A little over two weeks ago, I finally received my college graduation present: LASIK (thanks Mom and Dad!). After over 10 years of dealing with glasses, contacts and the problems that come with both, I have 20/20 vision without any help. I never thought the day would come, and though the surgery itself was somewhat daunting, I am now its biggest proponent.
I got glasses at a young age, and with every doctor visit came another bump up in my prescription. When glasses became "uncool" I graduated to contacts, and at first I was pretty responsible with them. However, as the years progressed I became lazy -- to the point where I was only taking my contacts out once a month, and only to put in a new pair. Due to this I was once gifted with a corneal abrasion as a result of calcium deposits on the lenses, as well as wayyy too many bouts with pink eye. One might assume this led me to actually start taking care of my eyes, but that's giving me too much credit. Sure, my eyes would get dry, but other than these isolated incidents, I thought I was ok... until I visited a new optometrist early this year.
Right after shaking my hand, she asked if I have a habit of sleeping in my contacts. She said that just by looking at me, she could tell because of the redness in my sclera (the white part of the eye) -- it's due to a lack of oxygen, and it's also irreversible. I finally got the jolt I needed, and it was a couple months before my LASIK appointment. Go figure.
Flash forward to the procedure itself. After asking an obscene amount of questions (Can I just do one eye today, in case I go blind? What's your real track record?), I was given some form of a sedative and sent into the freezing cold "OR." A nurse came over to hold down my shaking feet, and the magic began. The following is my recollection, which may or may not be complete due to memory-inhibiting fear.
First, Dr. Probst used some type of metal contraption to open my eye as wide as possible. I was then told to focus on a blinking red light. Focus I did -- and I was greeted with the pleasant smell of my burning eye. Immediately after this came the loss of vision for about three seconds. This could have been my undoing; even though the doctor, sensing my terror, told me everything was going perfectly... I honestly thought I was done for. Thankfully, I was wrong. The process was repeated on my other eye before Probst told me to sit up and tell him the time. All of this was done in a span of about eight minutes, and for the first time since I was 12, I was able to see the clock -- I was floored.
It was really that simple. Aside from some slight discomfort (I mean, it's not every day your eye is stretched to its limit and zapped with a laser), there was no pain at all. Afterward I slipped on some protective eye coverings and slept the day away. Over the next couple days my vision continued to improve. Sure, my eyes were sensitive to light and needed some extra TLC that only eye drops could provide, but upkeep was surprisingly minimal.
Today, my vision is 20/20. I went from being legally blind (about a -7 in contacts) to having perfect vision, and it is nothing short of awesome. No more losing contacts in the shower. No more peeling them from my eyeball at the end of the day (ok, the end of the month). And no more paying out the gates for rewetting drops, lenses, saline solution and glasses. Yes LASIK is expensive, but so is the alternative. If you are contemplating this procedure, I say go for it. It's easy, it's painless and it's over before you know it. Oh, and it's pretty much life-changing.
The Edge of Everything
4 hours ago