Saturday, November 10, 2007

Shut up, two-eyes!

Argotnaut had LASIK a couple of months ago. She loves her fancy, unbespectacled eyes, and she's prattled on an on about how much more vibrant and big everything looks. As there's nobody more zealous than a convert, she has been encouraging me to undergo the same procedure.

Now understand. I have worn glasses since I was in the 5th grade. When I couldn't read the blackboard anymore, I asked the kid at the desk in front of me what was on the board. When I couldn't see the kid in front of me anymore, I knew there was no escaping my destiny. I was to be a four-eyes. A Mr. Peepers. A buck-toothed, glasses-taped-together nerd. As of last month, my eyeglass prescription was -9.5 in the right eye and -10 in the left. This is on a par with somebody with normal vision looking through window that's been smeared with a bucketful of Vaseline. But surprisingly, even my pathetic and pitiable eyeballs were not outside the transforming power of the latest LASIK technology.

So I took the plunge, and last Tuesday I let some complete strangers hack into my corneas, flip part of them back like the top of an PEZ dispenser, burn off a few microns of corneal tissue with a laser until my corneas were more or less normally shaped, and then flip the caps back.

There are a few crazy YouTube videos of this procedure that you can look up at your leisure. But I have to admit that I'm pretty impressed with the results so far. Currently, my vision is about 20/25, which I haven't had with my unaided eyes in about 35 years. So no more fogging up of lenses coming in from the cold, no more groping for the bedside clock, no more flying off of glasses when I pull a t-shirt on over my head.

The only drawback is that I can't see things up close anymore without some reading glasses. So I've gone backward in time to my old, youthful eyes, but at the expense of having to do like the old folks do and don reading glasses to look through the morning paper. It's a fair trade, especially now that I can wear sunglasses, and I can work out at the gym without the sweat making my glasses slide down my nose. When I'm fully healed, I'll be able to swim and actually see where the hell I am in the pool. If my vision stays as sharp as it is now, cycling will be a whole new contacts enabled me to see fairly well, but nothing really like this. I'm sure the Columbia River Gorge will take on an entirely new level of grandeur.

I'm also certain that watching football in high definition will now be ultra-impressive. If only the Bears were, too. One miracle at a time, I guess.