I had my LASIK about a month before I went on a trip to Europe. I can't tell you how fabulous it was to travel and see without all the hassle of glasses. People seemed to respond differently to the new me, but I'm sure my positive attitude had a lot to do with it.
The surgery took place on September 4, 1998. Even though Ruth and Dr. Wallace had prepared me well, I was nervous because to me it was still unknown, and I feared that somehow my surgery would fail and I might be blind. Typically, I pretended to be in total control. I asked questions like, ""What if I sneeze during the surgery?,"" ""How long before I can play tennis?,"" and finally, ""What, would you say, is the percentage of people who have had horrible things happen?""
Dr. Wallace came in. He was so calm and reassuring; he put me right at ease. After a few minutes, they were ready for me. I entered the laser room. It all seemed like a circus because I was really nervous. I had seen the video, so I had an idea of what it was going to be like, but my fears were filling my head. I remember sitting down in a chair and being handed, of all things, a cuddly little teddy bear. I made some silly comment about it, but that little bear quickly became my best friend. The chair reclined and from then on everything was like a kaleidoscopic blur. I remember having a patch put over one eye while the other was worked on; I remember a red light I was supposed to stare at; I remember Dr. Wallace's voice being very calm; I remember saying out loud what I was experiencing, which actually helped me because it took my attention off my fears. The whole thing actually became kind of fascinating. I remember feeling a firm pressure around my eye when they were making the flap. I remember anticipating pain, but feeling none. I remember hearing one of the assistants counting down the seconds of the laser beam and I marveled at how a few seconds could accomplish so much. Before I knew it, I was sitting up and actually was able to see the eye chart on the wall.
I felt good. I felt relieved. I realized how exact the procedure was. I looked in the mirror and giggled because I really looked like an alien with the shields taped in place. My eyes watered a bit the next few hours and they felt tired, but I felt no pain. I napped on the way home and then took it easy the rest of the day. I applied the prescribed eyedrops and slept pretty well that night.
The next morning, it was amazing how clear everything was. I could see the leaves on the tree outside my room; I could see my face in the mirror from my bed; I could see my television from my bed -- all without glasses; and I could still read the newspaper --without glasses! That was the one thing that was important to me, because before the surgery, I was able to read perfectly without glasses, and I was told that if the vision in both eyes was perfectly corrected, I would need reading glasses. I hated that idea, so Dr. Wallace suggested I under-correct one eye to give me the ability to read. What I have found is I can comfortably read the newspaper, magazines, and most books in the daytime or when there is good light at night. Very fine print or dim light requires that I put on a pair of reading glasses, but that is so seldom, it really doesn't bother me. My distance vision is very good. In general, I don't think about glasses anymore. The only glasses I wear now are sunglasses and that's it! I can't tel1 you how free this allows me to feel. By the way, my tennis game is better than ever!
Thank you Dr. Wallace and staff for a job well done!