Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Under the knife. (All right, Mr. DeMille, in a couple of weeks I’ll be ready for my close up.)

As candidates for cosmetic surgery go, I’m way down the line.

It’s not that I’m completely lacking in vanity. For one thing, I have no idea what’s actually under my dye job. All I know is my hair color is one that was pretty close to what mine was in nature back in the day.

But I don’t spend any time pulling my skin taut to see how many years a face lift would take off. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the bags under my eyes, or the cellulite dimples on my thighs. Sure, I continue to remain in shock for a few minutes every time I get a glance of the skin on my arms and realize that it resembles nothing so much as a dried up peach. But will I do anything about it? Like spring for the Gold Bond rejuvenating or whatever cream? Nah!

And then, last January, I saw my eye doctor. I’d skipped a year when Jim was so sick, so it had been a while.

I reported that I frequently experienced eye fatigue, which is not something you want to frequently experience when you spend most of your time staring at a computer screen or with your nose in a book.

“Well,” he told me. “You have ptosis.”

Ptosis? Never heard of it.

”Droopy eyelids.”

Oh, that.

Turns out that unless I’m struggling to keep my eyes open, my eyelids are covering half of the pupils. Turns out ptosis is the iron-poor blood of the eye world.

While I had never heard of ptosis, I was familiar with it.

After all, for years, my grandmother Rogers had used scotch tape to keep her eyelids open. I don’t remember how she handled blinking, but for the last couple of decades of her life, she generally had tape on the sides of her face. When it came to seeing doctors, Nanny took something of a Christian Scientist approach. She lived to be 97, and never spent a day in a hospital. The taped up eyes worked just fine.

The doctor told me that, given my grandmother’s story, my condition was probably familial. Great: four-eyes from my mother; droopy eyelids from my grandmother.

The doctor recommended that I see the cosmetic eye surgeon who’s part of the large practice he’s in.

So I made an appointment with her..

Harvard undergrad. Cornell med. Classical pianist. Museum trained artist. Karate black belt. And beautiful.

Dr. Superwoman, meet Patient Inadequate.

But in one key arena, I turned out to be more than adequate.

In order for insurance to cover a lid lift, you have to pass (or flunk – depending on how you look at it) and eye test.

I did not fake it. In fact, they did such a poor job of describing what I was supposed to be looking for – a pinpoint of light – that there were a couple of times when I thought I was seeing something that wasn’t there. (Rather than saying “look for a pinpoint of light”, they said “you’ll know it when you see it.” I threw them a few false positives when I thought I saw something cloudy or vaguely brighter on the screen. When I saw the first pinpoint of light, I knew what I was looking forl)

Anyway, this would be the world’s easiest test to fake, which leads me to believe that no one ever pays out of pocket for this type of surgery. But I didn’t have the fake it to pass/fail. I really didn’t see those pinpoints of light until I saw them. They were right about that.

So today, I go under the knife.

I’m not especially looking forward to it – who wants two weeks worth of black and swollen eyes? – but I’m not especially nervous about it either.

Both my eye doctor and Dr, Superwoman tell me that the surgery will fix the vision thing – eye fatigue – for me.

I wasn’t happy to find out that the operation will be performed at a for-profit center that Dr. Superwoman is part owner of. I find that a bit off-putting.

But my primary care physician has worked with Dr. Superwoman, and thinks she’s great.

Maybe I won’t be looking any younger, but I should be looking at things more easily.

Give me a couple of weeks, Mr. DeMille, and I’ll be ready for my close up.

1 comment:

Frederick Wright said...

Good luck on your surgery today! We're lucky to have some of the best hospitals in the country.