It has been over eight months since my surgery, and I am happy to report, that my eyeball-modification experience has resulted in two healthy eyeballs. At this point (and I am alternating eyes right now to be sure) I cannot tell any difference between to the two surgeries. Right now my vision is at least 20/20 in each eye. (They have both tested better than that on occasion. I don’t know if my vision is quite as good as it was with glasses before, but it is very close.)
Certainly the PRK eye took longer to recover. My theory is I would grow a new layer of cells over my eye at a rate of .333 eyeballs per day. In other words, I would have funky, fuzzy vision for a couple days while a layer of cells was partially covering my eye, distorting everything. Then on the third day angels would trumpet, stars would align (literally), and I would have perfect vision out of that eye. Then the process would start all over the next day.
It seems like after 4 or 5 months I stopped noticing. From that point (and for the remainder of this blog,) my eye experiences were identical.
Eye drops: At this point the doctor has instructed me to use eyedrops when my eyes feel like they need it. Right now I have a whole box of eyedrops in my medicine cabinet. Once a week or so (usually right when I wake up), my eyes feel dry. One drop is all it takes and my eyes feel instantly better. Not too bad. You get used applying them, but I am still not to the point where I can flip a drop up and catch it in my eye. Maybe someday. However, that will probably be more worthy of YouTube than Blogger.
Halos at night: Certainly, street lights at night do have a bit of a halo around them. I have to be looking for them to notice. It’s usually not too bad, and tends to go away when I wash the car’s windshield. (Maybe I should wash the car more often ;^)
Tired eyes: I will periodically get together with the guys and we will play games until sunrise or wifetext, whichever happens first. The next day my eyes will be sore. Once I even had some funky throbbing migraine-like sensation that had me a bit freaked out. (Headaches of any sort, especially migraines are pretty foreign to me.) Usually an eyedrop and a nap is all I need.
My personal reservations
Not being able to cry: Believe it or not, I was really nervous that my ability to cry would be damaged. I had heard horror stories of extreme dry eyes. Fortunately, that is not me. It was at my daughter’s baptism that I realized my eyes could still produce moisture at appropriate moments. Of course, that realization made me cry. Oh, and the baptism was nice too ;^)
Accidentally ripping my corneas off: I have always been something of an eyeball rubber. (By that I mean someone who rubs their eyes, not protection from pornography-based STD’s). I was really nervous that within a few weeks of my surgery I would reenact some Greek tragedy; I’d find myself blind and screaming holding my corneas in clenched fists. Good news: I am still an eyeball rubber. (Stop laughing, you sicko.) I would certainly recommend taking your doctor’s advice in this area, but I have found it is possible to scratch an itch without filing for disability.
Looking less intelligent: I was asking my oldest who the smartest kid in his class was. Then I asked how he knew. “Well, he wears glasses.” Of course, when he saw my expression he back-pedaled: “Don’t worry dad, I know you are smart because you used to wear glasses.” Of course Kristin is more subtle, but the point is clear: “I think without glasses you look tough.” Too me “Tough” = “Brawny” = “Thug” = “Barbarian” = “Caveman” = “Barely comprehensible missing link.” Maybe that is a bit of a slippery slope, but the sentiment is there.
Destroying Sunglasses: One thing Lasik give you is a new appreciation for the exciting world of sunglasses. Of course, the problem with sunglasses is that you take them on an off constantly. Glasses you put on in the morning and take them off at night. You put on sunglasses and sip cool beverages, then pull them off for dramatic CSI moments. Your kids try them on, you set them next to the sink, they flip out of your pocket every time you reach for your cell, or fall out of your coat when you get out of the car. Suffice it to say, destroying sunglasses is an expensive hobby. I have gone through at least 3 pair in the last 8 months. Perhaps I should just take up Kefi -- better return on investment.
Power tools: Glasses give you a bold sense of invulnerability when it comes to power tools. Where others stop and timidly put on protective goggles, the glassed (like blessed, but for those with glasses) power up and jump in. (Note: Even the glassed really ought to be wearing eye protection.) There have been many times when something will bounce off my glasses, and I would just smile. Prepare to feel naked all the time. I am seriously considering getting a welding helmet for the next time we light sparklers.
Art: Surprisingly, corrected vision has made art more complicated--but for entirely different reasons. To me, art (like statistics) is an act of information reduction. You are looking for patterns and picking out what is important. In the past, I would tend to take my glasses off when I started a project, so I could focus on big shapes without being distracted by details. I don’t have that luxury any more. In order to compensate, I find myself squinting more, to reduce the information I am trying to recreate. Squinting for any length of time not only leads to wrinkles and headaches, but awkward conversations with passersby who feel compelled to state “You ought to get your vision checked.” I even tried wearing my old glasses to over correct my vision, but that didn’t work nearly as well as it sounds like it should. Still, someone should invent “uncorrective lenses.”
Overall, I think the investment was well worth it. Now I can start thinking about what genetic flaw I will be outwitting with corrective surgery next. Hmmm, hair-transplant surgery, liposuction, adamantine skeletal reinforcement, Bluetooth dentures: the possibilities are endless.