Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Miracle of Lasik.

Two days ago I underwent a surgery that has already changed my life in more ways than I thought possible. Yes, friends, I finally took the plunge and had Lasik. If you've ever had vision problems, you probably understand where I'm coming from when I call this surgery a life-changing miracle. One day I was legally (very legally!) blind, the next I had 20/15 vision without glasses or contacts.

For me, this journey began back when I was a little girl - barely 8 years old. I noticed the words on the chalkboard began to blur together, and I got frequent headaches because I would try to squint and turn my head sideways to see them out of the corner of my eye. I was terrified to be one of "those kids who wore glasses," so I kept my deteriorating vision a secret from friends and family.

As my vision got worse, I kept trying to keep up with my regular routine - I even played basketball and ran track in middle school. But by the time I was in 8th grade, it was just too much, and I told my mom I needed to have my eyes checked.

When we went in and the chart was placed in front of me, it became clear that I really had a problem. The only thing I could see was the giant E. This was bad. Luckily, I handled contact lenses very well, so I kind of skipped wearing classes altogether (with the exception of nightime when I took my contacts out).

I hated waking up blind every day. I mean, how can you fully feel awake if the world is just one giant blob? I couldn't see the alarm clock, and simple activities like swimming were difficult. I've even had my contacts fall out in the shower. Geesh.

Several years went by. I went to college, got married, bought a house, and gave birth to the most amazing little boy on the planet. And even though on the outside I seemed to have everything, I still felt sad and embarrassed that I was living with the curse of nearsightedness.

Taylor (my hubby) was on a business trip for 3 weeks, so I had a lot of time to think. I woke up one day and decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of being BLIND!!!

So I made my appointment with TLC for a free Lasik evaluation. The worst part was that I had to go a whole week without wearing my contacts - a crutch I have relied on for 13 years. I was suddenly driving in glasses, shopping in glasses, taking care of the baby in glasses, working in glasses, doing everything in glasses! And trust me, when you're as nearsighted as I am, this is not an easy task. I felt disabled.

At my first appointment, I received devastating news. My corneas were too thin for Lasik, which meant I would have to look into alternative surgeries. Well, I'd already gone this far, so I decided to look into my options. I decided on PRK, a surgery that has excellent results, but requires a bit longer healing time (not good when you have an 11-month-old running around). So I waited another week and went back in for my pre-op exam. Magically, my corneas had thickened enough for me to have bladeless custom Lasik!

This is definitely where I know God stepped in. I prayed about this procedure and delighted myself in Him, and He gave me the desire of my heart!

The morning of my surgery I wasn't allowed to wear makeup or jewelry, so I tried to make myself look cute with a sparkly scarf, big hair, and a smiling baby.

Less than 48 hours after my pre-op, I was in the operating room. It was like a spaceship - all white with bright lights and nurses wearing white scrubs. They had given me a tiny pill to calm my nerves beforehand, but the surgery was so quick, I don't think it really took effect until I was in the car. Numbing drops were put into my eyes before anything happened, so there was no pain. I felt intense pressure, and this was the most scary part - for a few seconds during the procedure, your eye is pried open and goes completely blind while they are working. I was told this doesn't happen to all patients, and the blindness went away as soon as they removed the device that was holding my lashes back.

When the procedure ended and I sat up on the table, I was in shock. Everything looked smokey, but I could SEE! I held my hands way out in front of me, and I could see my fingers. I could see the nurses' faces, I could see my surgeon's face. I was so overcome with the emotion of 18 years of blindness being washed away, I couldn't keep from crying in happiness. My life would never be the same.

Two days later, I'm seeing better than 20/20. I finally know what I've been missing. And I never would have thought I would be able to see like this. It is an absolute miracle.

If you're thinking about having Lasik, stop thinking and start doing! You are the architect of your life! It took me a few months to save up to pay for this procedure, and I can't think of anything better to have spent my money on. I'm never going to look back - literally.

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