Quintuplet Dad

This is a blog for Jayson Wilkinson, father to the Wilkinson Quints (as well as Riley and Kaiya).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cheap LASIK and one of the reasons why we were meant to have quintuplets

A few days ago, an old friend of mine from my freshman year at BYU told me she just got LASIK and it reminded me of when I got LASIK and that reminded me of how cheap I am which reminded me why we were perhaps a good choice for quintuplets. To help you understand what I mean, I think I will need to explain a little.

About 5 years ago, I started thinking I wanted LASIK. LASIK is an eye surgery that is supposed to fix your eyes such that you don't need to wear glasses or contacts. I wore glasses and didn’t really like contacts (even though I had only technically tried them for about a minute and 30 to 45 seconds). The only problem was that LASIK is pretty expensive. The lowest cost I could find at the time was about 1400 dollars per eye. Not only that, every time I would go to the eye doctor to get a LASIK evaluation, they would always tell me that my pupils were really big and that I would probably see halos around lights if I got the surgery.

Well, one day I found an ad in the paper that caught my attention. It advertised LASIK for 500 dollars an eye. The ad was actually on the back of the comic pages so that should have clued me in that something was wrong. Anyway, I decided that because of my cheap nature, I needed to check it out or I would always wonder if I could have got a better deal.

I made an appointment with the place that was doing it and when I got there they first told me that my pupils were really big and then told me that they didn’t actually do the surgery there but at their temporary facility in San Antonio. They also said that I needed to agree to the surgery and give them a 100 dollar deposit that day or I wouldn’t get the 500 dollar/eye deal. I decided to go ahead with it even though I was bit nervous.

Well, the day of the surgery arrived and I was pretty nervous. I had actually expected them to call or something to confirm but they didn’t so I went anyway. When I got to the address, I realized what they had meant by the “temporary” facility. It was actually a big semi trailer. After seeing the semi, I just about had a panic attack. We sat there for a few minutes and I debated whether I should go through with it. On one side, I would save about 2000 dollars. On the other side, I could loose my vision. It was an easy choice. I decided to go ahead with it and save the 2000 dollars.

When I went in the little waiting room, I was greeted by about 6 other nervous looking patients sitting in line waiting for their turn. I went to the receptionist person and told them who I was and they didn’t have any record of me coming but said they thought they could fit me in. Well, I waited about an hour until it was my turn and they took me into the prep room. In the prep room, they had a look at my eyes and told me I had really big pupils. They then took me into the actual surgery room which was at the back of the semi. There they had a big LASER crammed in and I lay down in the chair. At this point I was extremely nervous by trying to pretend to be calm. They sort of clamped my eye down and told me to look at the red light. I looked at that red light as hard as I could because I kept thinking that if I didn’t, I might be blind in a few minutes.

Well, the surgery ended and I could still see. They gave me a bunch of stuff to put in my eye and some goggles to wear when I slept and told me that I needed to be really careful. Over the next few weeks, I followed the instructions as exactly as I could and things turned out pretty well. About six months after the surgery, Rachelle reminded me that I had a free checkup through the original eye doctor that I should go take advantage of. I made an appointment and when I got there and sat down with the doctor he said, “So, did you just get this yesterday?”

I said, “No, it was actually about six months ago.”

At that point, I saw the color drain from the optometrist’s face. Apparently, I was supposed to go in the day after the surgery and have them look at me. They actually were supposed to call me right after the surgery and make sure I came in. They forgot I guess. When the doctor was checking me out, I could tell he was really nervous. However, when he got done, I saw him relax and tell me that everything looked good.

The moral of the story is that I saved 2000 dollars. The same personality trait that helped me save the 2000 dollars has helped me save money at other times. I have a feeling that same personality trait will also help save money in the future as we deal with the various difficulties of raising quintuplets. I just hope I don't have to risk anything else on my body to do it.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

WQ+2 (or Wilkinson Quints Show) episode number 8

I have a new video update on the babies! The thing I like most about this one is the smiles of each of them. It has footage from early March so it is a little old but it was fun enough that I thought I should share it. I really wish I could have had Riley and Kaiya do it but they were already asleep so I simply decided that if I wanted to do it, I needed to do it without them this time. However, I really hope to have them next time because they are really the best at it.

In addition, even though it doesn't have anything to do with babies, I'll include a fun (and really nerdy) video I made for work that was recently used to announce my company's participation in the FIRST Robotics league for high school age kids. The First robotics competition was started by Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway) and helps kids get excited about engineering and science. My company is donating a whole bunch of equipment and wanted me to make a video that would, "Get the high school kids excited about the new control system they would be using to build their robots." Well, it is kind of silly but this was the result:

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why do it?

Well, here I am again. I don’t have a video just yet but I have two in the works. A lot of things have happened to the babies and I have been dutifully videotaping these things. I just haven’t found enough time to go and actually make real videos out of everything but I plan to soon. I have decided to blog a little bit more and see if I can get in one video a month. I think that ought to be just about right.

Today, I was in the airport on my way back from a conference in Las Vegas and I went to a store in the airport to get a smoothie. I really like smoothies and have a really good recipe that Rachelle and I came up with but that is another story. In this smoothie store was a sign that read:

If it isn’t fun, why do it?

As I read that sign, I decided that it may have been one of the most profoundly stupid things I had ever heard. As I was waiting for my smoothie to blend, I sat there and pondered all of the things that were not fun but were definitely “worth it”. Some of the ones I thought of were:

  • Exercising regularly (at least I assume this is worth it since I don’t really do it)
  • Getting a root canal when you need one. (Again, I have to assume on this one)
  • Have ANY kind of surgery when you really need it. (I have been a witness to this one so I at least know it is accurate)
  • Repairing your car (Have had to do this many times and it is painful but better than walking)
  • Learning to do math (Riley is currently going through this one and I keep trying to tell him it will one day be worth it.)

And one of most important not-fun-but-worth-it things is raising kids. I had been at the conference for about four days and I was really missing Rachelle and the kids. It is times like that when you can look and see that it really is worth it. Most of the time, a mom or a dad like Rachelle or me is just trying to get by from day to day and keep from going insane. However, when you can step back and see how wonderful your kids are and how wonderful it is to have kids, you realize that it is all worth it.

A little later I started thinking that maybe the sign in the smoothie shop was actually meant to make me think of all the things that ARE worth it even though they are not fun. If so, it was effective because I started thinking about how I really appreciate many of the difficult things I have gone through because of what I have learned from them. I think I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that their true intention was to make me a better person and not to suggest that I simply should be buying more sugar-filled smoothies (because they are fun) instead of eating healthy and bad tasting food (because it is not fun).

Now, I did say that I am planning on having a video, and I really will just as soon as I can find time to stop having so much fun with my cute but runny-nosed babies.

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