I can see fuzzily now

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Lasik recently, because my eye doctor has reminded me every time I’ve been in there in the last three years that I’m a good candidate for it, and also my sister-in-law had it done. I’ve always been scared about the procedure itself, and never more so than listening to my sister-in-law describe the suction cups that attach to your eyeballs to steady them. I’m also still skeptical about Lasik’s durability, because I don’t think there have been enough long-term studies of it yet. If I’m going to have to go back to glasses or contacts in fifteen or twenty years anyway, why bother with the expense and terror of Lasik now? And, of course, there’s also the fact that I had five eye surgeries before the age of three, so I feel in some sense that my eyes have been screwed with enough by ophthalmologists. That is, in fact, my official rebuttal when the eye doctor suggests Lasik each time, and he always seems chastened by that answer.

The truth is, though, that I like my fuzzy vision. As I’ve given this some thought over the last few months in particular, I’ve had this little epiphany. One of the things that people who get Lasik done always marvel about is that they wake up in the morning and everything is already instantly clear. For the first time, they don’t have to go put on contacts or glasses to read the paper, make the coffee, and so on.

But I’ve come to the realization that I enjoy my ability to slip into a hazy, unclear world. When I first got glasses, in elementary school, the eye doctor suggested that I not wear them all the time, so I wouldn’t become dependent on them (which is apparently a myth; see #14). At first, I wore them only for portions of the school day, but eventually decided I needed them for sports (well, tee-ball). Gradually, I began wearing them almost all the time.

Except even through high school, I didn’t wear them when I first woke up, and I’d often take them off well before I went to bed. Even now, when my vision is just this side of legally blind without corrective lenses, I don’t need them for walking around the house. Sure, I’d never try to drive without them, but I can get up and take a shower, brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and all of that without needing my contacts. I can even surf the Internet or read a book without them, if I bring it all within about three feet of my face. It’s not like I might mistake Dan for one of the cats because I don’t have my contacts in.

And what I’ve realized is that I would really miss the ability to walk around in a blurry world. I think it would be jarring for everything to be perfect and crisp all the time. I’d have no way to lazily wake up or dreamily get to sleep; everything would be stark and sharp at all times, with no escape into a softer, more forgiving world. I value that escape; hence, no Lasik in my foreseeable future.

One Response to “I can see fuzzily now”

  1. Jonathan Weitz
    October 25th, 2007 10:09

    Congrats on getting lasik! I got it a few years ago and it was a great decision … unfortunately now I may need reading glasses at 35, but it’s worth it ;)

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