Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Goodbye Contacts!

Ever since middle school I've worn glasses or contacts, but last week I had lasik eye surgery. I didn't take the decision lightly. I'd considered it for years, but always the idea of someone cutting into my eyes, my most precious body parts, was too much for me to accept. (And the expense was challenging, too.) So I decided I was fine wearing contacts. Then one day a year or so ago, my eyes, quite on their own, decided they hated contacts and were through wearing them. By six each evening, my eyes felt like I had been groveling in sand all day. So I began wearing contacts only when I went out, using my backup glasses at home. I even got a new trendy pair and some prescription sunglasses as well. But the glasses gave me constant headaches, and I hated them. At the same time I was starting to lose my close vision, so I'd have to take off my glasses to read. I was miserable.

I did research about Lasik and discovered that two of my friends had gone to Hoopes Vision. Hoopes seemed to have a great reputation, so last October I went in for a consultation. I particularly wanted to learn more about monovision, which is essentially correcting one eye a little less than the other so it can still read while the other can see farther away. I knew this was my best option. I was a perfect candidate for Lasik.

I had to wait until January for our cafeteria plan to be back in action, and it was a long wait. Now that I'd decided to go for it, I just wanted it over! But December found me sick with whooping cough, and when the surgery date rolled around, I was considering putting it off, since I still wasn't a hundred percent well. I also had stye starting in my left eye! After some discussion with my doctor and my husband, I realized that I was searching for a way to put off surgery because I was so mind-boggling scared. Besides, I wouldn't likely be much better two weeks from then anyway (the way my luck has been going of late). Plus, they'd never had anyone lose their sight from Lasik. So what was I waiting for? It was now or never.

The surgery was easy, really. Not scary at all. No shots or knives, but a flap created by a laser, and then another laser to finish off the process. One surprise is that I hadn't been prepared to be almost completely blind the first day—I saw nothing but fog. But even seeing that much calmed my fear of being blind! The recovery period was longer than I'd expected, though there was never any pain. I just felt like there was sand in my eyes, and I was used to that with my contacts! I had to use more eye drops than expected as well (I'm still putting them in every hour), and my left eye had a red pressure mark (still has a bit after a week), but that is all only temporary. A very small price to pay for vision.

It's been a week. Not only am I feeling better than I have in months, I can read, drive, write on my computer, and do everything without glasses or contacts. Sometimes I forget and think I have to take out or put in my contacts, and then I laugh as I realize I'm free from all that. At least for now! Perhaps forever. My one regret: that I didn't get the surgery earlier.