I was not born with the eyes of a great horned owl. Since I could see well enough to catch a basketball or volleyball, I didn’t feel it necessary to inform my parents that I could not see the blackboard in my class regardless of my seat location. My fourth grade teacher detected as much in the first week of school and off I went to the eye doctor. Suspicions confirmed, I needed eyeglasses.
I remember using arduous care in selecting my first pair. I thought they were Fonzie cool but in reality, they were basically identical to the windshield eyewear worn by Sally Jesse Raphael. And against my initial (and better) instincts, my Father talked me into getting the type of glasses that would automatically tint as soon as you were exposed to sun. Awesome? Not so much. I h-a-t-e-d them. And I don’t know how my neck could host them AND all that giant hair. Need I say I “accidentally” lost them at the movies? But not before I wore them for several years.
I finally got contact lenses in 9th grade. After literally ripping the delicate plates of plastic nine times in a row on my first attempt to insert, I loved them. I could see! And I wore them for the next twenty years. My eyesight was literally terrible. The eye doctor said visual acuity could not be measured on the standard eye chart and instead, my tests were “Counting Fingers” as to whether or not I could see fingers held up in front of me from a limited distance. This is also known as the "how in the world can you see your way out of bed" test. He gauged my eyesight at about 20/2000.
The first person I know to have LASIK surgery had it done in the early 1990s. I was both intrigued and weary by the description of the process. It would take me until 2007 to read enough information and basically get the nerve up to have it done. And I politely declined the “opportunity” to watch live surgeries take place.
The day of my surgery, I was admittedly nervous. The description of what takes place made my stomach churn. JohnnyMac had the procedure done years before and was a testament to how successful it can be. Still, stomach churned as I waited for my name to be called.
We know the eye surgeon quite well. He could appreciate my nervousness. He was patient and soothing but even then, it does show that humor always helps.
After my left eye was done, in mere minutes, I asked him and his attending staff to let me know exactly when they would put the laser on my right eye. The doctor said sure but one of his assistants asked why. I said I wanted to take a deep breath before they proceeded. The assistant let me know that it was not wise to take and hold my breath because that would not help me relax. “Do you know what else doesn’t help me relax? The smell of burning eye.”
The laughter that ensued at least helped my nerves. And I have perfect vision now. So the short time under the laser was worth every minute.