Thursday, January 19, 2012


For years I have dreamed of having clear vision. I started wearing glasses in first grade and my eyes have steadily worsened since then. When I first brought up the subject of LASIK to my optometrist about 10 years ago, he said that the technology was still not to the place where it correct my vision.
Last fall, Chris finally said we could move forward with the surgery. It was such a dream come true! I asked around and finally settled on Cornea Associates of Texas after the recommendation of an optometrist friend of ours. We planned the surgery for over the Christmas Break. I had to wear glasses for two weeks before to make sure that my corneas were not misshapen from contacts at the time of the surgery. I was not at all thrilled about this, but God taught me a major lesson about vanity.
I showed up two days before the surgery for my pre op appointment. They did a number of tests. One of which told them how bad my vision really was. They told me that if you are 20/200, you are considered legally blind. My vision was 20/1200!! We were all very shocked! Everyone was talking about what a dramatic life change this would be for me and I couldn't wait! On one of the last scans they did, the machine showed that I had a thin cornea- possibly too thin to have surgery. To say I was disappointed was a major understatement. I held back tears as they told me there was one last test for them to do at the Dallas office the morning before surgery to see if I was a LASIK candidate. They also told me about a surgery called PRK. It is similar to LASIK, but instead of shaving the cornea under a flap, they would just level off the front of my cornea. Because of the fact that it doesn't use a flap, PRK is often an option for patients with thin corneas. They said it would require a longer recovery time and more discomfort, but that in the end, the results would be the same.
I was extremely nervous when I showed up to the Dallas office the morning of my surgery. At one point my teeth were actually chattering. I was thankful for the many texts and prayers during that time. They did the last scan they needed and we waited for the doctor to get out of surgery to give us the results. We ended up waiting several hours, which only contributed to my anxiety! Finally, we were called back and the doctor told me I was not a candidate for LASIK, but that I could do PRK. I was relieved that something could be done to improve my vision, but pretty nervous about the irregularities involved with recovery. There is a very wide range in how uncomfortable the recovery is and how long it takes to see clearly.
I went in hopeful and the surgery was over in a few short minutes. They put some bandage contacts on my eyes and we loaded up in the car and drove the hour back home. The sunlight was very painful on my eyes, so I rode home with my coat over my head. The next few days involved pain meds, three different drops, Vitamin C pills and steroids. I was unable to keep my eyes open for just a few seconds at a time and had to spend most of my time in the bed.
I was pretty upset that this put me out of commission for most of Christmas. My wonderful husband and family kept the kids busy and excited, I was just sad that I could only hear it all. I snuck into the back of the balcony to listen to the Christmas Eve service and I set up the kids' "Santa" stuff mostly by touch. When Christmas morning came, we opened everything by fire light- anything more than that would make it where I couldn't open my eyes at all!
Thankfully, two days after Christmas, I went to the doctor and they took out the bandage contacts. My vision was still rather blurry and my eyes were incredibly sensitive to touch or light. The doctor said that my corneas were healing all squished up under the contacts and now that they were out, my eyes would smooth out and clear up quickly. She was right! I was seeing much better within just a few days!
When I went back to the doctor three weeks after surgery and was so excited to hear that my vision was now 20/10! What an answer to prayer! I have been so thrilled with my "new eyes." Every morning, I still feel around for my glasses as I am turning my alarm off. I just take that moment to thank God for the blessing of good vision and start my day glasses and contacts free!

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