I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I expect to have a whole new “outlook” on my next spa visit in 2011. In ten days, I’ll be undergoing a laser surgical procedure known as Zyoptix PRK to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism. To say I’m nervous and apprehensive about this elective procedure is an understatement. I’ve done my homework, have attended all of my pre-surgical appointments and am taking Vitamin C (to boost my immune system and enhance healing) and prescription eye drops (to boost tear production and aid in healing) as directed by my surgeon. As with any surgery, there are risks and my opthalmologist has done an excellent job preparing me for what to expect. Still, it’s my eyesight and I only get one chance.
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in second grade. I’ve worn contact lenses on and off over the years to varying degrees of success – mostly experiencing poor visual acuity and discomfort. I was able to wear them for some important milestones in my life, like my wedding and my first time waterskiing, but I ditched them years ago and have never looked back. At every annual eye exam, I’d ask my doctor the same questions: Is corrective laser surgery still an option for me? Yes. He’d ask: Are you interested? Me: I’m thinking about it. So when I turned 41, imagine his surprise (and mine) when I continued the annual ritual of asking the questions, and this time when he repeated his usual question, I said “Yes”.
My doctor has warned me that because of my age (ouch!), I’d likely need reading glasses in a few years. My feeling is that if I can wake up just one morning and see without the aid of corrective lenses, it will all be worth it. I’m very nearsighted. Yesterday, I mistook a pile of blankets and throw pillows for my husband. I hadn’t put my glasses back on after a shower and I walked by the family room where I thought I saw my husband sitting on the floor next to our son. It wasn’t until I got much closer that I realized I was seeing things – or more accurately, not seeing things clearly . It will be nothing short of a miracle if I can see without wearing glasses.
So how do I plan to use my newfound visual freedom? My list is lengthy. I’ll ski without worrying that my glasses will fog up the minute I step foot in the lodge. I’ll walk in the rain with only the fear of frizzy hair, no longer worrying that my glasses will become so spotted that I won’t be able to see. This summer, I’ll waterski again after many years on hiatus. I’ll snorkel on my next ocean vacation without needing someone to lead me along, without fear of getting separated and not being able to find my way back to shore. Swimming will be an absolute pleasure. I’ll fold into ragdoll pose in yoga class without my glasses flopping onto my forehead. But the thing I’m most excited about doing without glasses? Visiting a spa!
No longer will I have to worry that my glasses will be in the therapists way when I set them down in a safe place in the treatment room. As I move from the treatment table to the in-room shower and back to the treatment table – how wonderful it will be to be able to see where I’m going. As I enter the infused steamroom, no more propping my glasses up on my head and crossing my fingers that I’m not going to stumble into another patron in the thick steam.
With the procedure comes slow healing and the possibility of frustration as visual acuity may improve and decline during several months of stabilization. In the week following surgery, driving, reading, and working on my laptop will be limited if not impossible. It’s tough news for an internet junkie and writer to absorb. But I think it will be worth it.
Follow along with me on my journey. I’ll update this blog when I’m able to following my surgery. If you’re the kind of person who prays, say a prayer for me for a successful, safe procedure and quick healing. If you don’t pray, send positive thoughts into the universe. But more importantly, I’ll SEE you at the spa in 2011 – hopefully more clearly than I ever have!