suddenly i see



Let’s set the record straight here, folks: glasses aren’t cool. Anyone who wears glasses will tell you that, and if they don’t, they’re probably lying. They’ve convinced themselves they’re fine with a life of blurred vision because they have no other choice, and maybe feel like glasses are inextricab­ly linked to their identity. I know this because I was that person for 22 years.

Glasses look rad, but they’re a bloody nuisance. They fog up when you’re eating noodles, or crying, or standing in the rain, or doing all three at once; they slide down your nose when you’re exercising; and they smoosh into your eyes during sexy-times. If that’s not bad enough, the alternativ­e is contact lenses, which means coming to terms with touching your own eyeballs every day for the rest of your life.

Recently, I got laser eye surgery. It was something I’d been contemplat­ing for a while because my eyesight was bad. Like, myopia blending into long-sightednes­s bad. To give you an idea of what my vision was like, if I wasn’t wearing contacts or glasses, I had to hold my phone three centimetre­s from my face in order to read it. I couldn’t see someone’s expression if they were sitting a metre away from me. If I saw a bag on the ground, I thought it was my cat.

I was one of the kids who got teased in primary school for being a four-eyes, who lagged behind in swimming lessons because she kept getting tangled in the lane ropes, and cried her way through high school because a) it was high school; and b) it took years of trial and error before finding a contact lens brand that didn’t irritate her peepers. When people in year 12 started botching their eye tests on purpose to get glasses for end-of-year exams, because they “felt smarter”, I smugly shook my head at them. Well, well, well – look who’s the nerd now! Except no one cared, because I was still the nerd, and once we graduated they could go back to their 20/20 vision. For the longest time, the concept of laser eye surgery terrified me, because my dad had gotten the procedure done when I was a kid, and although it was successful, the process sounded gruesome. “They sliced into his eyeball and there was blood spurting everywhere like PFFFFF! PFFFFF!” my sister recounted after watching the surgery on a TV in the clinic waiting room. I was scarred. So it wasn’t until this year that I decided to investigat­e the procedure for myself, and only after two mates raved about their own laser experience­s. Their eyes were fixed with a ‘pew pew’ laser, just like in the movies (can you tell I wanted to study medicine at one point?). There were no incisions involved. I was sold.

On the day of my surgery, I was remarkably calm, and a little sad to say goodbye to such an integral part of myself. As I lay down, I said an internal thanks to my glasses, and within 30 minutes of the pew pew-ing I could see. This might sound strange, but opening my eyes and being able to clearly make out the wall clock in the room was one of the most moving moments of my life.

It’s been six months since I got my eyes blasted, and my vision is tip-top. If you’re eligible for laser eye surgery and can afford it: do it! Never worry about forgetting your contacts again! Swim without colliding with a pool wall! And if you’re still wearing glasses, don’t worry: laser eye surgery wears off once you reach your 40s, which is when everyone starts needing reading glasses, anyway. So I’ll be seeing you all again in another decade. Or not. Who knows how bad my eyesight will be by then.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia