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Difficulty: 10

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Ktulu, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Some may have picked up around the traps, , I'm getting my peepers operated on in the new year - here's a little story I wrote about the initial consultation and the trip home afterwards. One of the more arduous trips I've done :)

    I am sure as real motorcyclists who happily commit our arses, on occasion, to a limited and entirely rewarding mode of transport - we have ridden at a time or in circumstances where one might say they were "not at one's best" in terms of co-ordination, hazard perception or general ability at anything except dancing or impromptu karaoke of Cold Chisel covers.

    I have ridden the New England with the fatigue fairy lighting cat's-eyes just a few steps ahead of me, gawd blesser.

    I have kept the throttle down with my left-hand during winter ice-plain crossings, whilst the right clutches the exhaust pipe to ward off frost-bite and semi-permanent nerve damage.

    I have had the odd beer and a half more than the Surgeon General might recommend if I were a pregnant woman or had cirrhosis of the liver, before setting off home from the pub VIA COMPLETELY PRIVATE AND CLOSED ROADS *cough*.

    Today was on another level.

    The Date: October 2008.

    The Mission: To visit an advanced eye and vision centre to find out whether I can have lasers installed into my eyeballs that can burn through bra-straps at 15 paces.

    The Outcome: Turns out I'm probably only suitable for implanted contact lenses - damn, I really liked the laser idea.

    'Twas a short and merry jaunt from the Seven Hills place of employ to the north of Sydney upon my noble steed, the mighty 2002 Kawasaki ZX6R. 2pm was the perfect time to leave, traffic was present without being horrific, and with the top of my jacket open to about a half-Fonzie I was comfortable and confident. Nearly all shininess removed from my new Bridgestone Hypersport, Dual-Compound, Pro Fit, Low Fat, Lemon Scented tyres, the rest of my esteemed fellow road users were simply moving chicanes before me... then next to me... then behind me. Each prod of the bars, each twist of the happy-grip was now a "manoeuvre", a triumph, a position gained. You know what I mean, because you are wearing that knowing smile, dear reader.

    I arrived with 4 minutes to spare before my appointment, which I happily sweated out in an air-conditioned waiting room with 3 cups of cold water and several other poor, blind bastards looking for hope in this fuzzy, out-of-focus world.

    The initial evaluation went swimmingly. An attractive young Asian lady took me through what to do at each step, and it was suprisingly similar to the thought process of riding:

    "Look into this bright light." ['Turn your high-beams off, yacahn.']

    "Blink." [Straight piece of road]

    "Don't blink." [Magnificent corner]

    "Look up." ['Is that a new frickin' camera?']

    "Look down." ['Where is that berloody rattle coming from?']

    "So what bike do you have? ... A big red fast one? Cool!" ['Yes, I know.']

    Then came what we shall now call The Beginning.

    "I'm just going to put these drops in your eyes. They dilate your pupils so we can see further into your eye. They'll make you a bit sensitive to light, but the visor on your helmet is tinted, so I guess you'll be fine."


    Thanks super duper specialist eye doctor evaluator person chick. On this wonderful consultation for precision laser surgery that reshapes of one of the most complex organs in the human body it's nice to know "you guess" I'll be fine. What do you guess tonights lotto numbers will be? I shall grab a pen.

    "Now this will sting a bit."
    Of course it will.

    The consultation finishes, and I pay $150 for the privilege of being told that laser surgery isn't ideal, but fortunately there is a higher risk procedure I would be perfect for.

    Cool! I sure hope it's really expensive too... it is? COWABUNGA!

    I enter the lift, hit G and pause to admire my amazing physique in the mirrored walls, from several angles and with jacket over the arm, or casually tossed over the shoulder, "How you ladies doin' this afternoon?"

    Before I can get my camera out to take a photo; my eyes are drawn to - well - themselves. In my reflected image I observe 2 gaping black pits that used to be my blue eyes that girls like so much for about 12 months, on average, before that seems like a less-than-adequate foundation for a relationship.

    There is not even a sliver of colour visible. I could be a Harry Potter villain, or a customer service officer at Centrelink. My eyes are pools of dead. Their depth is infinity.
    In the foyer, they draw the essence of a small child halfway across the room, before I blink; allowing it to return to it's vessel. An elderly Italian lady crosses herself as I pass; out through the automatic glass doors and into the glorious summery afternoon INFERNO OF VIOLENT SCORCHING HELLFU**.

    30 degrees ain't that big a deal, sure, but when your pupils are doing their best to imitate 5 cent pieces - the ol' windows-on-the-soul find that the downside of vomiting fear into those around you, is that they must also gather and absorb all available light at such a macrophysical rate that Stephen Hawking would soil his pants - more than usual.

