spew - what is it?
more spew
This is where I go to get things off my chest every now and then. For those of you familiar with my old rantings, this is basically the same thing, 'cept maybe a tad more risqué since I won't mince on cussing. ;-p But don't worry, I won't spit out shit for no reason. For those of you who've never been to my pages before, this section is here for me to make comments (mostly educated, sometimes not) about things that I've observed in my life and also just to keep my friends up to date with what I've been doing. Keep in mind that anything you read on here is pure opinion which might not jive with your own view of the world. If that's the case, friendly messages espousing your own views are welcome but flames will be cruelly mocked. So, without further ado.... > A newcomer...
> Life goes on...
> Bend in the road...
> Life in slow mo...
> Strange times...
> Sittin' 'round da House...
> Unemployment Blues...
> Slowing down...
> Time Flies...
> Frivolous Thoughts
> Catching Up...
> Life as Usual...
> Changes in the Air
> Words Cannot Convey
> Almost a Revelation
> A Whole New World
> Beginning of a New Era
> Millenium Revisited
> Sticks & Stones
> New Millenium!
> Karaoke Madness!
> Conspiracy Theory

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Jun. 29, 2011 - Introducing Cailyn!

Introducing Cailyn Cheng, born June 16, 2011. 6 pounds, 8.9 ounces and 19 inches long. Looks almost exactly like her brother did at birth. =)


Jan. 29, 2011 - Better late than never

So, instead of the pain of putting through multiple kids through college at the same time, apparently we're opting for the extended payment plan. ;-p Joining us sometime in June 2011 will be a lil' bunny girl. =) We're all pretty excited about her arrival. Erin's reaction: "Thank goodness we don't need to try for a third." =p She and my mother are already scouring the Interweb for cute girl's clothes. Which, unfortunately for me, exists in numbers far greater than that which exists for boys.

20 Weeks, 4 Days Old

As for me, after one kid I'm still rather hesitant to say that we're old hats in this whole raising kids stuff. Looking at Devon nowadays it's hard to believe that he used to be as small as he was. And it's also hard to believe that we have to start dealing with diapers and all that fun stuff again. =p Erin had already been reminiscing about the days when Devon would let her hug him constantly without complaint so I guess the new baby will the target for that now. ;-p

Raising a little girl will be completely new for me though as my parents never had to deal with one and neither have I. And we've never had to deal with sibling dynamics either. So this could all go over very well or end very, very badly. =p Devon has taken the news surprisingly well. Originally he wanted to have a baby brother so that he'd have someone to play with. But told that it would be a sister, he was okay with that too. He told us today that he would keep an ear out at night so if he heard a "thump, " he would call us in to check if the baby had accidentally rolled off the bed. And that he would hug her when they slept. Hopefully he'll continue to be a considerate big brother. =)

Mar. 5, 2007 - I join the ranks...
Eye of Sauron
of the burgeoning number of people who have taken lasers to both eyes and lived to tell about it.

My journey into myopia began many moons ago when I was in middle school. Throughout my early years I was a pretty voracious reader. To the point where my mother was constantly warning me not to secretly read in bed when I was supposed to be sleeping. Cause if I kept doing that my vision would go and she'd kill me. Being myopic herself, she really really didn't want me to need glasses. To this day she still thinks I read myself nearsighted. She may not be wrong.

So when my vision did start going south, I was afraid to tell anyone. I actually went through 1, possibly 2 (my recollection is getting hazy in my old age) years of school where I was blind as a bat (figuratively of course). How did I make it through class? I either sat all the way in the front or learned to actually pay attention in class. I even remember faking my way through the yearly eye exams that were held in school. I'd basically just memorize the order of the letters while the kid ahead of me was being examined. It's a good thing he wasn't myopic. =)

But obviously this couldn't go on forever so eventually my mom found out. She didn't kill me (I was an only child after all). Actually the reaction was pretty mild. But anyway, since then I've been wearing glasses, and then contacts, and then back to glasses. I liked contacts but as I got older I found that they tended to dry out at night more often which got annoying so I just stuck with glasses. And that was pretty much the status quo for the next 20+ years.

Earlier this year I suddenly decided to go in to see if I would be a good candidate for LASIK. There was no real urgent reason to do so, basically just a whim. I talked to Andy about where he had his done last year and it seemed relatively non-risky so I decided to go for the free consultation. My eyes were currently at -4 and -4.5 with -2 and -3 astigmatism. Turned out that even with the astigmatism they believed they could get me back to 20/20. And my cornea was thick enough (actually slightly thicker than average) so that I could go through the standard LASIK procedure instead of PRK. I also decided to go with the more expensive (~$1000 more per eye) CustomVue WaveScan technology which is supposedly more precise instead of just the regular old LASIK. So I booked an appointment for the surgery in early March, figuring I'd have a month and a half or so to really think about it.

I didn't really think about it. February came and went and all of a sudden it was time to have my preop exam. Nothing new discovered then, just payment given (ouch!), permission forms signed, and measurements taken. All systems were pretty much a go. Except I chatted with one of the eye doctors about the procedure and she warned that because the astigmatism in one eye was considered relatively severe, it may take a longer period (like 2 to 4 weeks) for things to work itself out. So that was a bit of a downer.

