Thursday, April 30, 2015

I See You (Alternate Title: The Magical Wonders of LASIK)

Let’s do a little experiment: position your face so it’s a mere six inches away from whatever device you’re reading this blog on (phone, iPad, desktop, etc). 

Six inches. That’s what my vision was. Anything beyond that was crazy blurry. Now imagine blindly groping around for glasses in the middle of the night while the baby howls. You can’t find them so you stumble out the door, trip over the dog, and pick up the thing that looks like a babyish blob. Repeat. Every single night.  

I’ve worn contacts since 5th grade. I was going to be the first person in my class to get glasses and for some reason I was absolutely terrified about that proposition.  So my parents got the Most-Incredible-Padres-Of-The-Year Award and let me get contacts. Back then they were the hard ones and you had to pull them out of your eyes with a little toilet plunger. And they would occasionally fall out and I’d be crawling down on the floor looking for a tiny slip of clear plastic. Usually I’d inadvertently find it when my knee came down and cracked it.  

Aside from an unfortunate stint with giant, coke-bottle glasses during middle school, I’ve been relatively happy with my contacts. After 24 years, they’re second nature. I can put them in without a mirror and my eyes handle long stretches with relative ease. 

The biggest drawback however is the environment. In any condition other than my house, they were kind of a pain. Living for six months at jungle stations in Costa Rica? Grubby. Getting water in my scuba mask? Difficult. Camping with porta potties? Ick. 

I was all set to have LASIK done six years ago until my doctor asked if I was planning on having children. Yes. Well then, you’d better wait. Damn. 

As it turned out, she was right. Pregnancy (and hormonal changes) can cause vision fluctuations for a small percentage of women. I was one of them. 

But our bambino-creating days are behind us so I signed myself up for a few consultations at area LASIK centers. My procedure was yesterday and Chris got to sit in on the surgery. 

Crazy note: See those big windows? That’s the waiting room. You can see people having their eyes lasered while you sip your Starbucks and catch up on US Weekly. 

My eyeball is looking slightly stressed. Not that I blame it. It was about to be sliced open...

I have no idea what’s going on here. All I know is that I’d just had my first-ever valium and my eyeball was numb.  The clamp wasn’t particularly comfortable and the laser that cuts the flap makes your vision go black, a slightly disconcerting experience. But it wasn’t painful. And my doctor was amazing. Two thumbs up for Sharpe Vision in Bellevue.

And best of all, I woke up this morning with 20/15 vision. Holy frijole, peeps: The wonderful power of modern medicine.

Full disclosure: my vision isn’t perfect, particularly in my bad left eye. Things at a distance are slightly fuzzy and I’m finding that my eyes are fairly sensitive to bright sunlight. And I’m an eye-dropping fool every hour. But these are normal side effects and will hopefully clear up in the next few months.

In the meantime, who is up for grubby camping?! Count me in.