On punctal plugs, fatty acids and healthy fears of elective procedures

As I: (a) must needs wear contacts on occasion to pursue That Hobby That Provides Me With Health Care; (b) am cursed with two of the driest, flattest eyeballs on record; and (c) am rather vocal on the discomfort this combination produces, my long-suffering optometrist has been suggesting for years that I consider punctal occlusion as a means of relief...for both of us. (He has also started suggesting that I entertain the idea of bifocals, which is even more galling, albeit for entirely different reasons.) While I'm sure none of you would take issue with the insertion of soft plastic or silicone inserts into one of the three eentsy-weentsy ducts that supply lubrication to the eye while you were wide-fucking-awake, I, an admitted crank, have a bit of a problem with it. And Lasik? Why anyone who wasn't 99.9999% blind already would let a complete stranger cut a flap in their eyeball with a burning-hot laser, while they were wide-fucking-awake*, is so beyond me it's crossed the International Date Line twice, stopped for pizza and laid down for a short nap.

Actually, it's the cavalier attitude most of the medical profession seems to take with elective surgery that really blows my mind. I'm not surprised civilians want tighter tummies and freedom from the tyranny of corrective lenses, but I am a little blown away that there are so many people who've sworn an oath to first-do-no-harm who apparently believe it's enormously helpful to slice and dice someone to feelings of self-fulfillment. And I'm not talking about the saints who give poor little deformed children a shot at some kind of a life; I'm talking about people spending years of their life in med school to learn how to make Michael Jackson's face even scarier. Didn't we all see that Twilight Zone episode where they only had to hire four actors to make the point about everyone being beautiful in their own special way?** Where is the love, people?

The thing is, some doctors are just plain rotten and NO doctor knows everything. Sure, they take that oath thingy and I'm sure most of them really, really mean it***, but still, just because they went to school longer than you did doesn't mean they know everything. Remember, this is the same brotherhood that used to think Thalidomide was a good idea for pregnant ladies. So while I'm really, really careful about the doctors I'll let anywhere near me, I'm equally careful about what I will and won't let the elite cadre prescribe for me. So far, I've done fine hanging onto that gallbladder, uterus and large intestine; on the other hand, I really wish I'd followed my gut on hormonal birth control, the little purple ring that sent me into my first bona fide Crohn's flare.

My bottom line is this: there is no silver bullet. I'm a firm believer in Newton's Third Law of Physics and the wisdom of Blood, Sweat & Tears: everything, from vitamins Tom Cruise is pushing**** to the prednisone that saved my bacon back in 2002 to that baby aspirin old Doc Shafton warned my mother about, is going to do something else besides the thing you took it to do.

Still, sometimes you gotta do something about your flat, dry eyeballs. The least invasive procedure wins my vote, and in this case, it looks like increasing my ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids could help the dryness factor. In fact, since I'm pretty sure increasing that ratio could help, period, I'm seizing this eyeball thing as my opportunity to cut back on bad fats, slow my caffeine creep, and generally reverse the long, slow slide into total physical neglect I've been enjoying for months now.

Maybe it'll work; maybe it won't.

But we'll see, won't we?

xxx c

*Especially people in CALIFORNIA, where there are EARTHQUAKES that happen WITHOUT WARNING, including DURING YOUR SURGERY. If you must slice & dice, go somewhere where you're pretty much guaranteed the ground under your doctor's feet won't move in mid-flap.

**Or, for that matter, the other one where they didn't have to pay any actors at all to make the point.

***This includes the Boneheaded Yet Otherwise Highly-Skilled Colorectal Surgeon who neglected to tell me how advanced my Crohn's was until it was so far gone he felt it appropriate to sketch pictures at my hospital bedside of the new rectum he was going to build for me. Remember, surgeons like to cut; that's what they do.

****For the record, while I think Tom Cruise is an utter asshat for dressing down anyone who has found blessed relief from chemical imbalance through the miracle of SSRIs, when my shrink wanted to put me on anti-depressants, I researched causes of depression on the Interweb and found enough natural ways to keep the demon at bay that I could let the talk therapy do its thing. But, unlike Mr. Couch-Jumper, I fully understand the concept of YMMV. Tom Cruise = Scientologist nutcase; communicatrix = product of hippie-60s upbringing. 'Nuff said.