Little 4 Eyes
Most people don’t realize this, but even though I am an artist and designer, I have struggled with poor vision all my life. As a little kid I was constantly yelled at by my parents for sitting too close to the TV. I got my first glasses in 2nd grade, when my teacher realized I couldn’t see the text on the chalkboard. But by this point I had already been put into the “slow” reading track because if it. I was the only kid in my elementary school class with glasses and all the boys teased me and called my “four eyes”. I was so self-conscious about it that I convinced my parents to let me get contacts when I was 12. I have worn contacts ever since, except for a few years in my 20’s where I wore diamond-shaped eyeglasses. After that I went back to wearing contacts until 2011 when I came down with Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC). The allergic condition basically makes the inside of your eye sockets really bumpy and painfully irritated. After I recovered from GPC my eyes were so sensitive and I couldn’t really wear contacts anymore. So for the last two years I have been wearing eyeglasses again, but I have been pretty bummed out about it. You might not realize I wear glasses from reading my blog, but that is because I usually take off my glasses before I let anyone photograph me!
How Bad is My Vision?
- My eyesight is -6.00 and -6.50.
- When I am in the shower and I drop my razor it just completely disappears.
- If I am sitting across a table from someone I can’t see any of their features. Their mouth, eyes, nose, everything disappears. They look like a giant thumb print.
- When I take off my glasses I can’t read ANY of the text on this computer screen (not even close).
- There is no way I could drive my car without my glasses. I wouldn’t even be able to find my keys (or my car!).
- I am very grateful that I wasn’t born in the 99.999999999% of human history pre-vision correction. I think I would have been pretty useless in the ancient world.
Thoughts of vision correction surgery started dancing in my head about 8 years. Friends were starting to get it done and raving about it. I liked the idea of it, but it wasn’t super urgent because I was still comfortably wearing contacts. Also, LASIK seemed kind of bleeding edge at the time and I thought it would be better to wait until the technology was better. Plus it seemed kind of expensive for someone recently out of grad school. But as my eyes have gotten worse and I lost my ability to wear contact lenses LASIK has become something I daydream about frequently. It’s gotten to the point that it is kind of dangerous for me to take a shower, or swim or go to the spa because I really can’t see what is happening right around me.
Luckily, I found out last week that I am a good candidate for eye surgery. I was actually given two choices: LASIK and ICL. ICL is a procedure where they insert a hard contact lens inside your eyeball. I researched the pros and cons of both options, and in the end I choose LASIK.
I am getting mono-vision LASIK which means that my dominate eye (left) will be adjusted for distance and my right for reading. For some reason women seem to tolerate mono-vision well but men have a harder time with it. Having mono-vision should delay my needing reading glasses for 10+ years. I did contact lens trials mocking up what the mono-vision would look like and I felt comfortable with it. I spent a lot of time thinking about it — it is a big decision, kind of like choosing an Instagram filter to see out of for the rest of your life.
I am getting LASIK surgery done in 16 hours. I don’t know if it will be as dramatic as when Dorothy wakes up in OZ and everything is suddenly in Technicolor, but I am really excited to see what my new world will look like!