The view outside my eyeballs is no different than it was before Thursday, December 11, 2014. It’s the same overcast sky. The same brown, lifeless trees. The same Christmas décor looking strangely out of place with no snow on the ground. People come and go about their business, oblivious to what has changed for ME since that day. The traffic on Fleur Drive and University Avenue and I-35 still chugs along, its vehicle’s inhabitants on their way to jobs, homes, shopping malls and other obligations and passions of life.
Make no mistake though. Something HAS changed, at least in my own little world. The sights all around me are amazing, utterly amazing. It’s true that what has changed, for me, is more a consequence of my yearning for convenience, for want of a kinship with those who’ve never known (and therefore perhaps have always just taken it for granted) what it’s like to see without an apparatus of visual aid of any kind.
Having Lasik surgery – on eyes with 20/200 and 20/400 vision – was a decision made after much deliberation, caution, exuberance and a mix of both anticipation and apprehension. Twice during the procedure, fascinating in its own right, I was tempted to ask the nurse to hold my hand. The somber reality of what might, of what could go wrong was ever present but still I went through with it. My fears were, I’m certain, not unlike what anyone else who’s had the surgery has experienced. For some reason, that comforted me and made it easier to forge ahead.
Now, my eyes are healing from the process. I’m taking all the necessary precautions, putting the drops in at the prescribed intervals, wearing the plastic shields while I sleep, taking care to keep hard, airborne objects and elbows from striking or even a stray finger intent on rubbing or scratching too close for comfort. Family, friends and work colleagues will have to deal with seeing me without makeup for the next two weeks (a scary proposition, indeed!) They may have to also put up with the occasional, spontaneous tears such as what I’ve experienced since the surgery. I think I cried at least four or five times within 24 hours of the procedure. The beauty, the reality of being able to see, unaided, continues to amaze me.
It’s overwhelming to think – even now as I look up from my laptop – to look out at the Starbucks parking lot and realize that I am able to SEE all of this without glasses which I’ve worn since third grade, without contact lenses which I’ve worn for more than thirty years. My vision is as crisp and clear as it ever was. Indeed, on my follow up exam the morning after the procedure, I was told I’m now seeing 20/20. Incredible. How fortunate I am to be able to see – and this was true even before Lasik! – this magnificent, wonderful world I live in, the world all around me