    If a cop saw the state of my pupils, they'd surely say "Come with me, sir", leading the way to some sort of drug testing lab, and I'd obey of course... because my eyes would be telling me I was speaking to an ambulance officer or a lingerie model, rather than one of Goulburn's finest.

    In the 1.5 second gaps I can actually keep my eyes open, I notice a couple of things: it is very bright and glary today, I can not read anything, my vision is blurred and my brain hurts from all this light.

    It is 4:30. I can leave now, while the drops are still keeping my corneas 8 degrees above normal operating temperature, or I can wait, see if it wears off a bit - but have the sun lower in the sky and right in my eyes as I ride home.

    1st option gets me home faster. Sounds good. I have important stuff to do, like fold the washing and arrange my stubby-holder collection in order of beauty and function. Maybe cook some 2 minute noodles. There is a fair bit on at my place.

    I start the bike and hope my tinted visor makes a difference.

    It does!

    It makes a very very very small difference.

    I give way to 3 police cars in a row before I can pull out of my parking space, assuming that they are a good omen in some part of the earth and that everything else will go completely according to plan.
    Immediately I am in traffic. It feels hotter now. Engine temperature is rising. Jacket is promptly unzipped down to a full-Fonzie. The bike prefers to go fast. I prefer to go fast.
    Sydney prefers to be a rat-race after 3:30pm.

    I filter to the front of every set of lights I can, and then wait until my peripheral vision and light-addled brain deduce that I probably have a green, because I am unable to look up, lest the ball of heat in the sky cook my ocular faculties where they lie, and I am left a screaming, sightless, gibbering wreck next to- what is that? *squints* a frigging Citroen.
    Screw that: if I die it better be embedded in the side of something German and expensive, not next to some mint-condition, lime-green surrender-mobile.

    Back down Delhi Rd towards Epping Rd. I know some of these corners are nice, I just can not look through them. I am playing the "See-how-long-you-can-keep-your-eyes-closed-while-riding-the-bike" game, except not by choice.

    The temperature readout for the bike reaches triple digits. It is depressing to realise that for the rest of the trip home, your speedo will probably not go higher than the temperature of the engine.
    The bike's note changes as the fans kick in. No matter how carefully they were designed to function, I always take this noise as a sign of protest about current working conditions, from my motorcycle.

    Traffic picks up and I am afforded delicious 60km/hr winds down the collar of my jacket, back, and around my torso. It is refreshing and my mood undergoes slight improvement. My level of vision remains somewhere between fruit bat and earth worm.

    Tendrils of original, reflected, and 'BONUS-just-for-you-champ' sunlight stab deeply and painfully into my head. It penetrates my psyche, I can not hope for change, I just want it to stop. It is like rap music. Every blurry white object is a paddy-wagon or a taxi: both equally dangerous. Everything else with a windscreen is a mirror turned to me by Satan's hand.
    I curse cheap, chrome number plate holders with the venom of a thousand vipers.

    Invisible flames lick up from the engine casing around my crotch. I am infertile for the next 2 days, for sure.

    I chase a postie-bike, or V-rod, or garbage truck, or Hayabusa (I really couldn't see very well... it was definitely either purple or orange, though) down Epping Rd until the other rider wanders from his lane and completely off the side of the road.
    I brake hard to assist this poor crashed rider, but doth my eyes deceive me?

    My bike clicks into 2nd gear before I realise my two-wheeled brethren simply went down the bus lane that I would be in, if making clicks with my tongue and trying to discern the timing of the sound rebounding off solid objects was not nearly my most effective means of navigation.

    I wait for a gap before following down this hazy and magical pathway beside standard wait times and pricks with air-conditioning. Some sort of car has rear-ended another sort of car in the right-lane with no major damage to either vehicle. They have stopped to read their vehicle manuals and figure out how to turn their hazard lights on, have panic attacks, root around in the glovebox for a pen that works and exchange details. Brilliant.

    Finally the home-stretch, through North Rocks, down the big dipper, up the big dipper, 3rd gear pushes me past Spastic#1 who took too long to choose a lane, over around Spastic#2 who drives too slowly, and even further past Spastic#3 who tries to speed up so as to make themselves an inconsiderate road user, obviously forgetting that they are driving a Mitsubishi Magna and that I am God. The overtake is, obviously, a success.

    I start one of my favourite sweeping left-handers, only mildly ruined by silly council-installed corrugations to let all the blind people (that are obviously out driving) know that there is a corner there.
    Normally that would be a sarcastic hyperbole.
    Normally, I am not tempered with the life experience of exactly how it feels to be a moth near a particulalry attractive light bulb.
    Today has certainly been 'different'.

