The winner of the Apothia giveaway was à¢â‚¬¦ patchamour! Email me your address under Contact Us to the left, and I´ll get them in the mail. Also, Marina will be posting her reviews of my Holy Grail mods on Monday; I will post my Big Reveal of the construction of these scents simultaneously on this blog. I am excited to see what she thinks!
Okay, today´s post is not about smell. So you´ve been warned. It is about a recent big change in one of my other senses: sight. Skip it if you´re not interested, no hard feelings.
I have been nearsighted since middle school. I wore soft contacts for several years in my 20s, but they were never perfect, and after four kids and three climate changes I just gave up and went back (grudgingly) to glasses. Three years ago the Big Cheese had Lasik surgery. His results were excellent. I was evaluated and for various ocular reasons was deemed Not A Candidate, although I don´t think I would have done it anyway.
Then #1 Daughter (let´s call her Jane) developed nearsightedness (a.k.a. myopia), thanks to her genetic endowment. And she, normally the most compliant of kids, refused to wear her glasses. Refused. Except for going to the movies, her glasses stayed in the case.
So this spring I fulfilled a promise and called my ophthalmologist for a referral to an optometrist who would fit younger clients (Jane just turned 12) with soft contacts. We went for her appointment. And then à¢â‚¬¦ we learned something interesting. While Dr. X was perfectly happy to fit her for contacts, he told me about another service he offered: Ortho-K, which is the fancy-pants, copyrighted name for a process whereby the patient is fitted with a progressive series of rigid, gas-permeable lenses, which you sleep in. Put them in at bedtime, take them out in the morning. And over the course of several weeks, if it works, you have 20/20 vision. He told me most of the advances in this process (it used to take months, with a lower success rate) are from Japan, which is in the middle of a myopia epidemic among schoolchildren due to their insane academic load. The bonus for younger patients is that, unlike glasses or soft contact lenses, it tends to arrest the progression of myopia, so you´re not wearing coke-bottle lenses by the time you´re 20.
There are limitations. The best candidates have moderate nearsightedness (20/400 or lower) and little or no astigmatism. Jane was a perfect candidate. I was less perfect but still a possibility. The process (at least with Dr. X) goes like this: you sign up for 90 days, money up front. At any time in that 90 days you can give up and get 75% of your money back. If you´re pleased, you get a final pair of lenses to keep. After 6 months you can experiment with skipping every other night. Many patients only need to wear them two or three times a week to maintain their corrected vision.
So. How did it go? Well, Jane had perfect vision after two weeks. She´d never worn contacts before, so the whole deal was a little traumatic for her. I basically did the work for her (cleaning, insertion, removal) for a few weeks and then taught her each piece.
I was seeing 20/20 and 20/50 in a week, but things were doubled mildly in one eye and badly in the other. After a month, I was 20/20 in both eyes, my astigmatism was gone in one eye, and mild enough in the other that it´s detectable (if I cover the other eye) but not an impediment. I am THRILLED. I get up and go all day long à¢â‚¬” and do things like swim and bike and play tennis à¢â‚¬” with perfect vision.
Is it cheap? No. In my area it´s roughly one-third the cost of Lasik, and the lenses are expensive ($200, don´t lose them) and need to be replaced once a year. I have to wear them faithfully every night or the next day is blurry (20/50 is my guess.) But I would do it again in a heartbeat. People who don´t wear glasses tend, probably, to take this I-Can-See thing for granted. But each day I get up and face the world with clear vision feels like a gift.