I'm going to have an eye operation tomorrow: a vision correction procedure performed by complicated laser machinery. I feel funny about the whole thing, especially as I have now officially joined the group that makes expensive choices to improve their "quality of life". Our KELA administration regards vision correction as cosmetic surgery (vanity! liposuction! facelift!
) and doesn't therefore reimburse any expenses. My doctor, a very funny man, explained that in one of our neighbouring countries, Norway, the expenses qualify for reimbursement if the patient's eyesight is poor enough, -6 or worse. "But then," he deadpanned, "they have a bit more oil. It's in our lack of oil that we define this surgery as cosmetic".
I am also anxious because - seriously - the eyes are the most private part of my body. They are highly sensitive and very well protected by my brows. Few people have seen the real colour of my eyes, since direct light almost never reaches the back of the deep hollows in which they are located. They are in almost permanent shade. This was proven once again today, when the optical computer system was not able to produce a scan of my eye (the one to be lasered tomorrow) even after a dozen attempts. I was told this is an extremely rare occurrence; the nurse had never experienced it before. She consulted the doctor, and we finally got a decent scan after I tilted my head a bit backward and kept it in an awkward angle.
Because my eyes are so sensitive, I was never comfortable wearing a contact lens (only one - the left eye sees well). After the first scan session the nurse put in some liquid that expanded the pupil, and every drop felt like a punch in the face. That enormous flow of tears... I'd have to engage in a huge onion chopping extravaganza to produce anything remotely similar.