27 Oct 2007 07:06 pm
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.