Friday, April 3, 2009

20/20 Sight

Last June, I decided to get LASIK correction for my eyes. I was legally blind, I have no children and my thoughts wandered to how life could be when I'm 90. Now my sight was certainly correctable with glasses and contacts and we'd been going that route since 4th grade. There's no reason at 90 I could not also. But I also know, my world was typically as big as I could see. If my mind could not remember where the glasses are or could not remember more than 10 seconds what I was looking for, I likely would sit in my little world for hours waiting for what I don't remember. I can remember my Grandmother being robbed of loose change and jewelry in her room is assisted living. If I can't even see well enough to recognize who was coming in the room....

So, I decided LASIK was a gift to myself. There were benefits now, but for that woman who easily could be alone. There's much I may not be able to do, but I at least could give her distance sight.

Surgery went well last June. No infections, no major scarring. But I didn't quite get what I wanted. I went from a -6 (or 200/400) to a -1 (or 20/70). That's a marvelous feat by itself, but one cannot legally drive in the US with that sight. After no change for 3 months I was told by the doctor (as I'm being told by many doctor's these days) that my cornea was just not as resilient as most people who undergo the surgery. My retort was - as the 20 something year olds who normally do this surgery! Yes, yes, yes this is "normal for a woman of my age"! I'm getting tired of that response! Fortunately they said they could fix it, but I needed to wait 3 months.

So January comes and I go to the pre-op exam. There no problem, but it might be best to only do the right eye. Then you can avoid reading glasses longer.....yada yada yada. I can't make him hear that I don't care about the reading glasses bit - it's the 90 year old that I'm doing this for. There are some low risks going back to surgery, so I agree to only the right eye so we can watch how I respond. "You're not getting any younger" - love that one also!

20/15 easily came in that right eye and we watched until March to see how it healed. No problem, so I pushed to get the left eye done. We did that yesterday and as of today we are 20/25. That will change up and down while I heal over the next month, but it's amazing to behold. Despite what I've gone through, I'll never regret this. Now what was it that I was looking for.....


Life Looms Large said...

That's great that your vision has improved so much and that you persevered to get the result that you wanted!!!!!

I wonder what unexpectedly delightful things seeing with new eyes will reveal to you!

Good job for sticking to your guns!!


Valerie said...

Congratulations on the better correction!

BTW...even if you had children, you'd still need to "keep an eye on them" when you're 90.

Jennifer said...

This actually was a big step to persevere. There were many questions inside and out along the way. I was able to fight and say "I'm worth this!"

Yes - so now my world is bigger - even with contacts I could not see this well! It will be interesting what influence this has. It's just great to see the clock in the middle of the night!


KaiteM. said...

oh Jenn, a whole new life awaits both you and the 90yo in the future. What a wonderful story, thankyou for sharing it and how brave you have been.
I also sometimes wonder how it will be when i'm a 90yo without children. K.

Theresa said...

Congrats on the improved vision. As one also with no children I can really relate to these decisions and the impact they make on us later in life.

Jennifer said...


I think they'll be lot of us at 90 wothout children, but I've been shown more than once that children won't always turn out as expected. In any case, there's not telling who we'll be then! All I know is I'm trying to get all that I can in now like the harp and weaving. Then I can look back without regrets! Maybe then I'll just be traveling!


Jennifer said...

Theresa, We never know, do we? I'm just glad of what I can do now. It's amazing to consider how the body can heal to do this. At the grocery store tonight I kept reading things from across the store for my husband. It's phenominal to consider what our bodies can do. There's no telling what will be around for us when we're 90!

Diane Horowitz said...

I for one, understand your feelings. I too, was legally blind without correction. I can remember times when I had to call my husband or children to search for my glasses when they weren't on my night table when I awoke in the morning. My vision was corrected when I had cataract surgery in my late 50's. Although my current vision isn't perfectly corrected, I can now wake up in the morning and recognize objects across the room. Amazing isn't it!!!!

Jennifer said...


It is absolutely amazing - I can't imagine what people went through to get us to this point, but I am thankful!