In my 45 years, I’ve endured any number of uncomfortable, unpleasant and undignified medical tests and procedures. Obviously I would have preferred not to, but since it was always in the name of fixing, removing or preventing a health issue, I could eventually talk myself into and through it.
But when it comes to corrective laser eye surgery, I’m having a whole lotta trouble convincing myself to voluntarily lie down on a table to let someone affix a suction ring to my eyeball and slice a flap from my cornea.
I’ve worn glasses for 34 of my 45 years. Contacts no longer work for me. My prescription is so strong that even the thinnest of featherlite lenses is of Coke bottle thickness. I have dents behind my ears and divots on the sides of my nose from the constant pressure. My glasses are the first thing I put on and the last thing I take off every day. I’m one eye chart line away from needing bifocals. I have every reason to want laser eye surgery and, as I found out at my consultation last week, I’m a perfect candidate.
So what’s holding me back?
- I’m basically a chicken. Several years ago when I needed to get my four wisdom teeth removed, I cancelled and rescheduled the procedure three times before they promised me a general anesthetic so that I’d able to go through with it. I’m not sure the 1 mg of Ativan the eye centre is promising me is going to do the trick.
- I know too much. When Luc had his laser surgery 8 years ago I watched the whole thing on the handy-dandy big screen TV in the waiting room. His eyeball was the size of my head. There were puffs of smoke (which the good eye centre people swear is simply vapour from the laser but I know was his vision going up in flames). It was not pleasant to witness, let alone imagine doing to myself. Some people like to be fully informed ahead of time, but I’d rather crawl into an MRI machine not knowing just how loud and claustrophobic it’s really going to be (been there) or consume a radioactive cocktail not knowing exactly how gross it will taste going down (and back up again) (done that) than read the leaflet or watch the play-by-play in high definition beforehand.
- It’s expensive. As we’ve talked about before, Luc and I have very different spending habits. And this definitely falls into the big-ticket-item category. Especially because we don’t have that kind of money lying around. And the van needs repairs. And we want to go on a winter holiday with the kids. I could totally talk myself out of this based on the cost alone.
But here’s the thing. Luc swears that having laser surgery was the best decision he ever made. And he has an endless list of reasons why I SHOULD go through with it. No more glasses or contacts. No more fogging up in the winter, wiping off raindrops in the spring and fall, and constantly pushing my glasses back up my sweaty nose in the summer. No more uber-expensive prescription lenses and cheap snap-on sunglasses. No more nose prints after a kiss or readjustments after a hug. Overall improved quality of life. Being able to go snorkeling on our upcoming holidays and actually SEE the fish!
Plus he’ll hold my hand. Reassure me. Look after the kids and the household while I recover. Slap it on the Visa, earn Aeroplan points for our trip, pay it all off in the long run, and help me get on with what he and the good eye centre people promise will be a better, clearer life.
He has an answer for every argument I put forward. He has the appointment booked for me. He has the credit card in his hand ready to put down the deposit. It’s a gift he wants to give me.
I have 24 hours left to make my decision. And if I don’t do it now, I know I never will.
I know I CAN. If a doctor told me I’d go blind if I didn’t, I’d psyche myself up, lie down and let him have at it. The big difference is that this is a choice. And one I’m finding exceptionally hard to make.
I’ll let you know if next week, I’m writing this blog with brand new eyes.
Read what Luc has to say about laser surgery.