Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Also titled, "Oh My God, I can see!"
I have by far the worst vision in my family (I was -8.5 to give people who wear contacts some perspective. I needed a special waiver to join the Army because of my visions). But, I will be the first to admit that the concept of LASIK terrifies me. I don't like the concept of touching my eyes (though in the 8 years since I have worn contacts that phobia has decreased) so the very idea that a blade or laser is going to cut open my eyes and then burn off pieces of my cornea? shudder to the max. I have thrown a live grenade and I think that I would rather do that again before this whole concept.

But the idea of wearing glasses (not contacts since I would be too paranoid about sanitation issues) for the next year while deployed to Afghanistan? Terrifying. To think that there could be some moment where I would need to see and potentially not have my glasses scared me enough to finally overcome that fear.

I had been researching LASIK for years, never coming up with sufficient pro's to outweigh the potential con's for me to take the leap. With the deployment the balance finally shifted and I moved quickly. 4 days after final notification I visited the Lasik PLUS location in Alexandria, spent the following weekend mulling it over and on Sunday I took my contacts off for the last time. I was also influenced by the fact that my Doctor had performed some 65,000 of these operations, so I figured he was up to the challenge of dealing with my horrendous vision.

The following 3 days reinforced my decision, as I spent them wearing glasses per the directions of the doctor. By Thursday I was seriously ready to not wear glasses anymore (and the thought of a year of them was very unpleasant). So I was a torn person as I had my brother drive me out and drop me off at Lasik PLUS location in Tysons. After they performed all the tests again (all for them double, triple or how-ever many times checking things out to get it right) in 2 hours I was brought into the operating room, spent less than 10 minutes in there total (weirdest part was having my vision grey out as they applied the suction to the eyes prior to the cut) and then I was done, several thousand dollars lighter but already able to see far better than I could ever recall without glasses/contacts. Another of my brothers picked me up, drove me home and, per the doctors directions, put on a sleep visor, popped some Advil and took a long nap (2+ hours). Gotta love being forced to take a nap, twist my arm why don't you?

After the nap I could see an immediate difference. I continued to follow the post-op directions, putting in eye drops at the specified time (god I hate eye drops) and being fastidious about wearing sun glasses (for the first day even indoors). The follow-up the next day had them finding that my vision was 20/20 in one eye and 20/30 in the other (which surprised even them, since they had to go so far to get to that point than for the average person). I still have halo-ing to some degree as of 6 days past the event, but that can be accounted for by the significant swelling that this surgery produces (and there is mild chance I will always have some, but my night vision sucked anyway, with glasses or contacts I had halo-ing there as well).

God, we live in the future where a short time under a laser can make the (near) blind see!