Before LASIK:\n\nI used to get called out at night. Many times, I was in the field\nlooking at a cow laying in the mud, groaning and struggling to get up.\nDiagnosis: First-calf heifer unable to deliver, needs C-section. With\nthe rancher's help we dragged her to the fence, rolled her onto her\nback and tied her legs to the fence posts. Two cowboys rolled their\ntrucks over and I used their headlights for illumination. After\nshaving her belly with a straight razor and while scrubbing with\nsurgical soap, it starts to snow. If anything, the snow increases\nambient light, making it easier to see into the hole in her belly as I\nlook for the calf. Once he's out I hand him over to the rancher who\nrubs him down with a burlap sack. I close the uterine incsion then\nclose the layers of abdomen. I finish just as the cow comes out of\nanesthesia and begins to thrash against the ropes. I cut her loose and\nwatch her struggle to stand then low for her calf. He's instantly at\nher side, looking for milk. In the dark, the rancher and I watch to\nsee him nurse. We're all covered in snow by them. Once we hear the\nloud slurping sounds that means he's found the nipple we know they'll\nbe okay. The rancher, typically laconic, slaps me on the back and\nsays, "Good job, Doc."\n\nAfter LASIK:\n\nFour years later, it's night. My wife and I get in the line. She's\nleading the way because I can't see anything. As we enter we're\nhanded candles with paper skirts to catch the dripping wax. Then\nsomeone lights the candles. In the darkened room we find seats. 100\npeople with 100 candles. The flickering lights bounce off walls and\nmake faces look demonic. There is no light except the candles. I'm\nsure for everyone else it's lovely and creates a calm mood. For me\nit's a nightmare of starbursts shooting from every candle. I think,\n"If there's a Hell, this is what it will look like." I walk out. I\nhaven't got back to church since that miserable night.