Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's a laser.

Seventeen years of wearing glasses ended in the most expensive 20 minutes of my lifetime on Friday when I got Lasik surgery. Not just any Lasik – Custom Wavefront IntraLasik or something fancy like that! This means that my eyes were effed up just enough to require an additional thousand dollars or so worth of technology.

I’ve never disliked wearing glasses. As a matter of fact, in the past few years, my glasses have sort of become my signature thing. Some people have red hair. Some people have one arm. I had glasses. I got compliments on them, and they were the one designer item I would purchase.

So why the hell would I spend money to get rid of them? The problem was not wearing glasses. The problem was having no other option. Despite wearing contacts quite successfully in college for two years, I have since become unable to wear them without severe irritation and dry eyes. I’ve gone through four pairs at a minimum of $200 a pair in the last eight years and have not been happy with any of them. So I have gone summer after summer without sunglasses or the ability to see clearly while swimming. I have played tennis, softball, and football, all while wearing glasses. This is not fun.

Gina and I have been talking about me getting Lasik pretty seriously for about 6 months, and not-so-seriously for about a year. My big thing was to get it before we had kids. Oh, I should add “babysitting” to a list of activities I HATE doing while wearing glasses. Kids and glasses do not mix. Anyway, we agreed that the closer we get to having children, the better chance there is that I won’t have the money to get this procedure done, so I just did it. (Believe me, I don’t have the money – but I have until June of 09 to pay it off, interest free! Woo hoo!)

I have to say, I recommend this surgery to anyone. For what the results are, the surgery is a breeze. BUT, I would not want to do it again. (Readers who have weak stomachs, please stop reading now.) The incision part was bladeless for me, which was great, but it still was incredibly uncomfortable and, I admit it, pretty scary. There was a point where my vision went completely black but my eyes were wide open. They quite literally have to suck your eyeballs out of your head to make that incision, and that pressure is NOT fun. It’s that pressure that causes your vision to go black. However, it took about 10 seconds per eye.

The actual surgery was completely painless. The only discomfort I experienced was having the eyelid spreaders in my eyes… but even that was fine once I figured out how to relax. Once they turned the laser on, each eye took maybe 30 seconds. It wasn’t crystal clear like everyone seems to say it is when it was over. Everything was still blurry, but that’s because they kept putting these milky drops in my eyes that are anti-inflammatory. However, I could tell that my vision had improved greatly.

I went home, popped two valium (doctor’s orders!) and a motrin, and slept for 6 hours, which they say is mandatory. I did wake up once during that 6 hours and my eyes felt like they were full of burning sand. I forced myself back to sleep and when I awoke for the evening, they felt just a little dry and a little itchy, but nothing too terrible.

It’s now Wednesday, I am glasses-free and 20/20. My vision is just a little hazy sometimes, and it gets worse at night, but the doctor said that was normal for about the first month. It sort of feels like I’m wearing dirty or old contacts, but it doesn’t hurt or itch at all. I’m not allowed to rub my eyes for FOUR WEEKS, which is probably the hardest part of the whole thing.

I’m also going through a mourning period… I do miss my glasses. I didn’t think that I would, but I do. It doesn’t help that people keep saying, “Oh but I loved your glasses!” or “You looked so cute in your glasses!” Truthfully, I probably hid behind my glasses a lot, but damn it, I’m almost 30 and I don’t want to hide behind anything.

It has been fantastic to wake up every morning and see clearly, and to be able to wear sunglasses every single day in a city that rarely has any cloud cover. It’s amazing to be able to tell the difference in the shower between the shampoo and the conditioner without having to bring the bottle four inches from my face. I love falling asleep on the couch watching TV with no worry that I’m bending my glasses. I love going into the pool and being able to see all around me.

Despite all of this, I might some day be that person wearing prescription-less fashion glasses. Could be worse, right?


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