My dear Brandi suggested “Vision” for my “V” word (along with “Value. Vibrance. Vagabond. Vivid.”; “Volcano” and “Vengeance” were also suggested, but I forget by who. Sorry, dear readers!).
And vision just seemed perfect, because, well, I’ve had vision problems, which I’m sure comes as a shock </sarcasm> to my readers.
It also seemed like the perfect topic because I wrote a note about it on my Facebook page a while ago, and I figured I could just grab it and tweak it a little and be done, and move on to “W”. Also, Brandi herself has had vision problems all her life with misaligned eyes, which were corrected this January via surgery… and I figured I could grab a few quotes off the blog she and her husband had written, and again, move on to “W”.
Unfortunately, my note is hot mess of horrid writing (and woefully out of date), and Brandi’s blog page has disappeared into the ether… But thankfully, I can tell you that her surgery worked and she has straight eyes now! Woo-hoo!
As for me, I had pretty good vision until I was about 12 years old. Then it went all to crap. (And not in a pretty handbasket, either.) So I wore those hideous huge glasses until high school (hey! It was the style in the 80s!) (and NO I’m not sharing a picture!) until I got contacts. And… unfortunately, I have a very rare condition in my eyeballs, whose name I can never remember, but essentially, I am allergic to protein in my eyes. That caused my contacts to cover up with a film that sorta looked like what cataracts look like, which made my eyes water so it looked like I was crying all the time. Thanks to that, I had to get gas permeable contacts. Which worked fine until…. they didn’t. My poor eye doctor tried everything to get that darn condition under control, but never could.
In 2002, I was lucky enough to be able to afford LASIK surgery. (Woolfson Eye Institute is totally the BEST.) And lawdamercy I would pay for it a thousand times over. My eyes were so bad (-6.75) that I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. And Dr. Woolfson told me the surgery might not work. But it did! – right after the surgery I could see! ‘Twas amazing!
My right eye was – and has remained – good, but my left eye has been a bit of a pain. I had two additional LASIK surgeries on it to correct astigmatism that was causing horrible headaches (not good when you’re already prone to migraines).
By 2009, my left eye had degenerated due to the normal aging process and the fact that it is weak. Unfortunately they couldn’t do lasik again because my cornea was too thin. They did a bunch of tests, including a pretty severe type of dilation (cycloplegic), which meant my eyes stayed dilated for about 48 hours. (Very attractive, I assure you.)
But everything was stable, so that January 09 they did the surgery known as Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). Which I do not, in any way, shape or form, ever recommend. Cuz it hurt. A LOT. Recovery time was weeks and months. AND I got a fun side-effect that is essentially double-vision in my left eye (but it’s got a fancy scientific name, which of course I can’t remember that either). (I think they called it “ghosting”, i.e., seeing two of the same thing.) (And yes, I still have this, but since my right eye is dominant, and I’ve had years to get used to it, I never really notice anymore.)
That October, I went to the surgeon’s, and my eye had healed properly; there were no medical issues; my prescription had improved and was better than before the surgery, but I hadn’t really noticed because it had been incremental improvements.
My right eye was perfectly symmetrical all the way around, giving me 20/15 vision.
My left eye – not so much. Basically, I had an astigmatism of .75. Most astigmatisms are straight up and down vertically, or straight side to side horizontally. Mine is diagonal, which is what is causing the double vision/ghosting. And it’s not true double vision – I just see a lighter ghost behind the actual thing. (Most noticeable while reading).
In July 2010, I went back for another checkup, and my right eye was still 20/15, but I had developed a slight astigmatism, while the left eye was 20/25, worse astigmatism, still diagonal. My eye had passed the threshold where I could do the surgery again, but no guarantee of any better results, so I decided not to bother.
In September 2012, I went back to the surgeon for another check up, and guess what? There’d been very little change. My right eye was developing a bit of far-sightedness, but my left eye was EXACTLY THE SAME as two years ago. Same exact numbers. The doctor said that’s pretty much unheard of.
Eyeballs in 2010.
Eyeballs in 2012.
And now, in 2015, I have glasses… cuz well, I’m 43, and that’s around the age the eyeballs start to degenerate. Luckily, I don’t need to wear them all the time, or that often.
So, that’s my vision. Probably not the story you were expecting to read, but there ya go. And aren’t my eyeball terrain pics cool? So colorful and fun!
And a final note: I’m swallowing my pride and my tears, and I’ve created a gofundme account to help pay for my medical expenses as I detailed in my D is for Damaged post. If you are so inclined, you can donate via the green widget on the right, or go directly to the page. (FYI, anonymous donations are accepted, if you don’t want the world to know.) If you can’t donate, sharing the page is very welcome too. In any event, thank you to everyone who has supported me with your kind words and those who have donated thus far.