On this day 14 years ago, I put out the message below on Facebook about Lasik. Even back in 2008, Lasik was on my mind and I know it was on my mind before that, too, because I can remember talking to an Ask Jeeves co-worker (shout out, Chris Damsen!) about his experience with Lasik. In fact, I was talking to a lot of people about it.
My eyes are a pain in the ass. I first got glasses in 1988 when I was 17 years old and a junior in high school. I really wish I had a picture somewhere of me wearing them because they were, um, of the time. I haven’t been able to find one. What I am really trying to say is that the frames made me look like a mass murderer and I bet you know exactly the frames I am talking about, don’t you? Of course you do. Witness:
I remember putting the glasses on and being dumbfounded about how clear everything was, so obviously I needed glasses long before 1988. I am pretty sure the reason that there may be no pictures is because I tried to avoid wearing them whenever possible. But more and more I had to rely on them to see in class, to drive and to watch TV. Sigh. It also was a bit of a conundrum playing hockey, because my eyes had built up a need for them, so when I took them off to play, my vision was shit. You kinda need vision for hockey.
Anyway, back then it was just plain old near-sightedness. Over the years time has really done a number on them, as is the case with many people in their fifties. I have to take off my glasses for certain things, put them on for other things, sometimes I just lift my head and point my eyeballs down to see something on my phone or whatnot. Now I wear progressive lenses, which is my next step towards inevitable death (I joke).
I basically feel like that 50 year old man always having hold something out far or within an inch of my eyeball to see it clearly. Oh wait – I AM THAT 50 YEAR OLD MAN.
OK, I’m rambling. Back to Lasik. All I ever heard was how amazing it was, how everyone said “I can’t believe I didn’t do this 10 years ago!” And I was jealous. Boy, was I jealous. I priced it out, I checked insurance, I even called around to a couple of places and talked to my doctor about it. Now you might even be asking yourself why the hell didn’t I just do it then?
Well, here’s your answer: I’m a wimp.
That’s right. A wimp. I could never get over the mental hump of surgery on my EYES. I don’t think it was the prospect of pain, it was more about the notion of something going really south and then I’d blind forever in one eye and have to wear a patch. Or blind in both eyes! Or it wouldn’t work. Or I’d have to go back and constantly get adjusted. Well, now after 25 years of wanting Lasik, but being a wimp, I have my vindication and I now no longer want it.
The New York Times ran a piece earlier this week about the dangers of Lasik. I guess it took 30 years to figure it out? I don’t know.
So yes, it’s DRAFT guidance. But now I do take great pride in knowing that my wimpiness and fears were not unfounded! The Times fairly points out that the F.D.A. document is not final and they are now reviewing the input from testing while preparing the final documents. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire, I say! And now I welcome all the comments coming from all of you Lasik lovers who’ve had no problems whatsoever. Good for you! I’m not joining your eyeball surgery club!