I got glasses in Grade 3. The first ones were a cute little blue-framed pair. Then I guess I developed some “go big or go home” attitude, and ended up with what could very kindly be referred to as an “oversized” pair of black-rimmed beauties for several years.
By Grade 8, I was desperate to get contact lenses, and with my parents’ support, I went ahead. The only snag: the optometrist wouldn’t let me take them home until I demonstrated – in front of him – the ability to insert and remove them independently. Yeah, that was a problem.
Fortunately my uncle was engaged to a wonderful lady who was willing to help me out with this task (since my parents were too squeamish!) and actually allowed me to practice with her contacts…and her eyes! A bit above and beyond the call of duty of a soon-to-be-aunt, but it worked, and I ditched the glasses soon after. (Thanks, Aunt Lise!)
When I say ditched them, I can’t use the term “literally” as of course I did not throw them into a ditch, but close enough. I don’t believe I was ever seen in glasses at high school, university or teacher’s college, and last year (my 13th year teaching) I wore them one day for the FIRST TIME. Sure, vanity plays a huge role. I don’t like the way I look (note that I said “I”, tons of people look amazing) in glasses. But there’s something about wearing them that makes me feel…underdressed. If that makes sense. Because glasses have always been my ready-for-bed or just-got-up reality, and I don’t feel polished and presentable with them on…kinda like being in pj’s. And since the 90’s jumbo-size pair is long-gone and a smaller, more stylish Coach version currently in its place, I also feel like I’m only seeing a small piece of the world, as my peripheral (and above, and below) vision is blurry while wearing glasses. (I’m pretty blind without a prescription.) Plus, there are all of the other glass-wearer issues – rain, fogging up indoors, what to do during vigorous sporting activities…of course that one’s a joke.
The world of contacts and their related paraphernalia has been my reality for 23 years now (quick, do the math) and I don’t really complain about it too much. In the past, people have suggested laser eye surgery, but I didn’t want to lay out that kind of payment for something that I didn’t think I desperately needed. However, a few years ago our benefits changed, and I’m now eligible to have the surgery covered.
My mom had it done a few years ago, and my brother and his wife just this year…and they all rave about it, and the freedom from contacts, glasses and their accessories. I have to admit, I can’t imagine traveling without having to pack those things up, and when I go away for more than a night I even try to remember a spare pair of contacts, because heaven forbid I need to put on my glasses while out and about on vacation!
A couple of weekends ago over dinner, my family finally convinced me, and I went on the LasikMD website to book a free consultation. They have an office located in Whitby for pre-surgery consults, and I was able to make an appointment for the following Saturday.
The whole thing took almost two hours, because they had to dilate my pupils to get the full picture, but the bottom line was that I am a candidate (I have to go with the “Advanced Custom Wavefront” procedure – where less corneal tissue is removed – since my prescription is too high to go the “standard” route). I thought it was a bit convenient that they asked about my benefits coverage in advance, and the total ended up being pretty much right on the amount I’m covered for, but I guess what do I care, as long as it’s paid for? My package also includes a lifetime vision enhancement plan, so that I can get free “touchups” if anything should change with my prescription in the future.
I booked my surgery before even leaving the office (I went with the North York clinic, since it’s the closest), choosing a Friday to limit the time I’ll need to be off work (I should be more than ready to get back at it on Monday).
My particular surgeon has performed over 30,000 procedures, plus he’s had LASIK himself, so I figure it’s pretty safe to call him an “expert”, which is comforting.
The fact that they asked me to remove my contacts a week before the surgery just may be my biggest challenge, but I will forego my vanity for seven days, as I think the results will be more than worth it.
I can’t even imagine being able to see the alarm clock without picking it up and bringing it to my nose! Think about the seconds of sleep saved! As well as the additional perk of less clutter in my dresser drawer – lens cases, glass cleaning solution, etc,
Anyway, wish me luck! I’d love to hear about anyone’s experiences with Laser Eye surgery (well, maybe not any one -in-a-million scare stories) and any tips you might have for the day of or afterwards. I’ll be sure to update you after the big day!