I still remember the first time my mom brought me to the eye doctor. I was in fifth grade when I learned I was near-sighted and was prescribed my first eyeglasses. The lenses were -1.50 on both eyes.
My life changed after that. I couldn’t run or play sports the way I used to. My swimming abilities were reduced to wading. I couldn’t enjoy a hot cup of coffee or a bowl of steaming soup. I couldn’t recognize people from afar and had to squint a lot. I had to wear my hair in a bun all the time to keep my face clear of more obstruction. Worst, I had to go to prom with my owl eyes.
Each year my lenses became thicker and thicker and the daily inconveniences became part of my life. When people saw me, they thought I could see better with my 4 eyes. The truth was I felt dizzy and wobbly all the time.
I went to college and discovered contact lenses. Now the life of a contact lenser is a whole new story. I was inducted to the world of constant eye irritations and dryness, the headache of cleaning and soaking before sleeping and the financial drains of stocking up on solutions.
I shifted to colored lenses after a few years because I lost count of how many clear lenses I’ve dropped and lost while cleaning. But colored lenses felt heavy and I had this constant awareness of edges that made it so uncomfortable.
I experimented with so many brands, so many kinds yet there was no relief.
After less than a year of living with me, my husband got tired of my endless groans about my eyes and how irritable the lenses were in the UAE. For many months, he tried to convince me to consider laser surgery.
I eventually did my research and discovered there was a newer technology, a blade-less and painless procedure called INTRA LASIK surgery.
I researched about doctors and saw one with very good reviews.
I found his clinic online and called to scheduled for a free consultation to check if I was a good candidate. A patient’s eligibility depends on an evaluation of the eyes, expectations and lifestyle.
“Corneal thickness plays an important role in determining proper candidacy for LASIK. Due to the nature of the procedure, candidates must have a minimum corneal thickness of approximately 0.5 mm.”
I was told my cornea was thick enough and I was a healthy candidate.
I had a million questions. I never had any kind of surgery in my life.
When I came into the clinic, I wasn’t fully convinced that I should do this. I wasn’t ready to take the risk of losing my eyesight if something went wrong. Dr. Rasha changed that all. She was the prettiest, kindest and most articulate doctor I have met from this side of the world. She patiently explained everything I had to know. It was no sales talk. I felt the genuine care and excitement of having the chance to really see again.
I took a leap of faith and said yes. I was given a week to prepare for the procedure.
The day finally came. This was the last day I’d be wearing glasses!
The Filipino staff/technicians had always been kind and accommodating to me.
As the hour of surgery came closer, I started to feel fidgety.
All in all, the procedure lasted less than 10 minutes. True enough, it was painless. The only uneasy feeling was from the clamp that held my eyes wide open. I heard the machine buzzing but felt nothing at all.
Walking out the door with my “new” eyes!
During the first hour after the surgery I was still smiling. I went to sleep and a few hours later, as the anesthesia wore off, I woke up to extreme pain like little knives cutting through my eyes. I took the painkiller drops they gave me and after a while it went away.
That was the only pain I felt.
The next morning, I became so emotional as I woke up seeing the ceiling, the bedroom and my husband sleeping next to me. It felt so good not having to fumble for my glasses anymore.
I had to go through months of post-lasik effects like sensitivity to light and dryness, but the symptoms became lesser and lesser through the months.
The only sad part about the Royal Spanish Center is their very poor post-surgery initiatives to make sure their patients visions are well corrected. My eye grade and astigmatism were both too high to be corrected in one procedure. It’s been over a year and I am still scheduled for my second operation.
Still, my vision has never been better. If I had the finances, I wish I did lasik earlier. The many thousand Dirhams I reluctantly spent for this was all worth it after all.
JUNE 2014 UPDATE:
Just when I had given up hope on scheduling my second operation, the center called me and I was given a fast-track to operation day.
I was totally clueless that the doctors have read this review. As soon as I sat on the chair, Dr. Tamer thanked me for the post, appreciated what I wrote and told me to personally contact him if any problem arises. Now that is professionalism at work.
Thank you too, Doctor, for making me see again.
It’s true that you get to really appreciate something only when it is taken away from you. Your vision is something you shouldn’t take for granted.
Take care of your eyes, they are the windows to your soul!
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. – Audrey Hepburn