21 July 2010

The Gift Of Sight: Part 03.

Last in a 3-part series on my LASIK experience. Today's post is about the days and weeks after getting the surgery, and some thoughts on the entire experience. If you haven't done so already, catch up with Parts 01 and 02.

Over the next few days, I adjusted slowly to not wearing glasses anymore. I'd find myself forgetting at random times and instinctively reaching up towards my face to push my non-existent glasses up, or under them to scratch my nose. Upon waking up in the morning, I'd grope needlessly for them on the nightstand. Each time brought a smile or chuckle, and then amazement that I could actually read the clock beside me. Now, one month later, I still do those things on occasion -- I guess 30+ years of wearing specs is a hard habit to break.

I'm still putting in the saline drops, more so for keeping my eyes hydrated now than getting rid of dryness. The scratchiness in my left eye has all but disappeared, as the cornea has healed up nicely. So have the slight halos that used to appear around lights at nighttime (I was told these would go away anyway). I'm still pretty careful with rubbing my eyes or putting undue pressure on them, although my optometrist said that my eyes have returned to normal and I can rub them normally. It's just that I don't want to -- I kinda feel like treating them more gently from now on.

Overall, I'm having a blast. I don't have to worry about wiping my glasses if it rains while I'm outside, or during workouts when sweat drips onto them. I get to save money over my lifetime -- no more replacing frames and lenses every couple of years. I bought my first ever pair of real sunglasses (no more clip-ons!) two weeks ago! Yes this might be a mundane event for most people but to me it was A Momentous Occasion. Some people did double takes when they saw me glasses-less for the first time, but I think they've gotten used to it by now :) Honestly, it did take me a little while to get used to seeing my face unblocked by frames, but I really like how I look. My eyes are bigger than I thought!

So yes, I'm enjoying it very much.

I went back for my 3-week check-up and had my vision rated at a 20/15, which frankly amazed the hell out of me. I was advised that this would fluctuate back and forth for another couple of months before stabilizing, but I'm not one to complain. My 3-month follow-up appointment is in early September, and even if I go back to 20/20, that makes me more than happy. But for now, I can cut through steel with the lasers shooting out of my eyeballs.

a candid photo of me,
the day after surgery

To those of you born with perfect vision, you probably don't realize just how good you have it! (If you do, that's great :) It is such a blessing to have clear eyesight, and I made a promise to myself to never take my "new" eyes for granted. I still marvel at being able to see things crisply -- I went camping a couple of weeks ago and was able to really appreciate the night sky for the first time in my life. Please don't take that for granted!

And to those who are thinking about getting LASIK done, I really recommend doing so if you can afford it. Prices are going down all the time, and the treatments themselves are constantly improving with each innovation in the field. In my honest opinion, the potential benefits far outweigh any inherent risk from the procedure. I was definitely scared at first, but do your diligent research, find the clinic or doctor that's right for you, and go for it. The staff at the facility I chose was friendly, caring and very attentive to any concerns and questions I had. I'm quite pleased with the quality of pre- and post-op care I've received.

Let me know if you have any questions about my own experience. Thanks for reading!

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