Happy Birthday to My Eyes!

The space shuttle flying piggy-back around the Washington Monument. Baby gorillas frolicking at the National Zoo. My mom’s surprise 60th birthday party. Pandas lazily munching on bamboo. Airports in Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Bangkok and Guiyan. Rainstorms in Thailand. The wedding of two friends. And at least ninety books. (I used my GoodReads.com account to come up with that number, but since I sometimes forget to add a book to my “shelf” after I read it, that is a conservative count.)

What do all of these seemingly random things have in common?

They are all wonderful things that my new hawk-eyes have seen in the last year.

Friday was the one-year anniversary of my LASIK surgery and what a great year it has been! It isn’t as if I was blind before and could suddenly see, which would be a medical miracle, but without my contacts, my focused world consisted of about six inches from my face. Contacts were great, especially the leave-in ones that I would wear for a month (or more!) at a time, but once we realized we were going to be spending the bulk of our time living abroad for the next few decades, I figured it was time to throw away the saline solution.

As I went through the numerous pre-operation appointments, I was warned about various possible side-effects, including problems with halos and night vision. (These apparently were a higher concern for my case, as it seems I have abnormally large pupils. Thad has always made fun of my eyes, saying they were like alien eyes, so he was only too happy to have it medically confirmed!) I had put off the surgery for years, mostly on account of these possibly complications. It turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Within hours of the procedure, I had 20/20 vision and never developed any problems with halos, night vision or dryness. LASIK was a total success!

Now, I can roll up a few sets of clothes, stash them in my bag and head off not only to western China, but whatever random city Thad’s next assignment takes us to. And, rather than filling my consumables shipment with contact solution and cleaner, I can use that space for a few extra boxes of Cheerios and some macaroni and cheese.

(Here’s the blog entry I wrote a year ago, just two days after having LASIK surgery.)

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