I got LASIK yesterday, and for the first time since 1994, when I was 6 years old, I am able to see without corrective lenses. It’s been an exciting, and surprisingly emotional experience for me.
I never gave much thought about wearing glasses. They’ve just been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I grew up with cuts on my nose from the bridge of my glasses when a basketball hit my face, being blind in the shower, and never able to see when I’m in the swimming pool. It was just a part of life, and it never really bothered me.
Over the last couple years, however, I got an HSA account at my job, and started filling that up aggressively to get it to my deductible level quickly. I then completely forgot that I did that, and as a result had a size-able excess of money in the account. Once I realized that, it occurred to me that I could probably afford some kind of elective surgery. Suddenly, I started to notice just how much I hate my glasses. I wanted to be able to just…open my eyes and see. No more blind showers. No more surveying the floor blindly when my glasses fall on the ground. And I wanted to wear sunglasses, purchased directly from the store.
My vision was truly awful. I don’t know my exact number, but I can tell you that from 20 feet away I could not see a gigantic letter “E” on the wall for my vision exam. And I don’t mean “I couldn’t read the letter”, no, I mean that I literally didn’t see it at all.
So, I did a quick search online, found a reputable LASIK surgeon in Vermont, and scheduled the appointment. After many tests, they confirmed I was able to do it.
So, as I understand it, the procedure is to basically cut a small flap open on your eye, and then inside of the cut open area, the laser does a bunch of tiny laser shots that removes very very small layers of the eye, which corrects your vision, as long as you’ve got the amount juuuuuuust right.
So uhm, yeah. That happened. The procedure took a few minutes in total, and it was certainly uncomfortable, and even a little freaky at some points, but it didn’t hurt at all. I’ll spare you the details but basically I had to lay very still and try to look at a yellow blinking light that varied in visibility from crystal clear to a yellow blob in that timeframe.
What’s crazy is that I could see immediately. It was foggy, and a little blurry, but my god I could see! They sent me home after a quick check, with a litany of eyedrops to apply, and a demand that I get home quickly before the numbness on my eyes wear off.
And holy hell, did the next few hours suck.
My eyes were too sensitive to open, they burned, and even the light coming through my eyelids was too much. I took the remaining two valium I had, and remained in a half asleep state for the next 5 hours, waking up periodically to apply my eyedrops. Fortunately, by 5 PM, most of the pain has subsided, and I felt good enough to go outside in the evening light.
So here I am, on day two of recovery, with ever-improving vision, wearing everyday sunglasses, and staring at stuff with my eyes like the normies. Science fucking rules!
Simultaneously, there’s been a weird identity thing. Glasses have been a part of me for my entire life, and suddenly they’re not. One part of me wants to crush these antiquated glasses in happiness, and the other part wants to keep them with reverence, thanking them for what they did for me until I needed them no more. I never really thought about how personal this experience was going to be for me until I went through it.
The only disappointment, however, is that apparently the surgery does not give me the ability to shoot lasers out of my eyes. Apparently it’s “Laser eye surgery” not “laser eye surgery”. Please temper your expectations accordingly.