I had corrective eye surgery last Thursday. It is something I have been contemplating for years. “You are a perfect candidate for LASIK,” said every eye doctor I’ve seen over the last 20 years or so.
I was seven years old when I realized I couldn’t see far away. On the first day of school in second grade, I sat in the back of the class because my last name started with an S. I remember my teacher writing on the chalkboard and the words were invisible. I told my mom and the next thing I knew I was wearing glasses.
Well, it turns out I was not a perfect candidate for LASIK…but I decided to go through with corrective surgery anyway. I cannot wear contact lenses at my new job, and I don’t enjoy wearing glasses at all. My safety glasses are extremely thick and distracting. I felt clumsy wearing them for the last couple of months. I just didn’t feel like myself. Working a swing shift AND dealing with glasses was getting to be too much for me to handle.
So, last Tuesday I had an initial meeting with my eye surgeon and two days later I found myself having surgery. PRK is more expensive than LASIK, and it takes a bit longer to heal. Of course, I always take the longest route with pretty much everything I do…so it didn’t surprise me that I needed PRK. My corneas are thin. My prescription is #blindasabat. And basically my only other option was to continue to wear glasses.
Yeah there are a lot of things that can go wrong with this type of surgery. But there are a lot of things that can go right. I turn 45 this week. It would be nice to be able to see clearly for the second half of my life. So, I signed the dotted line.
The procedure was quick and I was home before I knew it. And then the pain set in. I was completely miserable for over forty-eight hours without much relief. It felt like knives were poking me in the eyes. My eyes were weeping uncontrollably and I questioned if I had made the right decision to spend the money at this time. “I paid $$$ to feel this much pain and I cannot even see?”
And this morning…three days later…I woke up and the pain had receded. The brightness from my bedroom window bothered me but I got up and ready for church anyway. I wore the dark glasses the eye doctor gave me and headed down the road in my trusty Honda. If I cannot see to drive, this car will get me there anyway! Halfway there I almost turned around because I could barely keep my eyes open. But I persisted. I sat in the back row so I could wear the tinted glasses without anyone noticing.
Then worship began. I wept. The tears weren’t uncontrollable watering though. They were tears of joy. I could AMAZINGLY read the lyrics on the big screen in the FRONT of the auditorium. Did I mention that I was sitting in the back row? I didn’t have contacts in my eyes. I wasn’t wearing my coke bottle thick glasses. And I could read EVERY single word on the screen. That seven year old little girl deep inside had her vision back. It felt like a miracle. Forty-eight hours of pain was a small price to pay to have my vision back. It is still not perfect and will likely take a couple of months until I can see completely clearly.
While I was going through it, I lost sight of the big picture and wanted to give up. My life has pretty much been like that for about the last six months or so. My lack of entries here is an indication that I have been distracted. But I am waking up again. I can see things more clearly and not just because of my eyes. Darkness ALWAYS falls. No matter how high on life or strong in faith you are…the dark side has a way of maneuvering through the tiniest little crack and taking control before you even know it if you allow it. I allowed it to happen. But I am coming through to the other side and I can see again.
It is suddenly spring now. It is a time for new life. Darkness and pain come and go. But so do light and healing. And just like that, I am like a bear coming out of hibernation. I am alive and awake again. And in more ways than one, I see everything oh so much more clearly.
Thank you God for always bringing me back to the light. I fail and take the long, dark path sometimes. I ignore you and think my way is better. You allow me to take the longer route not to punish me…but to allow me to grow. And you always stay right beside me anyway. I don’t feel I deserve that, but I thank YOU.
Here’s to new life and new beginnings!
Stacey ~ iamalive