Monday, July 25, 2005

I've been thinking about having my eyes fixed with lasik for some time now. My eyesight has always been quite bad, and as I've aged it's only gotten worse. I've always been very nearsighted with a lot of astigmatism, too—especially in the left eye. My near vision has always been excellent. It was in fifth grade that I finally discovered that my eyes were not normal and I was thrilled to be able to see well for the first time in my life. I've worn glasses religiously ever since, except for a brief time twenty-five years ago when I wore contacts, but had nothing but trouble with them.

A few years ago, I found that it was necessary to take off my glasses for near work and the last few pairs I've worn have been bi-focal. Unfortunately that only took care of reading and distance. I also had to get a special pair of glasses for computer work. Bi-focals work for reading, but not for other close up work so if I was doing work (like plumbing) in a tight spot I would often take off my glasses since I couldn't get the lower part of the bi-focals in the right place. Finally I'd had enough.

The lasik place suggested mono-vision and to see if I could handle it, they put contact lenses in my eyes, one with the prescription for distance and the other for reading. This wasn't perfect because they didn't correct for the astigmatism, but I was thrilled with how I saw. Even at the computer it worked, since I guess I averaged the two eyes and could still see the screen well enough to work. I was also amazed at how comfortable the contact lenses were. I had almost no problems at all, unlike before. I guess they've come a long way in the last quarter century. I should have stayed with the contacts.

It turns out I am one of the 8% who don't have successful surgery. My left eye, which was supposed to be my reading eye, sees nothing but a blur at any distance. In fact the right eye, the distance eye, sees up close better than the reading eye. Now for distance it's a little better than it used to be, but I've lost the near vision I used to have. So my left eye is worthless. The right eye does see well enough that I can drive—in the daytime—and even watch a little TV, but it's not yet good enough to go without glasses for night driving or serious TV watching. So I had to buy a new pair of bi-focal glasses, since my old ones no longer work, and a new pair of computer glasses. Now if I need to see something up close I can't take off my glasses, because I no longer have uncorrected near vision. What a pain!

The doctor says they can operate again in a few months. Again I have a 94% chance of it working. I worry that since I was in the 8% last time I could be in that 8% this time too. We'll see (pun intended!)

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