described as torture. Not so much pain, but definitely torture. I'm thinking about sending a memo to the folks at Gitmo. During those three minutes I would have given up any terrorist secrets I posessed had they just asked.

This morning I woke up with goggles taped to my face, and once I removed them (I'll have to remember to mention this in my Gitmo memo) I can see pretty clearly. Its still a little foggy but there is a definite improvement. I have typed this whole thing without glasses or squinting or a headache.

Amazing. I am off to my checkup appointment. To any one thinking about getting this procedure I have two pieces of advice: #1 negotiate. #2 valium.

By the way, To the lady whom I promised not to tell anyone about the price: Its just a little blog after all and we both know that your request was just a sales tactic to make people feel like they haven't left any money on the table. If I had to do it over again, I would have offered $800.


Scrap Happy said...

Sweet. Can you take a picture of yourself in those goggles??

Anonymous said...

Way to go; you are a brilliant and masterful negotiator! I was diagnosed with an astigmatism last year and now wear glasses. In retrospect, I probably should have started wearing glasses years ago.

Lauren said...

It sounds like laser surgery is much like childbirth...nobody really tells you what it's like until you've gone through it...then the horror stories begin!

Tara said...

Ok. Once again. You are my hero! I need lasik eye surgery so bad and haven't been able to afford it. I am so following your lead on this one. Except I'm scared I'll give in........maybe you should call for me :)

Chelsey Howard said...

that is awesome. I am glad its working for you:) And sweet deal.. I am a horrible negotiator, so I am in awe of you whole story!

Stephanie said...

Stuff like this only happens to you Staci. You and only you! Crap like this never happens to me. I think I must have zero negotiation skills. Well actually I KNOW that I have zero negotiation skills. I had lasik eye surgery and it costed an arm and a leg. However it was the best arm and leg I've ever spent. And it didn't hurt. So let me get this right, giving birth to a baby doesn't hurt you but having your eye cut with a laser does?

Well I'm totally excited for you and your new life with perfect vision. It's truly amazing how beautiful this world is we live in! I would like to suggest going golfing at a really beautiful golf course and just enjoy the beauty!

Christy said...

I would have totally thought this was an April Fool's joke if it had been posted one day later, but then again you are Staci so anything is possible! I do not have the heart ot tell the legions of people I know who easily paid four times this price. Way to go sister!

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