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I have always had a problem with dry and cracked skin on my hands in the winter months. I do not consider this a cosmetic issue. Dry hands create an additional vector for disease and diminish the fidelity of haptic interactions with the world.

Starting two months prior to my PRK surgery last year, and continuing throughout the recovery period, my surgeon assigned me to take omega-3 supplements – specifically, he was pushing Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000. This is a standard procedure that the office assigns to all patients in order to increase moisture in the eye. I started on the supplements at the beginning of October 2017 and, coincidentally, that was the first winter I had no problems with dry skin. I stopped taking the omegas last summer, around the time of my six month post-op checkup. This year, as November rolled around, my skin began to dry and crack on my hands, right on schedule. I resumed the omega supplements, and in about a week my hands were back to normal.

I’ve never regularly taken supplements before, preferring to modify my diet to remove its deficiencies rather than masking them by popping pills. The omega supplements have been more effective than any dietary modifications I’ve tried (I like fish, and enjoy eating it frequently), and are preventative instead of the more reactionary balms or salves (ClimbOn is the best I’ve found, being effective, minimally greasy and not stinky). There seems to be no shortage of claims associated with omega supplements, most of which appear to be noise, but I’ll continue to pop them during the winter to promote skin health.

Part of my motivation for undergoing PRK surgery was a hope for the future of augmented reality and an expectation that it will be easier to integrate into daily life if one does not also need to worry about prescription lenses.

This past weekend I visited Onedome’s Unreal Garden, which uses the Microsoft Hololens to attempt to provide an immersive art experience. The technology is glitchy and clearly immature, but it is at a level where the locative art of Spook Country is certainly achievable. We seem to be a ways off from daily integration and wetware implants, but I think the future of AR is promising.

Onedome Selfie

Three hundred and fourty nine days ago I went under the laser for photorefractive keratectomy.

PRK is a similar procedure to the more popular LASIK. In LASIK a flap is cut in the cornea and set aside, the correction is performed underneath, and the flap is then placed back over the insulted area, providing a natural bandage. The scar from the flap never entirely heals, which is not a problem for most people most of the time. It is a concern if you get punched in the face. I box, which is to say I get punched in the face. In PRK the epithelium is abraded away, the correction performed, and then you just sort of hang out for a few weeks or a few months waiting for the epithelium to regenerate and shed and regenerate a few times – after which point there is no residual effects and you can go back to getting punched in the face, with no more concern than getting punched in the face normally warrants. LASIK was only approved by NASA in 2007, and is still frowned upon at SF HALO and SCUBA schools. The message is clear: if you want to keep the space marine option available, opt for PRK.