Jan 9, 2010


I have been given the gift of sight. Well, I paid for it, but it's still a gift in my opinion. After years of thinking about it, I finally went ahead and got lasik surgery. And less than 24 hours later I woke up being able to see my surroundings for the first time in about 20 years.

Like many people, the very thought of someone or something cutting into my eyes scared me. I had heard people say that you might go blind. This was enough to put me off to even consider it as an option for many many years. I figured I would just plod on with my contacts and glasses. Especially contacts (since I hate wearing glasses) - these were fine. But as I got older and more sensitive to irritants, I found the contacts more and more annoying, constantly having to re-wet them or remove them to clean them, feeling the dryness of them in the evenings, etc. So for the last year or so, I've been wearing my glasses more often than my contacts. Since I had astigmatism, I saw better with my glasses, and this was better for all the computer work I do.

Still, I was getting tired of wearing my glasses. Nor do I look particularly fetching in them. It seems no matter what their style, they just don't suit my face. So partly for cosmetic reasons, and partly for practical reasons such as the ability to do sports, swim, be outdoors and all that without having to worry about getting dust or water in my contacts, I decided to take the plunge into lasik.

I started to read up about it seriously just before moving to Canada. I'd heard that the procedure was much more affordable here than in the US. I liked what I read. Turns out that the blindness issue, although theoretically a possibility, is largely a myth. In over 3 million procedures done by this particular clinic, no one had ever lost their sight. Sure, there are risks. Just like any surgery. And some of those risks are scary: wrinkles in your cornea, halos and starbursts at night, and other very rare major risks. I had to sign off on each single one before they would let me into the operating room. 

The entire process was pretty simple. In December, I went to be assessed, and it turned out I qualified for the surgery. But only a customized one since my corneas are too thing for the regular (less expensive) lasik. I decided to go ahead with it. I liked the sound of the customized one, as it used more modern technologies that seemed to have better benefits. 

I got an appointment to do the procedure in January, and spent three weeks wringing my hands anxiously at the thought of a laser cutting into my eyes. Two days before the procedure I worked up the courage to read through all the risks. I didn't sleep a wink that night. I was so tired the night before the surgery that I rested better. The following day, I spent about 4 hours in the clinic, although the actual surgery lasted less than 10 minutes.

"Looks perfect", two doctors and two technicians announced. I let out a huge sigh of relief. Truth is, I was pretty nervous about it, and took their optional "chillax" pill beforehand. Not that it seemed to help much.

I spent the rest of the day resting in bed listening to an audio book and putting eye drops in my eyes roughly every 30 minutes. I woke up the next day feeling excited and being able to see. Today is day 3, and I managed to take a shower and wash my hair, and my eyes are feeling good (though my sinuses are clogged - the latter I fixed with a decongestant). 

I could not be happier about the entire thing. It is wonderful to be able to see. Even if I do have to wear ugly dark glasses whenever I go outside for the next week. Soon, that too will be done. 

So above, a pic of my new eyes. The red dots in the white area are a normal and temporary effect from the suction cup that holds your eyeball in place during surgery. I only read up about how it's actually done a day after the surgery. I wasn't brave enough to do that beforehand. 

1 comment:

  1. If you were living in Flordia 1) you wouldn't have your bitchin new coat, but 2) you would blend in with the oversized sun glasses. Glad the surgery worked out well. I have one friend that on their way home from the procedure was able to read freeway signs for the first time without glasses. Amazing technology.