My LASIK surgery was a week ago today, and I’m pleased to announce that I seem to be adjusting fine. Other than the first few minutes after waking up during the first day or two, there’s been no pain, and as you would probably expect I’m noticing my vision less and less as the days go on. I’m still not as happy with my distance vision as I want to be, but the “good range,” for lack of a better phrase, does seem to be expanding, and the scientist in me is suffering from being unable to put my glasses back on and compare what my vision was like back then to what it is now. It’s entirely possible that this is just what it’s always been but I’m paying more attention to it now, but the fact that I don’t know and don’t have a way to check is making me moderately crazy.
The urge to reach for my glasses in the morning and when I get out of the shower remains pretty overwhelming– 37 years of conditioning will do that to you– and I’m also noticing that at the end of the day my eyes are tired, leading to a similarly overwhelming urge to remove the contact lenses that are not actually in my eyes and put my glasses back on. In fact, honestly, other than the (no longer an issue) early eye pain, this has been almost exactly like adjusting to contact lenses, except for all the eyedrops and the vague notion that my vision is improving from day to day. I need to find an excuse to take a drive after dark sometime this week to see if I have any issue with halos or starbursting; driving in general is fine so long as I’m going places I’m used to driving to (which is 100% of my driving; I’m not leaving the house much, because quarantine) but I’m not sure my distance vision is great for driving somewhere new, because I have to get pretty close to road signs before they’re legible and if I was looking for street signs to know where to turn I’d have to either drive slower than was safe or make some very abrupt decisions.
One way or another, though, I’ve been repeatedly assured that the stuff I’m currently concerned about will get better, and I still am amazed at how easy the surgery and the recovery process have been. Yesterday was the first day that I didn’t spend every second I was awake thinking about my vision, so this is definitely on an upward trend.
One additional sign that my eyes are improving is that after not being able to read more than small chunks of Scarlet Odyssey at a time without my eyes getting tired, I blew through Ilhan Omar’s excellent memoir This is What America Looks Like in basically two sittings. Granted, it’s quite a bit shorter, at 265 pages and a relatively large font, but it’s nice that my ability to binge-read is coming back. This is one of those books where I think you probably already know if you want to read it or not, and if you do, you should follow that urge, and if you don’t, you should read it anyway. Omar’s story is barely even possible in America any longer, but remains a perfect example of the type of country we like to think we are, and her life has been fascinating regardless of what you think of her politics (not a problem for me, obviously) so the book is definitely an engaging read. If anything, I wish it was another hundred pages long, as I’d like to know more about what life was like as a younger person for her, both in the refugee camps and her first few years in America when she was trying to navigate middle school without being able to speak English. Give it a look.