May 2009 Archives

I can see clearly now

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So, as mentioned previously, I am undergoing somewhat of a metamorphosis now that I'm turning 40. The navel piercing was two weeks ago, and this week it's the eyes.

I have worn glasses, and later contacts, since I was a teenager. I've never actively hated having to wear glasses, partly because half my family, including my husband, wears glasses, and I work in a college, which means that a significant number of my colleagues are bespectacled.

I have wondered about laser eye surgery for a while now, and decided about a month ago that as long as I was doing all this other stuff to my body, why not take a closer look (NPI) into the procedure. Added motivation included helping a friend choose a pair of truly lovely new frames, which, with her prescription lenses, cost her about $700, and scuba diving - you can get scuba masks with prescription lenses, for $$$, or you can get a regular mask and hope that you never lose a contact lens. They're hard enough to find when you drop one on the bathroom floor. Imagine trying to spot one on the ocean floor, under 45 feet of water.

I went in for my free consultation last week at LASIK MD (I might as well give them the endorsement). They put my eyes through a series of tests, including one that looked like it was inspired by Dr. Evil's time machine (and when I mentioned this the clinician squealed and thanked me, because no one else ever knows what she's blathering about if she mentions it). The end result was that I was an "ideal" candidate for LASIK (it's the name of the procedure as well as the company).

So yesterday morning, I went in for my final pre-op check, got the all clear (again, NPI) and had my zyoptix LASIK surgery at the hands of the lovely and talented Dr. Dagher (unlike Kit Marlowe, this was a welcome Dagher in the eye).

This morning, I went for my one-day post-op check-up and hyphen extravaganza- right now I have 20/20 vision and it can only get better as my eyes continue to heal.

My only regret is that I didn't do this ten years and several pairs of glasses and contacts ago.

The procedure itself took about two minutes. I was concerned that I'd freak out watching a laser beam headed for my eye, but in fact it looks a lot like those red dots you have to stare at when you're getting your eyes tested. It didn't hurt, or sting or anything. There was some noise, but as someone who hates the dentist cacaphony, this was nothing.

I dozed for most yesterday afternoon, listening to a book I had pre-loaded onto my MP3 player (no books or computers for 24 hours). Heidi thought it was the best day ever, and is a little disappointed to discover today that I haven't been converted to the cat way of life. I administered three different kinds of eye drops every couple of hours - that continues, every 5-6 hours now, for the rest of this week, then I'm free to ditch the meds and just continue with artificial tears as needed.

So far, my eyes are still great. I was worried that I'd feel like I had a pair of old contacts or bad allergies, since those are apparently frequently reported aftereffects, but my eyes feel fine. I suspect I am one of the 'results may vary' cases - no itching, no blurriness, no redness - and I can see perfectly. There were two other women at the clinic this morning who had their surgeries yesterday as well, and the one that I spoke to said her vision was still pretty blurry and she was very teary, which I think is probably the more common post-op status.

Anyway, bottom line is that I am 100% satisfied with LASIK MD, and if you too have wondered about it, I hope my story helps. Feel free to ask questions! I also found the LASIK MD website really useful, and comprehensive, so if you have technical questions, you can try there, too.

Le Freak Out?

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1969. The moon landing. Midnight Cowboy. Led Zeppelin I. The maiden flight of the Boeing 747. The election of Golda Meir.

Also, I was born.

Which, for those of you too lazy to do the math, means that I am turning 40 this year. The big 4-oh.

Now, popular culture, despite Erica Jong, seems determined to regard 40 as the threshold between youth and middle age – which, let’s face it, really means old. In my circle of friends, most people seem to have dealt with the idea of forty pretty well, with the exception of one friend who’s been celebrating his 29th birthday for 15 years as of April, and one other friend whose issues cannot be addressed here, but suffice it to say, they’re big issues.

How am I dealing with forty?

Last August, I got a tattoo. My first. On Good Friday, I got my nose pierced. My first piercing (aside from my ear lobes, which are conventional piercings for most women in our culture). This afternoon, I’m planning to have my navel pierced. Next week, I have consultation to discuss laser eye surgery.

Some might argue that these are the actions of a woman in denial, or of a woman desperately trying to hang onto her youth. In fact, some have already made those arguments. Who knows, maybe some psychiatrist out there will confirm this diagnosis.

My counter-argument is that I love the idea of forty. I have wanted a tattoo since I was a teenager, but managed to talk myself out of it for over twenty years because I was afraid I would get to a certain point in my adult life and seriously regret it. I have always liked the idea of a nose stud, but talked myself out of it because I was convinced my nose was too big. I talked myself out of a navel piercing because I don’t have washboard abs. I talked myself out of laser eye correction because I was afraid it was too risky.

You know what? I love my tattoo. I love my nose stud. So why not the other stuff?

Sure, my nose is big – but I love how it looks with my little diamond. I like my nose more now. So I figure I may not have perfect abs, but I bet my tummy will look just fine with a bit of bling.

I am not afraid of 40. I love 40. Forty means I can relax and say “I don’t care whether or not you think this is a good idea.”

I am in a great place in my life. I have a job that I love, and colleagues that respect my work. I have a great husband who more than appreciates me. I have two great kids – one of whom starts high school this fall. I have a great house, and while it’s hardly ever clean, it’s cozy and feels like home. I may not be model material, but I’m in pretty good shape and pretty comfortable with those bits of me that are in different shapes. I have good friends, and good family.

Forty rocks.

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