I’ve been a little quieter than usual lately.  That’s because I had a little downtime as I recovered from surgery.   Eye surgery.  LASIK, to be precise.  A month later it remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Now the nightmare is over and I’m finally free.  When the school nurse told me 24 years ago that I needed glasses, I felt my world crumbling around me.  The kids already made fun of me to no end, and they didn’t need more ammunition.

I’d read that carrots were good for eyesight, so for the next week I devoured them like my life depended on it.  Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to stave off my first prescription.  But I only needed them to read the blackboard, so it could have been worse.  However it got worse.  Over the years my eyesight deteriorated, going from 20/80 to 20/400.  I ended up wearing glasses nearly all the time just to see the world around me.  I hated the way they looked and how they made me felt.

When I went on dates I’d put my glasses on and quickly scour the bar or restaurant to find her, then hurriedly stash them out of sight before I was seen wearing them.  If there was a menu I’d read it online first so I’d already know what to order.  Style before comfort.  Finally I’d had enough.  Once I saved up the necessary cash (nearly $4000 – I got a discount) I went for a consultation and scheduled the procedure for a few weeks later.  My sister had it done two years ago and highly recommended the doctor.  I had very little idea what to expect since I didn’t ask my sister anything and purposely did no research.

I didn’t get nervous until I was in the waiting room, but even then they  gave me a Xanax and suddenly I was too busy examining the wallpaper and laughing at nothing.  Then I was led inside where they put numbing drops in my eyes and swung this big contraption over me.  The doctor put in some kind of plastic speculum  to hold my eyelids open and then he did something and everything went blurry.  I was told to stare at a blinking red light and that I would hear a loud ticking sound as the laser operated.  And that was it.  He spent a minute or two on each eye and I was in the room for less than ten minutes total.  Quick, easy, painless.

When I was upright again, I could see the clock on the wall with my naked eye, something I’d never been able to do.  Things were still a bit blurry and watery but they cleared up over time.  I kept my eyes closed on the ride home and went right to bed.  For the next ten days I did two sets of eyedrops three times a day, and wore eye covers at night.  The morning after procedure I removed  my eye covers and sat up in bed.  I could see the books on my shelf across the room.  I could even read the titles.

It was so amazing I nearly cried.  For those of you who already see for free, you have no idea what a miraculous transformation it was.  I could see!  I kept exclaiming that aloud over the next week, marveling at how I could read street signs and menu boards at fast food joints, how I could type on the computer or watch a movie unaided.  That wasn’t the only difference.  I’d never noticed how blue my eyes were until now, because I could never see them properly.  I couldn’t hold things close to my face anymore to read them, I had to hold them a foot or two away.

To top off, when my family and I went to the Chinese buffet to celebrate a few days later, I caught a girl looking at me.  She was working the front desk in the dance studio next door and our eyes met as I passed by the window.  Her expression was hard to decipher, but… was it possible?  Was this one actually checking me out?  Have others been checking me out?  Have I been missing things over the years because I literally couldn’t see them?  Now I find myself constantly looking about, taking in every details, looking for things I might have missed before.

Ditching the glasses gave me a nice confident boost.  I stand a bit taller now, comforted by the fact I don’t look like Harry Potter anymore.  In fact I went on a new string of dates to test things out, which I will update you about in the next post.  I don’t have to limit my screen exposure anymore, so it’s time to get back to writing.

17 thoughts on “Surgery

  1. It must be so freeing. Personally the horror stories scare me off, so I manage fine with glasses and contact lenses when I need them, but I am tempted if I ever get well enough to dare risking anything healthwise again.

  2. This is such wonderful news. Like Fanny I am scared of having anything done to my eyes but both my parents and grandmother have had cataract surgery done, which also fixed their sight. I know how short the procedure is and I’ve also heard the lifechanging stories. The downside is not just money but age – I was told at 35 that it wasn’t worth having done (cost vs benefit) because within a few years I’d need glasses anyway – so I missed that boat. But you know the funny thing is that I really like myself in glasses and the frames have sort of become part of my visual identity. But I totally get the wonder of seeing fully as you describe so well – when I trialed contact lenses after 15 years without, I had the same feelings of nothing on my face (fabulous in hot weather) and having genuine peripheral vision. I can’t wears contacts because my eyes are too dry, and I’ve become resigned to never seeing without the specs – but I really envy you. Well done for being brave and taking the plunge. (PS swimming or doing any form of sport is also a great benefit of being without glasses!)

  3. Hey man, congrats. That’s awesome. Gotta be a huge confidence boost for sure. I’m jealous. I have other eye problems which make me ineligible for the surgery.

    Hit the dating scene hard, get #3 under your belt. You got momentum.

  4. I felt the same way when I fixed my teeth years ago. I wear glasses though, but that wasn’t a problem. I was diagnosed with periondal disease when still in my 20s and never addressed it until far recently. It was a daunting prospect to have your teeth pulled and then given a flipper. Then having some of your real teeth grinded down so that a permanent bridge can be installed in place. I used to avoid smiling now it’s no huge problem for me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s