|The things James does|
Mon, 28 May 2007
Dear all, it's been 4 months since I last posted and I have done lots. Let's hope this post doesn't break PlanetPlanet or all my timestamps like it did last time I used Blapp back in February.
So, it seems that my resolution at the start of the year meant very little, given that I have seemingly had little time to post amongst the many other things I've done. The most urgent of all is that I'm going in for surgery tomorrow. I am undergoing a procedure known as LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, which is the current best form of laser surgery for correcting vision. It'll happen at about lunchtime and is being done at the Laservision Centre day surgery clinic at Southport on the Gold Coast.
I had recently decided that if I'm *ever* going to have the surgery done, now was the time, especially given my age and that I needed new glasses and new contact lenses. So... The week before last, on Wednesday, I rang and arranged a consultation for the following Tuesday. I went in on the Tuesday in the afternoon and had a whole series of tests performed whereby they took lots of pictures (using computers) which translates into 3D measurements and assessed whether I was suitable for surgery and which type. Luckily for me, it seems that both my prescription (-4.50/-4.25) is just about the ideal candidate for LASIK and my corneal thickness (~560μm) is more than one standard deviation thicker than average. This is a very good thing. Ingrid's sister Kirsten wanted to have surgery and was told that her cornea was too thin for the available forms (within the last couple of years - don't know if LASEK was available then or not).
I've given much thought into having the surgery since I first started considering the option about 10 or so years ago. Back then, there was only Radial Keratotomy and talk of the Excimer laser (which was just being approved for use). With RK, the surgeon makes incisions into the eye with a diamond blade. I elected to not have surgery back then because my eyes were possibly still changing and the instruments and technology was rapidly improving, but now, this form of surgery, LASIK and its ilk, are common place with large numbers of people having it performed each week around the world.
I also have a friend (hi Jamie) who had LASIK performed a few years ago now in Canada before he emigrated, who told me quite a bit about it and was able to answer lots of my questions. I've been doing a bit of reading and feel confident that I'll have perfect vision in no time!. By this time tomorrow night, I should be starting to see ok again, and by the time I wake up on Wednesday morning, I'll be able to see without my spectacles. If I'm feeling brave, I may even play squash on Friday morning (with protective goggles though).
Wish me luck!
<geek_content/>There's also this cool site where Scott Hanselman talks about having LASIK performed last year. On his Weblog he goes into significant detail about his operation, the outcomes and risks and how after having a prescription of -9.25 prior to the operation he comes out with 20/10 vision - better than average (20/20). There's also some neat footage of the surgery too. Apparently the machine that performed the operation was running Windows98 too! Someone does desperately need to push WindowsXP into the embedded space if they are going to stay with that platform.</geek_content>
Today I had my 1 month (5 week) follow-up appointment after my laser eye surgery.
I forgot to actually write about the surgery itself, but suffice to say, apart from nearly fainting after I walked out to the waiting room after surgery, it was a textbook operation (so the surgeon said).
At the 1 day (more like 28 hours) follow-up appointment, I was already driving comfortably and with 2 eyes could read the 6/6 line on the eye chart (20/20) and could read 6/5-1 (which means the 6/5 line on the chart with 1 mistake). I had a minor ripple in the flap on the left eye (I think) which means that I had a slight single eye double vision (overlapped text at distance). I was told that this would heal relatively quickly and probably be gone in a couple of months.
I went to my appointment this morning and was asked to read the chart with both eyes open. I read the bottom line easily and thought that this was the 20/20 bottom line chart, not the 6/4 chart. Then I was asked to read the chart with my right eye. Again, bottom line, slightly easier to read if anything, but it was a very quick read with little, if any difficulty. Then I was asked to do it with just my left eye. Nearly impossible. I could make out the 4th bottom line ok, and the 3rd bottom with difficulty. It was at this point the optometrist told me that I was reading the 6/4 chart and my left eye was reading 20/20.
After this I asked if we could measure the the prescription of my eyes with the magic computer that tells you the prescription with significantly more accuracy than the normal testing methods. It turns out that my left eye has a minor astigmatism and is slightly long sighted, however, it will still improve over the coming months. the right eye is nearly perfect and I'm seeing near at near maximum retinal resolution. In a few months, I shouldn't need to put eye drops in regularly and both eyes should be fully recovered.
Verdict, if you've ever considered laser surgery, I would very highly recommend it. Don't leave too much after you've turned 30, otherwise you may miss out on the maximal benefit of the operation due to the onset of presbyopia which occurs in your 40s (hardening of the lenses with a normal person eventually ending up with roughly +3.00 vision in both eyes).