A Modern Miracle.

The first time I knew something wasn't quite right with my eyes, was when I was in primary school. Reading from the blackboard went from a regular thing, to something which gave me headaches. Turns out that my eyesight had degenerated, and that I was squinting everytime I tried to see something at a distance. I was prescribed a pair of unbelievably dorky glasses, with instructions to put them on whilst looking at the board, but then take them off again when I was working with things up close.

Not an easy feat for a twelve year old. You can imagine how much I hated them.

Over the years, my shortsightedness got progressively worse. Every eye appointment would usually see me requiring a stronger prescription. Eventually, my short sightedness became severe enough to leave the glasses on all the time. It was about that time when I was introduced to contact lenses, which quickly became my best friend. Most people who have never had a problem with their sight have absolutely no comprehension of what life can be like on the other side of the lens. You can't swim. You can't wear sunglasses. You can't read street signs. You can't see faces, rather a blurry haze.

Almost a year ago, I underwent advanced laser eye surgery. It wasn't cheap and it wasn't particularly pleasant, but it's one of the best decisions I have ever made. My vision is not a hundred percent, but it's a hundred percent better than it was. It's too early to tell what the longevity of laser eye surgery is - who knows how my eyesight will be in another year's time. Who knows how it will be in another 10 years, or 50?

All I know is that every morning when I open my eyes and can actually see the world around me, I count my blessings. And that I will never ever take that for granted.


27 Comments • Labels: ,  

27 comments:

Most Prepossessing said...

I got lasik in January. Although I was scared, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is nice to wake up in the morning and see! Before I had to squint at the large numbered clock!

Princesspolly said...

I've been shortsighted since I was about eight and am heavily reliant on my contact lenses (i don't suit glasses). Part of me would love to get laser surgery but the idea of it grosses me out. Despite sticking plastic discs in my eyes for the last fifteen years, I still don't actually like the idea of stuff touching my eyes!!!

Teacher A said...

Well, to be fair, you can swim. You just run the risk of hitting other people or the sides/bottom of the pool.

Lynsey said...

It is a modern miracle! I never take it for granted either. I have relatively good eyesight (I only need reading glasses for long-sightedness) but my gran was blind and my mum is very short-sighted with macular degeneration (so bad that laser surgery is not even available to her). It scares the hell out of me to think of what my mum and gran have gone through. I feel very lucky.

mooiness said...

I've been short-sighted since I was 9 and I know that feeling of having the prescription increased every single year until I was 22 - precisely when I stopped being a student! Funny that. ;)

I'm happy with contacts for now. I haven't quite justify the cost of lasik to myself yet.

RA said...

I'm so glad that you had a good experience with your surgery, but my fear of it outweighs any inconvenience of contacts. I only have these two eyes, you know? What if something goes wrong? I'm cool with buying saline for the rest of my life.

Fiona said...

I need to do this one day... your story is much like mine - I realised I needed glasses in year 7 when i realised that I could actually read the board in science glass when I had my friends glasses on.

I used to wear contacts, but different reasons mean i don't any more. I need LASERS one day!

Erin said...

You are so brave! I'm totally freaked out by eye surgery!

EmilyPie said...

Could you elaborate on "it wasn’t particularly pleasant"? I'm considering Lasik.... but am kind of chicken....

Jen said...

This is really pushing the point my mum made this morning about getting my eyes checked, since I'm getting headaches so often. Right now, I feel like lasering my right eyeball right out of my head, it hurts that bad.

Katie said...

My parents both had laser eye surgery and went from wearing incredibly thick glasses full-time to only wearing very thin reading glasses when driving (and apparently that's by choice). They haven't looked back and they love what it's done for their eyes. It's been years since they've had it, so it looks like it's lasting well. :)

Caryn said...

What a positive post! I'm so glad the laser surgery worked for you. When I was younger I pretended to have blurry vision and headaches so that I could get glasses. Turned out several kids in my class had just gotten them, and I wanted them, too.

Vanessa said...

Thank you so much for this post! I started wearing glasses in 3rd grade and like you they have become progressively thicker. Sunglasses? ARGHHH! I have been contemplating the laser eye surgery for a few years now but am nervous. March 1 will be my 32nd birthday and I was considering getting this gift for myself, but am still nervous. If you wouldn't mind emailing me, I have questions. Was it painful? Could you see right away after? Can you drive at night? If you have two minutes, please email me
vanessalongman@mac.com

Thanks so much in advance!

