20/20 at Twenty-two
My parents got me LASIK eye surgery for my birthday this year. My dad and I both had it done last Friday, and now for the first time in 15 years I have 20/20 vision. It’s quite easily the best birthday gift ever.
Like most of the things I do I didn’t give the surgery much thought beforehand, and it was only when I lay down on the surgical table that it sunk in that I really was having part of my corneas vaporized. So for a moment I was nervous, but I got over it in literally 2 seconds. This was basically how it went down in my head:
Stage 1: Nonchalance – “Surgery? No big deal!”
Stage 2: Momentary nerves – “No shit! I’m really doing this!”
Stage 3: Gung ho recklessness – “Bring on the lasers!”
The procedure itself was painless and it took only about 5 minutes per eye. The first few hours following the surgery was a bitch, though. The pain was bearable, but my eyes teared up continuously and automatically so I just kept them closed until we got home. I functioned remarkably well for a (temporarily) blind person in pain, if I do say so myself. I managed to walk quickly and smoothly from the American Eye Center, which was located in a busy shopping mall, all the way to the car with only a relaxed hold on my aunt’s hand to guide me. I was even able to feed myself takeout food in a moving vehicle.
I did, however, drop some macaroni salad down my cleavage at one point. Picture me blindly fishing pasta out of my bra in traffic with automatic tears flowing from my stinging eyes. Of course I had to giggle a little despite the pain. Wouldn’t you?
Oh, funny story! My parents and I discovered that I had astigmatism when I ran into our garage wall when I was 7—poor eyesight equals impaired ability to judge distances. I was running to greet my parents as they came home from work one night when it happened. It was like “Mommeeeeeeeee—SMACK!” My two front teeth collided with cement. Good news: no blood. Bad news: chipped tooth. Bottom line: at least we became aware that I needed glasses.
You know what, I take it back. There was no bad news about that whole incident. I’ve always liked the little nick in my tooth. I think it gives my smile character. And with my newly restored vision, I see only more reasons to smile.