One of my fondest wishes has finally come true: I’ve gotten my eyes repaired! I had my LASIK surgeries (one eye at a time) by Dr. Peter J. Cornell on July 28th and 29th (we celebrated my son Charlie’s birthday two days early because his cousins and grandparents from my wife’s side of the family were in town). Within 24 hours after the second surgery, the vision in my right eye is 20/15, while the left eye is currently something near 20/25 to 20/20. However, the left eye was much more traumatized than the right one during surgery, and I expect both eyes to improve over the next three months.I have some halo effects – it’s kind of like watching an old black and white Humphrey Bogart movie, not unpleasant at all – and some starburst effects, particularly at night. However, the intensity of these effects come and go as my eyes heal, and of course my corneas have only begun the healing process. I’ve been told that these artifacts should disappear as my vision improves over the next three months, and I may see improvement in the quality of my vision for up to a full year after the surgery.

I’ve been told I can’t go swimming for a couple of weeks, and to sleep with protective goggles on for the next half week, and to use antibiotic, steroid and lubricant eye drops till then. After that it’s just lubricant drops as needed, and I have to remember to blink more often when I’m working at the computer. But that’s really it. It’s amazing to have clear vision, sharp as a tack, from one visible edge to the other. It’s like sitting front row, center in the Cinerama Dome!

I’m also still drawing. I did a drawing of somebody at the local bookstore, and she paid me a $20 bill for it, so we got our copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince basically for free. Quite a feeling, to have somebody go that apeshit over my art like that!

Oh, and by the way, if you’re considering getting LASIK yourself, just do it. There are a few things not to do:

  • If you get told “no” by a doctor, don’t shop around till you find one that tells you “yes”. That’s not getting good medical advice, that’s fishing through the draw pile until you find the ace. Some people are just not good candidates.  If you’re over 65, you should probably skip it.  Likewise if the doctor tells you your corneas are too thin, or if you have lupus or some other immune system disorder, you should probably not go through with it.  I’m not sure about diabetics, ask your doctor.
  • Don’t listen to the wild stories about the quacks and malpractice suits against them. The only reason you hear about them at all is that they’re so rare that when it does happen it makes the headline news. The rest of the time these operations go off without a hitch – it’s actually far more dangerous to have a bunion removed.  Most of the horror stories are from South America where they do your eyes and then give you no follow-up care.  Then they run to this one clinic in Florida to see if the American doctors can save their eyes after a screwed up LASIK job, and about two thirds of the time they can, but about a third of the time they can’t.  So if you’re hearing about these horrible situations, most of them come from that.  Or the stupidity of the people getting them in the first place.
  • Don’t expect a miracle: if you’re 50, expect to need reading glasses. I didn’t at first, but I did later – but it’s normal. What you’re after is normal vision, not perfect vision. Still, that might be miracle enough for you.  It was for me.

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