November 21, 2014

Why I chose to get Lasik eye surgery

I had wanted Lasik since it first came out.  I started wearing glasses when I was 7 years old, and I wore contacts for the first time at age 12.  Since 1989, I have needed a prescription in order to see and functional normally.

Sometime around 2005 or so, I tried using 'extended wear' contacts.  You know, the ones that are supposed to feel like nothing is there while you are awake and asleep... yeah right!  I still had to remove them before sleeping because I would still wake from a burning sensation and have them stuck to my eyeballs.
And when it came to wearing my glasses, the stronger my prescription got, over the years, the less I enjoyed my glasses.

In high school, I started having to pay extra to 'thin' my lens out.  I liked smaller frames and my thick lenses just wouldn't fit right in the frames without thinning them out, and shaving down the edges.  Yup!  By the time I hit -6.00, I was already 28 or so.  Having a -6.00 prescription with glasses, and an astigmatism, meant that I was very limited with the area I could actually see 20/20 from, out of my lenses.  If you imagine there being a top half and a lower half of each lens, my "sweet spot", of 20/20 vision, was right at the top portion of the lower half of my lenses.  Not the center, for whatever reason --even though, last year, I very clearly specified that I did NOT want to have to tilt my head up in order to get the 20/20 spot.  But I still did.  So, anything I did, driving, watching tv, sight seeing while out and about, shopping, reading anything at a distance, just making regular eye contact with someone, all had to be done with a certain tilt of the head, in a nose up position.  Any quick glance to the side would be blurry.  Looking over my shoulder, while driving, was very uncomfortable --I would literally have to twist my whole upper half just to be able to see out of my "sweet spot".

Now, about contacts.  Apparently, the astigmatism that I had was right between what was available in contacts --always.  So, I'd try one, my vision would be off and uncomfortable.  I'd try the next number up then my contact wouldn't stay put.  It would turn all on its own, just enough to make it difficult to see.  It was either one or the other.  So, basically, I always had my vision fluctuating, when my contacts would decide to just float and spin/shift around at any given moment.  I learned how to blink them back into place, or how to make my eyeballs roll around in a way that would get them to 'reset' in the right position on my eyes.  I'm pretty sure it always looked like I was annoyed or rolling my eyes at everything.  Ha!

So, Lasik has always been a dream of mine.  I always imagined how wonderful life could be if I could just wake up and see clearly --if I didn't have to fumble around with my hands, feeling around for my glasses, that were always placed in the same exact spot every time before I'd go to sleep.  I always dreamed of going to a water park and not having to worry about either accidentally opening my eyes under water and having my contacts wash right now (yes, it really did happen to me once.  I seriously forgot that I did not have my glasses on...), or wearing my glasses and having them full of water droplets, giving my headaches because my vision was obstructed from dirty lenses (you can't really clean or dry your glasses when you're walking around a water park, in your wet swimsuit.).  I also had a time, when I was a teen, that I was told that I had to take my glasses off to ride a particular water ride.  Not only did it make me SO uncomfortable because I couldn't even see the person that was next to me, much less what was going on as I rode down the zip line.  Then on top of that, when I dropped down from the zip line, my glasses popped right out of my hand as soon as I hit the water.  I had to swim out of the pool, without being able to see where I was to go or who I was meeting up with.  Then had to walk and get close to everyone in order to see if they were a life guard.  Finally found a life guard to tell them my glasses came out of my hand.  The life guard had to swim down to the bottom of the 12ft pool to get them for me.  I'm pretty sure it traumatized me to some extent because I've always told Chris "Once I get lasik, I'll really be able to enjoy the water parks!".

So!  Yes, I would always daydream about how wonderful life could be if I could just see 20/20 without anything shifting on its own, or without having such a small tiny 20/20 "sweet spot"... or without the very high chance of my vision going from "eh, I can see alright." to "ugh!  hold on, I can't see right now." (something that happened every single day, several times a day.)

I'm sure I could sift through all the different memories of the annoyances of glasses and contacts --and go on and on.  But I'll spare you the extra rant.  ;)

I did not make this decision lightly.

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