Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now!

My cousin asked me to blog about my recent Lasik eye surgery, and I started a post the other day. I had to stop when I realized that my focus was on some of my past experiences with glasses and contacts, and that most of those experiences were painful in some way. Maybe those painful experiences will be a blog post sometime, but they weren't where I wanted to go.

I've been thinking about getting my vision corrected for years, since the early 1990's, when it was still RK and PRK, before Lasik even came along. I had my first Lasik eval in about 2002 but rejected the procedure because it was explained to me that my short-distance vision would be lost. What that meant to me was that I would never be able to see the faces of my babies and loved ones clear, at a close distance, and I simply could not give up that sweet closeness.

I decided to check into it again about a year ago, and started the process by getting mono-vision contacts to simulate having one eye corrected for distance and one for close-up. I liked the mono-vision, but wearing contacts was less than desirable to me, so I wore them infrequently, although enough to know that the MV would work for me.

After UPW (the Tony Robbins event I attended in March), I decided to take the next step, a full evaluation by my eye doc to determine how appropriate Lasik would be for me. They said all systems go, as did the eye surgeon, and surgery was scheduled for a couple of weeks out.

I felt very confident about having the procedure done ... until the night before the scheduled time. That's when I read the consent form, and I got very nervous about all the "what ifs" that were flying around in my brain. The main problem? I believed there was no possible way I could put myself out of commission (if something were to go less than optimally). I don't really have time right now to be sick or unable to drive or having to focus on some physical symptom. Valerie's graduation is coming up, Greg and Anna-Jessie's trip starts Thursday, GO Cincinnati is this weekend, and oh did I mention I have five kids, a husband, and a home to care for? And I've got the most marvelous momentum going, and I think my biggest fear was that the surgery would slow, stop, or actually reverse that momentum.

What got me to the table was remembering something I recently heard: If you CAN'T do something, you MUST do it. I understand this to mean that courage is called for in the face of fear. And so I dug down and found some courage and texted Greg that I thought it was going to be ok. And went to sleep.

Friday morning, we arrived early and went through a few details and then I walked into the operating theater, and Greg sat in the observation room, and actually watched (and VIDEOed!) the procedure.

The actual operation was pretty straightforward and easy. My biggest job was to remember to breathe and to keep focusing on that little blinking light. It was over almost before it started. I walked back into the examination room and sat in the patient chair. I could see out into the hall, and I was able to focus on the shelves that were 20 feet away, something I haven't been able to do for 6/7 of my life, and I almost cried at the miracle this was to be able to see.

Friday was a resting day, a sleeping day, a recovery day. Friday was a smooth day, but the night was not. The disturbance in the night was unrelated to my vision or the surgery, but demanded courage of a different kind. Maybe a blog post about that sometime; we'll see.

Saturday morning was the 24hr follow-up and all looked great to the doc.

Fluctuations in vision during the healing process are normal. Blinking usually clears things up, and I'm quickly forgetting what dependency on glasses feels like. I love being able to see. It's been a dream for years, to be able to see the world without some type of external lens to focus through, and that dream has now been realized.

As for the issue with the close vision, it's different than I thought. When I wore glasses, they corrected my nearsightedness and my farsightedness, but I had this precious close vision where I could see without any glasses at all -- a clarity unmatched by any corrected vision. Now I have the ability to see close AND far, and I can actually see close-up as well. There are some conditions where I can't see completely clearly, REALLY close-up, but I didn't actually lose the precious close-up vision, I gained a heck of a whole lot instead.

2 comments:

The Mom Chef said...

Bravo! I love the quote about can't/must. That's why I did High Road; because I'm afraid of heights and can't climb and rappel. :)

I'm so thrilled that after all these years, you're glasses free!

SiouxsieQ said...

Thanks, CB. I am so glad that you were able to experience High Road. That is one of the biggies in my life in terms of life-changing experiences. And thanks, too, for your comment about being thrilled for me for being able to see. It is truly miraculous!