Jess said...

This is the second post I've read about laser eye surgery today. Luckily yours was not as graphic as the other one, since I am extremely sensitive when it comes to things near my eyes.

Zandria said...

No lie! Having this surgery is easily one of the best things I've ever done. I never get tired of being able to see without contacts or glasses. :)

Julz* said...

*sigh* I'm all too familiar with the pain of glasses/contacts.

good thing i'm not much of a beach person though. cos i'm mostly wearing contacts in summer (so I can wear sunglasses) and wearing glasses in winter (am lazy) and yes, swimming with contacts isn't the best idea hey?

but yay for being free of blurry vision! :D

James said...

Surgery on your eyes ouch...

A message to girls who worry about wearing glasses though. I think...how can I put this politely...glasses can enhance the aesthetics of a person too.

Amber said...

I'm seriously considering having this done, having had much the same experience as you, with the glasses when I was a kid, and then contacts as soon as I was old enough to be vain about it. The thought of the procedure absolutely terrifies me , but I think the results would be worth it, so it's good to hear you've had a positive experience with it.

bleeding espresso said...

I'm saving up for this. I'm nearly blind without glasses or contacts and I'm afraid if I let it go too much longer, I won't be eligible...if I am now!

La said...

My story is frighteningly similar! Though I haven't yet taken the plunge for the surgery. Mostly because I hate needles. And also because I don't have eleventy billion dollars lying around.

:)

Virginia Gal said...

Another glasses/contact wearer from 2nd grade(!) here. And I wish my eyes would quit changing already, because at 31 they don't seem to be close to ready to settle down.
(oh, James, 1cm thick lenses don't do anything for ones aesthetics!)

Raven said...

If ever my eyes stop changing, I might join you.

If ever.

I think I might be blind first.

Operation Pink Herring said...

Lasik really is a miracle. Joel had it done this summmer and it's amazing how well he can see how (he was pretty much blind without his glasses/contacts before). I do miss his cute squinty-face in the morning, but I guess that's a small sacrifice to make for the extra space in the bathroom cabinet :)

Chiada said...

I completely know how you feel! I had to start wearing dorky glasses in the 1st grade when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and I had to wear them full time. They were big and plastic and pale blue on top fading to pale pink on the bottom. Then commenced the "four eyes" teasing remarks, which I really hated. Like you said, it was difficult to go swimming, to wear sunglasses, to see street signs. One time I forgot my glasses when I was on a trip and I had to make the 3 hour drive back to my house without glasses. It was scary. I am nearsighted, and on top of that, I have a major astigmatism in my left eye, which results in me barely being able to see out of my left eye. Basically my right eye does all the work. I wasn't able to wear contacts until my late teen years because my vision was so bad that technology had not yet been able to make contacts that were strong enough to correct my vision. Eventually, though, science was able to make contacts that correct my vision to almost 20/20. And, thankfully for men like James above, one of my first boyfriend was a guy who liked girls in glasses. I guess he thought it made me look smart or something. Or maybe it's that whole sexy librarian thing. I dunno. We stopped dating, but he went on to marry a girl who also wears glasses, hehe. I find that funny. So, I guess in the end, to heck with all those dorks who don't appreciate people who wear glasses. :)

Kristabella said...

I'm jealous. I want to get it done, but I'll be that ONE person that goes blind. And contacts beats blind in any match.

Also, I started wearing glasses at like age 7. And until the age of 29, ALL my glasses were dorky. But now they are cute. At least, that's what my cats tell me since they are the only ones that see me in them.

Sarah / MMDesigns said...

Well said! I am very myopic and used to be able to wear contacts until I was pregnant with Lovely Daughter. Then they started making me feel squiffy, so back to glasses. I thought I'd go with a funky Lisa Loeb pair. I like them most of the time, but I do miss my contacts (the squiffiness is still there....)

I can't imagine waking up and being able to read the clock! Wow! I've had my glasses since I was 13. Yah. Imagine the coolness.

perfecteyes said...

oh may god what are you blubbering about. its been a week since i read your blog and you are going on about your eyes. what the!!





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