One of my favorite quotes is by French novelist Marcel Proust, “The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” Certainly when Proust made this insightful statement he didn’t have in mind the content of this blog! 🙂
Back in the spring, while we were still in Papua New Guinea on our tiny little island, my sister Debi emailed me saying that she and her husband Russell wanted to pay for me to get LASIK eye surgery! I was thrilled and couldn’t believe how generous they could be in paying for this expensive, yet actually priceless surgery. My sister & her husband are awesome, in case you were wondering.
I’ve been wearing glasses or contacts since I was twelve. For the first few years I wore glasses, then eventually traded them in for contacts in high school and then college. A couple of years ago I went back to glasses again. Whether you wear glasses or contacts, poor eye sight is not only inconvenient but can be debilitating in certain circumstances. I was virtually handicapped without my glasses.
This can create problems while working in a foreign country, especially one like Papua New Guinea where the idea of replacing your glasses or renewing your contact prescription can be problematic. I have already lost one of my two pairs of glasses just from them being loose and falling off while driving in the back of a truck!
Needless to say, this was a huge provision from the Lord.
Before we arrived in Oregon from Michigan, I was instructed to begin regularly lubricating my eyes with preservative-free, single-use eye drops. We arrived in Oregon the day before my scheduled preliminary appointment where I would have all kinds of eye tests done to ensure that I was a good candidate. With no major eye problems in the past, apart from my poor eyesight in general, we didn’t think there would be a problem, and it turns out we were right. Also- it was cool because the doctor was a believer and his office gives missionaries half off the regular price!
Surgery was scheduled for the next day, which was yesterday. I showed up, signed some papers, and went over the after-care instructions. Next I was given a Vicodin and a Valium, then it was off to a general exam room for a quick check on my eyes. While I sat in this room and waited for the doctor to give me some eye numbing drops and escort me to surgery, the Valium kicked in and I started to feel pretty good. 🙂
The surgery itself went by very fast. I must have been in there for only fifteen minutes or so, most of which was prep, with only a few minutes of actual LASIK surgery. One cool thing is that since the doctor is a believer, he always asks his patients if he can pray with them before surgery! What a great testimony for Christ!
The way they do the surgery is pretty interesting. They used something to clamp my eyes open and then used a laser to cut a thin flap into my cornea. I didn’t feel a thing, I guess because of the numbing drops. Next, the doctor pulls back the corneal flap and then uses another laser to work on my cornea. I’m not sure exactly how it all works, but suffice to say it was weird. I honestly didn’t feel a thing. From my perspective all I had to do was look at a blinking light, and the whole thing was over in a matter of minutes.
They gave me some sunglass-goggle things to wear, a Tylenol PM to take right then and a Tylenol PM to take home with instructions to sleep when I got home for three to four hours. This was no problem thanks to the range of drugs. 🙂
When I got up from the mid-afternoon drug induced coma I felt pretty groggy and everything seemed really bright. I kept the sunglass-goggle things on for the rest of the day, but I wasn’t in any pain at all. I could tell things looked a bit hazy, but it was clear already that my vision was phenomenal!
Today I had a post-op check up, and they informed me that my eyes are now 20/15! They didn’t have to tell me that, though, since I could tell my sight was basically… perfect. There is a slight haze in my right eye still, which is totally normal, but other than that, things are AMAZING!
Its crazy to think that this is even possible. I am so thankful for this gift of sight from my sister and her husband; this provision from the Lord, in His grace & mercy. I am excited to see with new eyes.