I Can See Clearly Now

22 July 2005
5:06 PM

This morning I rolled over, read my alarm clock clearly, and didn't feel guilty at all. Guilt and my alarm clock normally doesn't have anything to do with the time I'm getting up—it's being able to read the clock clearly. When I can read it, that means I was too lazy or forgetful to take out my contacts the night before, which is bad for the eyes. In fact, I've scratched my cornea twice by sleeping in my contacts. Ouch. But this morning, I woke up and read the clock clearly because I have 20/20 vision.

Yesterday lasik.jpgmorning I went to the Mount Ogden Eye Center for my LASIK eye surgery. From start to finish, it took less than 15 minutes. Dr. Baliff cut a small flap on the surface of my eye and peeled it back. Then I had to stare at a pulsing orange light for 30 seconds. During that time, an eximer laser fired, vaporizing tissue in my eye to improve the refractive properties. Here you can see the laser focusing on my eye. I think it looks like an F-16 is about to fire a missile into my iris. To finish, Dr. Baliff replaced the flap, smoothed it out, and repeated the procedure with my other eye.

The post-operative recovery time is pretty minimal. I had to use steroid eye drops hourly yesterday (or more accurately, get my sister Erin to put them in for me). Now I have to use steroid drops and antibiotic drops four times daily for the next five days and artificial tears whenever my eyes are dry. I haven't felt any pain, especially compared to tonsillectomy a few months ago.

Since I was in fourth grade, I have been wearing glasses and contacts. I was at the point where, without my glasses, I couldn't read a newspaper unless it was 5 inches from my face. Yesterday my vision was roughly 20/500 in my right eye and worse than 20/800 in my left eye. Time will tell how well the corrections work, but right now I'm convinced that the LASIK procedure is just one step removed from magic.