(**NOTE: This is a chronicle of my experience getting the LASIK Eye Surgery in hopes of giving anyone who is on the fence about considering this procedure some insight. Although, some of my experience was a little comedic based on this blog, there were definitely some serious moments that happened. I had the procedure done four months ago and I decided to break this enlightening experience up into a three-part miniseries as opposed to telling it in one supernaturally boring blog. Here is Part 1 of The 20/25 Experience.)
Back in January, I made a decision that ultimately changed everything on how I “viewed” life. I was sick and tired of wearing glasses. It got to the point where I fell asleep with my glasses on my face and they were making an impression on the bridge of my nose and an indentation on the back of my ears. My glasses were essential, they were my crutch, they were my security blanket, they were a part of me because those who know me, equate me with wearing them. I honestly was blind as TWO bats without them. When a couple of friends told me about the ever-evolving procedure of LASIK Eye Surgery, I put it out of my mind and said to myself, (1) with my bad vision and slight stigmatism, I’m never going to be a candidate for this procedure and (2) how in all GET-UP and “A Raisin in The Sun” am I going to pay for this risky surgery for my eyes. In some alternate universe, the stars and the vision gods aligned for me at my consultation and surprise, I found out I was a candidate. As an added bonus, not only was the surgery affordable, but also the place where I work would cover my LASIK through a flexible spending plan. There was a twinge of happiness and then came the “Holy shit, what am I doing?” realization. With much poking and prodding from a dear friend who told me, “Knee Grow, will you take yo’ ass to that doctor and get it done?”, I put my big boy pants on, got the approval for my flexible spending and scheduled my appointment.
When D-Day came, I had an emotional talk with my old specs and I said to them, “You and I have been having this crazy love/hate relationship for more than 33 years. I think it’s time that we break up. It’s not you, it’s me! It’s going to be hard not having you in my life for a while. I don’t know how to quit you, but I have to.” Well, maybe I didn’t say that last sentence, but the conversation went a little something like that. 33 years is a long time viewing life through a set of lenses that kept getting thicker and thicker with each eye exam I had over the years. My coke bottles were my signature – they were at the bridge of my nose when I wanted to let someone know that “You done f’ed up!” and I thought how I was going to replicate that look again?
Guess I had better start working on my side eye.
As my crazy friend came to pick me up, we literally had to laugh it out and discuss other things to get my mind off of the surgery. I get to the doctor’s office and indeed there is an assembly line of people waiting to be either seen for surgery, going for follow-ups or consultations. I fill the lengthy amount of paperwork out and sign my life away saying that the doctor is not responsible for any possibility of going blind or maybe even death. Of course, I gasped at that thought and gave the glasses on the bridge of my nose look one last time, but the staff at the eye clinic assured me that everything was going to be alright.
As I wait ever-so-patiently perusing through my social media, I get antsy, nervous and part of me wanted to scream and say, “Forget this — I’m out of here! I don’t want to do this! I was just kidding.” But, since when did I ever back down from any life-altering decisions. Because the doctor was running behind, I get a brief reprieve and my appointment gets pushed back. At this point, I literally leave the clinic to go grab a snack. After sharing a few laughs over a dry turkey sandwich and some stories with my crazy friend (who had the surgery herself and turned out just fine) over some of the crazy names of all the places in Koreatown, we make our way back to the clinic.
I get ready to set my fears aside, wear my surgical cap that makes me look like I’m going to fry chicken in the high school lunch assembly line and get ready for surgery.
When the doctor calls my name, I slowly take off the crutch that has imprinted my face for many years and set them down by my hat and walk in the room. The anxiety level intensified as I inched my way to lay on the table. As I leaned back, the doctor proceeded to strap my head to the table so that there will be minimal movement. I am panicking on the inside and once the clamp that holds my left eye open gets inserted, at that moment, there was no turning back. The doctor proceeds to talk to me throughout the surgery the entire procedure step-by-step so that my fears are assuaged. “Now, listen to the sound of my voice and everything will be alright,” says the doctor. As my first set of numbing drops go into my right eye, shortly thereafter, there are sounds of metal clicking together which I assumed was the laser mechanism. “Look straight at the dot, please……”
To be continued.