A teachers View
If you have never needed glasses, it is difficult for me to explain to you what it is like to wake up in the morning and be unable to see the clock near your bed stand. Poor eyesight makes figuring out what time it is a ritualistic misadventure: fumble for your glasses, try not to knock anything off the bed stand, inevitably poke yourself in the eye in the morning daze of trying to get your glasses on, squint, squint, and focus. When you are legally blind you are tied to your glasses or contacts as a disabled person is tied to a wheelchair. But what is wonderful about the 21 st century is that there are surgeries now that can cure this particular handicap.
I have dreamt of LASIK eye surgery since it first came out as a viable option for vision correction. I have dreamt of having perfect sight ever since my primary school days when forced to wear my broken glasses pieced together by tape or rubber band, resulted in my social exile. It was then that I decided it was more important to look okay to others than to look at others. I can imagine now how many subtle social cues I missed because of my envy of glassless school children.
To a seeing person, LASIK sounds drastically invasive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “My eyes are too important to me to risk laser eye surgery.” When I told my family I would be getting LASIK the news was met with reactionary doubt – “You know you won’t be able to see at night” and “I heard about a guy who had to have 8 extra surgeries to correct the mistakes that were made.” These comments, I discovered, came from a combination of outdated information and urban legend. That is not to say that there is no risk involved in the LASIK procedure, it is simply to say that the perception of LASIK can be one of ill-informed distrust.
Distrust of advanced medical procedures is not easy to overcome but it can be done if you work with the right doctor. Because of his experience and character, I was referred to Dr. Rajesh Khanna. As expected, he and his staff were honest about the risks involved. What was unexpected was his friendly and warm nature that comforted in the face of a procedure that once appeared terrifying. By the day of the surgery, I felt informed and safe in his hands. Having had the surgery, the simple, virtually painless, 30-minute, now-you-can-see-without-glasses surgery, I wonder why I did not have it done sooner. But what really brought tears to my eyes was not that I had successfully made it through the surgery, it w as seeing, for the first time with my new eyes, clearly from across the room, the clock.