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Personal 27 Oct 2007 07:06 pm

My Experience with LASIK Eye Surgery

I’m stoked. Ecstatic. Overjoyed. Tickled pink. Walking on air. Why?

I’ll tell you why. I can actually see again!

Not just “see good through glasses or contacts” see… I mean I can see… really see!

May not seem like a big deal to you if you’re one of the lucky ones who managed to make it through life unburdened by glasses or contact lenses. But for me, after struggling through life with this all-to-common handicap, dreaming of how great it would be to be free of these God-awful crutches; finally being able to see without corrective lenses is beyond description.

I feel 30 years younger. I just want to go outside and look at things. Cars look better… Girls are prettier… The fall colors just seem to come alive… It’s like a whole new world out there and I no longer have to view it from behind a glass wall.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

*****

Here’s the story:

Friday morning I went in for LASIK eye surgery on my left eye. Went back this morning for a follow-up visit and the eye doctor said my vision is currently 20/15, which is better than 20/20. Still have a bit of haze but that’s normal. The surgical flap has to heal yet.

(They peal back the top of the cornea with one laser and then another laser reshapes the surface of the eye underneath. Then they lay the flap back down. Yes, it’s a little scary especially while they’re doing it. My biggest fear when they started was that I wouldn’t be able to hold my eye still and would mess up the procedure.)

My vision will probably fluctuate for a few days. Driving was great. Like a whole new world. Everything was sharp and clear. Couldn’t have asked for better results. Only problem is that “computer screen range” is probably not going to be clear. It may get better, but probably not much. I’m using drugstore reading glasses 1.25 to type this and they work perfectly… so it’s something I can live with.

I have perfect up close “reading a book” vision in my right eye. I have perfect distance vision from about 4 feet out to infinity in my left eye (the one surgically corrected). There is just the in-between midrange that is fuzzy.

I’m so exited. First thing I did when I got home from the doctor was wash the windows on my car inside and out. I need to wash the windows on the house next. Now that I can see, I can’t stand looking through dirty windows. Before, I couldn’t see anything anyway, so it didn’t matter.

The operation is scary and not without risk, but I am so happy with the results that I feel like I have a new lease on life. I definitely would encourage anyone considering Lasik to go for it. (My friend and fellow writer, Ami Chopine is writing a book on Lasik and may have some caveats to share, but I feel for me that this was well worth it.

*****

I am only having the left eye done. I had a cataract in that eye about 4 years ago (yes, I was one of the youngest people they had ever seen with a cataract) and had surgery then to install an artificial lens. (I call it my Bionic eye.) That gave me almost perfect vision in that eye except for some astigmatism. The laser surgery was to finally correct the astigmatism and make that eye perfect for distance.

My right eye is very nearsighted, but perfect up close for reading. If I have it corrected, I would lose the up close vision which is important to me for doing detail work like reading the tiny print on a transistor or the fine grain in a piece of wood.

Going with what they call “mono-vision” gives me the best of both worlds. It’s a little weird, but not bad. For the most part the two eyes still work in concert and I can’t really tell that one is doing most of the work for any given task. Depth perception is fine.

*****

I did not expect the surgery to have this level of impact on me. I can only compare it to someone with a horrible disfigurement finally having the bandages removed after plastic surgery and discovering that they have been made whole again.

I was pretty excited several years ago when I first began to realize that I could rebuild my back. That too, was a monumental turning point if my life. After going for a decade thinking I was permanently disabled… I was pretty excited to discover I didn’t have to be.

I was so excited about that development that I wrote a book about it and started this website, but even that did not hit me this hard. Probably because it came about over several months and this literally happened overnight.

One day I was blind. The next day I can see.

If I were younger, I would go back to school and become an eye surgeon. That’s how excited I am about this.

— Dean

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Personal 19 Oct 2007 02:53 pm

Of Mice and Men

I have a mouse.

I found the “evidence” on the kitchen counter this morning. (Yeah, I was pleased.)

Fortunately, things like that don’t bother me. I just hope he didn’t get his little feet dirty.

I would set a trap, but I’m all out of cheese.

By the way, did I happen to mention I also have a cat?

Kitty1

I don’t have a cat because of mice.

I have mice because of the cat.

You see my Kitty likes to bring them in the house so she can play with them. She catches them outside and then brings them in through her little cat door. She then proceeds to chase them around the house until they manage to get away from her.

She wouldn’t think of actually eating one of them.

That would be disgusting.

*****

This has gone on for years. It’s nothing new. In fact, it has become just part of the routine around here. She has also been known to bring in live rats, birds, baby rabbits, snakes, lizards, giant moths and other interesting insects. (Relax. I have managed to rescue all of the birds and baby rabbits, unharmed.)

*****

Tip-o-the-day: If you ever have a live bird or other animal loose in your house. Don’t chase them around with a tennis racket or other weapon like you see people do on TV. Just calmly throw a big towel over them. They will think they’re safe and will hide under the towel. You can then just wrap them up and safely carry them outside.

Second Tip-o-the-day: Don’t let the cat out with you when you turn them loose. Otherwise, she’ll just catch them and bring them right back in again.

— Dean

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Personal 08 Oct 2007 05:46 pm

Just Another Manic Monday

Happy Monday everyone… or “Happy Computer Lock-up Day” as it’s known here at RYB headquarters.

Patches

No, I haven’t managed to fix my computer problems, yet. I have a pretty good idea of what’s causing it, but I just haven’t worked up the courage to undertake the software rebuild.

I’ve tried to get one of the cats to do it, but she seems to lack the proper motivation.

I’m toying with the idea of getting a laptop computer and using it for all my daily online activity and just using this desktop PC as a file server. That way, I’d have a portable machine I could take with me on trips plus it would free me up to work on this one without worrying about it being down for a few days if need be. (It would be a good idea to have a backup in any event.)

There are other reasons for getting a laptop, but I’ll probably put it off until after Christmas when the prices are lower.

*****

On a sad note, the kitty in the picture is actually no longer with us. She was poisoned during the Chinese cat food fiasco and subsequent recall that took place last Spring. Can’t definitely say she was poisoned by the tainted food, because she was fed a product that wasn’t on the recall list. But we took back the unused cans just the same.

Her name was Patches, because she had patches of fur from different breeds in her coat. For example, her main overall look was yellow Tabby, but her hind legs were dark like a Siamese. I used to tease her that she was made from spare parts.

When she was just a tiny kitten — while her brothers and sisters where playing and running around the kitchen — she would come over and climb all the way up and sit on my shoulder nuzzling my neck while I made breakfast. Needless to say, she won a special place in my heart. (I’m such a pushover.)

Reluctant to part with her, I gave her and her brother to my mother who kept her for the past 12 years.

Patches face

I’m afraid I made the mistake of giving her away too soon, however. She apparently wasn’t fully weaned and so, for her entire adult life, she would climb into your lap and attempt to nurse. It was so cute and adorable if you didn’t mind a big wet spot where she slobbered all over you.

She never quite stopped being “just a baby kitty.”

Every cat has a different personality and her lot in life was to be a sweetheart. She is sorely missed.

Dean

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