Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Eyes!

June 14th is a very special day to me. Five years ago I had LASIK. An amazing, wonderful, awesome procedure. To this day, I am still astonished over the results of the surgery.

My journey into the world of corrective lenses started when I was in the second grade. My dad realized that I was blind as a bat and horribly near sighted when he took me to the circus that had come to a neighboring town. Our seats weren't near the floor, but they weren't that far away. At one point, I pointed at a blob laying on the ground outside one of the circus rings and asked my dad how it was posible that there was a lion just lounging there, out in the open, with people walking all around it. My dad looked at me and asked where was this lion. I pointed to the blob to show him. He looked back and forth from the lion to me a few times before slowly saying, "That's not a lion... that's a pile of rope."

Days later, my parents took me to the eye doctor. During that visit it was determined that I had horrible astigmatism that was making me very near sighted. At the time, I thought it was kinda neat getting glasses. Not a lot of my classmates had them and I liked being different. I saw it as getting a cool new accessory. For my face. Neat!

By the time I reached the age of 12, I was getting a bit more vain. Thanks to my lenses, my glasses  resembled the bottom of Coke bottles - very thick and they magnified my eyes a bit. I was never going to get a boyfriend looking like a bug. So I begged my mom to let me get contacts. We talked to my eye doctor about it. He said they normally preferred that patients wait a few more years to have contacts, but he agreed to let me try.

I had contacts for about a week before it was decided that I was too young. Grrr. During my trial period, I always struggled to put them in and take them out. When I would get them in, they irritated my eyes. The doctor told me to wait about 2 years and then we'd try again. TWO YEARS?!?!? In child-speak, that's, like, forever and a day away. Double grrrr.

Finally, finally, finally - the two years came to an end. The year I turned 14, mom decided my birthday present would be for me to try contacts again. Perfect. I was determined to make it work this time. And work it did. I got contacts and wouldn't be caught dead in glasses if I could help it.

As the years went by, the annoyance of dealing with contacts grew and grew. But the alternative, going back to glasses, wasn't an option. I started asking my eye doctor about LASIK. From about the age of 18 on, just about every year when I would go for my annual eye exam, I'd annoy him with questions about the LASIK procedure - did he know of any technological breakthroughs, did he think I'd be a good candidate, blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to 2006. I was still wearing corrective lenses and wishing I wasn't. I started really researching into the procedure and the legit places I could go in this area to have the surgery. And, most importantly, I started saving up. Finally in May of 2007, I called a facility to schedule my consultation to find out if I was even a candidate. On May 14, 2007, I was told that I was one. I was really scared that my astigmatism would be an issue. The doctor told me that, believe it or not, the technology to correct my particular issue had only been around for about 5 years at that point.

So, now that I knew I was a candidate, the next step was scheduling the actual surgery date. Due to the doctor's schedule, the first date he could get me in was one month later. Only one more month of dealing with corrective lenses? C'mon, June!

The day of the surgery, I was nervous, but excited. The whole procedure took about 10-15 minutes! That's all. And, yes, that's both eyes. The surgeon was great - he talked me through each and every step of the procedure.

The best part? After the surgery, I was sitting up on the operating table. Sort of in daze (prior to the procedure, I was given a sedative to help calm me and then would later knock me out - they want you to pretty much sleep the first day away to let your eyes rest). The doctor pointed to a clock on the wall and asked me what time it was. Without thinking, I read off the time. As soon as I did it, my mind snapped to attention. I just read a clock on the wall... on the other side of the room. And I'm not wearing corrective lenses. I looked at the doctor wide-eyed, to find him grinning at me and my shock of realizing that I could see. Without contacts or glasses. I wanted to jump from the table and run through the halls of the facility, shouting my joy  But, alas, I was too drugged up to actually do that. Oh, yeah, I suppose my sense of decorum would've stopped me too.

So, here I am - five magical years later - still just as amazed about my eyesight as I was on June 14, 2007. So, today, raise a glass in honor of my beautiful, uninhibited brown eyes.


  1. I will raise to your beautiful, brown, perfect eyes as well. Problem is now you have no excuse when it comes to being accident prone other than you are clumsy. But you're my clumsy monkey and that's OK.

    1. You've always known that I am clumsy.I've never tried to use my poor eye sight as an excuse. :)

  2. That is awesome. I have been thinking about doing this, considering I pay almost $1000 a year for my contacts (I have to use the daily kind), so it would pretty much pay for itself after a couple years.

    Plus not having to deal with the annoyance of putting them in and out every morning/night.

    Have you had to get "touch-up" surgeries or whatever?

  3. DO IT! Before I had the procedure done, someone told me that it was the best thing he had ever done for himself. I immediately saw what he meant after I had it done - it was (still is) one of the best things I could've done for myself. And, yes, it DOES pay for itself. I had specialized contacts called torics because of my astigmatism. Not cheap, although my yearly bill wasn't as high as yours. Now I don't have to buy contacts or solution (which I also went through often).

    As of this time, I haven't had any kind of touch-ups. The doctor did tell me that as I age, I may need corrective lenses again. But that's possible for anyone (just the natural progression of aging and your body parts deteriorating). I am still quite near sighted, but, like you said, I don't have to deal with the annoyance of putting in/taking out contacts. My one piece of advice - if you do this, do not take your chances with a "discount place." Research into the facility/doctor/etc. We have a big time hospital here called Wake Forest Baptist Medical and that's where I went.

    Feel free to contact me (email or on Facebook) if you have any questions about LASIK. I'll tell you anything you want to know that I can answer.