Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Can See Clearly Now

I just happened to come across this article on the NPR website today (beware of picture if you are squeamish). I had Lasik eye surgery five years ago in September. I do not regret my decision at all. I actually had it done in Ecuador while Christoph and I were there visiting my parents (they are missionaries there). Some of you might think I am insane to have a delicate eye surgery done in a third world country, but the circumstances were not as bad as they first might sound. I have known the doctor since I was about twelve and I know he is very skilled and well trained. I also knew he had good equipment.

I started wearing glasses when I was seven. By the time I had the surgery done my eyesight was like 20/300. I would have to hold a book about 1/2 inch from my face to be able to see the print. I will admit that I was nervous about the surgery idea, but the thought of not having to deal with contacts or glasses was enough to get me over any nervousness. I was most excited about being able to see in the water. I have never enjoyed swimming very much, especially in the ocean, because I hated not being able to see what was going on around me. It is kind of scary as a kid to be out in the ocean and not be able to recognize the faces of friends swimming a few feet away. I wouldn't wear my glasses or contacts because of the risk of losing them.

The surgery was no big deal. It was over pretty quickly and Christoph and my Mom got to watch the whole thing. The hardest part was tying to hold my head perfectly still. The doctor couldn't figure out why he kept having to refocus the laser until I told him I was pressing my head against the table the whole time in an effort to keep it still. The strangest part was after the surgery when I could see, but couldn't see at the same time. I could read signs and words from across the room, but it looked like I was looking at them through water or soaped glass.

Over all the experience was very positive. I did have some light halos at night that lasted about a year after the surgery. They gradually got better, but the first few months I felt very unsafe driving at night. Now I am loving not having to deal with contact lenses. My favorite part about the article is that it confirms I got a smoking deal. With the "new improvements" the average price is $3,050 per eye, the old way is $1,500 per eye. I got my done for $700 total and I had my Mommy around to lovingly put my eye drops in afterward. :) What a blessing! I never would have been able to afford to have it done here in the US, especially now.

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