Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I can still remember back in 7th grade when I got my first pair of glasses. Ugh.
It was awful.
They were awful.
Red hair and freckles, skinny and knobby kneed, I was a fright to begin with, and the addition of those little brownish-gray glasses was just the icing on my cake.
And then 33 years ago I got my first pair of contact lenses and it felt like tiny razor blades were cutting my eyes everytime I blinked, but I hung in there for vanity's sake. Sure enough, we can get used to anything because within weeks I didn't even know I was wearing them. Ah, the good life. And so it went until 2008.
Last year I was plagued with allergies and eye infections, forcing me to wear those Coke bottle thick glasses... and adding insult to injury, they were bifocals! So in August when I went to Duke and found out I was a candidate for the new IntraLase surgery, done completely by laser, I made my appointment. $5100 out-of-pocket, but no more contacts and no more bifocals. Right? Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

My surgery was last Thursday and courtesy of the Valium, I slept all day and all night, wearing my goggles as directed. On Friday morning I could see the clock. It was a miracle. And the miracle lasted until we got in the car. I couldn't read the speed limit signs or the street signs. Couldn't even read the license plate on the car in front of us. Panic set in.

So when Marie, the sweetest gal you'll ever meet, had me cover my left eye and read the eye chart on the wall with my right eye, I was speechless. I could read at 20/20!! As we live and breathe, it was just too exciting for words. But when I covered the right eye and was supposed to read with my left, the good turned into the bad. There were no letters, no lines of letters, not even an eye chart to be found. She consults my chart and tells me I've been corrected with monovision. So she puts a tiny eye chart in my hand and asks me to read it. Miracle of miracles, I could read the 20/10 line!!!! With my left eye!!!! I've never been able to read even the 20/30 line with glasses or contacts, so this was truly amazing.
But what about those signs I can't read in traffic!! Correcting me to 20/200 was not what I agreed to back in August. They assure me that my vision will continue to fluctuate and improve over the next 6 months.
Uh huh.
And that my brain will learn to deal with the new messages my eyes are sending it.
Uh huh.
And I'm to be patient.
Uh huh.
Have these people ever met me? There's not a person on this earth who truly knows me that believes I have patience. My mother has no patience, and I have even less than my mother!!

So be warned. If I'm reading, working on the computer, or working on my art, I can see better than I would ever have imagined. The TV screen is okay on the other side of the room unless I'm trying to find a program on the Guide screen of my satellite provider. That requires me to walk up close to the screen, muttering aloud as I take each step. But if you see me behind the wheel of my car, AVOID ME AT ALL COSTS!!!! Chances are I'm in my soon-to-clear fog and I'm concentrating on the painted lines and the distance to the bumper in front of me. I'm not being rude if I don't wave at you; I simply don't see you.
So what's with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly title today?
I've had my surgery and I can see up close and personal.
That's Good!
I'm living for the promise of the day soon to come when I'll be able to see in the distance.
That's The Bad!
And until I get the okay from Duke, I'm not allowed to wear moisturizer or make up. (Now that I can see myself in the mirror, it's frightening even to me!!) And if you get close enough to have a conversation, I resemble the Bride of Frankenstein because you can see all those little red spots circling around the whites of my eyes where the laser worked it's magic.
That's The Ugly!!!!

So you've been warned. Love me... but from a distance... until further notice.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you'll find improvement each day. (I was about to write "SEE improvement........" but realize you can't see roadsigns yet, let alone "improvement"! In the meantime, I'm staying off the roads.



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