I Can See Without Glasses or Contacts for the First Time in 30 Years. Yup, 30.

And it is very cool. I started wearing glasses when I was nine, and it felt like a miracle at the time. I never knew that you could see individual leaves on a tree; or see what merchandise was across a department store; or read signs on a wall; or see the words crisply on a blackboard. Yup, I loved my glasses.

By the time high school arrived, I really wanted contacts. It was definitely about vanity, and fitting in. Grade nine is like that and you all know it. At the time, there were not the seriously funky frames available that there are now, and so I begged and pleaded for contacts. My eye doctor gave the OK, and my Mom very kindly agreed (Hi Mom!).

I never looked back.

I wore contacts almost exclusively for years, only taking them out once I was home for the evening. Even when I had small kids and life was busy, I just felt better without glasses sitting on my nose, but it was not meant to last. After hitting my mid-thirties, and after having two kids, my eyes said Enough! Minutes after putting in contacts, my eyes would turn dark red bloodshot. I tried everything with the help of my eye doctor, including different cleaning solutions, and daily disposables, but nothing helped. I had to revert back to glasses and forget about contacts completely.

I picked out good frames, and changed them every two years. After all, if you are wearing something prominently on your face every day, you don’t want it to be the same year after year. I was always aware that I was wearing glasses though. Having a conversation with someone, I would be constantly adjusting them and pushing them up on my nose, always aware of them. In one eye I had a really strong prescription (-8.5) which meant paying a fortune for a thin lens, and even so, it was still thick and heavy, adding to my discomfort.

Running and biking and yoga were annoying; hot yoga, and swimming particularly so.

I had been hesitant about eye surgery for a long time. It was my eyes after all, and what if something went wrong? It was the long-term that really worried me. I wasn’t really seeking out information about laser eye surgery, but even so, I started hearing about more and more people who had had the surgery 5,8 and even 10 years ago. Everyone was happy. More than happy. More like it was the best thing they had ever done happy.

Tony and I started looking into it very seriously. He was even more interested in it than I was. The techniques had just gotten better and better over the years too. We went for our consultations, and even though it felt very much like buying a product rather than using the health care system, we felt confident in the actual medical care we would get. We booked our surgery dates.

Things moved along quickly. There is no wait in private health care when you are prepared to hand over whole load of cash. It made my stomach not feel good to be honest.

Tony’s surgery date was first, with mine following a week after. He is tough; not at all one of those men who moan and complain when sick. If he is so sick that he cannot carry on as normal, I have learned it is time to take him to the hospital. He had his surgery on a Friday morning, and we walked down to the end of the street for dinner that same evening. The next day he did the groceries by himself. I warned him that I was not so tough, and that the following weekend, I would be resting and milking it; be warned.

Tony was beyond thrilled. He was practically giddy he was so happy afterwards. It was great for me to see how happy he was. I felt good about my decision.

My turn came, and I was nervous. They gave me a little white pill to relax me, but I didn’t really feel any different, though perhaps I would have been much more nervous without it. How would you know?

The procedure itself was not pleasant, but it only took a total of ten minutes for each eye. There was no pain, just discomfort. There was a serious squeamish factor for me because you can see what is happening. I almost panicked on the first eye at one point, but I just added in some yoga breathing and was able to calm myself down. I wondered if anyone ever shouts out to stop and that they don’t want to go through with it after all?

It was all over very quickly. I could get up and walk myself over to the recovery area. I could already see well, even though there was a bit of a fog in the room. My eyes felt like they had old contacts in them, but that was it for discomfort. It didn’t hurt at all.

After sitting for half an hour, then a check by the doctor, I was able to go home. I could see to walk to the car. It was amazing. The close up vision came a little more slowly. I wasn’t able to read for the rest of that day, and I could barely make out the words on my computer…just well enough to update my Facebook and Twitter statuses. I was sleepy, and napped a lot. I even got to wear these very sexy goggles that were taped to my head while sleeping. Yeah.

Now, a few hours shy of 48 hours afterwards, I can see really well. I can read a book, and I can type a blog post. I went out to do some errands yesterday with my family, and I am cleared for driving. I am putting in a lot of eye drops, but today I feel zero discomfort, as long as I keep adding the lubricating drops.

My only problem is that my left eye is still very bloodshot. And I can’t wear any eye make-up for a week. Does anyone else feel naked without eyeliner and mascara? So, I will look like crap at work tomorrow, but that is just vanity which I can swallow.

I cannot wait until I go for a run or a swim. This is going to be great.

About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
This entry was posted in laser eye surgery. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to I Can See Without Glasses or Contacts for the First Time in 30 Years. Yup, 30.

  1. Colette says:

    I still remember getting my first pair of glasses and noticing that things had edges.

    I'm glad your surgery went so well. I have to admit it scares me – but also, my eyesight is good enough that I can see reasonably well without glasses, so it's not a priority for me.

  2. I've been wanting to do this as well but always worry about playing with my eyes. I didn't realize you'd be able to see the operation! I personally would want to be asleep for it!

  3. Lara says:

    I'm definitely going to do it when we can find the money for it. Everyone raves about how amazing it is. Yay to seeing without glasses or contacts!

  4. Raine says:

    Same thing happened to me – I always wore contacts and then it just happened – they started to bug my eyes and I've been stuck with 4 eyes for years now. I've been considering laser surgery for a while now but it scares me too. Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you tell us which company you went with?

  5. XUP says:

    Sometimes modern medicine is truly miraculous. I've never heard anything bad from people who've had the surgery and I can totally see why you'd want it. I only need glasses for reading and find that annoying enough. I can't imagine having to wear them all the time or not being able to see.

  6. Finola says:

    Colette, I would be the same as you and I wouldn't have done it if I could get by without my glasses.

    Challenges, It is a bit unpleasant, but it's over so quickly. But still, it is a very personal decision.

    Lara, Yay! Although you look so great in your glasses…

    Raine, I went to Focus Eye Centre and was very happy. I heard really good things about the Ottawa Eye Institute as well.

    Xup, Reading glasses will be in the near future for me too, I'm betting. But I still won't mind them nearly as much as wearing glasses all day long.

  7. Freedom! I can totally relate and I'm a little jealous since I didn't “qualify” for eye surgery and HATE my dry eyes and thick coke bottle glasses. Good for you for being brave enough to have the surgery.

  8. John D. says:

    So, -were- you near-sighted or far-sighted?

  9. Finola says:

    MM, If you are really interested in surgery then you can keep checking to see if you are a candidate. I didn't used to be but with the new methods I was now. Totally not trying to push it on anyone though!!

    John, I was near-sighted and I had to wear my glasses all the time – blind without them.

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