When I was around eight years of age my parents discovered that I was quite near-sighted. Here’s how it happened. Snow was falling while we drove away from our friends’ house after a Sunday lunch. Looking out the car window I spotted what I thought was a herd of cows in a nearby field. My heart of compassion melted for those “poor critters in the snowstorm,” and I shared my sentiments publicly. My mom and dad both gasped and laughed at the same time. I had mistaken tombstones for cows—we were simply passing by a cemetery.
Less than three weeks ago I traveled to Louisville, KY to see if I would qualify for LASIK eye surgery. According to the Joffe Medi-Center there are basically three steps to the standard procedure. First, the corneal flap is created and lifted; second, an excimer laser reshapes the cornea; and third, the flap is replaced. All this is done in a matter of minutes. Recovery and regained sight is almost instantaneous.
Before I take you through my experience with LASIK let me tell you about my condition. Without corrective lenses (contacts or glasses) I could hardly recognize someone standing five feet away. My prescription for glasses was around -8.25 and for contacts -7.5.
After getting tested by the professionals at Joffe, I was informed that I was not a candidate for standard LASIK. PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) was recommended instead. It involved a gentle scraping of some surface cells off the cornea and then using a laser beam to re-shape it. I was told that recovery would take longer and that there would be several days of discomfort.
It took just three minutes on the operating table. Blurred vision and the smell of burning flesh lasted only for seconds. Imagine my surprise at being able to read the clock on the wall immediately after surgery. That was something I hadn’t been able to do for thirty years!
The first evening was very unpleasant as my eyes were on fire! Painkillers and other meds helped me fall asleep. By morning I was much better and actually drove the hour and a half trip home. A week later my vision was at 20/25 with “bandage contacts.” Those were taken out during my second check-up and my vision regressed for several days following. After that my vision improved almost on a daily basis. Today I have my vision back and I’m not using any corrective lenses whatsoever. I’m also back to work and using my computer again; hence another post to the blogosphere.
Never again will I mistake tombstones for cows.