    The sun strikes my face with supernatural light, and I am forced to close my eyes once again. I am sure it is niche knowledge and poor writing to liken the situation to the end of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, but if you have not seen that movie, this is far more your fault than mine.

    I complete the corner by memory, and luck.

    Within minutes of my house, I decide a sharp turn down a one-way street will save time. Immediately yelled in my direction is "It's a one way street!" by a fat biatch in a Prado, who did not think I would fit in the 2 METRE gap between her 4WD and the gutter.

    In her defence, her arm was out the window...

    The madness sets in, I am so close to my goal, and so very irritated. I mutter in my helmet "Shutup Fat biatch in a Prado. You're just a fat biatch in a Prado. Go drive yer Prado, ya Prado driving biatch, who is fat."

    Genuinely impressed at my own restraint with regard to the severity of adjectives used, I arrive home. Glare bounces off the lock on the garage door, obscuring everything, and it takes 5 stabs before I can get the key in the lock.

    The door is opened, and I enter the garage's silent maw.

    Sweet, sweet darkness envelopes me.

    Hmmm, I reckon those drops are starting to wear off...
  2. Mate .. this has got to be the most entertaining piece of 'literature' I have ever had the pleasure of spending 5 min reading!
    Oh .. and i hope your sight returns to 'normal' soon :wink:
  3. jeepers creepers hows about 'dem peepers? :shock:

    nicely done :grin:
  4. Some excellent reading there :)
  5. hehe, brilliant read... thanks!
  6. damn 2loo!!! awesome piece of writing there. incredible.

    glad you made it home safe, sorry the laser sugery isnt the cheap option you were hoping for, and you need to buy a REALLY good set of sunglasses for next time.
  7. Rating: 10.
  8. Chris, didn't your Mum tell you, that if you keep having those "Dishonourable Discharges", you will surely go blind.
  9. I went thru the same thing. Although I found I am the perfect candidate for lasix reshaping. I am seriously short sighted! :cool:

    I was told that its Atropine they put in your eyes. I was trying to drive a 4WD Rodeo home, heading west into the afternoon sun. I was so worried that my drive home might turn into monster truck demolition derby! :shock:

    They need to warn people not to drive with that stuff in your eyes.
  10. They are meant to tell you not to drive/ride if you've had both pupils dilated. In fact they should tell you at the time you make the appointment so you can arrange for someone to take you home.

    The fact that they neglected to do so, is very worrying - I'd think twice about using them for eye surgery if they are slack about something so basic.
  11. beyond funny

    made even better that i ride the same roads home everyday so I know exactly which corners and roads your referring to (im in Castle hill)

    Personally I would have waited till it got dark but im a bit gutless like that
  12. :rofl:
  13. Where's the fookin' piccies or it didnt happen!!


    I just had to......... :LOL: :p good read mate
  14. Damn drug-addled hoons... :p
  15. Haha, nice read.

    I got my peeps zapped 5 years ago...now they have new technology, but was -8 and -9 for left n right (short sighted and astigmatism).

    Got my initial consult for suitability on medicare...looked like an owl for several hours aswell...but its all good now...pretty much 20/20.

    Had Halos around lights at night for about 2 years though...but they are all gone now.

    Hope all goes well...and the more expensive option comes with X-Ray specs instead of bra-burning eyeballs!
  16. Another one to have the zapping....

    And yes, I had the same experience as you Ktulu, just walking out of the opticians into Queen Street in Cardiff after the initial consultation thinking "that wasn't too bad" to find that I had to escape into the bra section BHS to get away from the burning sun, despite my pre-plannig wearing shades. In January. In Cardiff..... I know what vampires feel like, but also what pervy druggies have to put up with from old ladies all the time! :LOL:

    Best bit about the zapping was getting it done in Bristle as the clinic was amongst all the posh lawyers offices and there was me walking aroung post-op with my big bug eyes (plastic protectors taped to my face) scaring the daylights out of all the QC's and grannies! Hurt like buggery about 10 minutes afterwards and spent three days in a dark room drinking red wine to try and numb the pain before vision returned gradually and hazily.

    Recommend to go the route where you can literally walk out and see straight away if you don't do contact sports - some sort of issue with knocking the flap open or something. Either way, well worth doing, but it isn't 100% foolproof, nor is it risk free and if you don't like the smell of burning hair, then steer well clear as the 1st eye will be a surprise, but you'll know what's coming for the 2nd one....!!!! :wink:
  17. This reminded me of Hunter S. Thompson in bits, and Douglas Adams in others.... very amusing and well-written :LOL:
  18. I have done the same thing from Brisbane City to Bracken Ridge (24km) on a late friday afternoon in summer. Blinding, painfull and frustrating until my car shat itself giving me an obvious sign that i should not have been driving in the first place.
  19. +1