You guys. It’s been a while.
I’ve been completely MIA for about a year now and I’m disappointed that it’s taken this long to get back into it. A lot of things have transpired this year and it’s been fairly difficult to keep the blog going throughout all of it. That said, I feel like I’m finally back on track with things and have been dying to get back on here and share with you.
A little background…when I first moved out to LA I started having some issues with my eyes. I’ve worn contacts for about 13 years and have never had a problem with them. All of a sudden my eyes were dry, itchy, red, and puffy. I chalked it up to the stress of moving, the new dry climate I was residing in, the fact that I now had central air, allergies…literally anything to avoid facing what was actually happening.
Eventually it got to the point where I was completely unable to wear contacts and resorted to buying a new pair of glasses so I could actually see and give my eyes a break (thanks Warby Parker! – more on that in a later post).
A couple of weeks turned into a month and I thought – FOR SURE I can totally wear my contacts now. My eyes felt like they were almost back to normal and I thought I had cured myself. Wrong. Every symptom came flooding back with a vengeance. Did I mention I could barely wear make-up this whole time? Ugh.
I saw an ophthalmologist and we decided to try a new brand of contacts. And then another new brand. I tried wearing them with make-up, without make-up, with organic make-up, with mascara only. I tried changing the brand of solution. I tried the fizzy solution. I bought prescription sunglasses because at this point, I couldn’t comfortably go to the beach. In a last ditch effort I finally thought…one last try – can we order the very original brand of contacts I used to use growing up? Hundreds of dollars and months later I had accumulated countless boxes of unused contacts, various brands of contact solution, a variety of organic make-up, but still seemed to be at square one.
On a trip back to the East Coast in September, I broke down and made an appointment with my old ophthalmologist.
“You’ve become allergic to contacts.”
Worst. Moment. Ever. I mean, not the actual worst, but you get it.
Being allergic to contacts means what? It means losing a bit of peripheral vision because glasses don’t wrap around your face. It means not taking photos with your fancy cam because you can’t look through the viewfinder. It means never being completely sure if your make-up looks alright because you can’t see yourself from 1 foot away unless you put your glasses on. It means not applying too much mascara because your eyelashes brush against your glasses. It means weighing the risk of losing your sunglasses in the ocean vs. not being aware of your surroundings. It means foggy vision when you open the oven and put your head too close to the heat. It means not just matching your outfit to your shoes but to your glasses too, jeopardizing your life when you realize you forgot to put your sunglasses on to drive and there’s suddenly blinding light streaming through your frames, constantly pushing the bridge up your nose when working out or exercising completely blind, and generally just not feeling 100% yourself. Or pretty.
That last line is pretty negative. I know that glasses can be beautiful on people and that they shouldn’t be the reason to feel pretty or not pretty. Cue the sob story. My boyfriend always said that I looked cute in mine and I definitely had days where I felt I was really rocking them, but overall – I just didn’t feel very pretty in them. I had worn contacts for all of my adult life and being restricted to wearing glasses every day changed the way I looked at my face. I’m not proud of that but it’s true.
Anyways, on to the solution. I asked my doctor what I could do. I needed to know what my options were because I was not feeling a life of permanent entrapment behind these lenses. He told me I could either wait about 3 months and then try gas permeable lenses (which are basically hard lenses and are supposed to be less allergic-y) or I could get LASIK.
I toyed with the idea of the GP lenses for a while. They seemed easier and much less scary than going under a laser. But I had always thought that I would eventually get LASIK, and why not now? Why not just nip this whole thing in the butt and never (or at least for quite a while) have to worry about my vision again? Sure, it was expensive. REALLY expensive. But when you think about how much you spend on lenses, solution, glasses, etc., eventually it would pay itself off. And the thought of waking up with perfect vision in the morning without rummaging around for glasses – *squeal* – YES PLEASE.
For 3 long months I wore those glasses to the ground. I had to let my eyes heal from all of the irritation before I could even step into a LASIK consultation to be considered. I researched endless doctors to perform the surgery and weighed the pros and cons of seeing someone in-network vs. out of network. I found someone I really liked on paper but was not covered by my insurance. Eventually I decided that a few hundred dollars in savings didn’t out-weigh the experience of a surgeon. These were my eyes after all. I made an appointment for January 15th and crossed my fingers that they would say I was a candidate.
The holidays came and went and before I knew it, I was sitting in a sterile room, waiting for the doctor to come do a full evaluation. And then I found out…all my finger crossing had worked! I was a candidate and – surprise – they had an open surgical appointment for the following week. My moment had finally come and I swiped up that appointment without thinking twice. This was my new beginning.