The consent form that they make you sign made for an interesting read. In it, they basically list all the possible ways that things may go wrong during and after the operation. If you're easily frightened and/or have a hyperactive imagination, you may want to just skim over this thing. It does give you second thoughts. But since my imagination is rather staid and for some reason my sense of fear apparently doesn't apply to things that don't have a variation of the word "dive" in it, it didn't faze me too much.

On the big day I made it to my appointment in the morning 10 minutes early and there was already 4 other people there. These guys (and gals) definitely work like a well-oiled machine. First they tell you to go to the bathroom and wash your eyelids. After that the nurse hands you a name tag and then adds what I'm assuming are antibiotic eyedrops to your eyes (one on each eye). Then they give you 4 pills to take. Two of them was Xanax (to calm the more jittery people out there), I don't remember what the other 2 were. Then another drop for each eye. They also give you a surgical cap and shoe coverings. The nurse then goes over with you what you should do afterwards and answers any questions that you may have. One thing that the nurse mentioned was that we should not sleep until 8 or 9pm. I thought that was kind of weird but after further thought I guess it makes sense because they want to make sure you follow the post-op eye drop regimen to keep your eyes safe.

Once called, I entered the laser room which looked kinda like a dentist's office. Except the chair's already in a prone position. For some reason there was 5 people in the room, not sure what all of them were there for. A second nurse showed me where to put my glasses and then handed me two squishy footballs which I thought was rather amusing (although they did come in handy). After they got me to lie down, everything that followed seemed to happen incredibly fast. They wheel you into position, immobilize your head (just padded dividers or something on both sides), and then tape your eyelids out of the way. In goes the anesthetic eyedrops and then you're pretty much ready to get to the important part. Throughout everything either the nurse or the doctor is talking to you, telling you what they're doing. The corneal suction ring is placed right on your eye and suction is then applied. You feel the pressure but there's no pain.

And then the buzzing starts. This is probably the most nerve-wracking part of the procedure cause it's not entirely expected. Basically it's the flap being made in your cornea but they really need to figure out a way to change the sound. A buzzsaw is not something you want to hear when your eye's splayed out for the world to see. But anyway, it goes off twice for a few seconds and then the doc flips the newly created flap away. At this point your vision pretty much disappears. It's not that everything goes dark, you can still see the pinpoint of light that you're supposed to concentrate on throughout the entire procedure, but you can't see anything besides that. The lasers then goes to work. Kinda odd cause it sounds like a whole bunch of stove pilot lights going off at high speed. That takes pretty much less than 10 seconds and then the doc drops more liquid into your eye, flips the flap back down and smooths everything out. I gotta hand it to Dr. Fong, he did this whole last part really quickly, smoothly and efficiently. Vision returns and then they move on to the other eye.

The entire procedure took like 15 minutes if even that. There was a minor hangup when doing my left eye when they kept telling me to look a bit further down and I thought I was looking farther down but apparently I wasn't cause they kept repeating themselves. But eventually I got it right and they kept going. There was no pain at all throughout the entire procedure. Most of the discomfort came afterwards when they left my eye open a bit longer than I would've liked but no biggie.

After they get you off the chair, they take you to a dimly-lit room next door with 2 chairs where you get to recuperate for 15 minutes or so. So at full load, there's one patient undergoing the surgery while 2 are recuperating and it just keeps cycling. After you're done, the doc takes one final look at your eyes and answers any remaining questions you may have. Mine was, can I watch tv and/or use the computer? =) The answer? Well, probably but it's not advised since doing either tends to dry out your eyes more. My interpretation? Keep my eyes hydrated (eye drop every hour which you should be doing anyway on the first day post-op) and I should be ok. ;-p Anyway, by the time I was leaving the office, my eyesight was not 100% but still vastly improved from what it was without glasses going in. Since it was raining that day, I didn't have to worry about sunglasses but I did have to wear the ridiculous-looking eye protection gear all the way home. The Xanax really makes you sleepy though and I actually fell asleep for a little while on the bus ride home.

By the afternoon, my eyesight was pretty much back to normal and I spent most of my time playing computer games. =p Taking more frequent breaks and sticking to the eyedrop regimen helped I guess although my eyes weren't feeling all that dry to begin with. It wasn't until the following 2 days that my eyes were feeling a little drier than usual. I'll still keep the eye protection gear on when I sleep for the next 5 days although during the day I don't wear anything except for sunglasses if it's sunny out (gotta keep out those UV rays).

My follow-up exam the very next day gave me a clean bill of health and my vision was back to 20/20 on my left eye and 20/25 on my right. So quite a change from just 24 hours ago. It still feels a little weird sometimes to not wear glasses 24/7 anymore. I often catch myself trying to adjust my now non-existent glasses but I guess that'll go away with time. Was it worth it? Right now, it's an unequivocal yes. My eyes aren't as dry as I feared and are just a little bloodshot and I don't even think I have that much of a glare problem. I haven't gone driving at night yet though. I'll need to be careful about my eyes for the next 6 months to a year but that's fine by me. Now I just have to figure out what the hell I'm going to do with my old pair of glasses and this huge stack of contacts that are now useless. =p


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